Trail to “I Do”: Your Guide To Hiking In A Wedding Dress

Posted On | July 2, 2024

bride and groom in wedding attire wearing backpacks pointing out scenery on their mountain hiking elopement

Hey friends! Planning a hiking elopement and wondering how on earth you’re going to trek up a mountain in a wedding dress? We’ve got you covered. Whether you’re dreaming of a boho wedding dress that flows with the wind or a simple outdoor wedding dress that’s practical for mountain hiking, here’s everything you need to know about hiking in your wedding dress.

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Choosing the Right Wedding Dress to Hike In


First things first, your dress should allow you to move freely. Think about climbing over rocks, lifting your knees high, and maybe even scrambling up a hillside. A dress with a fitted bodice and a flowy skirt can give you that freedom.

Materials That Don’t Wrinkle

You don’t want to look like you’ve slept in your dress when you reach your destination. Materials like lace, tulle, crepe, and taffeta are your best friends. They look fabulous and stay relatively wrinkle-free.

On the flip side, avoid materials like silk, satin, and chiffon. They might look stunning at a ballroom wedding but can turn into a crinkled mess on a hike. For more details on wedding dress fabrics,’s guide to wedding dress fabrics and materials is super helpful

black and white photo of bride spinning care-free in a flowy lace wedding dress at sunset in the mountains


Straps are a game-changer. Whether you go for delicate spaghetti straps or thicker, more supportive ones, they’ll help keep your dress (and ta-tas) in place as you move. No one wants to deal with a strapless dress slipping down on the trail.

No Train or Bustle

While a train might look dreamy, it’s a tripping hazard on the trail. Keep it short and sweet. A dress without a train or one with a sturdy bustle is easier to hike in. Trust us, your ankles will thank you!

wedding couple holding lanterns and kissing during blue hour in the mountains with horses walking in the background during hiking wedding in Colorado

Practice Before You Buy

When trying on wedding dresses practice walking, climbing stairs, sitting down, and even tying your shoes in your dress. It might sound silly, but getting a feel for your movement will save you a lot of hassle.

Don’t Skip Alterations

You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars altering your dress, but you should get it hemmed to the right length. This will avoid having to pick up your dress and hold it the whole hike. Pro Tip: Bring your hiking boots to your alteration appointment so the length will be just right.

Best Hiking Elopement Dresses

When it comes to the best hiking elopement dresses, think about comfort, durability, and style. Here are a few of our favorite wedding dresses perfect to hike in:

lace and tulle, a-line wedding dress by Colby John

Gorgeous, flowy, romantic wedding dress by Colby John. Try on at Runaway Bridal.

pleated wedding dress with short sleeves by BHLDN

Simple yet fun, pleated wedding dress by BHLDN.

two piece tulle wedding dress skirt by Shikoba Bride perfect for hiking elopement

Two-piece, flowy wedding dress by Shikoba Bride. Try on at Runaway Bridal.

lace v-neck wedding dress by Alora the Label

Romantic, lace wedding dress by Alora the Label. Try on at Runaway Bridal.

wedding couple twirling on a mountain with bride wearing a simple hiking dress by Shikoba Bride

Simple jersey satin wedding dress by Shikoba Bride. Try on at Runaway Bridal.

boho long sleeve elopement dress by Daughters of Simone

Boho lace wedding dress by Daughters of Simone. Try on at Runaway Bridal.

simple and romantic long sleeve wedding dress by Shikoba Bride perfect for hiking in your wedding dress

Long-sleeve, romantic wedding dress by BHLDN.

alternative, boho, black wedding dress with fringe perfect for a hiking elopement

Boho, black wedding dress by Shikoba Bride. Try on at Runaway Bridal.

Hiking On Your Wedding Day

Hiking In Your Dress

You’ve chosen your perfect dress, now it’s time to hike! Many couples choose to hike in their wedding attire if the hike is shorter (less than 2 miles). As long as you follow the wedding dress guidelines above, you’ll likely find hiking in your wedding dress is easier than you thought. Pair your dress with sturdy hiking boots for the ultimate combo of style and practicality.

Changing When You Get To Your Destination

For longer hikes or dresses that aren’t hiking-friendly (tight fitting or very long train), choose to hike in regular clothes and change into your wedding dress once you reach the top. We have a pop-up changing tent we bring for our couples. Have your partner hold up a blanket to change behind. Or use the natural landscape to create a private space. It’s all part of the adventure.

Bride hiking in wedding dress with backpack on that has a white felt hat strapped to it

How to Pack Your Wedding Attire So It Doesn’t Wrinkle

A standard garment bag is key. On the floor, lay your dress or suit on top of the garment bag. Fold in the edges that extend off the garment bag. Slip the dress or suit into the garment bag and zip it up. Starting from the bottom, slowly and tightly roll up the garment bag. Rolling is the best way to prevent wrinkles. Once it’s rolled up, stick it inside your hiking backpack (like this one from Osprey).

Hiking in a Suit or Tux

For those opting for a suit or tux, the same rules apply. Choose breathable, wrinkle-resistant fabrics, and make sure you can move comfortably. Consider packing your jacket and putting it on just before the ceremony to keep it crisp.

wedding couple hiking up the side of a mountain in their wedding attire during elopement in Colorado

Hiking Wedding Tips

What Shoes To Wear For Your Hiking Elopement

Hiking boots are a must. They provide the support and grip you need on uneven terrain. Plus, they can add a fun, adventurous vibe to your wedding photos.

bride sitting on tailgate of car in wedding dress tying her hiking boots before hiking elopement in colorado

Packing List For Hiking Elopement

For a full elopement packing list, check out this awesome guide on what to pack: What to pack for your elopement.

35mm film photo of groom holding bride's wedding dress as they hike in the mountains on their elopement day

Remember to Leave No Trace

We’re big fans of the Leave No Trace principles. Respect nature and pack out everything you bring in. For more info, visit: Leave No Trace.

Remember, your hiking wedding is about celebrating your love in a way that’s true to you. Embrace the adventure, enjoy the journey, and make memories that will last a lifetime. Happy hiking, friends!

Are You Freakin’ REady?

We’re 100% here for whatever day you’re dreaming up. Fill out our contact form to start chatting.

Are You Freakin’ REady?

We’re 100% here for whatever day you’re dreaming up. Fill out our contact form to start chatting.

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