Ask Belle: Elopement Dress Advice

Jan 13, 2015

Hi Belle!

My fiancé and I decided to elope! We’re really excited, but I need a dress.  Everything I find is too boring or too expensive.  I want short, and I want cool.  Please help me find something for less than $300…I only have two weeks!

Love the blog! Mila

That is exciting news.  Some friends of mine eloped last month and it seemed like great fun.  Let’s see what we can find in terms of a dress.  You didn’t give me much to go on except non-boring, so let’s go with that.

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JOA Lace Dress ($139)

I like the modern, sexy look of this sheath dress.  It would be pretty with a high-heeled silver sandal and some fun earrings.

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AQ Sash Bandeau Dress ($273)

I love this sculpted strapless dress.  It’s the most fun ever.   ASOS also offers a long dress with a sculpted peplum.

I didn’t find much else that I would describe as non-boring, but if you can give me some more direction, feel free to email me again. Perhaps your fellow readers can also offer some more guidance on where to start looking.  It’s kind of the wrong time of year to look for white dresses, but they may know of some places.

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  1. Netty says:

    Just eloped last month (well, told all my family but everyone else was in for a heck of a facebook surprise). Fortunately I had acquired the Magaschoni cowl neck dress in ivory from gilt several years early. Can’t find a good image online for it…

  2. Rach says:

    Have you tried BHLDN, modcloth or Urban? I found a great, vintage looking white dress at Urban Outfitters a few months back.

  3. Erin says:

    I eloped as well–and I’d encourage you to look outside the normal white! I wore a DVF maxi, and it was lovely. After my elopement, we had a reception where I wore a “reception dress” from BHLDN–another good resource for non-traditional/non white dresses (although they have those too.)

  4. Julie says:

    Congratulations! I would check out renttherunway.com. They have a whole section for brides looking for little white dresses for events. You might also check out apracticalwedding.com. They just did a budget bridal fashion round up, plus they’ll have tons of info on eloping. Lastly, the DVF Zarita dress comes in white and is perfect for an elopement. It is $350, which isn’t too far out of your budget.

    • liz says:

      Yes, I was going to suggest the DvF Zarita too. I know lace is everywhere so that might fall into the “boring” category for some. But I am the kind of conservative dresser for whom an exposed zipper is tres edgy… and it’s a really pretty dress.

  5. Lindsey says:

    seconding rent the runway… filter by color and it seems like they have a bunch of white dresses.

  6. Rebecca says:

    I would check out White House black market. They have some pretty white dresses. I also wanted to mention that if there is a long dress you love (other than length) it’s not normally too pricey to have it shortened to whatever length you want. I’ve done that with a few bridesmaid dresses.

  7. Clementine says:

    Congratulations!

    I’d check rent the runway or actually ModCloth-especially if you have more of a vintage-y/retro style. They have a good variety in your price point.

    (Note: Highly recommend extremely fun shoes. I wore fun, colorful shoes for my wedding and re-wear them for special occasions. I love wearing them because they remind me of an awesome day, and while I wouldn’t wear my wedding dress to go out to dinner- I totally rock my bright heels.

    • Sofie M. says:

      Seconding the ModCloth recommendations – I’m also shopping for a cheap, fun wedding dress, and I ordered mine from ModCloth this week. Fingers crossed!

  8. diana says:

    Check out the dress collections at A Practical Wedding – they have a few organized by price range. https://apracticalwedding.com/wedding-dresses-under-500/

    • Natalie says:

      SO pretty!!

      • GoGoGo says:

        Agreed! $85! I’d get married-married in the top of that dress. Think I should buy it, then go on a grand hunt for some pretty complementary fabric to extend the bottom to the floor?

        – A completely not engaged person who has no idea what she’s talking about, but doesn’t that sound great?

  9. Ellen says:

    I bought my elopement dress on eBay–it was a J.Crew from a past season, that I had a tailor hem to be knee-length, so it looked more casual. eBay has some great filtering options, so you can easily look for white dresses, in your size, with your choice of neckline, silhouette, etc to see if there’s anything you like.

  10. Amanda says:

    Some of these are more traditional but I fell in love with a lot of the dresses in this round-up: https://apracticalwedding.com/2015/01/wedding-dresses-under-500/

  11. Kate says:

    Love the Alice dress or the Bloom skirt: https://www.shabbyapple.com/shop/wedding

  12. RMR says:

    Are you sticking with white?

  13. Julia M. says:

    I just came across a few in the Ted Baker sale section, most around $150-350.
    https://www.tedbaker.com/us/Womens/Sale/All-Sale-Clothing/Dresses/c/womens_sale-dresses

  14. anon says:

    If you are in DC, check out Betsy Fisher in Dupont and American in Paris in Alexandria – both have cute, rotating selections that might work (and good sales).

    Also recommend Anthropologie – very hit or miss, but would definitely be non-boring.

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