Can You Get Married At A State Park In Colorado?
The answer is YES! Oftentimes when we think about weddings we automatically have thoughts of big ballrooms and churches; a typical traditional wedding day. Maybe that just isn’t your jam and you think it is important to have a day that reflects you and your partner to the fullest.
Most state parks allow for an outdoor ceremony and some even have outdoor reception space. If you are someone who wants to have a small wedding outdoors or simply having a scenic outdoor ceremony with a reception elsewhere, choosing a state park will be one of the best decisions for you. In this post you’ll find some of our favorite state parks, tips and more!
Why Should You Choose A State Park For Your Colorado Wedding Or Elopement:
You are probably wondering why you would choose a State Park over a regular venue, so before we get into some of our favorite state park wedding venues-let’s look at the pros and cons of getting married at a state park.
Pros Of A State Park Wedding:
- Beautiful Scenery That Makes For Amazing Photos.
- You can have an adventure wedding that still includes family
- Affordable Reservation Rentals
- Your Permit Fee Goes Toward Park Conservation + Upkeep
- Best location to have an “unplugged” wedding day.
- State Parks offer an escape from everyday life
- You can have a place to visit on your anniversary.
- Great location for a small wedding in Colorado
- Most state parks offer more amenities like restrooms etc.
- You can have a mini reception at one of the group facilities
- You Make Less Trash:
According to the Green Bride Guide the average wedding creates around 400 lb of trash per event. That’s a lot of trash for just one day! When you choose to get married at a state park, it is easier to make less trash from the usual things like decorations and one time use party favors. You can save money by choosing a state park as your venue and using the beautiful scenery as the perfect backdrop!
Cons Of A State Park Wedding
You have to deal with whatever the day brings
We are thinking about things like weather, flexible timelines etc. Getting married at a state park means you are getting married outdoors which requires a bit of flexibility from your part. Colorado weather can be a bit bipolar so understanding how it can change quickly and when the best season to elope is always a great idea. Having a plan B is always a great idea and something that we always recommend to the couples we work with.
Other people will probably be around
Some parks have designated areas that you can specifically rent out for your ceremony and they are pretty private but because they are public parks you are unable to reserve the entire park.
Rules and Regulations
The parks might have specific rules with music, alcohol etc. Getting married at a state park can mean your day will be ending early if you choose to have your reception there and you might have to figure out if what you are envisioning is allowed.
9 State Parks To Get Married In Colorado:
We love Golden Gate State Park for wedding because not only is more secluded, it also has beautiful views for both ceremony and outdoor reception with shelter. They have two ceremony locations: an aspen grove next to a red barn and panorama point. Pricing ranges from $150-$300 for the day!
Cheyenne Mountain State Park Wedding
Another great option for an outdoor wedding with outdoor reception is Cheyenne Mountain State Park. They have a great ceremony space at the Prairie Falcon Event Facility and covered reception at their pavilion area. This state park has great mountain views for photos!
Staunton State Park Wedding
Staunton State Park is one of our favorites near Denver. They have the perfect wooded ceremony area at the Marmot Burrow Amphitheater with a few picnic areas that are perfect for a reception space. We love the idea of having a fun little adventure within the park for photos and then meeting family to celebrate!
Roxborough State Park Wedding
If you are looking for a backdrop with red rock formations, Roxborough State Park is the perfect location to host your ceremony. You can host up to 25 people, it costs from $75-$300. They have two locations to choose from: Fountain Valley Overlook or Lyons Overlook.
Lory State Park Wedding
Lory State Park had 3 picnic areas to choose from and is perfect if you are looking to have a wedding with up to 100 people. You can have your ceremony in their open field area next to the picnic area making it a great setting for couples with older loved ones that want to attend!
Castlewood Canyon State Park Wedding
Another favorite ceremony space of ours is in Castlewood Canyon State Park! If you are looking for a rustic ceremony setting, the Pikes Peak Amphitheater is the best setting for you. There’s also The Bridge Canyon Overlook and their fees range from $150-300 to reserve!
The visitor center overlook at Ridgway State Park has to have the best mountain and lake views from all the other ceremony areas at other state parks. It is located in Southwest Colorado near the San Juan Mountains and the perfect location for those of you looking for a true mountain setting. It costs $200-250 for the day and they even have a covered picnic area that can accommodate up to 150 people.
Mueller State Park Wedding
Ever dreamt of having a relaxed cabin wedding in the mountains? Mueller State Park has a great amphitheater space for your ceremony and 3 cabins you can rent out for two nights to make it a relaxing 2 day wedding trip! Theres so many fun things to do at the park and you can check out a video of one of the cabins here.
Rifle Falls State Park Wedding
Looking for waterfalls in Colorado? Rifle Falls State Park offers a scenic waterfall backdrop for your wedding ceremony! It has so many photo opportunities and you can take up to 50 people for $120!
Colorado offers 41 state parks that you can go to and explore! These are just 9 of our favorites because they have a more streamlined process and location for ceremonies.
Questions To Ask Before Choosing A State Park As Your Wedding Or Elopement Location:
- Accessibility– How accessible is my ceremony spot? Can my guests join me easily?(if any)
- Restrooms– Are there restrooms nearby?
- Food & Drinks logistic– What kind of food can I bring? Is alcohol permitted
- Location for ceremony– Is it okay to use certain/different locations for my ceremony or is there a designated spot?
- Guest limit– Is there a guest limit for the location that I chose for my ceremony?
- Small decor– Can I bring a small amount of decor if I wanted?
Make sure you guys are asking all the questions you need to ask before having your wedding day at a state park. There are never too many questions!
How to Leave No Trace at a State Park
Before wrapping this up, it is our responsibility to share principles of Leave No Trace to our readers since we are suggesting the usage of public lands and we believe in the preservation of them! Here are a few tips that can help you become more aware and practice LNT when you visit our parks:
- Don’t feed the animals, avoid the animals
- Walk on durable surfaces AKA the trails
- Whatever you bring in the park, take it ALL back out
- Don’t pick the flowers, or step on them or any other plant
- Dispose of waste properly, don’t bring waste into the park
- Leave what you find
Looking for a photographer/videographer that specializes in outdoor elopements and weddings?
Looking for other small wedding venues that are also outdoor in Colorado? Although we added only 12 parks, there are other outdoor options in the state for a small weddings or elopement. Check out these small wedding venues in CO or these awesome places to elope in CO.