Attire and Accessories

Elopement Dresses Guide + Cheap Wedding Dress Options for Elopements

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 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?

That’s where we come in! 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. We have even linked some of our photographers and couples favorite dresses for you to shop below!

Jump to shop our favorite elopement dresses:

OR Jump to explore…

*This post contains affiliate links. You will not be charged extra, but we do earn a small commission if you use these links to make a purchase. 

What Defines an Elopement Dress?

Lulus wedding dress for adventure elopements. Bride wearing Lulus white wedding dress while skiing.

Photo by Mountain Marta Photography Featuring Lulus Wedding 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. Even a “normal dress” can be your elopement dress! It just depends on what you’re going to be doing during your elopement and what style you prefer.

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. Would you prefer to explore Yosemite in a huge ball gown and a long train, or do you prefer to wear a fun, lightweight a-line gown you can easily hike up.

A great elopement dress is one that you can easily move in and be ok with getting a little dirty from your elopement adventure.

Lulus white, a-line elopement dress used for adventure elopement on top of a mountain with mountain views.

Photo by Brianna Parks Photo featuring Lulus Dress

Let’s go over some more elopement dress questions we often hear:

What types of elopement wedding dresses are best for outdoor ceremonies?

If you’re planning to elope anywhere outdoors, then you need a dress you can MOVE in freely. Even if you’re only exploring a national park on an easy trail, you’ll need to be able to maneuver through the trail with ease. This is especially important if you pick a more difficult trail to explore together. Lightweight dress fabrics are going to be your best friend here, so you won’t be weighed down like you would be if you wear a traditional ballgown.

You’ll want to look for a shorter train, or one where you can easily pick up and pin to the upper part of your dress (or tie to your wrist) to be able to walk freely without it getting snagged on branches.

Another thing you want to consider is overall fit. If you opt for a super fitted dress, then you may be too constricted during your adventure. Opt for something fitting, but flexible enough that it can be the leggings of elopement dresses!

Can I wear a traditional wedding gown for my elopement?

You can wear WHATEVER style dress you want. If you’ve always dreamed of wearing a ballgown, but you still want to elope in the Redwoods, then go for it!

Can I choose a colorful dress for my elopement?

You bet! Elopements are personal and intimate, and your dress is the perfect way to show off your personality. We have seen everything from fun pastel colors like soft blue and pink to bold ones like black and red! Don’t let anyone tell you, “you have to wear white for it to look like your wedding day”.

How can I pack my dress for my elopement adventure?

If you aren’t wearing your elopement dress during your adventure, and you want to pack it instead, consider rolling your dress! By rolling your dress, you can keep your dress almost wrinkle free when packing your wedding dress into your backpack for a hiking elopement.

Another tip is to pack your dress in a separate garment bag. You can buy a waterproof one you can swing up on your shoulders and take with you.

How much should you spend on an elopement dress?

The beauty of eloping is you have all the freedom to wear whatever you want, so you also have the freedom to spend how much you want on a dress. We have seen brides spend as little as $80 on a dress to brides who spent over $3,000. It all depends on you and what you feel comfortable to allocate towards your elopement budget.

Would these elopement dresses work for city elopements?

Yes! Whether you’re exploring Zion National Park OR exploring Las Vegas, your “elopement dress” works for all elopements. Even city hall ones! As long as you feel beautiful and you’re comfortable, then wear it! We have even seen ceremonies in cities and then the couple goes to a nearby national park after for adventure portraits.

What to Think About When Shopping for Your Elopement Dress

lulus wedding dress for elopements

Photo by Photo by Marissa Solini Featuring Lulu’s Wedding Dress

Here are 3 tips to consider when shopping:

1. Consider Mobility, Packability, and Weight of Your Dress

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. What Fabrics Are Best For Elopement Dresses?

When thinking about what type of dress you can wear on your elopement, consider what fabric is best for your specific adventure. Another thing to consider when choosing a fabric is what season and location you’re planning to elope.

We love light and airy fabrics for extra adventurous couples who are not afraid to do something different like snowboarding (don’t forget to wear layers underneath to stay warm) 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

Etsy elopement dress during a alpine lake elopement with mountain views

Photo by Run Wild With Me Photography Featuring an Etsy dress

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. All of the dresses we feature in this resource are $100 – $2,000. There are some options with higher price points, but you can 100% get a gorgeous dress and stay within your budget.

Top 5  Tips When Looking for Cheap Wedding Dresses:

BHLDN wedding dress for elopements from Anthropologie during a Big Sur elopement

Photo by Jamie LeMaire Photography Featuring a BHLDN Dress

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. Sales and discount codes are your best friends. We got you covered with some awesome discounts below!
  4. You don’t need to wear white if you don’t want to.
  5. Pick something that you will feel comfortable and love!

Shop 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. Are you planning a backyard wedding or small wedding at a “wandering” style wedding venue? Check out our wedding dress guide to get some more inspiration.


BHLDN wedding dresses are perfect for any elopement adventure. Their dresses are found on Anthropologie, their sister brand. We particularly love how flowy and light-weight these dresses are. They are perfect to pack up in your backpack to go hiking together or to add to your carry on for your destination wedding. On their website, you’ll find sections to explore from the boho and romantic bride to the beach and destination bride, where dresses for each category are populated to match the aesthetic you’re trying to achieve.

  • Price Range: $200 – $3,000+
  • Size Range: US 0 – 26
  • Discounts Applicable: The occasional sale
  • Return Policy: Returns within 30 days from purchase. Items are subject to a restocking fee.

Check out some of our favorite affordable BHLDN wedding dresses perfect for elopements:

BHLDN's Nassau Long-Sleeve Deep-V Embroidered Side-Slit Wedding Gown

Photo Sourced From Anthropologie

Price $950

Buy BHLDN’s Nassau Long-Sleeve Deep-V Embroidered Side-Slit Wedding Gown

BHLDN Mira Embellished Wide-Leg Pant Bridal Set

Photo Sourced From Anthropologie

Price $750

Buy BHLDN Mira Embellished Wide-Leg Pant Bridal Set

BHLDN Katarina Butterfly-Sleeve V-Neck Empire Embroidered Wedding Gown

Photo Sourced From Anthropologie

Price $1,495

Buy BHLDN Katarina Butterfly-Sleeve V-Neck Empire Embroidered Wedding Gown

BHLDN Hadley Floral Appliqué Wedding Gown

Photo Sourced From Anthropologie

Price $1,995

Buy BHLDN Hadley Floral Appliqué Wedding Gown

BHLDN Stevie Sleeveless V-Neck Floral Appliqué A-Line Midi Dress

Photo Sourced From Anthropologie

Price $315

Buy BHLDN Stevie Sleeveless V-Neck Floral Appliqué A-Line Midi Dress



Lulus is a perfect option for brides who are looking for an affordable, yet beautiful elopement wedding dress option online! Lulus bridal also carries “Luxe Bridal”, which features more luxurious wedding dress options that are still super affordable compared to traditional bridal brands. 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. 

  • Price Range: $50 – $500
  • Size Range: US XS-XL
  • Discounts Applicable: The occasional sale
  • Return Policy: Free returns within 10 days from delivery date (US State ONLY).
Lulu's Everlasting Affection White Lace Backless Mermaid Dress

Photo Sourced From Lulus Weddings

Price $479
Featured Luxe Bridal Option:

Buy Lulu’s Everlasting Affection White Lace Backless Mermaid Dress

Lulu's Fairtale Love Story White Lace Off-the-Shoulder Maxi Dress

Photo Sourced From Lulus Weddings

Price $366
Featured Luxe Bridal Option:
Lulu's Duchess Ivory Lace Bell Sleeve Maxi Dress

Photo Sourced From Lulus Weddings

Price $182
Lulu's True Love White Beaded Rhinestone Maxi Dress

Photo Sourced From Lulus Weddings

Price $276
Featured Luxe Bridal Option:
Lulu's Blissfully Beloved Ivory Backless A-Line Bow Maxi Dress

Photo Sourced From Lulus Weddings

Price $149
Don’t see anything you’re loving? Explore Lulu’s bridal dresses below.Women's Dresses


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. Another great things about Amazon is you can actually find any style in a color option (because we LOVE when we see a colored wedding dress out in the wilderness). From black elopement dress options to pink and blue. The rainbow is literally a click away. 

Shop Our Favorite Amazon Elopement Dresses

Shop Now


Etsy is not only the perfect spot to shop for bridal accessories, but it’s also perfect to buy a unique, affordable, and gorgeous elopement dress. We also LOVE Etsy because it’s a great way to support small business owners AND get the dress of your dreams (seriously a win-win situation). Since Etsy is not your basic retailer, you can find a ton of options that you probably have not seen before, which makes this the perfect option for those who want a show-stopping dress. From short and jumpsuit options to long and elaborate dresses with trains, you’ll find it all here. Just be descriptive with your search to use specific keywords you want in your dress, OR check out our faves below.

Here are our favorite Etsy bridal dress shops to browse:

Mila Bridal

Price range: Below $1,000

Mila Bridal offers custom sizing and gorgeous, romantic dresses perfect for your elopement. With endless options, it’s easy to see why we would rave about this brand from Russia.

The best part about this small business is there is a dress for every bride. From short wedding dresses to satin and flowy wedding dresses. The best part about this shop? All their dresses are under $1,000 (that’s a win in our book).

Shop Mila Bridal on Etsy

We Are Reclamation

Price Range: $500-$1,500

Reclamation dresses are easily one of our favorite elopement dress options. This shop has gained so much popularity among brides and social, that’s it’s easy to understand why it’s one of the first to come to our mind. You’ll find all the lace, boho, and trendy options here for your special day.

Shop We Are Reclamation on Etsy

Blush Fashion

Price range: Below $1,000

Blush’s dresses come from Israel and are made with breathable fabrics and comfort in mind, which is a MUST when picking out the perfect elopement dress. From long sleeve options to flowy dresses to wear on your mountain elopement together.

Shop Blush Fashion on Etsy

Flora & Lane 

Price Range: $500-$2,000

This one is for our boho brides looking for the best boho elopement dresses! If you’re a fan of all things lace, then this is the perfect shop for you. These gowns are literally perfect for ANY elopement, especially forests, beaches, and mountain elopements. If you live in Chicago, then you can try on the dresses in person at their boutique!

Shop Flora & Lane on Etsy

Wear Your Love XO 

Price Range: $700 – $1,500

Wear Your Love is perfect for brides who elope because the shop was created with non-traditional brides in mind. These dresses are far from stiff and uncomfortable wedding dresses that you often find at a traditional boutique. These gowns are flowy, light, and perfect for any bride.

Shop Wear Your Love XO on Etsy 


Cheap Wedding Dresses Under $100

Are you balling on a budget, or are you looking to trash your dress during your elopement adventure? Whether you’re looking for a simple wedding dress or if you have a budget to stick to, we found our top 4 favorite cheap wedding dresses perfect to hike in the mountains or splash in the ocean.

Lulu's Loveliest Aura White Off-the-Shoulder Mermaid Maxi Dress

Photo Sourced From Lulus Weddings

Price $99
Buy Lulu’s Loveliest Aura White Off-the-Shoulder Mermaid Maxi Dress


Lulu's Delightful Romance White Floral 3D Stapless Lace-Up Midi Dress

Photo Sourced From Lulus

Price $89
Buy Lulu’s Delightful Romance White Floral 3D Stapless Lace-Up Midi Dress


Lulu's Effervescent Charm White Organza Floral Babydoll Mini Dress

Photo Sourced From Lulus

Price $89
Buy Lulu’s Effervescent Charm White Organza Floral Babydoll Mini Dress


Lulu's Valhalla White Sequin Lace-Up Maxi Dress

Photo Sourced From Lulus

Price $99
Buy Lulu’s Valhalla White Sequin Lace-Up Maxi Dress


Beautiful Bohemian & Feminine Dresses For Spring Weddings-

Best Places to Buy Affordable Elopement Dresses Online For Your Elopement

You don’t really have to go into a store and be overwhelmed with all the dresses on the market now a days. There are actually some amazing online options that carry bridal collections that are perfect for elopements. A lot of these online stores also offer free home try on options, so you can still get that “bridal experience” without the stress of navigating hundreds of dresses in person. Explore some of our favorites below, where we break down everything you need to know to see if it’s the right fit for you and your dress needs.


ASOS Bridal is a great alternative to shopping online for your elopement dress. The brand itself has grow within the last couple of years to carry exclusive wedding options including short wedding dresses, wedding dresses, bridal suits, and bridal party dresses. They even feature some bridesmaid dresses options, which is awesome if you plan on including a couple of your close friends.

  • Price Range: $80 – $500
  • Size Range: US 0 – 26 OR XS to XL
  • Discounts Applicable: Yes
  • Return Policy: Free returns within 14 days from delivery

“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]

AW Bridal

AW Bridal is your one stop shop for a lot of amazing bridal necessities from dresses and shoes to robes and decor. We love how they offer a try on at home option, where you can pick 1-3 dresses. You can try on these dresses for 5 days and you don’t have to worry about shipping and return fees. AW Bridal has multiple styles and color options to find your perfect elopement dress.

  • Price Range: $80 – $700
  • Size Range: US 0 – 30 OR Free Custom Sizing
  • Discounts Applicable: Yes
  • Return Policy: Standard sizes are eligible for returns, but all custom size dresses are final sale
“I love AW Bridal dresses and jumpsuits because they’re lightweight, comfortable, and affordable — perfect for any type of elopement you are dreaming of! I’d highly recommend taking advantage of their ‘try on at home’ perk and try multiple dresses before deciding which one is the right one for you.” [Sharlee, the photographer]

Jenny Yoo

Jenny Yoo has both online and retailer locations. On their website, they have ready to ship bridal dresses perfect for elopement adventures. In fact, a lot of their photos featuring these dresses are outdoors in parks, so you can see how the dress stacks up against red rocks or wildflowers (please remember to follow leave no trace when taking your own photos). Some of their dresses go for over $2,000, but you can find an awesome deal here (especially if there is a dress on sale). Jenny Yoo even has gorgeous accessories for you to browse. If you like simple, elegant, and timeless gowns, then check this brand out,

  • Price Range: $300 – 1,500+
  • Size Range: US 0 – 26
  • Discounts Applicable: Yes
  • Return Policy: You can return within 14 days , but there is a $50 return shipping fee and a restocking fee for each dress. The tags NEED to be attached or you will have an additional $75 fee to pay. International orders are final sale.


Reformation wedding dress during red rock elopement

Photo by The Outlovers

Reformation offers elegant and simple options for your elopement adventure. Their style is more minimalistic, but their dresses are gorgeous. They have short and long dress options as well as some beautiful colors and patterns to choose from.

  • Price Range: $250 – $1,000
  • Size Range: US 0 – 12 AND Free Alterations
  • Discounts Applicable: Yes
  • Return Policy: Returns are accepted within 30 days after the delivery date. Final sale items can’t be returned or exchanged. Return fees apply.


Azazie Bridal is stepping up the game, known for their affordable bridal dress prices. They are known for their bridesmaid options, but lately they have started to offer some amazing gowns perfect for elopement adventures. From little white dresses to your dream wedding dress with a flowy train. Azazie offers home try-ons, and has their website categorized perfectly where you can shop by dress type, style, occasion (ps. Elopement is one of them), or collection

  • Price Range: $200 – $1,000
  • Size Range: US 0 – 30 AND Custom Sizes
  • Discounts Applicable: Yes
  • Return Policy: Standard sizes are eligible for returns, but all custom size dresses are final sale

Adrianna Papell

Adrianna Papell has a good amount of dresses to browse online. You can snag a gorgeous simple wedding dress, bridal jumpsuit, or little white dress here. If you’re looking for a more elaborate and flowy dress, then you’ll need to check out their platinum wedding dress collection, which at the moment, is only available at one of their 350 locations. However, for brides who are looking for a less traditional and still gorgeous option, then check this one out.

  • Price Range: $200+ (platinum dress prices are not available online)
  • Size Range: US 0 – 30
  • Discounts Applicable: Yes
  • Return Policy: Returns can be made within 30 days of delivery date for a full refund minus the restocking fee.

Needle & Thread

If you’re looking for a dress that has the perfect feminine touch (think ruffles, lace, embellishment, florals), then Needle & Thread has your dream dress. They have plenty of options with a unique edge to them. They even offer multiple color options for a lot of their dress styles (because you do NOT need to wear only white).

  • Price Range: $300 – $1,300
  • Size Range: US 2 – 18
  • Discounts Applicable: Yes
  • Return Policy: Returns are accepted within 14 days after the delivery date.


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.

  • Price Range: $150 – $1,300+
  • Size Range: Custom and traditional sizing, depends on the Etsy shop
  • Discounts Applicable: Depends on the Etsy shop
  • Return Policy: Depends on the Etsy shop

Shop Etsy Wedding Dresses Perfect For Your Elopement

David’s Bridal

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.Price Range: $100 – $2,000+

  • Size Range: US 0 – 30 Sizes also available from missy, plus, and petite. David’s Bridal offers tailoring in stores.
  • Discounts Applicable: Yes
  • Return Policy: You have 7 days after you receive your dress to return. Keep in mind, once any tag has been removed, an item cannot be returned.

“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, the photographer]


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 have a gorgeous gown tailored to fit you perfectly. They also have dresses in different styles and colors. Their shop is on Etsy, but it’s a well-known brand in the elopement community!Price Range: $150 – $1,400

  • Size Range: Custom to your size
  • Discounts Applicable: No
  • Return Policy: Returns and exchanges not accepted

“I love Reclamation wedding dresses, because they’re custom made with vintage lace. Each dress is unique and truly one of a kind!” [Jessika]

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 shopping second hand. Used wedding dresses often don’t even have a lot of flaws and you can barely noticed it was used. Still White is one of our preferred places to search for your ideal elopement dress and stick to a budget.

“Thrifting a dress can be great for a budget, and it can also be more environmentally friendly! You can check out in-person thrift stores, or even shop online on websites like StillWhite or Poshmark. Try to buy a dress that’s within 2 sizes of your measurements – any smaller/larger could lead to more expensive alterations.” [Allie, the photographer]

Buy your elopement dress on Still White today!


If you are looking for more traditional wedding dress options, then we suggest reading 8 Wedding Dress Designers for Elopements. 

Ready to Start Planning Your Elopement?

Search Elopement Vendors