How to travel with a wedding dress – it doesn’t have to be stressful. Do you want to take it in a plane? Make it fit in your carry on? Maybe you’re like our adventurous brides who hike with their wedding dresses on, or put them in their backpacks. Either way, we’re going to talk about the best ways to travel with your wedding dress. We’re also going to be giving tons of awesome ideas for elopement wedding dress ideas!

Elopement Wedding Dress Ideas for Travel

Traveling with your elopement wedding dress can sometimes feel a bit daunting. What dress will pack the easiest? What materials won’t wrinkle? What will I be able to wear that I can actually move around in while hiking? What the heck are my options even? I promise, it’s quite simple.

How To Pack Your Elopement Wedding Dress in Your Backpack

For sure, the easiest dresses to pack up in your backpack are going to be the more simple wedding dresses for eloping. Dresses that don’t have layers and layers of material, have minimal structure, etc. By having a dress that will pack up smaller, you’ll actually be able to fit it on the inside of your backpack. We always recommend rolling up your dress, and putting it inside of a waterproof bag. You’ll never know what the weather is going to do.

We love Sea to Summit for all of our waterproof bags, and they make all different sizes. If you have a much larger and poofier dress, don’t despair. We can clip it to the outside of your backpack and you’ll be on your way. Waterproof bags come in especially handy when your wedding dress is on the outside of your backpack. This will help protect it from snagging on branches, or getting dirty before you even put it on.

If you want photos hiking up to your location in your wedding dress, go for it! If you’re planning on having a longer, more strenuous hike, it might be a good idea to change when you’re closer to your final location. If it’s just a short hike, wear it the whole way. Don’t be afraid to get it dirty – dirty elopement dresses are a total vibe (we dig it).

What Makes a Good Elopement Wedding Dress

With so many elopement wedding dresses out there, our number 1 piece of advice to you is choose something you love. It’s cliche, ya, but it’s true. You shouldn’t let anything deter you from having that dress you love. We can always help you figure out the best way to travel with your wedding dress, no matter how big or small it is. The best elopement wedding dresses are the ones you love. Here are a few things we’ve learned over time…

Lace Elopement Dresses and Texture

Having lace, or different textures on your dress will help your dress to appear less wrinkly (in case it gets some wrinkles along the way!) The lace and texture do a great job at hiding any wrinkles. If you’re SUPER worried about your dress getting wrinkly, there are actually cordless hand held dress steamers you could pack up with you if you’re up to carrying the extra weight!

Best Elopement Dress Shape Ideas

Again, you should absolutely choose a dress (no matter the shape) that you feel is “the one.” If you’re open to idea, an A-line gown is a GREAT choice for your adventure elopement. A-line dresses will give you all the freedom to move. Another reason we love A-lines for your elopement is the way the photograph. You know those photographs where the wind is blowing the dress in the best way? Yup, A-line for the win.

Choosing the Right Dress for The Weather

If you’re traveling somewhere cold, there is no wedding dress (at least that we’ve found!) that will keep you completely warm. For colder weather, choose a dress that has multiple layers of fabric, or even long sleeves. Wear nude leggings underneath your dress to keep your legs warm. Dan and I carry a few extra pairs with us in our Adventure Elopement Kit. Layering is also key. Find a faux-fur jacket, or wear your down puffy jacket. An outer layer is easy to take off when we take photos, and throw right back on to warm up quick.

How to Travel with a Wedding Dress on an Airplane

My number one tip here is KEEP THE DRESS ON THE PLANE WITH YOU. Call ahead to the airline you are flying on, and see how accommodating they are with carrying a wedding dress on a plane. There are some airlines who will hang the dress in a certain area of the plane out of foot traffic. By carrying your dress on the plane with you, you don’t have to worry about things like your baggage getting lost or being late. That way, you can travel with your wedding dress in your near vicinity and leave the stress of it getting lost out of your mind.

When you arrive to wherever you’re headed, take your dress out of your garment bag and let it get some fresh air. Make sure to bring along a handheld steamer to get any wrinkles out.

How to Pack Your Dress in a Carry On

Depending how big your dress it, I would recommend reserving your entire carry on for specifically your dress. Dresses without any structure are going to pack down smaller and easier than dresses with more structure. It’s easiest to leave your dress in the original garment bag you received it in. For dresses without any structure, it’s easiest to start from the bottom of the garment bag, and roll the dress up. If the dress doesn’t have much volume, you might even be able to get away with folding the dress in half the long way first before rolling it up. If you’re traveling with a wedding dress that does have some sort of structure or boning on the top, we recommend folding the dress into the area of the dress with structure.

Elopement Wedding Dress Ideas and Inspiration

Black Wedding Dresses and other Non-Traditional Styles

One of the best parts of eloping, is doing things completely differently. We’re completely on board with taking a different route with your dress as well. Black weddings dress elopements really stand out as you scroll through Pinterest, because the contrast of the dress against the landscape just pops. It’s all about that color pop and contrast. So choose a different color dress, wear a jumpsuit, wear a two piece dress – do what makes you feel best.

Flowy Elopement Dresses

We love flowy elopement dresses for a few reasons. For one, they are easier for you to move around in! Secondly, they catch the wind and make for some seriously epic photos. Lastly, during golden hour, the layers of flowy fabric catch the light in a super wanderlusty way. We love them.

Other Simple Elopement Dress Ideas

Even more form fitting dresses can be easy to move in. Find a form fitting dress that has some stretch to it, or something with a slit. This will help you be able to move around freely as well (aka frolic through the fields and bag 14,000 foot peaks).

There’s really no way you can go wrong with any dress you choose. When you hire Dan and I to photograph your adventure elopement, we’re here to help you figure out the best way to travel with your wedding dress! We (mostly just me, Ashley) also expect plenty of photographs of you trying on your dress when you buy it – just sayin’. We’d love to help you out with every detail of your day! You can check out our Adventure Elopement Packages here, and feel free to Contact Us here!

More In Depth Details about Elopement Wedding Dresses

I had the pleasure of meeting up with Abby from Strike Bridal Bar to talk about all things elopement dress related. (She is a dress expert after all!) We made a whole IGTV that answers all the most common questions about traveling with your elopement dress, as well as giving you some great ideas for your elopement wedding dress! You can watch the video here!

All Dresses Pictured can be purchased at: Strike Bridal Bar

Thank you to our lovely dress models: Rachel, Emily, and Chelsea!


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