How Do You Hike in a Wedding Dress?!

Read on for my 5 best tips for getting your dress to where it needs to be on the big day!

1. Choose the right wedding or elopement dress

bride in beautiful flowing rue de seine dress and groom cuddle in front of massive waterfall at telluride, colorado hiking elopement

The easiest way to set yourself up for success is to start with a dress that is easy to hike in. While no dresses are made specifically for this purpose (still waiting for this April Fool's joke from a few years back to actually come true …), some dresses are definitely better than others for this. Look for a dress that lets you move freely – including being able to step up big steps. I've found that dresses with flowy bottoms work really well for elopements (and they look AMAZING when the wind starts blowing!!) for this exact reason. Remember that you can always layer leggings and warm socks and boots for colder climates. If your elopement is going to be in a place (or at a time of year) that is going to be really cold, think about bringing a long a jacket or shawl that will look great in pictures. We can always take it off (the jacket, not the dress – unless you're into that sort of thing …) for some photos and then put it back on so you can get warm again!

couple hiking up mountain in wedding clothes at colorado elopement

2. Decide whether you want to hike IN your dress or carry it on your pack.

This largely depends on the dress itself, how easy it is to hike in, and how far we're going. I'd say that half my couples who are hiking choose to do their entire hike in their dress while the other half will carry it part way (or have me carry it part way! ha!) and then change into it when we get to our final destination. Trust me when I say that I've carried a lot of beautiful dresses up a lot of mountains! Again, choosing a dress that can be rolled up and attached to a pack will make this a lot easier! Even for couples who choose not to wear their dresses for most of the hike itself I make sure to have them wear it for at least some hiking so we can get fun shots!

3. Be aware of backpack straps

couple standing on rocks at elopement

4. wear shoes you can actually hike in

bride shows off dirty dress at colorado hiking elopement in rocky mountain national park

5. Accept that your dress is going to get dirty (and that it will all be worth it!)

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Adventure elopement photographers photo of bride and groom walking through mountains at misty Colorado elopement.



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