Where & How to Elope in Colorado
Colorado is known for its incredible landscapes – the towering peaks of the Rocky Mountains, the incredible alpine lakes, sweeping valleys, wildflower meadows, and more. So for any couple that wants a little bit of adventure, or a lot of it, the state of Colorado offers some of the best elopement locations in the country.
Keep reading this guide to learn all about planning your Colorado elopement – how to make it happen, and the best places on where to elope in Colorado.
Why You Should Elope in Colorado
Before we get into planning your day, you’ll need to decide if eloping in Colorado is right for you!
Of course, the number one reason to elope in Colorado is the scenery. Whether you want a thigh-burning hike, or an easily accessible overlook, you’ll find what you’re looking for! Colorado’s nature offers some incredible elopement backdrops, and tons of adventures.
Your elopement day should be unique, and it should be an adventure. There’s tons to do in Colorado, whether it’s hiking, stargazing, taking a helicopter ride, or white water rafting, you’re bound to have an adventurous day!
You Can Self Solemnize in Colorado
A lot of couples travel from all over to elope in Colorado for this reason – the state is one of few that allows you to self solemnize! Self solemnizing means you don’t need an officiant, or any witnesses at your elopement. This makes eloping easy, and you can have a totally private wedding day, without worrying about the legal red tape that most states have. For more info on self solemnizing in Colorado, visit the Marriage License application and FAQ site here.
The Best Places on Where to Elope in Colorado
One of the most exciting things about eloping in Colorado is finding the perfect spot. But, with so many places to choose from, it can be hard to decide! Here are a few of the best places to elope in Colorado, to help you narrow it down.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Of course, one of Colorado’s main natural attractions is Rocky Mountain National Park. This is one of the best places to elope in Colorado for couples looking for those insane mountain views. There are plenty of waterfalls, rock ledges, wildflower meadows, and mountain peaks to choose from, and you’ll find everything from easily accessible spots to multi day treks! For a list of pre-approved wedding ceremony locations in RMNP check out the NPS list here.
Great Sand Dunes National Park
For a landscape entirely different from the mountain views the state is best known for, one of the best places to elope in Colorado is Great Sand Dunes National Park! The unique desert scenery features rolling sand dunes, and this national park is much more remote, which means you’ll have a more private elopement experience. For a list of pre-approved wedding ceremony locations in GSDNP check out the NPS list here.
Just outside of Denver is Loveland Pass, where you can drive up to the top of the 11,000 foot mountain pass and marvel at the views below. The pass remains open year round, though it snows often. This is one of the best places to elope in Colorado for mountain views, and easy access to several trailheads!
Garden of the Gods
The unique sand buttes and towering spires of Garden of the Gods make this red rock landscape an incredible backdrop for your elopement. You can walk along the trails between the rock formations, and even go rock climbing, if that’s your thing!
The Maroon Bells are two peaks a few miles from Aspen, Colorado. Known for being the most photographed spot in Colorado, you can imagine the incredible natural beauty this location holds! A lake is cradled between the peaks, and there are miles of trails to explore on your elopement day.
How to Elope in a National Park in Colorado
If you’re dreaming up your elopement plans in Colorado, chances are you’ll end up eloping in a National Park. Colorado is known for it’s epic scenery and when finding the perfect location to elope, you may end up in one of parks! When it comes to eloping in National Parks, the best thing to do is getting familiar with the NPS website and knowing the guidelines specific to the location you are leaning towards. Within each park, you’ll find pre-approved ceremony sites as well as details on obtaining the correct permits specific to each location. Here’s a general guide on How to Elope in a National Park and the things you’ll want to consider when planning your epic adventure elopement.
The Best Time to Elope in Colorado
Colorado’s weather can get unpredictable, especially in the mountains. So it’s important that you research the time of year you want to elope before you commit!
Winter in Colorado
If you want to go skiing or snowboarding, or you want to experience a snowy, winter wonderland-esque Colorado, elope in the winter! Keep in mind that some higher elevation locations might be inaccessible due to road closures, but there will be plenty of places to explore. You’ll enjoy much more privacy – just bring some hand warmers along!
Spring in Colorado
The waterfalls are stunning this time of year, and Colorado’s wildflower meadows bloom. Spring is the rainiest season, but it brings out the lush, green landscape and incredible scenery all over the state. The weather can be a little unpredictable, and if you have your eye on one of the mountain locations on the “best places to elope in Colorado” list, keep in mind that they can stay snow covered into summer.
Summer in Colorado
Summer is the best time to elope in Colorado, as the trails are mostly snow free, and the sun shines nearly every day. There will be a lot more crowds out enjoying the weather, so plan your elopement for a weekday!
Fall in Colorado
Fall can be a great time to elope in Colorado, especially in the early months. The leaves change color and the crowds clear out, and you might even catch a dusting of snow! In higher elevation areas, snow can start accumulating pretty early, so be prepared!
Getting Legally Married in Colorado
Colorado makes it easy to get legally married, since you don’t need an officiant or any witnesses. But, you will still need to get a marriage license!
Couples who live in Colorado can apply online and receive their marriage license in the mail (You can find Denver’s application here) – but couples who don’t have a Colorado address will need to go in person to any county clerk’s office in the state. You’ll likely need to make an appointment, so plan ahead, and arrive early if you’re traveling for your elopement! After you get your marriage license, you can use it right away, and it needs to be returned within 35 days.
Contact me to learn more about Colorado elopement packages, and let’s start planning!
July 12, 2021