Elopement Dresses Guide + Cheap Wedding Dress Options for Elopements
Elopement Dresses for the Adventurous Bride
Gone are the days where brides only had a handful of options to shop when searching for their wedding dress. Now that elopements are becoming more popular, brides are looking for alternative elopement dresses for their wedding day. In fact, many brides shop for their elopement dresses at other places besides a traditional bridal store. It’s also becoming a trend for brides to transform any dress they want into their “wedding dress”.
So, how do you find the perfect elopement dress?
Since you have decided to elope, you’re going to need an epic wedding dress to wear at your elopement location. We’ll go over everything you should consider when searching for the perfect elopement dress to wear.
Already know what to look for? Jump to our favorite affordable elopement dresses.
What Defines an Elopement Dress?
We get this question a lot from brides who are trying to plan their elopement. Is a wedding dress the same thing as an elopement dress?
We’re here to tell you that all wedding dresses can be elopement dresses. It just depends on what you’re going to be doing during your elopement. For example, if you’re planning an adventurous elopement involving hiking, running, jumping, and more; then not all wedding dresses will make an ideal elopement dress.
A great elopement dress is one that you can easily move in and be ok with getting a little dirty from your elopement adventure.
What to Think About When Shopping for Your Elopement Dress
Here are 3 tips to consider when shopping:
1. Consider Mobility, Packability, and Weight
Are you going to be hiking through a forest or a gorgeous mountain? Are you planning on wearing your wedding dress during your elopement journey, or do you plan on packing your dress and changing once you reached your ceremony location?
Packing a wedding dress can be easy! We suggest folding it, with lots of love, in a garment bag, and strapping it to your backpack. You can also easily strap your bouquet to the outside of your backpack as well.
Whatever your answers are, you need to decide if you’re comfortable in the dress. If you’re loving a more traditional wedding dress, then that’s ok too! You just don’t want to feel restricted or tired from the heavy layers during your wedding day.
2. Dress Fabrics We Love For Elopements
We love light and airy fabrics for extra adventurous couples who are not afraid to do something different like snowboarding or hiking. Whether you’re shopping online or in-person for your elopement dress, consider chiffon, tulle, and organza as some traditional fabrics that will be lightweight. We personally love these fabrics because the wind will easily carry the layers, allowing light to filter through.
Heavier fabrics such as silk, polyester, and satin. These fabrics create a beautiful shine and texture! Since these fabrics are on the heavier side, they will also be less breathable, so we don’t recommend these for tropical elopements. However, these fabrics will keep you warmer during colder weather.
Lace is our favorite elopement dress fabric for adventurous and boho brides! Lace is flowy, easy to move in, and won’t wrinkle! You can easily pack a lace elopement dress in your hiking backpack and head out to your ceremony location.
3. Wedding Dress Styles to Consider for Your Elopement
If you’ve walked into a traditional bridal shop, then you already know how overwhelming wedding dress shopping can be. Add the fact that you’re having an elopement, and the decision becomes a little more complex. No worries adventure brides, we are here to tell you it’s not hard, at all!
Since you’re having an elopement, you want to make sure you can move! For this reason, mermaid and ballgown styles are not ideal for adventure elopements that require a lot of activity. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t pack your dress with you and wear it during your ceremony! We personally love A-lines, Fit-and-Flares, and Two-Pieces gowns for elopements. These styles give great natural movement and are fun to play with during wedding portraits.
Elopement Dresses Prices
Just because you’re buying a wedding dress for your elopement, doesn’t mean that you need to break the bank! Wedding dresses are typically very pricey, and you also have to consider alterations and bridal accessories.
If you decided to elope, however, you probably decided to elope to not just have an epic adventure, but also to save some money. Elopement dresses don’t need to be overly expensive. Contrary to popular belief, you can wear whatever you want on your wedding day.
Our favorite elopement dresses are actually some of the more affordable options we know you’ll love. To our surprise, you can shop at a lot of places to find the perfect wedding dress for your elopement.
Top 5 Tips When Looking for Cheap Wedding Dresses:
- Do your research. This tip is SUPER important when shopping for affordable dresses. This is still your wedding day, and you deserve to look amazing! We love reading website reviews and watching YouTube reviews.
- Online Shopping and try multiple ones at home! Retail shops are realizing how important online shopping is for brides. If you don’t love it, then easily return it!
- Sales and discount codes are your best friends. We got you covered with some awesome discounts below!
- You don’t need to wear white if you don’t want to.
- Pick something that you will feel comfortable and love!
Our Favorite Elopement Dresses
We compiled this list of some of our favorite cheap wedding dress options for the adventurous bride trying to stay within a budget. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Check out our wedding dress guide for elopements to get some more inspiration.
Amazon is slowly taking over the world! You can find anything on their site, including wedding dresses! We were so surprised by the number of photographers who shared these gorgeous dresses with us. There are so many possibilities. With a little research and patience, you can find your perfect dress.
“I love this Chady J Issa dress from Amazon because it is affordable, yet elegant and beautiful! The high-slit style is not only flattering but also makes it ideal for adventure elopements on various terrains. The bride can move with ease and focus on the beauty of her surroundings!” [Katie]
Photo by Brianna Swan
Lulus is a perfect option for brides who are looking for an affordable, yet beautiful elopement wedding dress option online! Bridal dresses at Lulus bridal, on average, range from $50 to $250. Many of our photographers over at our Wandering Weddings Photographer page also love lulus, since this was the brand mentioned the most when we asked which cheap wedding dresses they have featured.
“I love the Lulus brand because the dresses are light and easy to throw in a backpack for epic mountaintop elopements! We did a sweaty 2-hour hike to get to this spot, and the dress was wrinkle-free when we pulled it out of the bag!” [Bree]
Chic Boho is a perfect option for brides who are trying to plan a bohemian elopement. Their dresses range from $20-$80, and they are lacey, flowy, and light.
“I love Chic Boho because they are very affordable for a bride on a budget that wants a stylish gown for her special day!” [Lavel]
Thrift Shop or Consignment
If you’re looking for a gorgeous designer dress, but you are trying to stay on a budget, then check out a thrift shop or consignment store. You can find a beautiful, cheap wedding dress if you know where to look.
“I love Kelly Faetanini dresses for elopements because the dresses are lightweight enough with all the walking and exploring, while still keeping the elegant and beautiful look you want on your wedding day! When it comes to thrift shopping, this was an absolute STEAL!” [Ashley]
eBay is another great option for you if you want to stay on a budget, but still want to find a designer piece or wedding dress. Sometimes, you don’t even need to find a full gown, like this bride. She put together two separate pieces!
“I love this gown because it is simple, timeless, and elegant. The tulle skirt came from Mrpretty on eBay for about $100, and the lace shirt and camisole both came from a local thrift shop. I just loved the look together! It was so creative and not expensive!” [Sherry]
ASOS Bridal is a great alternative to shopping online for your wedding dress. There are plenty of styles to pick from, and prices usually range from $100 to $500.
“ASOS dresses are so affordable and yet so beautiful! So many different styles to choose from and are perfect for the eloping bride! Like this gorgeous all-over lace that was under $300!!” [Sadie]
If you’re on a hunt for a cheap wedding dress, then try looking for the dress of your dreams at one of your favorite stores. Forever 21 has some great options for wedding dresses that would be perfect for beach elopements.
“The most affordable wedding dress you will probably ever find in your life! This look is under $30!! You can’t beat that! Forever 21 for the win for this bride!” [Sadie]
Spell is a gorgeous site to check out that have not only affordable wedding dress options for the adventurous boho bride, but they are also gorgeous! These dresses range from $100 to $800, and we are sure you’ll find something your wanderlust soul will love.
“I love Spell because they make the best boho themed dresses that are easy to get in and can pack up small. Not much to fuss with, and you’ll look amazing in it!”!” [Grace]
We are loving all these brides who are choosing the non-traditional method of finding their wedding dress. Honey Punch is a great site to find something lacey and fun for your special day while staying well within your budget.
“This lightweight gown from Honey Punch is an affordable option for brides but also has that boho flair that many brides search for. You can play it up to make it more boho, or keep it simple like this bride did. The gown has beautiful movement and is extremely comfortable to get around in!” [Maggie]
Buy a wedding dress made by hand and with love. Etsy is home to creative souls who sell their work to people looking for something unique and beautiful. There are so many options when trying to find a beautiful and cheap wedding dress here.
“I love Olya Silk & Lace on Etsy for elopement dresses because elopements are all about focusing on the love you share, not on spending an insane amount of money on one day. They are affordable, gorgeous, and perfect for the adventurous bride.” [Tessa]
Separates From Your Favorite Store
If you decided to elope, then you probably don’t want just any wedding dress. We love it when brides get creative and compile their wedding outfit from their favorite stores to create the specific look they want.
“I wanted to see if I could take a simple white lace robe and turn it into something worthy of a bride! Turns out, not hard at all. This was a white lace $20 robe from Shein, and a slip from Free People. It’s perfect for casual elopements, or those who feel like the stuffiness of a white wedding gown is not for them! ” [Laura]
If you still want the traditional bridal shopping experience, yet still want to remain within your budget, we suggest checking out David’s Bridal. This bridal store carries multiple wedding dress options and sizes, and they also have multiple sales throughout the year.
“This dress is a must for any bride wanting class and comfort! It has a great range of motion for hiking, and the movement of the skirt adds emotion and dimensions to photos! The skirt was also very forgiving when it came to holding its shape and not wrinkling! ” [Nicole]
Anomalie is relatively new on the scene in terms of wedding dress options, and boy is it a good one for the creative and budget savvy bride. This website allows you to design your own wedding dress. The price is much more economical, and we are sure you’ll have so much fun!
“Anomalie is perfect for an elopement bride who wants something out of the norm. Elopements are bold and unique, one of a kind- just like Anomalie dresses. You design your dress, which is super rad. It’s the perfect solution for a bride who wants the freedom to do something different from everyone else without breaking the bank. These dresses are truly stunning, and the quality is amazing.” [Jacqueline]
Guess is a great option if you’re looking for a non-traditional wedding dress. This is also a perfect option for brides looking for a sexy wedding dress option! We love it when brides aren’t shy to wear something they love and feel comfortable in on their wedding day.
“I love that Guess carries dresses like this that can be used as a wedding dress. Guess is found in shopping malls in almost every main city in Canada and the US, which means brides can try on the dresses before buying them, as well as return them in-store or online if they change their mind! Guess dresses aren’t marketed as wedding dresses, which may be part of the reason why brides will find a lower price tag on the dress. You won’t find Guess making ball gowns any time soon, I’m sure, but if a bride is looking for a sexy wedding dress, Guess should be on her hit list!” [Tara]
If you are a bride on a budget, then Wish could be a great option for you. This option requires a lot of research, but you can definitely find something beautiful for way less.
“This was a Styled wedding shoot, and the bride ordered it on Wish for only a few €!” [Barbara]
Reclamation is also another perfect option to look for a boho wedding dress unique and made with love. Dresses do range in price, but you can find a wedding dress starting at $100.
“I love Reclamation wedding dresses, because they’re custom made with vintage lace. Each dress is unique and truly one of a kind!” [Jessika]
If you are looking for more traditional wedding dress options, then we suggest reading 8 Wedding Dress Designers for Elopements. We would also love to know which affordable wedding dress designer you are loving from this article.