Hiking In Your Elopement Dress
It’s a common question amongst our adventure brides. How does it work if we’re planning to hike? Should I wear my elopement dress or change out in the woods? The truth is, you can do either! It really comes down to a few different factors including your elopement location, time of day and flow of events. We’ve got a few tips for any brides wondering which approach is right for them.
Should You Hike In It or Pack It?
We’ve had brides decide to hike in their dress and we’ve had brides wait until the end of their journey to change into their elopement dress. Here’s a few questions to ask yourself to determine the best route for you:
How long is the hike?
Short hikes (around 1-2 miles) with minimal changes in elevation shouldn’t be as challenging while wearing your dress. If it’s a longer hike, there’s rough terrain, bodies or water or elevation gain, it probably won’t be as easy or comfortable to hike in your dress.
What will the weather like?
Hiking in the morning typically lends itself well to cooler temperatures. But hiking in the afternoon sun can be more of a challenge — the last thing you want is to be sweaty and dirty in your dress during that time of day! Be sure to keep track of local weather patterns or changes wherever you’re located in case there’s unplanned rain, snow, and more.
Sunrise or sunset elopement?
If you’re hiking for a sunrise elopement, chances are that it will be rather dark outside and can lead to accidents in your elopement dress. We’d recommend changing into your dress at the end of the trail instead to ensure you don’t trip, tear or dirty your dress while it’s dark.
Are you doing a first look?
If you’re aiming to keep that element of surprise, you’ll want to hike up in hiking clothes and then change for your first look.
Photo by Henry Thieu Photography
How to Hike in Your Elopement Dress
You’re planning to hike in your dress. Let’s do it! But how to do it gracefully with a backpack, flowers and more? Here’s a few ways you can carry your dress to avoid any damage and juggle carrying a few things:
- Bunch up the train and drape it over your arm.
- Tuck it into your legging or thermal pants if you’re hiking during the cooler months. This is best for those lightweight or wrinkle-resistant fabrics!
- If your dress has a slit, you can sweep your hands through it, gather it all to one side, and drape it over your arm.
- Still having trouble? Have your partner carry the bag so you can focus on your dress.
Where to Change Into Your Elopement Dress
After you’ve made it to your ceremony destination, you’ll be looking for a spot to change. If you can find a private spot along the trail, go for it! If not, here’s two tips to have a bit more privacy while you slip into your elopement dress.
- Bring a pop-up changing tent! These can be purchased on Amazon, and some adventure elopement photographers actually may have them on hand. Be sure to chat with yours ahead of time to see if it’s a possibility.
- Bring a blanket for your elopement planner (we’ve got you!) or photographer to hold up while you change. This will help not only with privacy but also wind if it’s blowing that day! Be sure to bring a blanket that you can lay your clothes on while changing so they don’t get dirty (assuming there’s not another person there to hold them).
How to Pack Your Elopement Dress for a Hike
You’ve decided it’s safer to pack the dress than hike in it, but curious how to pack it correctly? There’s a few ways to do this depending on the material and size of your dress. For lightweight dresses, you can hang it and use a garment bag and strap it to the outside of your backpack with a bungee cord so it’s secure. For dresses with a bit more volume, you can also use a garment bag but you’ll need to fold it up a bit more so it’s manageable. Lay out your elopement dress on the hanger, fold the larger skirt into thirds to make the entire dress one width, roll up any of the excess train length, then zip up and fold to secure to your pack. If your garment bag will fit inside your hiking backpack feel free to place it inside, too! Just be sure that there are no potential liquids or items in your pack that can stain or damage the dress.