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The best part about eloping? It means that your wedding is completely and entirely up you. And this includes what you wear, too! Without the input or opinions of friends and family, your wedding dress can truly speak to your own personal style, wishes, and desires. Whether you’re eloping on a mountain top, in city hall, or on the beach, choose a style that makes you look and feel your very best. Some brides opt for a look that’s effortless and simple to match their more laid-back nuptials, while others still go for a grand bridal look.
Still, you want to make sure your outfit is the right silhouette, fabric, and fit to suit the venue, your body type, and the look you’re going for. With the help of fashion stylist Gillian McHattie of Stitch Fix, we researched the best elopement dresses in a range of silhouettes, lengths, sizes, materials, colors, and price points.
If you’re anything like us, you simply can’t ever say no to an architectural statement sleeve. This silk-blend beauty is certainly no exception. We love it teamed with everything from strappy sandals and modern jewelry to classic pumps and timeless pearl earrings.
Price at time of publish: $2,225
Size Range: 2–12 | Color: White | Material: Acetate, polyester, silk | Length: Midi
If this tiered tulle dress isn’t bridal, we aren’t sure what is! Playful and romantic, you’ll have the time of your life twirling around in this beauty. Thanks to layers of tulle and its trapeze-like silhouette, this dress has tons of movement and is easy to walk and dance in. Although the skirt is voluminous, the top fits small so make sure to order one size up.
Price at time of publish: $1,496
Size Range: 00-28 | Color: Ivory | Material: Tulle | Length: Midi
Intricate 3D floral-embroidered detail cascades throughout this sheer bridal mini. We love how the spaghetti strap slip underneath allows the illusion neckline to shine through. At once feminine and flirty, this mini dress is sure to appeal to those with romantic tastes.
Price at time of publish: $2,475
Size Range: 00–28 | Color: Ivory | Material: Beaded fabric | Length: Mini
This halter-neck mini is the perfect balance between chic, elegant, and sexy. We adore the silky sheen to the fabric and open back. It’s crafted from lightweight polyester and also features a dramatic plunging back making it equal parts sweet and sexy.
Price at time of publish: $148
Size Range: XS–XXL | Color: Ivory | Material: Polyester | Length: Mini
Shimmer the night away in this gorgeous sequin gown perfect for the bride who isn’t afraid to own a bold look. We’re obsessed with the effortless cut and sleek silhouette of this stunner and can’t help but picture it at a glamorous destination venue or at a chic city restaurant.
Price at time of publish: $414
Size Range: XS–XL | Color: White | Material: Polyester | Length: Ankle
Hello, feathers! Make a statement in this ultra-feminine, fashion-forward mini. You’ll have a blast partying all night and posing for the camera in this little number. Follow the styling lead and wear yours with sparkly chandelier earrings, barely-there strappy sandals, and a nude lip.
Price at time of publish: $382+
Size Range: XS–XL | Color: White | Material: Polyester, spandex | Length: Mini
For a look that feels undeniably bridal, opt for this mini dress from Elliatt. The sweetheart neckline is romantic and the ruched seams create a flattering silhouette. But the real pièce de résistance is the dramatic draped sash that resembles a bridal train.
Price at time of publish: $92+
Size Range: XS–XL | Color: Ivory | Material: Polyester, spandex | Length: Mini
Strike a pose in this one-shoulder statement sleeve! Flouncy and effortless, this pretty little number is perfect for showcasing your fun sense of style and your legs. The ruffled edges ooze romance and give the skirt added movement. Team yours with shoulder-dusting earrings to highlight the one-shoulder neckline.
Price at time of publish: $158
Size Range: XS–3XL | Color: White | Material: Polyester | Length: Mini
Keep it sleek and simple in this sleeveless dress from Reformation. Cut from 100 percent linen and designed with a smocked back bodice, this chic number is breathable and comfortable. The body-hugging silhouette highlights your shape for a sexy fit while the back slit allows for easy walking.
Price at time of publish: $248
Size Range: 0–12 | Color: White | Material: Linen | Length: Ankle
This chic little midi is utterly perfect for a city elopement. It’s crafted from a textured polyester fabric for an eye-catching look with a touch of elastane for extra stretch. Pearl straps add an elegant touch. Pair it with a strappy heel and sleek updo to complete the simple look.
Price at time of publish: $37
Size Range: XS–3X | Color: White | Material: Polyester, elastane | Length: Midi
Though this dress is both short and affordable it’s still quite striking. Covered in large lace flowers, it’s ideal for the bride who wants a nature-inspired dress. We love the off-the-shoulder neckline and how the petals creep up your chest as well as down your hands and legs.
Price at time of publish: $199
Size Range: 14–28 | Color: Off-white | Material: Polyester | Length: Mini
A white lace dress is sure to make you feel like a bride whether you’re eloping or having a huge celebration. Pair it with a veil to elevate the bridal ensemble even further. This style from Lulus is a lace lover’s dream and is beyond romantic for everything from a destination ceremony to a backyard celebration.
Price at time of publish: $85
Size Range: XXS–XL | Color: White | Material: Cotton, nylon, polyester | Length: Knee
If you’re getting married in the fall or winter or just want a bit more coverage for your arms, go with a long-sleeve number, like Lilysilk’s Vivi Knit Dress. We love the sophisticated, slightly preppy design of the sweater-like bodice and pleated midi skirt.
Price at time of publish: $259
Size Range: S–L | Color: Off-white | Material: Silk | Length: Midi
This white midi dress keeps things mostly simple, save for the three-dimensional ruffled detail on the neckline. It’s made of cotton with rayon lining, so you can bet it’s breathable. Perhaps best of all, it has pockets!
Price at time of publish: $120
Size Range: XXS–XL | Color: White | Material: Cotton, rayon | Length: Midi
We also adore this off-the-shoulder design from Reformation. The Butterfly Dress has a fitted bodice with a sweetheart neckline and fluttery sleeves that drape over the upper-arms. The ankle-length cut is ideal, too, as it offers lots of coverage but isn’t as formal as a full-length dress.
Price at time of publish: $298
Size Range: 0–12 | Color: Ivory | Material: Viscose | Length: Ankle
What to Consider When Buying an Elopement Dress
- Personal Style: Take advantage of eloping by breaking away from tradition and choosing a style that truly speaks to your personality and vibe. Will it be a minimal dress, like Reformation’s Frankie Linen Dress? Perhaps something airier and boho-inspired, such as the Maeve Corina Ruffled Dress? Or maybe a piece that nods to artistic modernity (think architectural sleeves and elaborate detailing). And if white doesn’t speak to you, you can wear a different color as well. Once you’ve nailed down the direction, all that’s left is choosing the dress length and any other details that might matter depending on the season, like long sleeves for winter or breathable fabrics for summer.
- Photographs: Regardless of where you elope or the formality of your ensemble, we recommend being especially mindful of how it’ll photograph. Since it’ll likely just be you and your S.O., pictures of the big day will be particularly meaningful to not only the two of you but also loved ones who don’t attend your celebration. Plus, you’ll have much more time with your new spouse to partake in a more extensive photo shoot. So, have fun with it! Statement sleeves like in Roksanda Cady Dress, veils, textured fabric, bold accessories, and florals are just a few of our favorite ways to create even more memorable photos.
- Comfort: Equally important, make comfort a priority. While sporting the most comfortable outfit doesn’t necessarily have to be number one on your list, being mindful of it will certainly ensure that you are able to stay present. After all, the point of having an elopement is to truly be able to soak in the moment just the two of you. A stretchy fabric is never a bad idea—as with the Retrofête Sequined Stretch-Tulle Gown. Breathable materials are always good, too, like cotton, linen, and viscose.
Traditionally speaking, eloping is a marriage conducted without the knowledge of the couple’s family and friends, however, couples can also choose to have planned elopements where family and friends are aware of the wedding but not in attendance. Couples who elope typically choose to forgo a formal wedding and opt for an intimate ceremony instead.
“Elopements lend themselves to a more casual outfit, meaning mini dresses, matching skirt sets, or even a white jumpsuit,” says McHattie. “Brides have the option to be less formal and incorporate their personal style into an elopement outfit with accessories such as colorful shoes, clutches, or earrings.”
Of course! While some brides may opt to wear a simple slip dress or wedding suit to their elopement, it’s also perfectly acceptable to wear a formal floor-length gown—you do you!
Why Trust Brides
Contributing Brides writer Nicole Kliest is a freelance writer covering fashion and travel. With over 11 years of experience in the digital publishing industry, her work has appeared on Who What Wear, The Zoe Report, PopSugar, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle in addition to Brides. Emily Cieslak is an Associate Commerce Editor, covering all things beauty and fashion.