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Colorado Elopement Guide

below are answers to the top questions my clients ask about eloping in colorado.

Can I bring guests to my colorado elopement?

Yes! If you choose to rent out a space or venue that will allow you to bring more guests. However, if you are wanting to be more in nature on a trail, etc. I suggest 10 people or less because of space. If you have more than 10 you need to find a reservable space. 

What if I want some guests at my elopement, but I also want it to be just us?

You can totally do that! The great thing about elopements is that we can curate your day exactly how you want it. You and your partner can have a private ceremony just the two of you in the morning and then meet up with guests after, or flip it around and have a ceremony with guests first and then take the next chunk of the day to adventure and spend quality time just the two of you. There are endless possibilities!

Do I need an officiant to elope in colorado?

No, you are not required to have an officiant or a witness for that matter. Colorado is a self-solemnization state which means you can marry yourselves! I've even had some couples use their dog's paw print to sign their marriage license.

When is the best time to get married in Colorado?

That all depends on what you like! With a whopping 300 days of sunshine a year, it's hard to pick the best time. For snow, our winters here tend to be pretty long, especially in the mountains. Expect snow anytime between Oct-May, even into June in the mountains. Summers are absolutely gorgeous and bring beautiful wildflowers, but also some quick thunderstorms. Some of the warmer months are July-Aug. And if you're looking for fall colors, Sept-Oct are great. But keep in mind that different parts of the state start losing their leaves at different times, and it happens pretty quickly!

How can i make an elopement special?

Below are some questions to ponder to help balance everything you want in your dream day as well as prioritize what's important and what's not as important.

1. Focus on You & Your Partner: Don't feel pressured by societal norms. Plan a day that reflects your love and interests.

2. Be Intentional: Incorporate activities you enjoy together, like picnicking on a hike or kayaking.

3. Invite Special People: Elopements can include loved ones who support your union. We can discuss creative ways to include them (e.g., just part of the day, or maybe even virtually if you choose!). Your furry soul pups are welcome too!

4. Understand Factors at Play for Your Day: 

Location: how important is location... do you want something super pretty, do you want something far away? Does it need to be accessible for all abilities?

Time of Day: is it a good place for Sunset or Sunrise how early or late do you want the day to go?

Difficulty Level: An easy hike, vs. accessible by car

5. Go Off Your Dream Day: What makes a dream trip unforgettable for you two as a couple? It's about celebrating your love and creating happy memories together. 

Can you help capture additional hours, days, adventures?

There is always the freedom to add hours on to any package you choose. My main goal is to help you with whatever your planning /needs are for the day. I help organize this from the get-go when I hop on a call with you soon after you send in an inquiry so we can brainstorm the dream day. I can give some ideas based off what you tell me, and figure out how I can help you in the best way possible. I provide a rough estimate of hours or timeline for the day so you have a better idea of what you can achieve that day.

can you provide what an example timeline looks like for a colorado elopement?

I do have example timelines but they will vary based on the number of hours and the activities that a couple wants to do, and if any friends or family attending, and what they want to focus their day around.

For example, a three or four hour day would likely be held at one location with enough time for maybe a look around, ceremony, portraits, family portraits and then a small activity afterwards. Or, you could flip it around and take pictures pre-wedding. Then go to the location that is close enough by and capture the ceremony and portraits afterwards.

Once you start getting to an 8 hours package or more, you really have the whole freedom of the day to do whatever you want to do and add multiple locations. However keep in mind that the booking time allotted needs to consider traveling from place to place. Although there are sometimes circumstances where couples want to take a break in the day to either recoup or take a nap if we woke up early for Sunrise. So in that case we could pause the allotted hours when we part ways and meet up again later!


The most popular destinations in the Colorado Rocky Mountains to elope in are - pretty much all the mountain towns! You really can't go wrong because it's all one huge playground here. Some are more enticing than others because of added amenities around town like nearby Ski Resorts, Hot Springs, dining. There is a stunning backdrop most everywhere you venture in the Rockies across all seasons.

The top of the list is below, but keep in mind wherever you would like to go that I'm here to help - I'll do the research on the best trails and locations for the setting/rising sun, and I always go on-site before your elopement day to make sure it's all set to go. 

Top places to elope in colorado:

elope in telluride, colorado

For inspiration, check out my blog post on Megan + Joe's Telluride Elopement for photos and the story behind how they got married and made a grand adventure out of their Colorado elopement!

Eloping in Telluride is a top destination for couples. This tiny but mighty town is nestled in the San Juan Mountains, is the location of the world renowned Telluride Ski Resort, boasts awe-inspiring peaks dredged in snow all winter, green and lush in the summer, and cascading waterfalls. This creates a dramatic backdrop for any couple's getaway and photo session.

elope in CRESTED BUTTE, colorado

Crested Butte is a destination for elopements and couples because it has a balance of both a laid-back and active vibe. Crested Butte is a haven for outdoor lovers across all seasons as well with the wilderness trails and Crested Butte Mountain Resort making it fun or all types of activities. You'll likely find this town a little lighter on your wallet compared to Telluride.

elope in BRECKENRIDGE, colorado

Breckenridge is yet another very popular, uber-adventurous, mountain town. They offer both luxury and family-friendly year-round adventure or relaxation. Home to the Breckenridge Resort, nearby stunning Lake Dillon, endless wilderness trails and mountain outlooks/vistas for great photo sessions. If you have guests Sapphire Point is a great and easily accessible spot with great views! This is also a quick couple hour drive from the Denver International Airport. There is also the nearby and beautiful Keystone Resort as well which offers all the typical luxury as well as family amenities - and a hidden gem of a cozy restaurant Keystone Ranch.

elope at loveland pass

elope in salida, colorado

I challenge you to not get all misty-eyed reading my blog post about the Buena Vista Elopement blog post I have about Sherry and Wes.

Eloping in Buena Vista is my one of top two favorite spots. Buena Vista, Colorado is located alongside the Collegiate Peaks mountains so of course you have incredible 360 degree views, and like most of these towns it also has it's own unique mountain vistas and the Arkansas River for an awesome photo backdrop, as well as a cute downtown main street for dining and shopping. As far as resorts go, to the north is family style & more mellow Ski Cooper resort, and to the south is Monarch Mountain Resort. The Hot Springs options between Buena Vista and Salida Colorado are also plentiful. Mt. Princeton Hot Springs likely offers the most luxury and accommodations, and there is also Cottonwood Hot Springs & Spa, and the newer Merrifield Homestead Cabins and Hot Springs

elope in buena vista, colorado

This is my two of two top favorite because it is beautiful with tons of outdoor trail and water adventures, and key is that it's usually not as busy as the first 3 towns listed. Salida is located about 30 minutes south of Buena Vista and is surrounded by 3 giant mountain ranges: the Sangre de Cristo, Mosquito range, and the Sawatch range - offering 360 degree mountain views. (Yet again!) mountain vista options are plentiful here! Since Salida is located right alongside the Arkansas River - it is also a destination for fly fishing, kayaking & whitewater rafting (same goes for Buena Vista too). 

renting an airbnb or vrbo to elope in colorado rocky mountains

Renting out an Airbnb or VRBO anywhere in the Colorado Rockies can give a lot of options to people especially if the rental is on a big plot of land, has views, and has a nice interior. Now you can hold a whole celebration with people and just take in the entire space.

elope in steamboat springs, colorado

Check out my sweet blog post which includes photos at An Intimate Elopement in Steamboat Springs to see one couple's special experience at the gorgeous Pearl Lake State Park in Steamboat Springs.

Located in the Yampa Valley and near the Steamboat Ski Resort - the recreation, nature, and relaxation/wellness options are abundant. 

Loveland Pass is a great location, in both summer and winter, and can be as easy or as difficult as you want to make it. The views are incredible being surrounded by peaks left and right. It does get snowy in the winter so be sure to check the roads ahead of time! Check out this very snowy wedding day at Loveland Pass

elope in rocky mountain national park

Rocky Mountain National Park is just flat out beautiful. Besides the over 300 miles of hiking trails within the park, it also has something for everyone whether that be mountains, alpine lakes, or meadows. There are certain spots you are allowed to get married at within the park which you can find here. You will also need to reserve this spot ahead of time. You can also come to the park after your ceremony for portraits which is also a fun way to celebrate! Again, this is a great place all year round, but know that parts of the park are closed during the winter seasons. If you want to see what it would look like to get married in a snow globe, check out these two in their own winter wonderland. I love this park, it's great for engagement or couples sessions too!


Again, you really can't go wrong even near Boulder because the scenery is always beautiful. I live in, and I've gone on endless hikes & rides in and nearby to Boulder - so I'm brimming with ideas if you need to stay within a quick drive. 

The top of the list is below, but keep in mind wherever you would like to go that I am your expert guide - I can help research the best trails and locations for the setting/rising sun, and go on-site before your elopement day to make sure it's all set to go. 

For something quick and easy that at the moment I'm writing this doesn't require a permit I really like Indian Peaks Wilderness which is a little bit farther past Boulder but opens up a whole another range of trails and views like Brainard Lake. It's still relatively close and an easy drive, and still has those great Mountain views with lakes.

Garden of the Gods is also a very popular location, and Rocky Mountain National Park is also a beautiful spot to elope (it does require a wedding permit that the couple needs to get) - but there are tons of places to go throughout the park. You can also get married right outside the park or somewhere close by like Boulder area and then drive up to Rocky for portraits in the park afterwards.

Boulder has a lot of beautiful trails for portraits and elopements. Sunrise Amphitheater is a big space to get married at, and Chautauqua which I also use for a lot of portrait sessions. I've also driven up the road past Chautauqua to get up the mountain and there is Lost Gulch Overlook and Gross Reservoir and a lot of other stops along the way that are pretty for photos up there. So there are a ton of options in Boulder for portraits. Boulder does require a permit as a photographer which I take care of, you don't need to worry about that!

Do you need a permit to elope on a hiking trail in Colorado?

It depends on the location or trail if you need a permit or not. I can assist in determining this answer at the time of your booking, since it can always change. Colorado can be super confusing I have found with permits, as everyone will tell you something different so it's always good to double check! Other than a permit, some places may require a timed entry so make sure to check for that as well!

How much does it cost to elope in Colorado? 

If you are strictly looking to just get married yourselves and not pay any vendors, in Colorado it will cost you $30 to get married. This is only for the marriage license. That's the basic cost, but keep in mind once you start to add vendors and it's going to go up especially if you're including photographer, videographer, any food or dessert, tour guides or activities, officiant, hair and makeup, wedding attire, lodging, etc!

How do I elope in colorado?

You will need to get your marriage license - which might mean filling out some info online beforehand (so you might not have to do all the paperwork in person). Make sure to bring your license and whatever else is required.

So the biggest make or break detail is getting your marriage license and this is super easy to do. In some counties you can walk in and get it on the same day (check beforehand) and then you can return it to any County, it doesn't need to be the county that you get married in. 

For example, check out Boulder County's Remote Marriage License Process page, or Jefferson County's Marriage License page, or Chaffee County's Marriage License Page (Salida/Buena Vista).

Figuring out a place you would like to get married and finding all the vendors that you want is next in the decision-making process. I can be your expert guide and scout for that!