Self- Solemnization – What is it and how can I do it?

What is Self-Solemnization?

Self Solemnization or a self-uniting marriage is a form of marriage that does not require an officiant. It is where couples may perform their own ceremony and sign as both the officiant and the couple. Self- Solemnizing states also do not require witnesses, leaving space to be creative and more personal! 

What do we mean by self-marry? You literally walk into the clerk and recorders office, pick up your marriage license and take it to an amazing location to sign and get married. And yes this is a legal thing in self solemnizing states like Colorado! Looking to self marry in Colorado? Let us help you plan and photograph your day! Contact us to get started.

Fun Fact: Your dog can be your witness in self- solemnizing states! How cool is that! 

Want to plan an Adventure Elopement? Download Our Free Adventure Elopement Planning Guide + Checklist To Help You Get Started!

Is Self-Solemnization legal?

Yes, Self-Solemnizing is a legal form of marriage and it is recognized within the U.S. If you have any concerns of it being recognized in your home state, make sure you contact your local authorities to double check! 

Many Colorado couples that we work with choose to go this route for obvious reasons. It and easier and more intimate way to get married. Nobody else has to be there but you and your partner!

Looking for a ceremony that is not legally binding? Check out how you can have a commitment ceremony instead.

How To Solemnize Your Own Marriage In Colorado

  1. Aquire your Colorado marriage license at any county clerk and recorder
  2. Complete your marriage license. Here are the instructions for completing your marriage license in Colorado.
  3. Return/Mail marriage license to clerk and recorder from which you received it.

You can self- marry at any location of your choice- just make sure it is beautiful!!

Colorado is one of the few states that recognize self-solemnization as a legal marriage. This leaves so many options for many couples from having a more personalized ceremony. 

Many couples want a more intimate wedding day with just the two of them and having a complete stranger marry you can take away from that.

Self-Solemnization Ceremony Ideas

What the heck would you even do when you self-marry? We are so used to having the traditional ceremonial timeline of walking down the aisle, getting introduced, processional,maybe personalized vows and first kiss. Having a self-uniting ceremony allows the freedom to me yourself and it allows you to have an intentional, honest ceremony. 

You can:

  • Have a short ceremony in an epic spot with a simple vow reading, exchange rings, first kiss and signing your marriage license. 
  • Have one of you guests start off by reading one of your favorite poems that resonates with your relationship the most. Read your vows,exchange rings and have a first kiss.
  • Perform a Unity ceremony. Read your vows and then perform a unity activity like planting a tree together, handfasting, combining sand in a cool glass bottle etc.  Exchange rings and have a first kiss. 
  • There are so many ways to go about this. You just have to do what feels right for you!

States that allow Self-Solemnization

Only a few states offer self-solemnization options and those are listed below! If you are looking to self solemnize in your home state, but that is simply not legally possible, both Hugo and Laura are also ordained to perform marriages in other states! This still gives us the opportunity to have a more impromptu “ legal ceremony “ and focus on having a more self-solemnizing style ceremony! Want to learn more about how we can help? Contact us!

  • Wisconsin
  • Pennsylvania 
  • Washington D.C

How to write your Self-Solemnization vows

Here’s a quick outline that can help you write your vows. We unfortunately cant write them for you but this will give you a headstart:

  • Name,
  • Thoughts/feelings when you first met your partner (Could be funny)
  • What/how do you feel about your partner, How do they make you feel
  • 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- for example I vow to ,,,,etc,etc
  • Say I love you

PRO TIP: If you’re writing your vows early , write them on a piece of paper. Then transfer them to your vow book while  getting ready pictures are taken. These are great photo opportunities!

** Don’t hold back on your vows. If you are reading them privately, they will be that much more meaningful. 

Check Out a few Self-Solemnizing elopements in Colorado:


Can you legally marry yourself?

Yes. In some states it is legal to marry yourselves! Just pick up your marriage license, sign it and turn it in. Some states like Colorado don’t even require witnesses!

Can you get married in Colorado without an officiant?

Yes. You can get married without an officiant.

How does self-solemnization work?

Self solemnizing is the act of legally marrying your partner with out any third party signatures like that of an officiant or witnesses.

Can anybody marry a couple?

Legally you have to be ordained to marry a couple. However if you are self-solemnizing and want to appoint a loved one to give a speech as your “ceremony” you are able to do that. They just aren’t able to sign your paper work. Getting ordained is also pretty easy.

Do you need witnesses to elope?

In Colorado, you don’t need any witnesses to elope but most other states do require witnesses even if you are self-solemnizing.

Is my self-solemnizing marriage legal in other states.

If you marry legally in any state within the U.S, your marriage will be recognized within the entire U.S

Looking to Self- Solemnize in Colorado? Let us help you document and plan your day!

We are Laura + Hugo, your friends and photographers ready to capture and find the best spot for your special day! We specialize in photographing intimate moments and being there along the way to your new adventure!

Contact Us to get started!

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