Eloping in Colorado: What You Should Know

So you’re eloping in Colorado?! HECK YES! Elopements are no longer a thing of taboo, but an intimate and unique way to celebrate marrying the love of your freakin’ life! And there’s a reason so many choose to do it somewhere beautiful. Colorado is personally one of my favorite states for elopements, so I 100% approve of this decision. But I know planning an elopement can feel a bit overwhelming at times, so I’m sharing my top tricks and favorite picks for eloping in Colorado!

We’re chatting all things eloping in Colorado!

Why elope in CO?

Choosing your location (and my favorites!)

Experiencing the Best of CO

Paperwork (yuck I know, but necessary)


Eloping in Colorado is for you if you and your partner…

  • feel drawn to a small, intimate ceremony rather than a traditional wedding
  • love the outdoors and want to incorporate nature within your day
  • share fun or sentimental memories in the area
  • want the chance to self-solemnize 
  • obsess over the rugged mountain landscape and want epic photos
  • geek out on all things adrenaline and outdoor experiences
  • hope to make a vacation out of your wedding experience rather than just one day of celebration
  • have always dreamed of visiting and can’t imagine eloping anywhere else! 

The best elopements incorporate things you and your partner truly love. So plan a day that feels good to you – whatever that might look like! If Colorado brings you joy, then it sounds like you’re headed to the mountains!

First things first, choose your elopement location!

It’s not as simple as throwing a dart at a map and choosing where it lands! (unless you’re into that sorta thing) When it comes to choosing the right elopement location for you, here are some factors you might want to consider! 

  • Meaning – A great way to choose a location is by examining what is important in your life. Do you have a place that holds sentimental value in your relationship? Is there a beautiful place that you’d love to become your place? Imagine the photos that will tell your story. The anniversary trips back to where you married. What place comes to mind? 
  • Accessibility – When eloping, accessibility is so important to think about. How remote is your location? What transportation will you need to get there? If you are bringing guests, will they be able to reach the spot? Is the location open year round! Don’t forget that the travel to this location is included in your day. Will it be a fun adventure or something that causes you stress? Often the more accessible beautiful points attract the masses. Are you willing to trade epic views for privacy on your day? Maybe! But it’s all up to you and what you find most important. 
  • Weather and Seasonality – If you are traveling in from out-of-state, you should keep in mind that seasons may be different from what you might expect. It’s best to always do your research! Consider what scenery you are wanting. Snowy mountain peaks? Rushing waterfalls? Wildflowers in bloom? I know, it really is SO hard to choose. 

Weather in Colorado 

June through September will prove to have the best weather for outdoor activities and hiking in the mountains! Likely no snow will be lingering around. Though this often means a higher volume of people out and about as well! 

If snow is more your thing, November through late May will almost always have snow-dusted mountain peaks. Keep in mind that some locations become inaccessible during winter months due to road conditions. 

Want a waterfall elopement? Springtime is your best best! Late May to early June prove to be the best times for those magical falls, however, springtime is notorious for inconsistent weather! 

September and October are a great time if golden foliage is the dream. The hue of the trees is starting to change, but winter hasn’t fully arrived yet. 

Specific locations will vary in weather! It’s best to do your research and keep weather in mind as you plan the rest of your experience. 

Views + Scenery

There’s a good chance you’re choosing Colorado at least partially for its incredible landscape. It’s one of my favorite places in the US for elopements for this very reason. But Colorado isn’t just mountains! There are stunning lakes, insane valleys and fields, and charming downtowns. 

What view first comes to mind when dreaming of your elopement ceremony? Take a scroll through this blog, do any photos feel like, “YES THAT IS IT!”? Head to our good friend Google and search locations in Colorado! Still can’t find something just right? I’d be happy to help you! 

My Top Picks for Eloping in Colorado –

  • Garden of the Gods 
  • Telluride
  • Rocky Mountain National Park 
  • Vail
  • Crested Butte

Now that you’re thinking about where, it’s time to think about when. Here’s some tips for choosing your elopement date and time!

Choose a weekday! Especially if you are eloping in peak season. Epic views tend to attract quite a few people, making it difficult to have privacy for your ceremony. Generally speaking, a weekday will be much less crowded! 

Maybe you already have a specific or sentimental date in mind! If you must choose a weekend, you might want to consider a lesser known spot. 

Sunrise versus sunset! When it comes to making a timeline for your day, it will ideally be planned around either sunrise or sunset. That’s when the sky has that golden hue and the light is soft, making these two times of day the absolute best for photography. It also happens to be the two quietest times in even the most heavily trafficked areas. We LOVE that, yeah?! 

So sunrise versus sunset, which is better? It depends! 

Sunrise is often better for…

  • eastern facing views and that dreamy alpenglow
  • morning people 😉
  • a day full of activities or adventure

Sunset might be your choice when you…

  • are definitely not morning people
  • have western-facing views 
  • want to end the day on a high note

Once you decide which is better for you, you can start to plan a timeline for your day! (This is something I can 100% help with as your photographer too!)

Add some extra fun! Include an experience or activity to make it your own. 

Planning an experience

Eloping in Colorado means getting to experience everything the incredible state has to offer! Whether you are adrenaline junkie or more of a leisurely outdoors couple, there is truly something for everyone. And the best part? You can make it part of your epic elopement! For every season and location, there is a way to add a bit more to your day! Here are some ideas to get you started. 

For an adventure elopement: 

  • Hiking
  • Camping 
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Fly Fishing
  • ATV Rentals
  • Kayaking
  • Skiing and snowboarding
  • Horseback riding

For a leisurely day of love:

  • Brewery tours 
  • Spa days 
  • Scenic walks
  • Swimming 
  • Picnics 
  • Scenic Drives 
  • Hot Springs 
  • Stargazing
  • Ice Skating

The list goes on and on and on!!! But choosing to add an experience to your day will make it that much more special, memorable, and FUN!

Leave No Trace 

We can’t talk about experiencing all Colorado has to offer without also talking about how to keep its beautiful lands protected and preserved. I always practice their 7 principles and share them with my clients so that we can all do our part. 

1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
3. Dispose of Waste Properly
4. Leave What You Find
5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
6. Respect Wildlife
7. Be Considerate of other Visitors

Interested in learning more on protecting this big beautiful planet of ours during your elopement? You can read more here

You can’t forget that pesky paperwork.

Wedding License – 

To make things official, you’ll need to apply for a Colorado State wedding license! For a full breakdown of how to get your license, head over to WedLock Officiants super useful info guide! There you will find step-by-step instructions and locations on where to get them for each county! The quick info? It’ll be a $30 fee, you’ll need ID, and to complete it within 35 days of your wedding date. 

The coolest thing about Colorado? Unlike most states, you don’t need any witnesses or officiants if you don’t want them. You can totally self-solemnize! How cool?! 

Permits – 

Many locations on public lands, such as national and state parks, national forests, BLM land and so on, require specific permits that must be completed in advance! This will depend on which location you choose, so make sure you are doing your research! To get you started, here are a few of the most popular elopement spots and their permit information sites! 

Colorado State Park permits 

Rocking Mountain National Park permits 

Mesa Verde National Park permits 

Black Canyon of the Gunnison permits

Finally it’s time to choose the people who will make eloping in Colorado a good ol’ time! I’m talking about your vendors

Having a stellar team of vendors you not only trust, but who truly see your vision can make your day. Just because you are eloping doesn’t mean you have to skip the parts of a wedding day that make it so dang special! 

  • Like stunning florals for your bouquet, boutinneer, flower crown or even altar decor. 
  • Or yummy cake to commemorate saying yes to forever! 
  • Videographers will capture your story and let you relive it over and over again. 
  • Officiants give sweet words that bring personality to your ceremony. 
  • Hair and make-up can still do full glam for an adventure elopement, if that is what you want!
  • And even couples who elope sometimes use a wedding planner for an easy and stress-free day. 

If you are looking for wedding vendors, you can start with these sites!

The Knot

Junebug Weddings

Wandering Weddings

Green Wedding Shoes

Wedding Wire

And if you’re eloping in Colorado and are searching for a wedding photographer who values every last sentimental moment of your day… I think I know just the vendor for you! 

Want to know more about me, my approach for elopement photography, and how we can create the best freakin’ day ever exploring Colorado?? All you gotta do is say hey and fill out this form.

Last, but certainly not least, do whatever the heck you want. Get married your way. Colorado is waiting for ya!

Eloping is an incredible opportunity to say see ya to tradition or what might be expected from you. It’s an incredible gift to be able to spend the whole day doing exactly what you and your partner love doing together. Whether that’s adventure and play, peace and quiet, a little bit of romance or all of the above – you can have just that and more in Colorado! 

If you are looking for someone to give you the go ahead, the extra little push, or even a bit of confidence that eloping in Colorado is the right thing for you – I’m here to do just that! 

Long gone are the days where elopements are secret rushed ceremonies in Vegas. It’s a chance to commit to a life together in an intimate and sentimental way. No matter where you are, whether you have one hundred witnesses or none, whatever plans you have for your day, it is 100% yours. And it’s going to be INCREDIBLE! 

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