How To Elope In Colorado : Planning, Places To Elope, Packages And More

If you’re dreaming of eloping in Colorado but have zero idea where to start, this guide will lay out everything you need to know to plan your Colorado Elopement. We cover everything from when to elope, the best places for your elopement, what to wear, activities and more!

What is an elopement?

It’s when you get married by Elvis…(haha not really). “Elopement” traditionally meant as a “run away” or “secret” marriage, but the more modern definition is an intimate marriage experience between a couple with little to no guests. Elopements are just tiny weddings that allow you to plan a day that is centered around the things that matter most to you!

They also allow for so much flexibility to add or remove any traditions that you want (or don’t). For example in Colorado, you can choose to elope without an officiant in the mountains surrounded by epic scenery! Some couples choose to elope just them two, or they can also include a few loved ones- it’s truly up to you.

Why Should You Elope In Colorado?

If you are looking to adventure on your elopement day, Colorado is the best place for that. Not only can you hike (or drive) to breath-taking views, it’s super easy to get married here! You can also:

Marriage licenses in Colorado are available to pick up the same day you apply for them. There is no waiting time and some clerk and recorder offices allow walk ins!

You won’t have to read your vows in front of 700 people! Colorado allows self-solemnization which just means you can get married without an officiant or witnesses. It’s literally the best thing for couples who want to have a more intimate moment without the pressure of anyone staring at them.

Yes, your pet or child can “sign” your marriage license in Colorado and yes it is legal! Since witnesses aren’t required, there is some wiggle room to make the day more meaningful this way

There’s hundreds if not thousands of BEAUTIFUL nature locations throughout the state that are the perfect “free” venue for you elopement! Although some areas do require special permitting, it is nothing compared to a regular wedding venue and navigating the logistics is something that we offer as part of our packages 🙂

You’ll probably want to mesh a mini honeymoon when you choose to elope here because a couple days is not going to cut it! Not only can you incorporate an adventure on your elopement day, you will not run out of things to see or do in Colorado. We have paddle boarding, hiking, all the breweries, all the pizza, off-roading, and more

Colorado has all 4 seasons, which means there’s only one great season to elope here and it’s the one that is your favorite!

Cannabis use is legal for recreational use in Colorado! If smoking weed is your thing, choosing to elope here is going to be pretty epic 🙂

When Is The Best Time To Elope In Colorado?

Choosing when to elope in Colorado is dependent on what you envision on your elopement day. Each season brings a different experience, so here are our tips for choosing the best time to elope in Colorado!

Elope on a weekday

We cannot stress this enough! If you don’t want 700 guests (we’re being dramatic, but only a little bit) watching you get married, we highly recommend choosing a weekday for your elopement. Colorado weekends are super busy! We can’t blame the tourists – what better way to spend the weekend than outside in a beautiful place? Here are a few reasons why you should consider a weekday elopement:

  1. Weekdays in the mountains are less busy
  2. More vendors are available during the week, especially during busy seasons
  3. It is easier to make reservations at busy locations like restaurants or other experiences
  4. Less busy = a more intimate experience overall.

Summer Elopements In Colorado

The best warm weather months in Colorado will be July through mid September. The summer is the best time to elope in Colorado, for a few reasons. 

  1. More roads and trails are open which means more locations to choose from!
  2. The weather is a bearable temperature in areas with higher elevation like the mountains
  3. Daylight will be longer during the summer months, making more room for a longer day of adventure!

Winter Elopements In Colorado

If you love snow, whether it be for skiing or throwing snowballs, Colorado is perfect in the winter! The best time for a winter elopement in Colorado will be December through March. If it is important for you to have more bearable weather for your winter elopement, March-May is the best month to find warmer temperatures. Winter in Colorado can be unpredictable, so, make sure you’re prepared for inclement weather and plan your day accordingly. Things to look out for winter elopements are:

  • Avalanche prone areas or areas that require snowshoes
  • Road closures and proper vehicles

If you want to learn more about how you can plan a winter elopement, you can read our Winter Guide for all the tips and more!

Best Time To See Wildflowers or Fall Colors

We can’t tell you an exact date when peak times for wildflower and fall colors experiences will be because it changes each year! We do know that if you are looking for amazing mountain views and some colorful foliage, Colorado is the perfect location to get the best of both worlds. 

Best time to catch fall colors: Late September to Mid October

Best time to catch the wildflowers: June and July

The Best Places To Elope In Colorado

When you elope in Colorado, you have a variety of landscapes to choose from for your elopement backdrop! Colorado has it all: mountains, forests, deserts, you name it! 

Here are a few of our favorites, and the best places to elope in Colorado.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Of course, Rocky Mountain National Park has to be first on the list of best places to elope in Colorado. Eloping in RMNP is super popular. With ceremony spots that can accommodate guests and perfect backdrops to adventure in, it’s one of our favorite locations for elopements. The permit to elope at RMNP is $300 and they run out quickly – so if you are looking to elope here, make sure you secure your permit first!

Boulder

If you’re looking for an elopement location with close proximity to Denver, Boulder is one of our top picks! The city itself sits overlooking The Flatirons, providing the most incredible scenery. Boulder has many awesome ceremony spots that are both accessible and convenient. A few of our favorites are Chautauqua Park, Lost Gulch, and the Sunrise Amphitheater! There are tons of other “secret” locations that are more secluded, perfect for your Boulder Elopement!

Breckenridge

You’ve probably already come across Breckenridge when searching for Colorado elopement locations! Eloping in Breckenridge is a great option, as it’s accessible year round, and offers amazing mountain views. Whether you choose to elope at Sapphire point, Hoosier Pass or Lake Dillon – Breckenridge has an elopement location for everyone.

Evergreen

One of our favorite places, that also happens to be just 40 minutes away from Denver, is Evergreen! It is definitely an underrated place to elope in Colorado, and this mountain town is a quaint, laid back outdoor elopement location. Check out the guide on how to elope in Evergreen, Colorado.

Colorado Springs

While Colorado is best known for its mountains, there are also stunning red rock formations and desert landscapes! There’s a bit of everything in this state, and Colorado Springs is one of the best places to elope in Colorado. Colorado Springs is home to Garden of The Gods – a unique park with towering sandstone spires and rocky formations, with mountains in the backdrop.

Loveland Pass

Sitting at almost 12k feet of elevation, Loveland Pass is a popular location for your elopement in Colorado. It is one of the few high alpine roads to stay open year round, and is super close to Denver! Make sure you are aware of weather conditions at higher elevations if you decide to elope here.

The Great Sand Dunes National Park 

Imagine climbing 700 ft tall dunes of pure SAND? Did we mention they also have epic mountain views? Great Sand Dunes National Park makes you feel like you are in the Sahara desert. If you are looking for unique elopement experience in Colorado, check out how to elope at the Great Sand Dunes– You won’t regret it!

Colorado National Monument

The Colorado National Monument offers a unique Utah-like experience right here in Colorado, with sweeping canyon views and fun rock formations. If you’re looking to elope at Colorado National Monument, we wrote a guide on that too!

Denver

There are so many locations that are great for an elopement not too far from the Denver area. Places like Red Rocks & Amphitheater, Lookout mountain park and Mount Falcon to name a few.

Telluride

Okay, we know we keep saying that each place is our favorite, but the entire state is just so dang amazing! Telluride is a great location for your elopement if you plan on really adventuring. Think off-roading, backpacking, hiking! With the San Juan Mountains close by (which are home to some of Colorado’s best mountain peaks), eloping in Telluride is a no brainer!

Aspen

Some of the most photographed mountains in the country live in Aspen! The Maroon Bells are gorgeous, with wine-colored peaks. And yes, you can get married here. There are other amazing locations around, like Crate Lake with a view of the Maroon Bells, or mountain passes where you can off-road to get the views

Crested Butte

Crested Butte is another underrated mountain town in Colorado! We think mainly because it is in the middle of the state as well, and nobody wants to drive 5 hours from the airport to get there. Surrounded by mountains and alpine lakes, Crested Butte can be the perfect elopement location, and a great place to spend your honeymoon.

Estes Park

Estes Park is just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park! As if that wasn’t enough, there are tons of riverside locations and mountain views for your elopement.

State Parks

For more of the best places to elope in Colorado, check out the state parks here. These are great locations for couples choosing to elope with over 10 guests.

Colorado Private Home Rentals

For the most privacy on your elopement day, you can rent a house for your celebration. Check out how to do that here!

How To Plan Your Colorado Elopement

Here are some planning tips, and things to keep in mind when you elope in Colorado:

01.

Decide On The Bigger Things First.

Planning an elopement is definitely easier than a big wedding shindig, but it still requires some planning. Making the bigger decisions first will help you narrow down the logistics. Think: Who will be present with you that day? What general areas will work for you? What kind of activities do you want included? Hiring help is never a bad idea. We can help you get the ball rolling! Eloping in Colorado is super simple when you know where to start. When you hire us, you get two personal elopement advisors. Contact us to get started!

02.

Pick Your Elopement Location + Lodging

Think about the overall experience you are trying to have with your partner. Are you hiking that day? Do you imagine an off the lot overlook with sweeping views and a picnic? Are you adventuring off-road to less traveled high alpine areas? Picking a location that fits all of your criteria is key to an unforgettable experience. A few things to also think about when choosing your location:

  1. Check if you need a permit to have an elopement ceremony
  2. Have a plan B just in case
  3. Make sure you Leave No Trace at all outdoor locations.

Lodging is also important to look into when picking an elopement location. Are you getting ready at this location? Is it a picture worthy spot? What is the lighting like? Can you have an intimate dinner there? What about the outside? Can it be used for a first look?

Part of our job as elopement photographers is to help you find the perfect location for your elopement! After you book with us, we send over a personalized planning guide and questionnaire to help you imagine the best day ever!

03.

Pick Your Vendors

We send our couples vendor recommendations, so you can have the best team to complete your day! Some vendors that you can hire include a videographer, florist, officiant, hair and makeup artist, and private chef. Some couples keep it simple, with just a photographer, so decide which vendors you’ll be looking into!

04.

Obtain Your Colorado Marriage License

You can get your marriage license and any of the state clerks and recording offices. Most offices are only open regular business hours Monday-Friday. You can receive your license the same day you apply for it, and here’s what you’ll need to bring:

  • Proper Identification (State ID, Passport)
  • $30 
  • Both you and your partner

In Colorado you don’t need an officiant or witnesses to solemnize your marriage. Once you pick up your marriage license, all you need to do is have you and your partner sign it! Your ceremony needs to take place in Colorado. 

Most of our couples decide to only have an intimate vow reading as their ceremony, or they choose a close friend or family member to perform a personal “speech” for them before they self-somnize. Keep in mind that you cannot have a friend or family member solemnize your marriage if they are not ordained. 

In Colorado, your dog can be your witness. Really! Colorado does not require witnesses on your marriage license, but there’s still a line for their signatures. So, your pup can stamp their paw print. It’s also open to other animal babies as well!

05.

Create The Perfect Timeline

After you pick your epic Colorado location, we help you create seamless timelines so that you can have a stress free and organized day. We like to go with the flow, but a timeline just helps everyone know what’s happening and keeps us on track. We’ll work with the lighting to plan your ceremony for the best time of day!

06.

Get Married!

This is it – time to tie the knot, with the adventurous wedding you’ve been dreaming about.

Planning Your Colorado Elopement Ceremony

A question we get a lot is, “What the heck do we do during a self solemnizing ceremony?” Getting married without an officiant is unique, and we know it can be hard to imagine! Most eloping couples read their private vows, exchange rings, and follow with a unity ceremony. Here are a few ideas that you can use when planning your elopement ceremony.

Plan a unity Ceremony

  • Plant a Tree/Plant Together Ceremony
  • Sand Ceremony
  • Sage Smudging Ceremony
  • Handfasting  Ceremony

Checkout some unique ceremony ideas for you elopement.

Exchange Vows During Your Elopement Ceremony

Writing your own vows and reading them during your ceremony is meaningful! If you don’t have an officiant, you can just exchange vows, and make your promises to each other.

Here are a few tips for your elopement vows;

  • Make them as long as you’d like, writing meaningful vows can be lengthy so your ceremony can last longer!
  • Write your thoughts/feelings when you first met your partner (could be a funny anecdote)
  • Write what/how you feel about your partner
  • Write what those feelings mean to you today
  • Tell them something you don’t say to them often, like something that you appreciate and want them to know it doesn’t go unnoticed.
  • Reference relationship highlights
  • Make your promises – I vow to…

What To Wear When You Elope In Colorado

our Colorado elopement is different from any traditional wedding – so what you wear will be different too! In higher elevations, the weather can change fast, even in the middle of summer. It’s important to be prepared for any season, and here are a few things to consider when you decide what to wear when you elope in Colorado.

  • Wearing base layers if it’s cold – nudes close to your skin color are best!
  • Wearing a flowy dress can help you keep cool
  • Material is everything. Wearing lighter materials when it’s warm or thicker materials in the cold makes a difference
  • Proper footwear is key to ensure a good time
  • Carry extra layers to put on or peel off
  • A wind or rain jacket is a must for high alpine elopements
  • Bring a comfortable (and cute!) backpack to carry your gear

When it comes to finding your elopement attire, our favorite places are online! There are many online dress shops that offer a variety of styles. Most have great flexibility to try on the dresses in the comfort of your own home, and you can return them to find the perfect fit! Always check the shop’s policies for returns and exchanges.

What To Do When You Elope In Colorado

The best thing about your elopement day is the potential for adventures! Colorado is a literal adult playground, and the activities you can include in your elopement day are endless. Here are just a few things you can do when you elope in Colorado:

  • Paddle Boarding
  • Kayaking
  • Skiing
  • Hiking
  • Backpacking
  • Sand boarding
  • Climbing
  • Off-Roading
  • Taking a Scenic Drive

Planning An Adventure Elopement In Colorado?

Download Our Adventure Elopement Planning Guide to get you started with all the things adventure!

Tips For Your Colorado Elopement

Here are some tips for your adventure elopement! It’s a little different than a traditional wedding, especially if you tie the knot in the mountains.

Things To Know About Eloping In Colorado

  • Altitude sickness – Denver itself sits a mile above sea level. Give yourself a day to acclimate to the elevation so that you don’t experience this! 
  • Permitting – Some elopement locations require a permit, while others don’t. Always double check with the county or ranger district before to make sure your elopement doesn’t get busted by park rangers!
  • Traffic – If you are coming in or near the Denver area, beware of traffic! This can add up to 2 hours to your commute time. Be aware that heavy ski traffic off I-70 west is also a thing! 
  • Fire Bans – Colorado air is super dry, so there are usually some fire bans going on. If you decide to have a relaxing bonfire during your romantic mountain dinner, make sure you check for fire bans in that county!
  • Sunscreen and Bug Spray – Colorado sun is very harsh, so wear sunscreen! Even in the winter, sunlight can reflect off the snow. When eloping outdoors, bring bug spray to keep yourself safe from pests!

Adventure Elopement Checklist

Being prepared will make or break your trip. Heres a list of things you should bring along whenever you’ll be eloping in the mountains!

  • Location Permit (If required)
  • Marriage License
  • Vows
  • Rings
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Tissue
  • Backpack
  • Light rain jacket
  • Hand/body warmers
  • Extra Socks
  • Boots with tread ( preferably water resistant/proof)
  • Warm layers just in case ( jackets, leggings, etc. )
  • Headlamps
  • Blanket
  • Cute umbrella

Leave No Trace In Colorado

Colorado is beautiful – let’s keep it that way! Make sure your elopement follows the rules of LNT so we can keep it as environmentally friendly as possible. You can check out more information here.

Eloping With Family In Colorado?

Want to bring a few loved ones to your elopement? You can totally do that! There are a few things that you should consider when inviting guests:

  1. Most outdoor locations are only suitable for fewer than 10 people. That includes your vendors (photographers, officiant), guests, and the two of you.
  2. Reserving an outdoor location is the best option for elopements with a larger guest count. Most State Parks/National Parks have areas that are reservable for an outdoor ceremony!
  3. There are a few small wedding venues in Colorado suitable for small elopement weddings.
  4. Make sure your guests aren’t the reason you are limiting your adventure! If you’re dreaming of a hard hike or a certain view, you can invite guests to the ceremony in an accessible location, then head off to adventure on your own afterwards.

Sample Colorado Elopement Timeline

If you’re wondering how an elopement can last all day, here’s a sample timeline! You’d be surprised how time flies.

  • 1:00 pm – Getting ready in cabin airbnb
  • 2:00 – Meet in a secluded location outside the cabin for a first look!
  • 3:30 – Drive to ceremony location
  • 3:30 – Meet at alpine lake trail head + start hiking to ceremony spot
  • 4:00 – Begin ceremony near beautiful alpine lake 
  • 4:30 – Congratulation hugs + toast with celebratory drink
  • 5:00 – Family and friends portraits 
  • 5:00 – Hike to secluded spot to read vows
  • 5:30 – Epic portraits at sunset
  • 7:30 – Drive back to cabin 
  • 8:30-10:00 – Enjoy a private candlelit dinner with bonfire + s’mores !!

Real Colorado Elopement Galleries

Colorado Elopement Packages

With Together We Roam

Elopement Pricing Starts At : $4000

All 4+hour packages include:

  • Breathtaking photos and video that tell the story of your day so that you can remember your elopement just they way it happened.
  • Help finding the perfect location (and back up locations) for your elopement
  • A custom list of other elopement vendors that service the area you will be eloping in.
  • Virtual planning support from us through email, video recordings & zoom so that we can keep each other updated on your elopement
  • Help putting together a realistic timeline that actually makes sense for the day, so we can get the best lighting for photos, and have enough time for activities
  • Online elopement planning resources through a personal client portal with an elopement planning guide, checklists and more. 
  • Sneak peek photos within 24 hours so that you can share online and with family!
  • Friends (US LOL) that you can hang out with in Colorado when you come back to visit for your anniversary!
  • Photo coverage by Laura or Hugo (or both if you hire us for photo and video) 
  • Online gallery delivery with high-resolution, unlimited photo downloads
  • Photo sneak peeks within 24 hours
  • Photo gallery delivery within 6 weeks
  • Video delivery within 12 weeks

Also, there’s no travel fees within the state of Colorado.

Does This Sound Like What You’re Looking For? Check Out Our Colorado Elopement Packages!

FAQ. About Eloping In Colorado

Do you need an officiant to elope in Colorado?

No. You can self-solemnize in Colorado with just you and your partner present, and no officiant or witnesses are required.

Can a friend marry you in Colorado?

Yes. If your friend or family member is ordained they can officiate your ceremony. You can also just self-solemnize and have your friend or family member perform a symbolic ceremony instead of a legal one!

Is my self-solemnization marriage legal in every state?

Yes, self-solemnized marriages are legally recognized in every state even though self- solemnizing is only legally performed in some states.

Can I transfer my marriage license to my home state?

Getting married in Colorado is legal within the U.S and you do not have to transfer your marriage license

Can you get married at a national park or forest? Is it free?

Yes! We encourage you to get married in a location like that. Most national parks/forests do have fees, but none compared to a regular venue! Think from $0-500.

Can you get married the same day in Colorado? Do you have to be a resident to elope there?

Yes! Colorado is one of the few states that lets you pick up your marriage license the same day. Make sure you check each clerk and recorder’s site to see if you need an appointment though, since many locations have different rules due to Covid-19. You do not need to be a Colorado resident to elope in Colorado.

Do you need a permit to elope in Colorado?

It depends. Each location will have different requirements for permits. Hiring a professional elopement photographer or planner can help you navigate this.

Can you help me find an elopement location?

Yes! However, we only offer this service for elopements under 12 people. If you are planning on eloping with more than 12 people, we highly advise that you have a reserved area or permitted areas that can accommodate your guests. We do have a few suggestions for small wedding venues that accommodate a higher guest count!

Meet Your Colorado Elopement Photographers

Hey guys! We are Laura + Hugo Bertaud. We’re your elopement photographers and new friends!

We value experiences and simplicity, and we want to encourage confidence to couples who may be on the fence about doing something different. We truly believe that in the great outdoors you wholeheartedly become your true self, and that’s why we think it’s the best wedding venue anybody can have! Learn more about us here.
It is super important for us that we are a great fit. Fill out our contact form below so we can learn more about your awesome adventure! If you haven’t already, make sure you check out our pricing page to learn more about our Colorado elopement packages too.

We won’t call you we promise!
Be as specific as possible!
We only help with location scouting for elopements with under 10 guests. Anything over that must reserve a location that will host the amount of guests they bring. Public trails, parks and national forests cannot accommodate higher guests counts.

9 Comments

  1. This guide is SO jam-packed with good information, I love it! Colorado has such a diverse amount of scenery, you literally couldn’t go wrong with anywhere in the state.

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