The perfect wedding dresses if you’re planning to elope

Historically, eloping referred to couples who fled from their parent’s homes to marry in secret, away from friends and family, and often without their knowledge or consent.

In modern times, it’s evolved into something of a trend that’s defined by simplicity. Forgoing grand affairs, people are opting for trimmed down guest lists, intimate ceremonies, and beautiful destinations instead.

Since the pandemic hit, people have been looking for new ways to celebrate beautiful occasions, on a more minimalistic scale.

This was initially mainly to honour Covid-19 safety measures, but has since opened people’s eyes to the beauty of the more intimate aspects of marriage, rather than extravagant extras.

However, a more streamlined and intimate event doesn’t necessarily mean ordinary. In fact, these weddings are quite the opposite. Whether they’re held in a beautiful garden, a forest, or simply entail a trip to the courthouse – every element of these more private weddings is chic. This is especially true when it comes to the brides wedding day ensemble.

Depending on the destination of the ceremony and reception party, elopement dresses can be airy and romantic, or elegant with a bit of edge.

From road trips to hikes, the destination can be anywhere and should set the tone for what atmosphere the couple would like to create on their special day.


A slip dress is the embodiment of elegance. They’re sleek and silky, draping over the body in the most flattering way, while highlighting all aspects of feminine beauty.

No big embellishments or ornate lace detailing, these dresses are about simplicity and comfort, but they certainly do not miss any of the “wow factors”.

Pair with a red lip look, winged eyeliner, and strappy sandals with feathers, for that romantic old Hollywood feel.


A mini wedding dress is about as unconventional as you can get when it comes to bridal attire. However, when it comes to elopement, sometimes the occasion calls for practicality.

You may find yourself frolicking through the long-stemmed grass of the misty countryside or out on the town, bar hopping with a photographer in tow (capturing stunning visuals with flash photography, of course).

Mini dresses can be elevated with statement heels, an ornate headband (beaded or with pearls), a puffy veil, or perhaps even a gorgeous bow at the back.

Courthouse chic

A courthouse wedding in South Africa is the equivalent of registering your customary marriage at any office of the Department of Home Affairs or through a designated traditional leader, in areas where there are no Home Affairs offices.

While the whole ordeal is about as unglamorous as you can get, couples who had to forgo a big wedding, due to time constraints or logistical reasons, may still want to mark the occasion and make it special.

Borrowing inspiration from American courthouse weddings (or spontaneous Vegas getaways), you can adopt the same vibe for your elopement wedding. A classy white jumpsuit, practical block heels, and minimal makeup are perfect.

If you’re planning a special dinner afterwards, elevate the look for the evening with a chic veil, more ornate jewellery, and a bolder makeup look.


Silk, lace, tulle, chiffon, and taffeta are typically the luxurious materials most often associated with wedding dresses.

However, for a more casual affair in the summer, light and breathable fabrics are more ideal.

Whether you’re all about the scenery and have hopped on a plane headed for the Karoo, or you’re simply after that quaint cottagecore aesthetic, a stunning frock – made of linen or cotton – will offer you everything you’re looking for when it comes to elegance and that carefree vibe you’re after.

Airy and romantic

An intimate destination wedding or somewhere romantic calls for a stunning gown that oozes romance.

A billowing hemline, puff sleeves, and light layers of Silk Georgette, with sheer organza for a floaty finish, are the perfect match. Opt for a low bun or loose hair for that whimsical, fairytale finish.