Complete Styling Guide for Adventure Elopement

As we said many times, we're huge advocate of full day and especially multi day adventure elopement. Actually we don't take bookings like two or three hour elopement because due to our own work approach and philosophy, we want and need to connect with couples on a deeper level.

And based on the timeline of a full day / multi day elopement, we categorized outfits two groups: outfits dedicated for the actual elopement day (ceremony / couple shooting / reception) aka wedding outfits and other outfits for other days (let's call it the casual outfits for the rest of this post).

1. Wedding Outfits

The best thing about getting eloped is you can pick to bring and wear whatever wedding outfits you like on the day of. It could be traditional, unconventional, alternative, modern... It doesn't have to be white, it doesn't have to be dress, it doesn't have to be suit. It could be anything, any style. Well, if you insist to do a clothing optional elopement, we're not even against it lol. By letting your minds run free, you allow creativity energy to flow and make you more satisfied.

2. Wedding Dresses

Key tips to take away when choosing wedding dresses for your elopement:

- Elopement is anything but traditional. So this intimate affair is the perfect opportunity to wear colored wedding dresses (or even a non-wedding dress) if you're fed up with traditional white ones! It's important to consider the color palette of your elopement location and the theme of your elopement before choosing the color of your dress to keep them in tune. Also you probably will have a stunning backdrop and scenery for your adventure elopement, so like the decoration, a wedding dress should complement your natural surroundings! Do check out some colored elopement dresses inspiration we put together on the link below.

- Depending on your chosen color, you will also need to find the right accessories and the color of your partner's wedding outfit to match perfectly. If your dress is kept in bright colors, you probably want to keep your accessories to a minimum and not take the spotlight away from your dress. If you choose a more pastel colored dress, you have more room for accessories such as veils, earrings or headpieces....

- Fabric plays a major role when it comes to finding a wedding dress that fits you perfectly. For adventure elopement, wedding dresses made from light-weight materials such as tulle, lace, chiffon... apparently make more sense. They are light, take less place when packing, go way easier on crease and have the best volume to weight ratio. They also tend to be flowy and fluffy that most of the time go well with elopement spirit.

The only con: tulle and lace tend to attract more dirt, leaves and small things on the ground or tree branches can tear it off easier than other fabrics but we guess that it's not much of a deal-breaker for adventurous brides? A dirty dress is a good sign of an adventure elopement. YUP. That being said, it's your wedding, you do you, if you don't want your dress getting dirty, try other fabrics or shorter dresses. Guide and inspiration is simply just guide and inspiration. There are many other materials that you can choose from, see this in-depth wedding dress fabric article from Brides.

- Choosing the right silhouette of the dress for your body shape and reflecting your personal style since it's going to make it or break it: Empire, A-Line, Mermaid, Trumpet, Ball Gown, Shealth.... Also do not choose a dress based on picture of it hanging on the hanger or other people. You never know how they’ll fit yours. We strongly recommend doing wedding dress fitting!

- Details. Details. And details. They are the best and easiest way to personalize a dress to your style and personality. You can also customize it to make it more suitable for your elopement location.

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3. Men's Elopement Attire

Same rule as choosing wedding dresses: feel free to go crazy, colorful and untraditional as much as you want, as long as they truly speak for your soul! It could be classic, casual, edgy, over the top... Anything. You name it.

- Deciding what fabrics is best when it comes to buying a suit is important – and complicated. It offers a chance to showcase personal style but also play a bigger role when doing adventure elopement. Two factors that must be considered when it comes to choosing the fabric for your suit is the breathability and softness of the fabric. 

- Wool: the most popular fabric choice due to its versatility and refined aesthetic. Wool is a natural material, which means it's moisture-wicking and breathable, and can be worn both under the heat of the day or during the chilly sunrise/sunset or at night. It is soft and wrinkle free, which is huge plus point for adventure elopement - when you have to do a lots of activities and move around quite a bit, especially if you want to hike with your suit. You can't go wrong with wool, although the word "wool" may translate to heavy in your mind, there are quite a lots lightweight wool.

- Cotton is the second most popular fabric for suits. It's pretty good in terms of breathability and softness but tend to crease easily, which can make the suit harder to maintenance its look when traveling and moving around.

- Linen: the ultimate summer favorite. It's very lightweight, breathable and has great natural textures. Although it does wrinkle easily, we find that its wrinkle texture goes well with the look of linen and the casualness of elopement and doesn't look as bad as cotton's wrinkle. If wrinkle is your deal-breaker, you may want to try a linen blend that contains cotton or wool which would help reducing the wrinkle.

- Dressing for elopement during transitional seasons can be tricky. But it shouldn't be. Worsted Wool, Flannel and Tweed are perfect fabric for such occasions. We love them all. They are natural, dyes easily (so your suit can come in many colors, not just the boring ones) and truly the original performance outfit: durable, holds its shape, blends well, absorbs moisture, insulates, easy to dress up/down and comes in a variety of weights to suit different seasons.

- If you think suits is too much, opt for a casual suits. The further you get away from formal the more casual you get (thank you Captain Obvious!). There are four factors that really make formal clothes: colour, pattern, texture and cut. Formal clothes are often dark in colour, have no pattern, a smooth texture and a structured, relatively slim cut. Also: a notable trend in menswear today is the move towards a more casual approach to tailored pieces. Here are some casual suit essentials you need!

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4. Wedding Outfits in Winter / Cold Weather

Let say you want to elope in winter or in polar climate and you're not the greatest fan of the cold then elopement in cold weather can be intimidating. So here are some ideas to help you stay warm while looking good:

- Choose the right fabric for your wedding garments.

- Long-sleeved dresses.

- Faux fur, Cape, Scarf, blanket, wraps, gloves, coat, winter jacket, windbreaker, shrug, earmuffs, cardigan, hats... you can mix and match them with your outfits or you can still take them off for photos if you don't like its look and put them back again when it's too cold or for warm up break. Take plenty of them breaks!

- Layering is an art of itself. If it's very cold you can always wear (discreet) thick or thermal base layer under your wedding garments.

- Stylish winter boots & thick wool sock.

- Hand and Foot warmers.

- Opt for contact lenses instead of glasses.

- Hot drink like tea / coffee / water...

5. Wedding Outfits when Hiking / Trekking / Backpacking

- How to travel with your wedding outfits? No matter what you do, don't stuff them in your checked or carry-on bags! 

Invest in the functional and light garment bag like this Degeler SkyHanger, the cheap plastic garment bag wouldn't do anything. Check with the airline's policy to see if they allow oversized carry-on items such as dresses and suits. There are onboard closet for flight crew and if you ask them nicely, maybe they're happy to help. Otherwise find an empty seat for your wedding outfit to rest. Or fly business/first class, they have closet for passengers to hang their clothes! And don't forget to bring a portable steamer so you can get rid of the wrinkles when you arrive at your elopement destination.

- If you have to hike to your elopement ceremony location, you either have to stuff your wedding garments in your backpack or wear it from the get go. If carry, we suggest carrying the dress (or other outfits) in a large backpack or if the dress is easy to get wrinkle, hang it in the garment bag and hang the bag with a rain protection cover outside of your backpack, bring a portable battery-powered steamer, some sheets for someone to cover you just in case there are other people.

Or hit the trail in your wedding outfits if hiking and trekking is your lifestyle! It's an epic way to start off your elopement ceremony. Of course the dress is getting dirty but who cares?

6. Casual Outfits

Same rule applies for your casual outfit for other days of your elopements when you're doing outdoor activities or just exploring the region, walking around town and getting lost. You want to wear something that makes you truly you, but also comfortable, fulfilled, smart, better and confident. No worry, check out our Pinterest inspiration to styling for elopement! Also each couple of us will also receive our hands-on personal advices, helpful tips and trick that tailored-made for their kind of elopement!

But the rule of thumb is while the main goal is to stay true to your style and personality, feel free to add a local, tradition flair (of the elopement's location) or artistic touch to your casual outfits to make it fashionable.

Like what?
Each elopement, each location, climate, time of the year and each couple is so different so it's impossible to write everything about styling in this blogpost without making our website look like a wannabe fashion blog but for example, you're doing a safari Elopement in Kenya, you can get some safari elopement styling inspiration we put together here. For guys, Fashionbean even has a super cool in-depth article tackling on modern safari style.

For desert elopement, head over the desert elopement styling inspiration. And so on with other types of adventure elopement: jungle elopement, expedition, road trip, river cruising, arctic, beach elopement, summer in the countryside elopement...

7. Multi Day Trekking / Backpacking - What else to Pack?

To get the most of your adventure and and stay safe in nature – you need to have the right clothing and equipment. Below is a standard packing list for a multi day trekking that we pack for ourselves for multiple day trekking. It can vary depending on the location, weather... Or if you have porter or a horse to carry your pack lol. Or what's the balance between going ultralight and comfort? Your decision.

• Two-person Tent for you and your partner

• Sleeping bag, two or three-season or winter depends on the season

• Sleeping Pad

• Stove & Fuel & Pan for cooking & eating / Food / Trail Snacks / Protein Bars

• Map / Magnetic compass / GPS

• Hat / Beanie / Gloves / Sunglasses

• Thermal fleece/mid layer top (in down, wool or a synthetic material)

• Down Jacket for night camp / cold weather

• Wind and waterproof pants & jacket with hood

• Hiking socks, preferably in merino wool

• Thermal base layer (top & bottom)

• Hiking trousers with zip-off function

• T-shirt / Extra Clothes

• Hiking boots  / Hiking poles

• First aid kit

• 50-75l backpack with rain protection cover

• Matches / lighter / firestarter

• Dish cloth / Small towel

• Water bottle & water filter system

• Multi use knives

• Sunscreen / Bug Spray / Toiletries /  Toilet paper / Trash Bag

• Headlamp

• (Solar) Powerbank

8. Short Day Hike - What else to Pack?

Basically similar to multi day trekking, without the unnecessary items for a short day hike like: Tent, Sleeping Bag, sleeping pad, Stove & Fuel & Pan....

Looking for an adventure elopement photographer and videographer? Let's chat!

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