INSIDERS GUIDE ON HOW TO ELOPE IN COLORADO
Welcome to the club of adventurous souls who've chosen a Colorado elopement, and guess what? I'm here to hook you up with the local insider's guide on how to make it happen as stress free as possible. Serving as your local Colorado elopement ninja, I've been the secret ingredient in the success stories of 325+ couples, helping them craft their dream adventure in the heart of Colorado.
These peaks and alpine lakes are more than just a pretty backdrop; they're my personal playground, and I'm juiced to spill the local insider tips for eloping in Colorado. From the ideal seasons to the nitty-gritty legal stuff, to the best places to elope and the coolest activities to amp up your big day, I've got you covered. Use this insiders elopement guide as the launchpad for your inspiration, and together, we'll fine-tune the details before reaching the peak of your dream elopement.
My bag of local tips and tricks is ready to sprinkle some magic onto your Colorado elopement. Scroll below to discover more about how to elope in Colorado and embark on an unforgettable journey to your special day!
WHY SHOULD YOU ELOPE IN COLORADO?
Colorado elopements offer an unforgettable experience amidst awe-inspiring views, with 15 majestic mountain ranges and over 54 peaks above 10,000 feet. The state's tranquil alpine lakes, vibrant meadows adorned with wildflowers, and diverse backdrops make it a perfect choice for your elopement day.
What sets Colorado apart is its unique self-solemnizing option, allowing couples to marry themselves without an officiant. This simplicity and freedom, along with the possibility of your dog signing your marriage license, create truly unforgettable memories.
With elopement packages, fantastic vendors, 420-friendly option, exciting hikes, and breathtaking outdoor venues, the possibilities are endless for your dream elopement in Colorado. Don't hesitate any longer, let's start planning your unforgettable Colorado elopement now!
"This dude is super chill, super fun to hang out with, and an amazing photographer. I think one of the things that really makes him excel, is that he kind of makes you forget about the photos entirely, and helps you truly embrace the moment. Which is why you’re there right? To embrace the day! And really, I think that makes his photos even better, because the only thing you’re doing in that moment is making beautiful memories with your new spouse that you’ll cherish forever."
- Lauren & Jeff
WHAT TIME OF YEAR IS BEST TO ELOPE IN COLORADO?
"Sean is simply incredible. From the very start he brought a passion and energy to making our dreams a reality that we didn't think we would get in a photographer. He assisted in every step of the process: picking a date and time, assessing locations based off of what we imagined/what was physically feasible for us, and even facilitating a two-part day so we could include our families in the afternoon portion. He was communicative, organized, and constantly professional."
- Delaney & Mat
JUNE (SUMMER BEGINS)
The beginning of summer is the starting point for couples eloping in Colorado. The weather is generally cool in the mornings but warms up midday. There can be snow in the early part of June that tends to melt off by the start of July. The higher elevation tends to dry things out first, which leaves some residual snow on the trails making it harder to access some places in the early part of June.
- JUNE PRO TIP: Mid to late June in Colorado is pretty changeable, so once you pick your date, we can figure out the best trails to hit!
JULY & AUGUST (SUMMER)
This is high summer, baby, and what a great time of year to elope in Colorado! The days are long, the alpine lakes are ripe for a swim, and the trails are clear and full of wildflowers. These months are also high tourist season, so aim for a sunrise elopement and enjoy hiking under the stars. July and August are by far my favorite months to capture Colorado elopements.
- JULY PRO TIP: July is monsoon season in Colorado so you can expect heavy doses of afternoon showers.
SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER (FALL)
Call me biased, but there’s nowhere more beautiful on earth than Colorado in the fall. The mornings can start cool, but we still get some warm days in September and even into early October. The leaves change somewhere around the 3rd to 4th week of September and the colors can be gone with one big wind storm! The aspen trees turn vibrant shades of gold, orange, and red, creating a stunning natural backdrop for your elopement in Colorado. The weather is cooler, but still comfortable for outdoor activities such as hiking!
- COLORADO FALL ELOPEMENT PRO TIP: Eloping in Colorado in late October can sometimes have snow, especially in higher elevations, so if you want fall colors, plan on mid-September through mid-October.
NOVEMBER - MAY
And for all you snow lovers out there, Colorado is a winter wonderland from December through March. The benefits of having an eloping in Colorado during shoulder season are that the trails are much less crowded. If you’re coming from out of state, the rates for flights and lodging are significantly lower. You can also try out different activities like snowshoeing, skiing, or snowmobiling.
One thing I know about shoulder season: It takes a special couple to want to get married in the colder parts of the year. My best advice would be to have experience in the snowy months and to get in touch and let me know what you’re thinking. I’m happy to weigh in with my experiences of what the conditions are like in the elopement locations you are considering!
- SHOULDER SEASON PRO TIP: Location accessibility is our main concern during these months, and what happened last year is not always a good indication of what will happen this year. Colorado is crazy that way!
HOW DO I PLAN AN ELOPEMENT IN COLORADO?
Choose a date and a general area where you want to elope in Colorado and then start dreaming up your big day. What kind of scenery are you going for? Do you want guests? What kind of smells and sounds are you going for at sunrise? What kind of activities do you want to include? Do you want to hike or go off-roading?
It's important to not box yourselves into the thoughts of what your day should look like. There are NO RULES! Throw out your craziest and funniest ideas and see what sticks. Eloping in Colorado is supposed to be your big adventure, so make it epic!
PRO TIP: Thoroughly explore the elopement locations in Colorado listed here for inspiration. Once you have a general idea, reach out and we can go over the options together!
HIRE YOUR COLORADO ELOPEMENT NINJA
This is the person that is going to be guiding and capturing your Colorado elopement. I recommend teaming up with someone that has helped others elope in Colorado. This person should be able to provide a great vendor list and be familiar with the different areas so they can give you a good idea of the best places to elope in Colorado.
It's also super important to find someone that you can trust, knowing that this person will help relieve the stress that goes into everything. Your Colorado elopement photographer should be the person that helps you plan, coordinate and photograph your big day!
WORK TOGETHER TO CREATE AWESOME
All good relationships start with good communication, and for me, that starts the minute you get in touch with me to talk about your elopement. Building a real connection with each of my couples is a big part of what I do— we’re going to be adventuring together, after all!
I get to know all my couples with a questionnaire and send over a customized elopement location list and timelines based on their answers. Finding a rad spot is super important and should be unique to you! So I want to hear about your story as a couple and your vision for eloping in Colorado.
BOOK YOUR VENDORS & TRAVEL
After you guys settle on your elopement location, you can start to book your travel, and lodging and choose your vendors. Don’t put this off because eloping in Colorado is popular, and things book quickly!
PRO TIPS: I would highly recommend coming to Colorado a few days before your elopement, so you can acclimate to the altitude and chill out a bit before the big day. It also gives you a little time to wrap up those last-minute details without being rushed.
As for the lodging location, think outside the box. Colorado has a ton of awesome places you can stay, including cabins tucked into the woods, epic A-frame homes, or if you want to really go balls out, then we’ve got some killer mansions you can rent for everyone to stay at with unbelievable mountain views.
FINALIZE YOUR TIMELINE
It’s time to put your vision together and work with your photographer on putting together a timeline for your Colorado elopement. Are you doing a first look? Are you getting ready for photos? Are you hiking at sunrise or sunset? Are you sharing vows? These are some of the details that you should consider when putting together a timeline.
The most important thing is that your day is everything you want it to be. I work with couples to make sure that the timeline includes everything you want to experience on your Colorado elopement. This is an unforgettable experience for YOU and I want your day to match that.
MAKE YOUR COLORADO ELOPEMENT OFFICIAL
Remember to make it official before eloping in Colorado. Making appointments online beforehand is always the suggested route and check in with your planner about any new laws. I also suggest looking at courthouses in close proximity to your elopement location to cut down on travel time. When all of this is taken care of, you're ready to elope in Colorado!
IT’S YOUR BIG ELOPEMENT DAY!
This is it, and we’re going to make the absolute best of it. What you can expect on your Colorado elopement; hiking, laughing, singing (yep, I do it!), and taking in the landscape of one of the prettiest places on the planet! I really do have the most incredible job, being able to capture this day that you’ve made your own.
After you say your vows in this little piece of paradise, the cork will pop, and the champagne will spray, and you’ll fall into each other’s arms. YOU did it! You eloped in Colorado, and I’ll take photos of the most EPIC day ever.
There’s really nothing like saying your vows in nature’s heaven. Eloping in Colorado is the perfect beginning of your adventure as a married couple.
WHAT ARE SOME GOOD ELOPEMENT DAY ACTIVITIES?
One thing I get asked all the time: What do couples do on their elopement day? And the answer is pretty simple. Whatever you want! There are so many cool elopement activities in Colorado for couples looking to make their day extra memorable. If you're happiest outside in epic spots, why wouldn't you want to find the perfect outdoor activity?
Here are a couple of my favorite elopement day activities for you to check out. This list is specific to activities for couples eloping in Colorado.
This is the most popular activity and my favorite as well! Why? Because Colorado is a hikers paradise! You can climb a 14er, wander through fields of wildflowers, or find yourself near a secluded alpine lake.
Some of my favorite locations are within an hour of Denver all the way to the western slopes. I help all of my couples eloping in Colorado find the perfect location based on their preference of scenery, miles, and altitude amongst other things. You can't go wrong with choosing this activity on your elopement day!
HIT THE ROAD
You aren't going to find better off-roading elopement locations than the ones in Colorado. Hitting epic 4x4 spots is the perfect elopement day activity for those thrill-seekers on the hunt for big scenic views. The big draw is covering lots of distance away from the crowds while chasing those big views.
PRO TIP: The BEST place for 4x4 elopements is in the western part of Colorado.
Ready for a life-changing experience on your elopement day? Go conquer some of Colorado's best overnight trails. There is something magical about spending your wedding night under the stars of the Rockies.
This is a super unique elopement activity and will be sure to leave you satisfied, sore, and possibly full of S'mores!
Why hike to the top when you can climb? Some adrenaline couples love to push the limits and I'm here for it! Every couple should have a day that is unique to them and if rock climbing is your jam, then you should absolutely include this activity on your big day!
COLDER SEASON ACTIVITIES
With more than 300 days of sunshine a year, you'll enjoy plenty of opportunities for your frosty elopement. In the colder months, you'll still find plenty to do, including snowshoeing, snowcat tours, snowmobiling, or even ice fishing!
HIT UP SOME HOT SPRINGS
One of the best places to cap off your day is at a local hot spring. This state is shaped by tectonic plates and has tons of thermal activity, which makes it a great spot for hot springs! There are over 100 known hot springs all over the state and it's the perfect activity to include at the end of your day!
WHAT SHOULD WE WEAR FOR OUR ELOPEMENT?
If you're doing a hiking elopement, then I recommend packing your clothes and gear into a backpacking backpack beforehand — these can generally fit a suit, your dress, shoes, champagne, flowers, and all of your accessories.
Some things you might want to consider wearing:
• HIKING BOOTS
Boots in the mountains are a must for everyone! Not only are boots much safer, but they also make for amazing photos.
Buy the best boots you can afford, and make sure to break them in before the big day. I would also suggest pairing your boots with some comfortable socks to avoid blisters. You will never regret spending money on good boots; you can use them for many adventures to come!
• INSIDER ELOPEMENT DRESS ADVICE
Think exploration, adventuring, and moving when looking for your elopement dress. Find a dress that you feel great in, feel great about, and are okay with getting a little dirty.
I love a big flowy wedding dress in Colorado! Don’t you want that? We can save the wild and tumble stuff for the end of the session; you can literally let your hair down if you want.
• SKIP THE SUIT IF YOU WANT
There are no rules when it comes to your adventure elopement. Don’t like a suit, or just don’t want to wear one? No problem. Rock whatever you want, but do think about your photos. I’ve seen guys look relaxed and casual in jeans and a linen jacket or kick-it lumberjack style with a sharp-looking buffalo plaid shirt and suspenders.
• DON’T FORGET TO LAYER
The mountains can have unpredictable and changeable weather. Having layers will allow you to be prepared for anything that comes your way. I suggest making sure you have room in your backpack for a rain jacket, windbreaker, gloves, hats, and even leggings or running tights. Look for fabrics that wick away moisture or that are good insulators.
• FUN ACCESSORIES
Are you ready to make an already stylish elopement outfit that much cooler? Top off your backpack with sunglasses, hats, suspenders, vow books, and anything else that would make your day extra fun and photos extra special. Don't be afraid to take your outfit to the next level!
GETTING AROUND FOR YOUR COLORADO ELOPEMENT
To get to Colorado, most couples fly into Denver, which is the perfect get-off location for your Colorado elopement. Not only is DIA a big hub for cheaper domestic flights but it's also located within two hours of most of the locations listed above. And once you're on concrete, it's time to hit the roads for your big adventure!
Getting around Colorado by car is going to be your best and most fun option. Colorado is the perfect place for the ultimate road trip, where you can carve out some amazing memories on the way to your elopement. The point is, driving around Colorado is an experience in itself and an underrated part of your elopement!
Ready to hit the road? Check out these other tips for getting around Colorado:
- Wanna fit in with the locals? Look at renting a Jeep, Subaru, or 4Runner.
- AWD isn't necessary but you'll have more places to explore with this upgrade.
- I love using Turo for renting vehicles. It's like Airbnb but for cars!
- Make sure you pick your elopement location before booking your travel.
- Not wanting to drive around on your elopement? Look at hiring a private company so you can kick up the boots and relax!
Eloping in Colorado comes with a lot of perks but exploring different locations by car isn't talked about enough in my opinion! I basically travel for a living most of the year and I can say that Colorado is hands down the best place to experience scenic roads. Trust me!
LET’S GET STARTED ON YOUR COLORADO ELOPEMENT!
My name is Sean, and I can’t wait to help plan your Colorado elopement! I’m a Colorado-based free spirit who has dedicated my life to exploring this wild world and connecting to the people in it.
I know firsthand what an important and personal decision this is—my wife and I eloped to Northern Ireland. You’re trusting me to capture this amazing day, and I make it my responsibility to make sure you have an incredible experience from start to finish.
My passion has led me here to Colorado, where I can follow my heart and share my love for the outdoors with others on their elopement day. It’s truly an awesome experience, and I’m stoked every time I get to document your day in Colorado.
Last Updated on November 21, 2023 by vowsandpeaks