A Guide to Hiking in Your Wedding Dress
Tali April 30th, 2023
After deciding to elope and looking into epic locations for a ceremony, a common question that comes up is “How am I going to hike in my wedding dress?” If you are trying to figure out the best way to get yourself and your wedding clothes to your stunning adventure elopement backdrop, we have the perfect resource for you! We are answering all your hiking in wedding clothes questions.
HOW TO HIKE IN YOUR WEDDING CLOTHES
EMBRACE THE ADVENTURE IN YOUR WEDDING ATTIRE
This is the most common choice of our couples and honestly we think it is the best way to take a little extra stress out of your day. Instead of worrying about how to keep things clean, a lot of our couples just embrace the experience. By the end of the day, your wedding dress will tell the story of your adventure… Whether it’s little muddy pawprints accenting the lace of your train, a stunning ombre of desert dirt fading up the skirt, or some ocean spray clinging to the hem, it all tells the story of your day and the adventures that you had. TBH, we have also had some really dirty dresses from wedding venues and reception halls… dresses that touch the floor tend to get dirty anywhere.
Keep in mind that if you are doing a long or particularly strenuous hike, activities where things could easily snag or get caught, or activities that might be made more dangerous by loose, flowy, or restrictive attire, this might not be an option for your entire day.
PACK IN YOUR WEDDING CLOTHES
Packing your dress or wedding clothes in is a great solution for keeping them pristine until you reach your destination or for keeping them hidden for a first look reveal. Carefully rolling your wedding clothes to prevent wrinkles, placing them in a protective bag to keep them safe from water, weather, and spills, and packing them into a hiking pack is a great way to transport your wedding attire. Larger garments, such as dresses with full skirts, might need to be attached to the outside of a hiking pack. If you aren’t keen on hiking in your wedding clothes, this might be the solution for you! When you get to your destination, you’ll want to have a plan for where to change. If your destination is remote, you might be able to find a secluded area for your outfit swap. Other places may have a shelter or bathroom you could use for changing. One of our favorite solutions is bringing a blanket to hold up for cover. If you’re planning a picnic, your picnic blanket can serve a double purpose and make a great changing tent. Pop-up changing tents are also an option, but can be bulkier and heavier to pack. We wouldn’t suggest these unless you are planning a shorter hike or in a really crowded area where you wouldn’t feel comfortable changing without one.
Our biggest tip for hiking with your wedding clothes is to make sure that you invest in a good hiking pack, especially if you have heavier clothes or a long hike. The support in a backpacking or hiking backpack is made to distribute the weight so that you can more comfortably carry heavy loads for longer distances. Bonus points for one with a hip belt to transfer the weight off of your shoulders!
WEAR YOUR WEDDING DRESS HIKING, BUT KEEP IT CLEAN
If changing at your final destination isn’t the option for you (complicated attire that would be difficult to change into, you aren’t comfortable changing at your destination, or maybe you want to be able to stop and take pictures along the way), we have some tips and tricks to help you keep your wedding dress clean. Cutting holes in the bottom of a trash bag for your legs to go through is an easy and cheap way to create a protective carrier for the bottom of your dress while you are wearing it. It’s waterproof and keeps everything up and off the ground. Adding a belt or suspenders can help hold it up to keep your hands free. Using a “bridal buddy” is also a great way to keep your dress up and out of the way for hiking. You can even use it with your trash bag if you want a more waterproof solution.
CHOOSE AN ALTERNATE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION
You don’t have to hike to have epic views. If the idea of hiking in your wedding clothes or with your wedding clothes isn’t for you, consider picking a location that can be accessed without hiking. There are lots of beautiful locations that can be accessed by car, 4×4, boat, or even helicopter for absolutely breathtaking views without the hike. Some of these options, such as boat, 4×4, and helicopter are even able to bring you to more remote places than you could get to hiking! Plus, you get a pretty sweet adventure on the way there.
HAVE A “HIKING OUTFIT” FOR YOUR ELOPEMENT
Some couples choose to have a dedicated wedding outfit for the adventure part of their day, much like a reception dress for a traditional wedding. This is a great option if your dream wedding dress or outfit isn’t something that you want to hike in, but you still want to fit in a full adventure in your wedding clothes. Plus, you get to have two different looks for your day! We also love this option for couples who want to do something crazy on their day like jump in the ocean, dance in the rain, or 4×4 through the mud, but want to be clean and dry later on in the day.
TIPS AND TRICKS FOR HIKING IN YOUR WEDDING ATTIRE
CHOOSE WEDDING CLOTHES YOU CAN MOVE IN
We have a whole blog on how to pick your elopement wedding dress that has tons of ideas on things you might want to consider for a dress that you plan to hike, adventure, and play in. The same goes for suits and other wedding clothes. Be sure to pick things that are comfortable, allow you to move, and will be appropriate for the weather.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT FOOTWEAR
Hiking over loose rock, mud, or sand isn’t going to be fun in six inch heels. Make sure you are wearing shoes that you have hiked in (or at least worn for extended periods of time) for your adventure. Be sure to pick something that matches your terrain and activity (consider things like grip, support, waterproof features, toe protection, etc.). If you have shoes that you would like to wear for pictures that aren’t suited for hiking, we suggest packing them along and wearing a reliable pair of shoes for the more adventurous parts of your day.
REMEMBER YOUR LAYERS
While they might not be part of your planned wedding outfit, packing layers and accessories for your location and weather is important. Whether that means packing a jacket, gloves, and earmuffs to keep you warm or throwing shorts and a t-shirt in your bag in case you get too warm, being prepared is key to having a good time.
If you are dreaming up your own elopement or intimate wedding and are looking for the perfect photographer to photograph those precious memories, we would love to tag along and capture your story. Get in touch and let’s get rolling!