6 Adventure Elopement Tips: How to Stay Looking Fresh for Your Hiking Elopement | Jenn Whalen

January 12, 2022

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6 Adventure Elopement Tips: How to Stay Looking Fresh for Your Hiking Elopement

How to stay fresh after your hiking adventure elopement

Have you ever wondered what the process looks like and how the heck all these couples hike 5+ miles on their elopement day? One of the many questions I get asked when it comes to adventure elopements is, “How do I stay looking fresh during my hiking elopement ?”  I’m going to use Matt and Hang’s elopement as an example because that day, it was a toasty day in July and we hiked 5+ miles with a 1,700 elevation gain. Here’s some insider knowledge of all those mysterious questions you have buzzing around in your head!

Personally, I think southern California is one of the best places to elope because of the consistently warm temperatures, dry heat, and minimal mosquitos, but the warm temperatures make for warmer hiking during the day. So, all you have to do is prepare for it!

hang-and-Matt_0013 6 Adventure Elopement Tips: How to Stay Looking Fresh for Your Hiking Elopement

The following are 6 tips on how to stay fresh during your hiking adventure elopement

1. Hiking with a Wedding Dress + Suit

Matt carried both his suit and Hang’s wedding dress in a dry cleaning bag and clipped it to the outside of his backpack to prevent wrinkles. I always suggest packing your wedding attire if you are doing a long hike and wearing it if it’s a short hike, you will be a lot more comfortable that way. I recommend choosing a dress made of material that doesn’t wrinkle easily. Check out my blog post on Best Elopement Dresses. Use a little starch on the suit while ironing for a more crisp finish.

As for shoes, please do not show up in sneakers (unless they have traction) or heels. Your safety is the most important part of your adventure elopement, no one will be dying on my watch! (You can pack your heels to wear at the top). If you don’t own hiking boots, I would suggest looking for some that have these two key elements, traction and comfortability. A few good footwear brands are Kodiak Boots, Danner Boots, Chaco, Teva. Don’t forget wool socks if you are wearing boots. Those are often overlooked. I recommend any of these socks so you don’t get blisters. If you choose to pack your wedding attire do keep in mind that there are rarely any bathrooms on hikes so prepare to change in the wild! For couples that book with me, I bring my pop-up changing tent, and it’s the best invention since sliced bread in my opinion. 

hang-and-Matt_0013 6 Adventure Elopement Tips: How to Stay Looking Fresh for Your Hiking Elopement
hang-and-Matt_0013 6 Adventure Elopement Tips: How to Stay Looking Fresh for Your Hiking Elopement
hang-and-Matt_0013 6 Adventure Elopement Tips: How to Stay Looking Fresh for Your Hiking Elopement
hang-and-Matt_0013 6 Adventure Elopement Tips: How to Stay Looking Fresh for Your Hiking Elopement

2. Elopement Hair & Makeup 

For brides who book with me, I have a recommended hair and makeup artist that is willing to hike along for the elopement and do hair & makeup at the top/at the destination!

Hiking Elopement Makeup: It’s always good to have rice papers on hand throughout the day. Rice papers can be used on both the bride and groom’s faces to soak up any excess oil. If you choose to do your own makeup, I suggest doing your makeup right before photos like Hang did. This prevents your makeup from potentially sweating off. The length of the hike, elevation, time of day and the temperature will determine if you put on makeup beforehand or after the hike. If you decide to have your makeup done before the hike, pack a touch-up kit with primers and setting sprays! Every makeup artist knows the magic behind locking the makeup in place with primers and setting sprays. Just remember you will look beautiful no matter what! The most important “makeup” you can wear is your smile and the love you have for one another! 

Hiking Elopement Hair: Do your hair ahead of time! Hang pre-curled her hair and then brushed it out at the top. You wouldn’t ever know she hiked for over an hour. I also recommend keeping clips in your hair on the way up to preserve the curls even more if you choose to curl your hair! Pack some dry shampoo to spray in your hair to soak up excess oil. A few of the best hairstyles for hiking are braids, ponytails, or loose buns, as well as your hair down! You can even pack a few accessories like a wide-brimmed hat for a cute bridal look. Plus it keeps your hair in place! I also recommend packing a battery powered curling iron with you for peace of mind if you plan on curling your hair. This will come in handy throughout the day as well. 

hang-and-Matt_0013 6 Adventure Elopement Tips: How to Stay Looking Fresh for Your Hiking Elopement
hang-and-Matt_0013 6 Adventure Elopement Tips: How to Stay Looking Fresh for Your Hiking Elopement
hang-and-Matt_0013 6 Adventure Elopement Tips: How to Stay Looking Fresh for Your Hiking Elopement
hang-and-Matt_0013 6 Adventure Elopement Tips: How to Stay Looking Fresh for Your Hiking Elopement

3. What to pack for an adventure hiking elopement

Pack as little as you can when planning your hiking elopement. All you need to pack are the essentials, water, food, socks, headlamps (if it’s a sunset elopement), gum/mouthwash, mini deodorant, bathroom supplies and a couple of extra items such as hand towels/refreshing wipes to make yourself feel refreshed and clean. I have many things in my kit that I bring along. You don’t have to bring anything that’s already in there, I got you! 

Although you want to pack as light as possible, also think about any items that will make your elopement special. I always recommend leaving a little bit of space in your backpacks so you can bring: 

  • Vow books
  • Rings
  • Possibly a bottle of champagne, or drink of choice to celebrate after your vows
  • Maybe photos and letters from your loved ones.
  • Bouquet. I  recommend using a backpack that has an outside pouch to put your bouquet inside of. 

It’s your elopement day so you can bring what you want – but within reason. You don’t want to have to carry an 80-pound backpack all day, so make sure to test it out several days before your elopement. Pack all your things between the two backpacks you plan on using and see how heavy they are. If need be, condense things sooner than later so you aren’t stressed out trying to condense things minutes before the hike!  

hang-and-Matt_0013 6 Adventure Elopement Tips: How to Stay Looking Fresh for Your Hiking Elopement
hang-and-Matt_0013 6 Adventure Elopement Tips: How to Stay Looking Fresh for Your Hiking Elopement

4. Elopement Timeline. Plan breaks in between! 

Always make sure to allow for plenty of resting and water breaks on the way up as well as plenty of time at the top to cool down and eat a snack. Take as many breaks as you need. I love breaks so you won’t be holding me up! Plan ahead and think about how long it will take you to do this hike. Add on an extra 30-45 minutes for the hike to compensate any time for taking breaks, freshening up, and changing before photos. It’s always better to have more time than not enough. When I plan elopements, I always pad the schedule with plenty of time for breaks on the way up. 

5. Bring a battery powered fan! 

This isn’t something you have to do but it helps tremendously on summer days for sunset elopements. I brought my own battery-operated fan for Matt and Hang’s elopement to cool us down on the way up and I was so happy I bought it. It made a huge difference!

6. Embrace it! 

Mother nature is very unpredictable so you have to embrace what is thrown at you. Remember this is an adventure elopement and it’s all about capturing your authentic self and being carefree. Just focus on one another and nothing else. The day is about you two and the love you have for one another not about how sweaty you get or your flyaways. 

Additionally, if you decide to hike somewhere amazing as Matt and Hang did in Angeles National Forest overlooking  Los Angeles’s twinkling skyline, then it is completely worth thinking through all these logistics and packing accordingly. That way, you be sure to remember the intimate vows that were exchanged and the beautiful moments spent together embracing one another while watching the sunset. A day nothing short of magical! 

hang-and-Matt_0013 6 Adventure Elopement Tips: How to Stay Looking Fresh for Your Hiking Elopement
hang-and-Matt_0013 6 Adventure Elopement Tips: How to Stay Looking Fresh for Your Hiking Elopement
hang-and-Matt_0013 6 Adventure Elopement Tips: How to Stay Looking Fresh for Your Hiking Elopement
hang-and-Matt_0013 6 Adventure Elopement Tips: How to Stay Looking Fresh for Your Hiking Elopement
hang-and-Matt_0013 6 Adventure Elopement Tips: How to Stay Looking Fresh for Your Hiking Elopement
hang-and-Matt_0013 6 Adventure Elopement Tips: How to Stay Looking Fresh for Your Hiking Elopement
hang-and-Matt_0013 6 Adventure Elopement Tips: How to Stay Looking Fresh for Your Hiking Elopement

I hope this gives you some inspiration and alleviates some concerns you have about staying pretty looking for your photos! And ultimately, I hope you choose a hiking elopement for the right reasons. It’s such a laid-back type of wedding experience. They took in the views, ate kimbap, drank beer, goofed around with each other while they got ready, and shed some tears as they said their intimate vows in the warm summer breeze and golden light.

If you’ve ever considered doing a hiking elopement I would tell you…YES GO FOR IT! And I’ll take you! 😊

Contact me to start planning your adventure elopement! 

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