There is a lot to think about when planning your hiking elopement. Because of the unpredictability of the landscape, it’s probably a good idea to think a little bit about what you’re going to be wearing during this event. Don’t worry, it’s still clothes and you probably recognize them. But there are a few considerations for all the various parts of your body that you might want to think about a little differently than picking out options for an indoor event.
A few things to consider when choosing your wedding attire for your hiking elopement:
- Comfort: Since you’ll likely be hiking to your elopement location, it’s important to wear something comfortable that you can move easily in.
- Durability: Your wedding attire should be able to withstand the elements and any potential wear and tear from the hike.
- Layering: Depending on the weather, you may want to consider layering your wedding attire. This can allow you to add or remove layers as needed to stay comfortable.
- Seasonal appropriateness: Consider the season and weather when choosing your wedding attire. For example, a heavy, formal gown may not be the best choice for a summer elopement in the mountains.
- Personal style: Your elopement is a chance to be true to your personal style, so choose attire that reflects who you are and what you love.
- Pack a change of clothes: If you’re planning on doing any activities after your elopement, like sightseeing or dining out, you may want to bring a change of clothes.
- Accessories: Don’t forget the finishing touches! Consider accessories like a veil, shoes, or jewelry that will complement your wedding attire.
Wedding dresses to consider for your hiking elopement
- Ease of putting on: if you’re going to hike to your elopement, many folks choose to hike in hiking clothes and then change into a dress. If that is your plan, pick a dress that will be easy to pack and put on when you’re on top of the mountain.
- Durability and wrinkles: A wedding dress that is made from sturdy, durable materials is more likely to hold up to the rigors of a hike. Look for dresses made from fabrics like silk, satin, or taffeta, which are more resistant to tearing and staining. Also consider a style that will make any wrinkles less visible. Dresses with tulle or crochet are not as likely to wrinkle.
- Weight: Consider the weight of the dress when choosing one for a hiking elopement. A heavy dress might be more difficult to move in and could weigh you down on the hike.
- Length: The length of the dress is also an important consideration. A shorter dress might be more comfortable to move in on the hike, but a long dress might provide more protection from the elements.
- Comfort: Comfort is key when choosing a wedding dress for a hiking elopement. Look for a dress that fits well and is comfortable to move in.
- Weather: Think about the weather conditions you might encounter on the hike and choose a dress that is appropriate. For example, if it’s likely to be hot, a lightweight, flowing dress might be more comfortable. If it’s likely to be cold, a heavier, insulated dress might be a better choice.
- Ease of movement: Finally, consider the ease of movement when choosing a wedding dress for a hiking elopement. A dress with a full skirt or train might be more difficult to move in on a hike, while a slim-fitting dress might be more comfortable.
- Layers: Since you’re going to be in the mountains, it’s likely you’ll need to add layers under or over the dress. So, keep that in mind when picking clothes.
What to think about for your adventure wedding suit
- Ease of putting on: Same issues as with dresses. If you’re not going to wear the suit while hiking, you’ll need to bring it and change. Make sure it’s light and easy to change.
- Wrinkles: Suits can wrinkle really easily. Men’s shirts also wrinkle, but they are easier to hide under a suit jacket. Either know how to pack your suit jacket with minimal wrinkles or consider a wrinkle-free fabric like tweed.
- Durability: A suit that is made from sturdy, durable materials is more likely to hold up to the rigors of a hike. Look for suits made from fabrics like wool, tweed, or corduroy, which are more resistant to tearing and staining.
- Weight: Consider the weight of the suit when choosing one for a hiking elopement. A heavy suit might be more difficult to move in and could weigh you down on the hike.
- Comfort: Comfort is key when choosing a suit for a hiking elopement. Look for a suit that fits well and is comfortable to move in.
- Weather: Think about the weather conditions you might encounter on the hike and choose a suit that is appropriate. For example, if it’s likely to be hot, a lightweight, unlined suit might be more comfortable. If it’s likely to be cold, a heavier, lined suit might be a better choice.
- Ease of movement: Consider the ease of movement when choosing a suit for a hiking elopement. A slim-fitting suit might be more comfortable to move in on a hike than a loose-fitting one.
- Breathability: Finally, consider the breathability of the suit fabric. If it’s likely to be hot and humid on the hike, a suit made from a breathable fabric like linen or cotton might be more comfortable.
Jackets to wear during and around your hiking elopement
You might also want to think about the clothing you’re going to be wearing that isn’t traditional wedding clothing. That could be what you’re going to wear before putting on the ceremony garb or layers you’ll put over wedding clothes for post-sunset hiking.
Also, think about just getting married in new/nice jackets. I’ve pushed couples to get white/black coats for years. It’d be so cool. It would be really fun to see intentional adventure gear chosen as wedding attire. If that sounds like you, there is no real rule that you have to wear “traditional” wedding gear, especially during an adventure elopement. Be yourself turned up to 11!
Shoes to wear during your hiking elopement
You need something on your feet. I mean, I guess you could be barefoot. But, probably not. With that, there are basically 3 different schools of thought for your mountaintop elopement.
Change into fancy shoes
If you want to have fancy shoes, that’s easy. Put them in your backpack. If you’re wearing fancy open-toed shoes, you probably want some baby wipes or something to clean your toes.
Specifically for dudes wearing dress shoes, I’d highly suggest either buying or applying rubber soles to your dress shoes. Men’s dress shoes that only have leather bottoms are VERY slippery and can be a little dangerous in the backcountry.
Wear forgettable shoes
Another option when picking your shoes is to pick something forgettable. You don’t have to wear fancy shoes on your wedding day. If you don’t care, just wear shoes that doesn’t call attention to themselves and we’ll intentionally ignore them. I have this conversation with couples who are having adventure elopements. I want to know all the special and unique things you’re putting into your day, but it’s also totally fine to ignore certain aspects. And if I know you’re wearing some all-black Nikes, I’m going to pose you in ways that won’t accentuate them.
This is actually something I suggest a lot for couples who are getting married at a wedding venue but are doing some adventure photos. If your feet are visible (oftentimes for guys with suits), wearing a pair of sneakers that are not interesting is an easy solution. It’s totally normal for folks who are wearing black dress shoes during their ceremony to wear all-black running kicks in the portraits. As long as we’ve talked about it beforehand, I as the photographer, simply don’t take/deliver photos of those shoes. Then, once you’re dressed back at the venue, put on the fancy ones and we get a photo of them. Easy.
Also, if you’re wearing a floor-length dress, you can wear whatever shoes you want under them. Similarly, if you don’t want attention called to your feet, we just won’t.
Cool standout hiking shoes
The last style of shoes for your hiking elopement is to wear rad hiking shoes. It might be a great excuse to buy those Danner boots you’ve been eyeing for years. Or get some bright and colorful trail running shoes. You are hiking, so it’s totally cool to lean into it. Here are a few of my favorite attention-grabbing boots and shoes:
Danner Boots – The red laces are iconic and are a fun pop of color for any wedding day
Altra Lone Peak – These are my favorite trail running shoes. I’ll probably be wearing mine during your wedding. We can be twinsies.
Timberland – Classic boots. You’ll look awesome.
Red Wing – Again, classics. I do love the traditional kakhi colors.
New Balance Fresh Foam Hiero – Colorful trail running shoes are awesome. These are really hawt.
Blundstone – These chelsea-style boots are so comfortable and classy. They’re so popular here in the PNW.
Brooks and Hoka – These two brands really do a great job of making quality shoes that are full of colors.
You can wear cool socks during your adventure wedding
Even if you’re wearing traditional colors, cool socks are a fun way to make your wedding attire pop. Whether you go with great wool socks like Darn Toughs, colorful Smartwools, or comfortable Stance socks. It’s a fun little thing that can pop when you want to, but also hide them when you need them.
Backpacks to use during hiking elopement
You have to carry stuff. You’re going up a mountain. You probably don’t want to carry them all in your arms and most trails don’t allow for mules. So, backpacks. Basically, you can use a cool vintage styling one or a traditional hiking pack.
Hershel Supply – Vintage inspired backpacks. I just love the styling of these.
Topo Designs – More modern than the Hershels, but more classic than the Cotapaxi. Just a nice inbetween.
Cotapaxi – Colors, colors and more colors. Then even more color.
Vintage backpacks (buy on eBay) – You can always pick up an old new pack. I love the look of this vintage REI or North Face packs. Plus, it’s probably more sustainable because it isn’t a new thing.
What you already have
This is the more sustainable version. If you’re hiking, you probably already have a backpack. Use the one you have. You can even hang signs on it if you want to make it more personalized.
Other items to consider while planning your adventure elopement
Cool waterbottle/camp mug/glass