31 Shoppable Wedding Looks for an Elopement Ceremony
In the past, elopements conjured up images of impulsive romances and couples running off to marry in secret—but that's changed over the years, especially in the time of COVID. Whether you're forgoing a bigger bash to save a few bucks or to save yourself stress, you're one of many couples taking this less formal route to matrimony. But doing away with a lavish ceremony doesn't mean that you also have to skip out on your dream wedding look, and these elopement dresses prove our point. If you're considering something other than a traditional wedding dress, check out these elopement outfit ideas that are just begging to be worn to a courthouse ceremony or a private destination wedding.
In this article:
What Is an Elopement Dress?
In short, an elopement dress is whatever you want it to be. There's no right or wrong way when it comes to choosing your look for an elopement ceremony, city hall wedding or microwedding—but that being said, there are a few tried-and-true options that won't fail you. Dresses with mid-length and tea-length hemlines are popular for elopements, along with fitted silhouettes and slip-on styles that are easy to throw on and go.
Since elopements often take place in unique locations, such as courthouses, parks and destinations abroad, elopement wedding dresses tend to be much more simple and streamlined, without excess embellishments or heavy fabrics. This makes it so much easier to move around from place to place, especially if you're getting married in one spot and heading somewhere else for a celebratory drink or meal. Your elopement is also a prime opportunity to eschew traditional gowns and branch out with an unexpected look, like a colorful dress, an ultra-mini style or a fun bridal romper.
What to Consider When Buying an Elopement Wedding Dress
Most importantly, you should think about how you want to feel on your wedding day and focus on choosing an elopement dress to echo that vibe. While you're shopping, we suggest keeping these other factors in mind to make your life easier (and as enjoyable as possible) when your special day arrives.
Venue and Location
When it comes to choosing wedding attire, the rule of thumb is that it should generally reflect the formality of your venue. Even when you're eloping, your wedding venue should influence the type of attire you choose—for example, a vow exchange on the beach at sunset looks different than a ceremony downtown at city hall. Structured silhouettes, like A-line dresses and ball gowns, are most ideal for indoor elopements or locations that won't require a lot of walking to reach your destination, since you'll need to lift the skirt up to move around in these types of dresses. For outdoor elopements, consider fitted silhouettes and shorter dresses, both of which have less fabric to make it easier if you're out and about.
Packability and Fabric
Are you hopping on a flight to reach your elopement location? The amount of travel involved (if any) should also play into the type of elopement dress you choose. Before you make your purchase, think about how you'd pack the dress into a suitcase or if you'd be willing to carry it in a separate garment bag if necessary. Dresses with multiple layers (think full skirts with tulle underlays and petticoats) take up much more room than basic slip dresses and sheath gowns.
The wedding dress fabric can make a difference too. When you're eloping, you may not have the luxury of having your dress professionally steamed by a seamstress, and your dress is likely to get wrinkled while traveling. If you're intimidated by the thought of getting wrinkles out on your own, look for airy fabrics like chiffon, silk and organza, which are fairly easy to steam. Stiffer fabrics, like taffeta, crepe and certain types of lace could require more extensive ironing and pressing.
If you're not eloping with a full wedding party by your side, there's a good chance you'll be getting dressed on your own (or with your partner as the only person there to help you). In that case, avoid buying a dress that you can't easily put on by yourself. Keep in mind that corsets, bustles, removable sleeves and bow sashes can sometimes be tricky to manage without an extra set of hands to help.
The Best Elopement Dresses You Can Buy Online
Now that you know the basics, it's finally time to get to the fun part: shopping for the perfect elopement dress. If you don't have time to get to a local bridal shop, no worries. We spent time scouting online dress options for different styles, budgets and settings, so you can get yours in the bag that much sooner. Check out these ready-to-ship options that you can shop right now.
Reformation Winslow Dress
We love how easy this dress is to wear. Everything from the kimono sleeves to the tie waist exudes effortless style, which means it was made for an equally low-maintenance celebration. It comes in a solid ivory color, along with various pastels and prints, and it's available in both standard and extended sizes.
Watters Mirall Gown
If you're fond of luxe fabrics and Old Hollywood glamour, this satin gown might be the perfect elopement dress for you. The curve-hugging silhouette is complemented by a row of buttons down the side, allowing you to raise or lower the slit as much as you want. A cowl neckline carries over to the back of the dress, adding to the sultry vibe.
DB Studio Floral Puff Sleeve V-Neck Wedding Gown
This elopement dress is straight out of the garden wedding of our dreams. The soft white gown is covered in floral appliqués and embroidery to create a feminine, romantic effect. Subtle puffy short sleeves bring the regencycore influences of this dress full circle.
THEIA Isabelle One-Shoulder Ruffle Midi Dress
Shopping for a party-ready dress to elope in? Ruffles are the way to go. This sassy midi dress, which is made of cotton silk fil coupé, has a subtle floral print throughout. The one-shoulder neckline means you can show some skin without constantly pulling the dress up.
BHLDN Huntington Dress
It may be mini, but this dress is full of personality. Layers of pleated and ruffled organza give this short wedding dress an undeniably playful, whimsical look that's perfect for a ceremony on-the-go.
DB Studio Crepe Tank Sheath Wedding Dress with Ruffle Skirt
If you're headed to an after-party following your vows, this white elopement dress strikes the balance between traditional bride and casual style. The stretch crepe fabric is comfortable and moves with you, flawlessly hugging your figure.
Lulus One Wish White Lace Midi Dress
Classic and sophisticated, this lace midi dress is a good pick not only for an elopement or microwedding, but also engagement photos or a wedding shower. The subtle boning in the bodice helps create structure, while the breezy handkerchief hem perfectly frames a new pair of shoes.
Katie May X Noel and Jean The Unexpected Gown
Bring the heat to your intimate ceremony with this backless elopement wedding dress. Peekaboo lace accents the super-low scoop back, side slit and plunging V-neckline.
Adrianna Papell Off-the-Shoulder Crepe Cocktail Dress with Bows
This structured midi dress is affordable and timeless—we love the bow accents at the shoulders. Wear it for a city hall wedding and accessorize with a pair of stud earrings and pumps.
City Chic Divine Whimsy Maxi Dress
If you're planning a beach elopement, this boho wedding dress has crochet-inspired lace that stands out against a blush underlay. Add a pair of flat wedding sandals or go barefoot for an especially carefree vibe.
Rime Arodaky Jax Belted Lace-Trimmed Crepe Mini Dress
Embrace the menswear-inspired trend with this short and spunky blazer dress. The mini style has a belted waist, tulip hem and netted lace trim to match the sheer back.
DB Studio Beaded Back V-Neck Plus Size Satin Wedding Dress
This simple elopement dress is a versatile pick for nearly any type of setting or season—and even better, it's available in standard sizes and plus sizes up to 30W. A sheer scoop back is embellished with beading to add just a touch of sparkle.
Lulus Love Everlasting White Floral Lace Mermaid Maxi Dress
A little bit boho, a little bit romantic, this allover lace elopement dress is easy to pack in a suitcase if you're heading out of town for your elopement. The fit-and-flare style has a front slit and keyhole back to show some skin while accentuating your figure.
Monique Lhuillier Strapless Embroidered Tulle Midi Dress
Put a flirty spin on a timeless bridal silhouette with this vintage-inspired elopement wedding dress. The adorable black and white daisy embroidery on the tulle skirts is an understated way to incorporate color if an all-white look isn't your style.
Katie May Eden Rock High-Low Dress
Strut your stuff—and show off your legs—in this jaw-dropping mini. The short skirt makes it a perfect spring or summer elopement dress, with an oversized bow and train for a boost of bridal flair. The Swiss dot fabric keeps things sweet instead of overly sexy.
Reformation Gatsby Dress
We adore this white elopement dress for its relaxed fit and understated vibe. It's easy to dress up or down, acting as a base for you to really create your own look. A center back zipper means it's easy to take on and off.
Bec + Bridge The Dreamer Strapless Dress
Channel the best of early aughts fashion with this simple strapless gown. Pair the satin style with a blusher veil for your wedding day, and then dress it down with a jacket and boots for nights out after you're married.
Lulus Stunning Sight White Embroidered Lace Satin Midi Dress
Thanks to its daring slit and sheer lace back, this affordable dress is guaranteed to turn some heads. We love its flattering silhouette and satin sheen finish.
Misha Elenor Dress
A high neckline and long sleeves make this slinky style our pick for a winter elopement dress. It's perfect for going straight from your city hall elopement to the after-party with your new spouse.
Galvan Spestes Open-Back Silk Satin Gown
Sometimes, simple is best. Strip back your elopement outfit with this silk satin slip dress. The adjustable criss-cross back adds just enough detail to keep things interesting. Pair it with sandals and an oversized floppy hat for an instant honeymoon look.
Lulus Heavenly Hues White Maxi Dress
Living up to its name, this georgette maxi is flowy and breezy for a heavenly, goddess-inspired elopement outfit. It would look especially dreamy with layered gold jewelry and a greenery bouquet for an intimate beach wedding.
Katie May Show The F Up Dress
Looking for a casual elopement outfit? This sweet frock is modest and comfortable but far from boring. Delicate flutter sleeves and an open back make it feel slightly fancier than your basic LWD.
Elliatt Harley Dress
Feather trim along the neckline instantly adds a dash of personality to this midi-length white dress. The elopement-ready style has adjustable spaghetti straps and a back zipper.
Black Halo Gala Halter Jumpsuit
Strike a balance between traditional and trendy with this elegant white elopement jumpsuit. The timeless, structured shape is updated by the bodice's sweetheart neckline and shoulder-baring halter strap.
Maygel Coronel Blanca Reversible Ruffled Cutout Maxi Dress
With front cutouts and a statement shoulder detail, this elopement dress was made to be noticed. We envision it for a low-key summer elopement—preferably one with a waterfront view.
Grace Loves Lace Opal Gown
We can't get enough of the pearlescent shine on this satin elopement dress. The fitted style has a flattering bias cut designed to hug your curves, with a unique high neckline, racerback strap and short chapel train that all add to the show-stopping gown.
Self-Portrait Button-Embellished Guipure Lace and Taffeta Midi Dress
Topped with floral lace and crystal buttons, this retro-inspired midi dress would look just as cute for a garden elopement as it would at your local courthouse. The ivory hue and tea length make it easy to wear again in the future.
LoveShackFancy Bechette Maxi Dress
Shopping for a destination elopement outfit idea? Look no further. This effortlessly boho wedding dress is perfect for saying "I do" on a sunny beach.
Adrianna Papell Scoop Back Sequin Gown
If sparkle is your thing, you'll love this glam gown with allover sequins. This is an elegant pick if you don't want to show a lot of skin or wear a revealing silhouette on your big day.
Reformation Lili Linen Dress Es
This breezy linen dress screams summer backyard wedding. The ruffled sleeves and plunging neckline add intrigue to the simplicity of this plus-size elopement dress, which is also available in a pretty blue floral print.
Sachin & Babi Sierra Satin Midi Dress
You can never go wrong with a minimalistic slip dress. This chic option features a super-low V-neckline and cutout back, giving it some oomph without adding fuss to your look.