So you’re getting married, and you and your person have decided to ELOPE. But you did not choose just any elopement… you chose a Mountain Elopement (my personal favorite)! Packing for a mountain elopement can be a lot. As a full-time intimate wedding and elopement photographer (and an avid traveler), I’ve rounded up my top 5 things to help you pack for your mountain elopement. Let’s get into it!
My first tip when it comes to choosing wedding attire is to keep in mind these 4 categories: comfort, mobility (hiking or dancing), weight of the attire, and style.
I always recommend choosing a comfortable wedding dress – I am a sucker for a flowy gown. If you’re saying “I do” on a mountain top, the wind dancing through your flowy wedding dress is so dreamy. Bonus: They are easier to hike in! If you are not wearing a wedding dress, choose attire that you can move comfortably in and that feels authentically YOU.
Another tip I have for wedding attire, is to pack your clothing in your bag and change when you reach the perfect spot for portraits. You won’t be stressing about making sure your dress still looks perfect or white (however, the dirtier the dress, the better IMO- it means you had an ADVENTURE!).
For suits, choose something that fits your style. If you will be in a colder climate, make sure there is enough room to wear a base layer. Trust me when I say, the worst thing is when your attire is tight or limits your movement.
If you’re looking to add a little bit of “spice” to your elopement, you can’t go wrong with accessorizing with veils, wide-brimmed hats, capes, shawls, skirts, or jean jackets.
Good footwear will make or break an elopement; no one likes uncomfortable shoes or blisters! Invest in a nice pair of hiking boots or shoes prior to your big day – and make sure to break them in! If hiking boots aren’t your style, make sure you have a solid pair of shoes (not heels) that will allow you to climb on rocks and walk around without the fear of slipping.
Along with knowing what footwear to bring, comes knowing what to bring to keep those feet WARM! I recommend wool socks (and bring an extra pair incase yours get wet or sweaty) or any type of hiking sock that you are comfortable with. Most hiking boots go a little higher on your ankle, so make sure you have thick enough and tall enough socks to avoid friction on your ankle or heel. If you are a naturally cold person, Toe Warmers by HotHands are a great addition to thick socks.
Finally, if you are having a winter adventure elopement or traveling to an Alpine climate, there is a good chance for snow and ice on the rocks and trails – make sure you bring traction! My favorite traction to put on my shoes are YakTrax.
Dress for the unpredictability that is weather in the mountains. I would recommend being over prepared than underprepared. Light layers will be your best friend.
I recommend a nude-color base layer or pair of leggings to wear underneath your wedding dress to avoid being cold during portraits. Again, for those wearing a suit, add a base layer or long underwear to keep those legs and extremities warm.
Some other warm items to pack would be a rain coat or poncho, a warm jacket or something warm – shawl, sweater, or even a furry coat (all of this depends on your style and type of elopement). Hats, hand warmers, gloves, scarves, and blankets are also an added bonus to keep you cozy.
To carry all of your gear, a backpack is essential. Whether you fit everything in one bag or two, having a secure place to carry your layers, water, snacks, flowers, vows, etc. will provide so much peace of mind. I recommend a bag with a hip strap, like Osprey!
Below is just a little list of extra things to consider bringing in your bag (again, be over prepared than underprepared):
Now that you’ve checked all of the “must have items” off your list, it’s time to get creative and start thinking of special touches to add to your elopement. Vow books, letters from friends/family, picnic supplies, champagne or sparkling water, emergency hairbrush + makeup for touch ups, pacrrafts, fishing rods, etc. This is your chance to really show the personalities of you and your person as you say “I do”.
Do you think I covered it all? Comment below if there’s anything else you would bring for your mountain elopement! If you’re looking for some Mountain Elopement inspiration, be sure to check out my Rocky Mountain Elopement blog. As always, I’d love to be friends on Instagram (@sydneybreannphoto).
Are you ready to wander? Check out my Travel Schedule!!