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Brit Nicole Adventure Elopements Clothing + Gear Guide

Wedding Dresses 

One of my favorite things about adventurous mountain weddings is that there tends to be a good amount of wind to play with! Definitely keep that in mind when looking for a dress. Flowy skirts look absolutely amazing on camera and create so much drama in wedding photos.

For longer hiking elopements, the best idea is to pack your dress away in a backpack and change when we get to the ceremony spot. So consider getting a lightweight gown style dress and avoid heavy materials like corsets with boning or huge amounts of tulle in a puffy skirt.

But more than anything else – it is most important that you feel absolutely beautiful, comfortable, and happy. There are no rules. Whatever you love, that best fits “you” and who you are will be perfect.

Tips & Tricks:

Dresses really do make quite different shapes when moving & being blown around vs just standing still…so loving how the dress looks & feels when you’re moving is important. A very simple, thin skirt can look crazy epic & dramatic if it’s moved in the right way, so sometimes the best “windblown” look comes from a dress that may look a bit boring on the hanger or when standing still. 

  • Try picking it up and twirling it around.
  • Raise both hands and twisting & twirling around.
  • Have someone twirl you like you’re dancing.
  • Pick it up in one or two hands and try running & skipping.
  • Pick it up in one hand and hold it up high over your head and then drop it.
  • Grab a handful of the dress from the bottom (like you’re picking it up to start walking) and then hold your hand straight out at about waist level or higher and swish it around (up & down and side to side).

Shop:

If you don’t have a dress yet and are curious about good places to look. Here are some of my favorite places and designers to check out.

Sweet Caroline Styles
Ruthettes Bridal located in Amarillo Texas

Suits

Pick something that best fits your style and the environment. Make sure you give yourself room to wear an extra layer underneath if you need the extra warmth in cold locations. Move around like you would if you were hiking and lifting your significant other to ensure the best fit. 

Tips & Tricks:

  • Shopping Guide: A great explanation of suiting terms, suit construction, and fabrics to look for, Gear Patrol
  • Affordable Suits: How to buy an affordable suit that doesn’t look cheap, Time.com
  • Trends: The latest on groom wedding suit trends via Brides Magazine


Footwear

Good solid footwear with actual tread is very important when walking and hiking on your elopement day. There may be some very epic photo spots on top of rocks & boulders that will require good stable footwear with tread. I highly discourage heels of any kind…and also strongly discourage men’s dress shoes that are completely smooth on the bottom.

For a longer hiking elopement, I highly suggest wearing the best pair of hiking boots you can find (make sure you break them in if they’re new!). You can keep them on for your photos, or pack a different pair of shoes in your pack to change into. If you opt for changing shoes – they still need to have tread!

If you purchase a new pair of hiking shoes for your day, be sure to break them in ahead of time!

Tips & Tricks:

  • Toe Warmers: Trust me, extremities are usually the first to get cold, and I highly suggest putting toe-warmers in your boots.
  • Traction: If there is any possibility of snow or ice on a trail, traction is a MUST. It will save your life. Get a pair for each of you—my favorite are the Yak Trax Pro and Kahtoola Microspikes.
  • Snowshoes: If there is a lot of fresh or unpacked snow on a trail (or in off-trail areas where we want to take photos) snowshoes may be required. I recommend MSR and Tubbs.
  • Wool Socks: Wool will wick moisture away from your skin and provide better insulation even when wet. I recommend Darn Tough, Smartwool, and Wigwam
  • A spare pair of socks: To double layer in cold temps or to switch into if your socks accidentally get wet.

Layers

Making sure you are prepared with layering options is a must along with a rain poncho! Weather can be very unpredictable in the canyon, especially during fall + winter, or our west texas severe weather season

 

Tips & Tricks:

  • Under wedding dresses: I highly suggest wearing leggings, long underwear, yoga pants, etc. Even more, than one layer depending on the time of year at your location. If the top layer is nude, it actually blends in very well for photos. Amazon has a lot of options for nude fleece tights
  • Under suits: Wearing a base layer such as a wool long sleeve shirt or long underwear is suggested for colder locations and in the winter. My go-to; Smartwool, Icebreaker, Fjallraven.
  • Outer layers: The weather can be unpredictable and it is always a good idea to have outer layering options! A packable rain shell to block wind and/or unexpected rain. And something warm – depending on your season and location this may be a down jacket, a fur wrap, a chunky sweater, or a wool shawl. Brands I love; Fjallraven, Patagonia, Arcteryx.
  • Accessories: If having a winter elopement or hiking at sunrise/sunset, I highly suggest gloves/mittens, a beanie or ear warmers, and a scarf or buff to keep you warm. 
  • Blankets: These are super great to warm you up between exploring and are amazing for cuddly photos. Some beautiful and warm blankets; Rumpl, Pendleton, Woolrich.
  • Handwarmers: These are lifesavers! I HIGHLY recommend having some of these to stash in pockets, and in gloves and mittens.
  • Rain Gear:  Consider packing some lightweight rain gear or even a poncho, just in case! I have been caught in our west texas severe weather that included hail and they quickly became my favorite photos to date


Backpacks & Gear

Some adventurous elopements call for a bit more gear – and I’ve got you covered! If you’re hiking you may want to consider a backpack to hold your extra layers, water, snacks, vow books, etc. A headlamp is also necessary if you are hiking before sunrise or after sunset. 

Tips & Tricks:

  • Backpack: Get one with sturdy hip straps to help take the weight off of your shoulders. 
  • Headlamps: A must if hiking in the dark! And so great for star photos. Make sure to grab some that you can control the brightness.
  • Water: Drink plenty of water! Staying hydrated will also help keep you from getting sick. Bring it along in a hydration pack or nalgene. For longer hikes, I recommend bringing along a water filtration system such as the Sawyer Mini
  • Food/Snacks: Don’t forget to pack tons of snacks to keep your energy up. I find for early morning hikes when I don’t have much appetite, that runners gels or energy chews are great options to get quick calories & energy. Also consider packing a picnic to enjoy and celebrate after saying your vows. I recommend Clif Bars, Bobos, Honey Stinger, Oloves, Patagonia Provisions.
  • Thermos:  Warming up from the inside out in cold conditions is always a treat!  Consider bringing along some warm soup or drink in a thermos.
  • Backpacking Stove: This is a great option for doing some light cooking in the backcountry. Boil water for a hot cup of tea or coffee, or cook up some oatmeal, scrambled eggs, or a backpackers meal! Good To Go Food is my personal favorite backpacking meals. 
  • Trekking Poles: Recommended for long hikes to save your knees. 
  • Skin Protection: Sunscreen is so important when at high altitudes and especially on sunny days when in the snow. Depending on your location, bug spray may be a lifesaver as well. 
  • Camp Bathroom: When on long hikes, it’s important to be prepared if you find yourself needing to relieve yourself in the woods. I recommend always following Leave No Trace Principles and Wag Bags.