Crested Butte Elopement Guide

Crested Butte Elopement Guide

Crested Butte is a town in Colorado, named for a prominent mountain peak in the Rocky Mountains. It’s a mecca for outdoor adventures, whether it’s skiing, hiking, mountain biking, or camping – which means it’s the perfect place for adventurous couples to elope! If you’re dreaming of tying the knot with mountains in the backdrop, and a day that’s all about the two of you and your connection to the outdoors, this Crested Butte elopement guide will tell you everything you need to know to plan your day.

Before we get into how to elope in Crested Butte, let’s get on the same page about what it means to elope! We’re not talking about a quick ceremony or a last minute city hall wedding – we’re talking about an adventure.

Eloping means making sure that you begin your marriage with an experience – one that you actually love and one that makes you excited to tie the knot. If a big party in a venue with some people you love and a lot of people that you hardly know doesn’t really sound like your thing, eloping allows you to take back your wedding day, and get married the way you want to. That could mean climbing a fourteener in a wedding dress or it could mean a laid back day at a cabin, or anything in between. The beauty of eloping is that you can truly do anything you want!

Finding the right location is a big part of planning an adventure elopement – so if you aren’t sure about a Crested Butte elopement just yet, here are some of the reasons we think it’s a great place to tie the knot.

The Scenery

Of course, the stunning views are one of the best reasons to plan a Crested Butte elopement. You’ll have the gorgeous peaks of the Rocky Mountains, the lush meadows, endless hiking trails, and stunning alpine lakes. Colorado is full of gorgeous places to elope, and while we love places like Rocky Mountain National Park, it’s a very popular destination with lots of people around and even lots of eloping couples most days – Crested Butte, though not exactly a hidden gem, is much quieter, and has some lesser known locations where you can find some more privacy.

Self Solemnization

One of the biggest reasons that couples choose to elope in the first place is privacy, and being able to plan a day that’s intimate and all about the two of them. Crested Butte, Colorado, makes that even more doable with self solemnization! Self solemnization means that you don’t need an officiant to marry you or to sign the marriage license – all you need is yourself and your partner, and you can make it official. This is great for couples who want a day that’s truly just the two of them, and it also allows you to do fun things like have your dog “sign” the marriage license!

Year Round Adventures

One of the best reasons to elope in Crested Butte is the outdoor adventures, and the adventures truly do go all year! No matter what your favorite activity is, you’ll likely be able to find it in Crested Butte. It’s a hiker’s paradise in the summer, and an incredible place for winter sports as snow starts to accumulate.

And speaking of year round adventures, though you can tie the knot in Crested Butte any time, your ideal elopement date will definitely depend on what you want to do. The town definitely has seasons, so make sure you read up on the weather before deciding on a date.

Summer in Crested Butte

Summer is the best time for a Crested Butte elopement if you want warm weather and ideal hiking conditions. It’s a great time for hiking in the mountains, but at higher elevations, trails might not be completely snow free until July. It’s also the best season for mountain biking, river rafting, and for wildflowers. The meadows in Crested Butte look absolutely stunning when the flowers bloom, usually peaking in July. 

One thing to keep in mind for summer elopements is that afternoon thunderstorms are common in the mountains. They usually pass quickly, but for summer elopements you’ll want to get an early start to avoid rain.

Summer is also the busiest time of year for people to visit Crested Butte, so you can expect more people.

Fall in Crested Butte

Fall is a beautiful time to elope in Crested Butte. The bright orange and yellow aspen leaves peak in September, creating beautiful backdrops for your ceremony! The sun shines most days, and temperatures are crisp but still comfortable for outdoor activities in early fall. As November approaches, it gets colder and snow can start accumulating in the mountains. This in-between season is less popular with visitors, so tying the knot in the fall can be a good way to avoid crowds!

Winter in Crested Butte

Crested Butte looks like a picture perfect snowglobe each winter – snow covers the town and the surrounding mountains, and it’s truly a winter wonderland. Crested Butte Mountain Resort is one of the best ski areas in the country, with steep slopes and beautiful views. So whether you’re skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, or just enjoying the gingerbread-esque town covered in white, a winter elopement is guaranteed to be a beautiful, unique experience.

Spring in Crested Butte

When the ski resort closes in early April and the crowds die down, spring is a really peaceful time for an elopement. As the snow melts, rivers and waterfalls are in full force. March is actually the snowiest month of the year, so if you’re hoping to avoid that, late spring is your best bet – though higher elevations will still be covered in snow. Spring is a great time for kayaking or rafting, and for hiking or late season snowshoeing.

Eloping means nature is your venue, and the possibilities for places to tie the knot are endless! Crested Butte has plenty of breathtaking backdrops to choose from, and here are just a few ideas. 

An Alpine Lake

The tranquil water of an alpine lake makes a stunning setting for an elopement, and there are a few in Crested Butte that would be perfect for tying the knot. Emerald Lake is an easy to reach spot, and Peanut Lake is gorgeous if you want a longer hike. There are also plenty of lesser known lakes that we can recommend – part of our job as your elopement photographer and videographer team, part of our job is finding those off the beaten path spots!

A Backcountry Hike

Eloping means taking on an adventure – and if the two of you love hiking, heading into the backcountry might just be the perfect way to spend your wedding day. There are endless trails around Crested Butte, where you can see wildflower meadows, gorgeous mountain backdrops, and more. There’s something for everyone – so hiking on your elopement day might mean a short trek or it could be an overnight backpacking trip!

A Mountain Pass

A unique way to experience the mountains on your elopement day is with a 4×4 adventure! Crested Butte is the perfect place to rent a car and head up the rough mountain roads to get those remote, jaw dropping views – without even having to hike. 

Woods Walk

If you’re eloping with guests or just want an easy to reach elopement location, Woods Walk is one of the most popular places to elope in Crested Butte. It’s set amongst an aspen grove, with mountains in the background – and it’s close to downtown, which means it’s a convenient, beautiful location to tie the knot.

Another part of your Crested Butte elopement is making sure you get legally married! To do this, you’ll need a marriage license from the state of Colorado. It can be obtained at any county clerk’s office in the state, so choose one that’s convenient for you. 

You’ll both need to visit the office in person to fill out a marriage license application – though some counties allow online applications. Some offices might require an appointment, so make sure to check before you go. You’ll need an ID, and $30.

Then, you’ll get the marriage license the same day. There’s no waiting period, which means you can use it right away, but the signed license does need to be submitted back to the issuing office within 63 days.

Colorado makes eloping easy, so no officiant or witness signatures are required! All you need is both of your signatures, and once the marriage license is returned, it’ll be official.

There’s some more paperwork to consider – depending on the location you choose, you might need a permit for your Crested Butte elopement too! Now, this can be tricky, since every location has different requirements. Some spots

Your elopement day should feel special, and it should be personalized for you. There truly are no limits to how you can spend your elopement day, so think about what the two of you like to do together, and what would make the day you get married the best day of your life! Crested Butte is an absolute mecca for outdoor adventures, so here are a few ideas for things you can do on your elopement day.


Hiking is one of the most popular things to do in Crested Butte, and if you want to celebrate your relationship by summiting a mountain, or by taking a short walk through the woods, you can! There are endless trails to choose from, and hiking to a ceremony location is a great way to get to those more remote, quiet spots.


People flock to Crested Butte for hiking in the summer, and for skiing in the winter. If you love winter sports, skiing or snowboarding can be a great way to celebrate tying the knot – and yes, you can do it in your wedding attire. Plus, there’s nothing better than cozying up by the fire after a day on the slopes!

Kayaking or Paddleboarding

The lakes of Crested Butte are just begging to be explored – and taking a small boat, or a paddleboard, out on the water on your elopement day is a magical way to experience the scenery and enjoy the stillness of the water.


For a fun, unique adventure, you can also go rafting on your elopement day! This can be of the white water rafting variety, or a more chill float down the river. Either way, it’ll be a fun way to experience the scenery and to celebrate your day.

Rent a 4×4

Driving up mountain roads in a 4×4 is a unique adventure, and a great way to get to some off the beaten path spots where you’ll be all alone! You can rent a Jeep in Crested Butte and go explore. 

For your Crested Butte elopement, you’ll need somewhere to stay! 

Elk Mountain Lodge

The Elk Mountain Lodge is a historic inn with a lot of character. It brings the past together with modern convenience, and is a small, beautiful lodge that you can stay in when you elope in Crested Butte. With 19 guest rooms, it’s also a perfect place for couples who are inviting guests to their elopement to stay with their loved ones!

Purple Mountain Bed and Breakfast

This quaint bed and breakfast is close to restaurants and bars in Crested Butte, making it a convenient location for lodging during your elopement. The Purple Mountain Bed and Breakfast has gourmet breakfasts, and the owners have tons of recommendations for unique things to do and for memorable adventures around town! 

Cabins & Airbnbs

For private accommodations, Airbnb is always a great place to look. In Crested Butte, you’ll find lots of unique retreats in the mountains, tiny home cabins, and rental homes perfect for hosting family and friends for a reception after your elopement!


One really fun way to celebrate your elopement is by spending a night under the stars! There’s plenty of national forest land around Crested Butte where you can find remote dispersed campsites out in nature. If you’re a couple who loves camping, this might be the perfect way to celebrate your day!

A great team of vendors will make all the difference for your elopement day! Eloping is supposed to be about letting go of the stress of planning a big wedding, so your vendors will do all the heavy lifting and help your dream day come to life.

Some couples keep it simple with just a photographer, while others have an entire team – and a big part of our job is helping you find the perfect vendors! We send every couple personalized recommendations for Crested Butte elopement vendors, so you don’t have to look far for vendors who can make your vision happen.

Some vendors that you might want to include in your day can be a photographer and videographer, florist, hair and makeup artist, private chef, and an officiant.

Crested Butte Elopement Inspiration From Past Couples

Emily & Zachary’s Elopement in Crested Butte

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Gabrielle & Emily’s Elopement in Crested Butte

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Your wedding day should be an adventure, and your elopement timeline should be custom to your day and what you want to do! Here are some sample Crested Butte elopement timelines to give you some inspiration.

Crested Butte Sunset Hike Elopement Timeline

12:00 pm – Hair and makeup begins, and you start getting ready at the Airbnb

1:30 – You both get dressed

2:00 – First look and some couples photos outside of the cabin

2:30 – Drive to ceremony location

3:30 – Arrive at the trailhead, meet up with your family, and start hiking 

4:00 – You get to the alpine lake, and have your ceremony with the scenery behind you 

4:30 – You’re married! You toast with your loved ones to celebrate

5:00 – Photos with family

5:30 – Family heads back to the cabin, the two of you hike to a secluded spot for sunset photos

6:30 – Hike back to the trailhead and drive back to the cabin

7:00 – Enjoy a private candle lit dinner followed by a bonfire and s’mores under the stars

Crested Butte Sunrise Off Roading Elopement Timeline

3:00 am – Hair and makeup begins, and you start getting ready at the cabin

4:30 – You both get dressed

5:00 – You get in the car and take your Jeep to the mountains

5:30 – As the sun begins to rise, you drive up the rocky dirt road

6:30 – You find the perfect ceremony location and stop there, beginning your ceremony just before the sun is coming over the mountains

7:00 – You’re married! You take some photos together and walk around.

8:00 – You set up the breakfast picnic you brought.

10:00 – You get back in the Jeep and keep driving, exploring dirt roads and stopping for photos and to enjoy the views.

1:00 – You drive back to the Airbnb

1:30 – You have lunch, then take a quick nap and relax for a few hours.

4:30 – Your friends arrive at the cabin to have dinner and celebrate with you!

Finding the perfect photographer should be one of the first things you do after deciding to elope! This is because our job is so much more than taking your photos – we’re here to help you plan the perfect day, and to give you all the tips, recommendations, and advice that you need. 

We’ll recommend vendors, things to do, and create a unique timeline for the two of you. Your adventure will be completely personal and one of a kind! If you’re ready to elope in Crested Butte, contact us to get started!

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