Tips for Hiking in Your Dress – Adventure Elopement options

Hiking in your dress might immediately come with lots of questions when planning your adventure elopement.

This guide is for those who are having an elopement on a mountaintop, waterfall, or anywhere in nature where a hike is involved.

One question we get often from couples is how to go about putting on the wedding dress when there is a hike in the plans!

Here are some tips for getting Dressed and ready for a mountain elopement!


To Hike or Not Hike in your Dress

Mulling over hiking in your dress is something every adventure bride faces.

Most of our hikes to ceremony locations are moderately challenging and only about 1 mile long.

Generally, we suggest that you come dressed in your wedding dress and hike up wearing it to keep things simple and easiest.

But it does depend on the style of dress and how comfortable you will feel doing this.

If you have a tight mermaid dress or something very restrictive, you might consider packing a portable pop-up dressing tent to bring with you to the top of the mountain or bottom of the waterfall.

You can get a portable dressing tent here on Amazon.

If you are planning a big half day or full day adventure with a long, strenuous hike, you will benefit from packing your dress and carrying it up the hike. You can strap a garment bag to your backpack and go forth!


Parking Lot Primpin’

An estimated 98% of our brides come to the elopement parking area either fully dressed or bring the dress and get changed there.

One of the reasons some Brides bring their dress along and change in the parking lot is to avoid their partner seeing them in the dress before the ceremony or First Look. 

You can change in your vehicle if your dress is easy to slip on, change outside the car with the help of our elopement assistant or any guests you are bringing, or bring a pop up tent for privacy to hide in while you change.

Some brides have worn a robe over their dress, or even put a sheet across the front seats of their car and hidden in the back! 

However you do it, changing in the parking lot will alleviate any discomfort riding in the car to your location. 

Most of the drives to our mountain and waterfall elopement locations are around 1 hour. 

Grooms often wear their suit on the ride to the elopement site but some like to change in the car when they arrive or at least wait to put on their jacket, tie and any other finishing touches.


Save the Details for Last

One important tip is to wait until your arrive at the parking area to add details like suit jacket, tie, pinning the boutonniere or putting on the flower crown.

Waiting to add those elements will make the drive more comfortable and keep the dress wrinkle free before hiking in your dress to your ceremony site. 

Our elopement assistant usually helps the Bride put on her flower crown in the parking area or once arriving at top of the mountain.

Typically your partner or photographer can also help you with those final details.


How to Keep your Dress Wrinkle-Free & Clean

Packing your dress in a garment bag is a great way to keep it wrinkle free and safe on your drive or hike. Begin with folding the bodice, if there’s structure or boning. Then, roll up any portion of the skirt that doesn’t fit in the bag.

You can use bungee cords to strap the garment bags to your backpack if you are choosing to put your dress on after the hike.



Here are a few things to bring for your hiking elopement:

Because weather can change at any time, it is highly recommended that the following items are packed in a “just incase” bag to bring along in the car:

  • comfortable hiking boots (you can bring heels to change into if you’d like)
  • backpack 
  • water
  • hanky or tissues
  • nude leggings (thermal or fleece for cold weather)
  • a stylish jacket to match your dress (or one to wear in between photos)
  • warm, comfortable footwear like hiking books or Converse (you can always bring fancier shoes in your bag)
  • a blanket to wrap up in
  • gloves and hat (you can always wear it on the hike down only if you don’t want to ruin your hairstyle before the ceremony)
  • hand warmers if it is super cold
  • a small portable fan and of course water are great items for summer

Need ideas for what to wear and what dress to choose for your elopement?

Check out our blog: Elopement Wedding Dress Tips 



Interested in Eloping in Asheville?

Come say “I do” under the magical North Carolina sky.

We love creating a comfortable energy and space for you and your partner to be you. 

Planning the entire elopement from securing locations to providing you with vendors from our talented, close-knit team is what we do! We would love to get to know you and make your adventure elopement a reality!

Contact Us