weddings

12 perfect outfits to elope in if you're not feeling a wedding dress.

Have you noticed?

The brides. They're over it.

After almost two years of postponed weddings, deposits lost, appointments made and cancelled, guest lists shortened and expanded and shortened again, endless questions from nosey relatives, many tears, and countless passive aggressive supplier emails, they've had enough.

Tired and jaded and hesitant to plan all over again, many engaged couples are now choosing to eschew the traditional ceremony and reception packages for more intimate elopements.

It's a trend we'll see much more of in 2022, and for some it will be a breath of fresh air - the pressure's off, and you and your betrothed have every excuse in the book to do what *you* want to do, minus all the other stuff. 

It also opens up a whole other can of worms pertaining to nosey relatives, but that's a different article.

The big question hanging over the heads of brides that have chosen to elope is - what the hell do I wear?

Speaking of things to wear, have you listened to our new fashion podcast yet? On this episode, we discover the summer dress everyone can wear. Post continues below.

For a quick registration at the courthouse, or a quiet dinner with close friends and loved ones, or a ceremony in the park, just you two: big-old-gown or nah?

It's a highly personal choice, and one that has many brides-to-be feeling slightly perplexed.

A friend of mine bought a beautiful custom-made wedding dress in 2018, but after three postponed weddings, and now facing a scaled-down event sometime in 2022, it's just no longer what she wants to wear. The silhouette has dated. She's changed, too.

So on the weekend she went shopping for something else to wear, thinking she'd spring for a dress off the rack. And she found... nothing. 

As another person who's due to get married sometime next year and considering a smaller, no-fuss ordeal, I'm also on the lookout for alternative options to a traditional dress. So I've done a little research. 

From styles that fit every body to dresses you'll actually wear again, here are my favourite picks. No awkward fitting or six-month wait required.

On-trend elopement outfits.

Cult American brand Reformation, which excels in its sustainability initiatives, offers an edit of casual wedding and elopement dresses

Reformation Stars Dress, $664.

Image: Reformation. 

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Reformation Riviera Dress, $462

Image: Reformation. 

You might remember the Australian brand LOVER from a few years back, when it made a mark on the local fashion scene with its romantic lace dresses. It's since evolved into a more contemporary version of the label, but still with those hallmarks of modern femininity. The collection is exclusively available at THE ICONIC.

LOVER Orlando Wrap Dress, $260.

Image: The Iconic. 

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ASOS offers a range of exclusive styles fit for an elopement, from floaty dresses to knee-length cocktail options, in their Plus Size occasion wear edit.

Asos Lace & Beads Plus Exclusive wrapped bodice maxi dress, $150.

Image: Asos. 

If you haven't hear of Australian label Dissh, you're welcome. The brand specialises in linen dresses and separates, and recently launched The Aisle Edit, a capsule of wedding-ready looks that are perfect for a more casual affair.

Dissh Aisle Linen Backless Long Dress, $279.99

Image: Dissh. 

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Dissh Aisle Pearl Linen Pleated Crop Top, $89.99, and Long Linen Skirt, $149.99

 

Boho elopement outfits.

If you've always wanted to splurge on a dress by cult Byron Bay brand Spell, what better time than your elopement? The beloved slow fashion brand is known for its bohemian silhouettes, and they're just the thing for a runaway bride. My fave is the Moonflower Gown from their new collaboration with influencer Elle Ferguson.

Spell Moonflower Gown, $399.

Image: Spell 

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Love the Spell aesthetic but looking for something a little less exy? Check out The Poetic Gypsy, a label that's all about effortless boho dresses and separates.

The Poetic Gypsy Sunbeam Maxi Dress, $139.99

Image: The Iconic. 

Who says you have to wear white or cream on your day? A Camilla dress will make a gorgeous statement and last you for years to come, plus all styles come in an extended size range. 

Camilla Button Dress with Shaped Waistband in Quechua King, $799.

Image: Camilla. 

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You know those old photos of people's parents getting married in the 70s? Australian brand Shona Joy has just the dress if you want to channel that energy - along with a bunch of other timeless feminine silhouettes.

Shona Joy Lola High Neck Balloon Sleeve Midi Dress, $460.00

Image: Shona Joy. 

Colourful elopement outfits.

For a directional dress that won't break the bank, the Atmos&Here Curvy range is a good place to start, stocking sizes 18-26. I love this jewel-toned emerald dress for a look that will easily transition from a courthouse wedding to a fancy dinner. 

Atmos&Here Curvy Libby Long Sleeve Maxi Dress, $99.99

Image: Atmos&Here 

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There's nothing cooler than a bride in a suit (see: Em Rata in a mustard Zara number at her wedding), and this tailored pink two-piece from Sheike is a dream - it also comes in fuchsia, if you're feeling bold.

Sheike Piper Jacket, $169.95, and Piper Pant, $119.95

Image: Sheike. 

At Mamamia, we independently choose and write about products our writers genuinely recommend. We have affiliate partnerships so if you use these links to buy something, Mamamia may earn a small commission.

Feature Image: Reformation, Sheike, The Iconic, Dissh, Spell.

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