May 15, 2020 / TIPS & TRICKS
Colorado Elopement Packages
Last Updated on January 24, 2021 by vowsandpeaks
COLORADO ELOPEMENT PACKAGES
Your love story has always been an epic adventure. Why would your wedding be any different?
And when you consider your next adventure, there’s no more fitting place to elope than the Colorado mountains. Whether your elopement in Colorado will be just the two of you or a micro wedding, I’m here to make sure you start the next chapter of your story in an unforgettable, authentic way!
Best news for you? Colorado elopements are my freaking bread and butter. I’ve hiked the trails and chased the mountain sunsets—and I’m sharing my passion with you. I know the best spots, the perfect time of day to capture the light, the most epic mountain locations, and (shh, let’s keep this between us) those hidden gems. I’ve teamed up with vendors who get what eloping is all about, so I’ve got Colorado elopements down to a science. Simply put: I’m your Colorado elopement expert!
As your photographer and professional elopement ninja, I’m here to guide you through the entire process. I’m invested in my couples and want to build a real connection with you, so take your time to read through what I offer—I want you to be 100 percent sold on adventuring with me. Already stoked to lace up those hiking boots and plan your epic day? Contact me to get on your Colorado elopement package!
WHAT IS AN ELOPEMENT?
You know what it isn’t? A drive-thru Vegas quickie with Elvis officiating. I mean, it can be that—go live your truth, folks!—but elopements look different today. Elopement means celebrating your marriage in a way that fulfills and inspires you. It’s about starting your lives with a big adventure and having a true, authentic wedding day that you’ll never regret!
Elopements eliminate all the stress that comes with giant, traditional weddings and puts the focus back where it belongs—on you, your partner, and your lives together.
“The day wasn’t just about our commitment to each other, it was about experiencing a moment in time that no one else would understand, nestled in the Colorado mountains we cherish so much. The pictures were an added bonus — a bonus we will cherish for the rest of our lives.”
– Vee & Joe
WHAT’S INCLUDED IN MY COLORADO ELOPEMENT PACKAGE?
- $5,500 with payment plans available.
- FULL DAY COVERAGE: Elopements are so much more than a first look and a ceremony. When your big day arrives, I’m there every step of the way. From sunrise to sunset, I’ll capture every moment, from the epic shots to the detailed portraits.
- WHY DO YOU ONLY OFFER FULL DAY COVERAGE? Because it’s about telling your love story in a book rather than one rushed chapter!
- GUIDES AND RESOURCES: When I say each elopements totally customized to you, I mean it. Through unlimited consultations and planning assistance, I’ll scout locations, create custom timeline, and share packing lists and preferred vendor recommendations. Check out this sample timeline!
- ONLINE GALLERY: You receive fully edited, full-resolution photos with a sharable link and unlimited downloads.
- MAP AND PERMIT INFORMATION: Colorado is notorious for requiring permits to elope or get married. But don’t worry: I handle the research so you’re well prepared with all the necessary information.
- PREFERRED VENDORS: I’ve teamed up with a team of vendors that specialize in Colorado elopements. These are the people I’ve worked with and trust at those 3am wakeup calls!
- NEXT DAY TEASERS: Let’s face it. We live in a world of Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. You can share your news far and wide with sneak peak photos delivered to you the very next day!
“What really set Sean apart from others was how willing he was to do what was best for us and tailor a plan that would give us the most perfect day. Sean really listens to what you need with great suggestions. Also, he’s just such a nice guy it’s nearly impossible to feel uncomfortable around him which definitely translated to our photos- we looked very happy and natural! The photos came out beautifully and we will love them forever. It was the best day of our life and we really thank Sean for all of his help.”
– Beth & Kush
THINGS TO KNOW FOR YOUR COLORADO ELOPEMENT PACKAGE
- Colorado is one of the few states where you can legally marry yourselves! In short, that means you don’t need an officiant to legally get married in Colorado.
- You also don’t need a witness to get legally married in Colorado. This means you can celebrate an intimate, self-solemnizing ceremony high in the mountains with no one but yourselves. Sounds dreamy, right?
- If you’re anything like me, then you love your dog. And in Colorado, your dog can “sign” your marriage license. Fur real!
- Colorado has some of the country’s best open venues for your wedding. You can choose to elope to a designated spot, or we can search out a more secluded area for your vow ceremony. I’ll help you narrow down the choices, because the options are infinite!
- Summer trails in Colorado are POPULAR! Your best bet to find seclusion and privacy is by planning a mid-week wedding day to avoid the weekend warriors.
TOP 5 TIPS TO REMEMBER WHEN PLANNING A COLORADO ELOPEMENT
- You don’t have to hike to have an awesome elopement. There are plenty of other adventurous activities you can include on your Colorado elopement. Jeeping, rock climbing, paddle boarding or backpacking are just a few ideas!
- Peak wildflower season in Colorado is bonkers! Picture meadows awash in rainbow colors and pale blue Columbine (our state flower!) hiding in sun-dappled forests. The best time to catch the wild flowers is June through mid-August, when the snow melts in the high terrain.
- The elevations here are no joke—it’s what makes our mountains so rad! About 75 percent of Colorado is above 10,000 feet, so plan to arrive a few days early so you can acclimate to the altitude! (A great option is Denver. At 5,280 feet, it’s a vibrant city to chill for a few days while you get used to our thinner air.)
- Are you an avid backpacker? These are some of the favorite adventure elopements to document! Colorado has some of the best overnight trips in the country, from single nights to multi-day trips. We’ll choose the perfect spot along the trail to share your vows and celebrate truly surrounded by nature. You wont find better scenery—I guarantee it! Check out this backpacking elopement for inspiration.
- Colorado is huge and has so many different areas to explore. Most of my couples fly into DIA and start their trip off in Denver. You will have more options if you’re willing to drive further and or fly into a smaller airport. Luckily for you, I work with all my couples to make sure they are well versed in all of the options. And who doesn’t like options?
“Not only is Sean an EPIC photographer but he is super friendly and he helped us plan our special day from 1200 miles away. He actively listened to our goals for the day, he gave us several options for locations and vendors, put together itineraries, added cool ideas, and was in touch with us through text and calls every step of the way!” Our wedding day was so special and was essentially worry-free largely because of the time and effort Sean put in before we arrived in Colorado.”
– Jen & Kyle
COLORADO ELOPEMENT SPOTS
Whether you love the rugged mountain peaks, secluded alpine lakes, deep forests, high plains, rivers, sand dunes, waterfalls, or even the iconic 14ers, Colorado has it all.
I’m like your elopement matchmaker—connecting super cool couples with super cool spots. I’m especially passionate about helping couples find those off-the-beaten-path, hidden gems for exchanging vows. It’s just one of the ways your Colorado elopement is absolutely customized to you. In fact, the majority of my elopements shared online are dreamy spots the couples had no idea about!
“Sean was extremely professional and knowledgeable about everything from the different lighting, to poses, to backdrops, etc. I told him what we were looking for in our elopement in Colorado and he nailed it, absolutely exceeded my expectations. I knew Sean was the perfect fit for us because he seeks adventure and beautiful views just like we do.”
– Heather & Ears
Want to get a taste for what you can expect when we adventure together? Check out my list of favorite places to elope in Colorado below!
WEEK DAY OR WEEKEND ELOPEMENT?
- You can reserve special spots more easily. Many gorgeous elopement spots in National Parks and on private lands require reservations and can book up to a year in advance on weekends. Even some of my favorite local spots are slammed on the weekends. On weekdays it is much easier to nab these spots!
- You deserve to take time off for your wedding! If you work a Monday through Friday gig, you definitely have the right to take a few days off for your elopement! Enjoy an outdoor ceremony out in stunning nature mid week, and then take the weekend as a honeymoon to celebrate and rejuvenate married AF!
- More vendors are available and affordable. Photographers, videographers, caterers, etc. all book up far in advance on weekends, especially in the small mountain towns around epic nature locations. But on weekdays vendors are usually available, and some even will have special deals!
- A weekday elopement in Colorado will give you and your partner maximum peace and quiet as you experience the natural beauty around you on the most important day of your life! You won’t have to worry about a million tourists stopping to take photos on their iPad’s. You’ll get to explore your favorite spot without extra eyes on you and you’ll get more amazing photos as well!
“While, everything was perfect, the company was even better. Sean took the time to build a relationship with us. He was outgoing, personable, and so down to earth. He made it a point to make us feel comfortable. Ultimately, I feel as if we walked away married and with a new friend. I’ll ever be able to express enough gratitude for Sean saving our day and giving us the best elopement experience!”
– Macy & Robbie
SUNRISE OR SUNSET ELOPEMENT?
If photography is important to you (you wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t!), you’ll want to have your ceremony in the morning or evening to capture the best light.
Sunrise in the mountains might be the most beautiful, calm, crowd-less part of the day. Your elopement will be truly secluded as you say your vows surrounded by the morning alpenglow, the rising sun reflecting off the alpine lakes. The only downside to sunrise is an obvious one—the early wake-up time! But you can’t beat the calmness and intimacy.
I also love sunset, as the sun dips below the mountain peaks and lights up the sky in a dreamy palette to the western slopes. The biggest plus to choosing sunset is your ability to sleep in. If alarm clocks terrify you, then this might be the best option!
“We ended going on a sunrise hike with Sean and read our vows to each other and exchanged rings in this beautiful spot for our elopement in Colorado. Sean is an amazing guy very energetic and a fun companion to have trek along side you taking pictures of your big day. This was a 10/10 experience and not to mention the photos were perfect in every way.”
– Cody & Michelle
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO ELOPE IN COLORADO?
Let’s face it. Weddings are pricey! And even though elopements are cheaper than traditional weddings, you still have to take into consideration travel and vendor expenses. In the end, the only person that can decide on the cost of their Colorado elopement is YOU!
My wife likes to call budgeting the “B word” and for good reason, because no one wants to talk about it! I suggest you start off with a list of things that you envision being included in your day. Stuff you might want to consider:
- $6,000 – Check out my pricing guide
- LOCATION PERMIT
- $0 – $250 – Some places in Colorado are free, while National Parks require permits up to $250.
- HAIR & MAKEUP
- $250 – $350 – Most of my sunrise couples skip hair and makeup so they can get the extra 2 hours of sleep.
- MARRIAGE LISENSE
- $0 – $400 – Most of my couples self-marry themselves or ask a friend or family member to officiate.
- $500 – $3,000 – AirBnb elopements are the rage right now. Check out this guide for help!
- PRIVATE CHEF OR DINNER
- $200 – $400 – You can enjoy the awesome restaurant scene in Colorado or even hire a private chef to cook you up an amazing meal at your AirBnb.
- FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS
- $275 – $1500 – This is really depends on if you’re getting a single bouquet or getting the works. Totally up to the couple!
- TRAVEL & ACCOMMODATIONS
- Airfare, car rental, hotels, Uber, etc. – An easy to way to save money on lodging is by splitting it with friends and family if you’re having guest.
After you’ve come up with your list, then it’s time to narrow down things you consider “must haves” for your Colorado elopement. Are there some things you are not willing to cut out? In Colorado, you can go pretty simple and do a lot of things yourself like your hair and makeup or you can even self-solemnize your own elopement if you want to skip the officiant.
According to The Knot, the average cost of a wedding in Colorado is $30,000. Luckily for you, the average Colorado elopement can average from $6,000 to $20,000 depending on your vision and a number of scenarios!
“From the first time we met to the end of the elopement day Sean was one step ahead of the game with planning everything from timeline to location and everything in between. Working with Sean gave us such a stress free way to still enjoy our special day, and Sean was prepared for anything and everything along the way. Sean made our day perfect, and shot some of the most incredible pictures out there.”
– Virginia & Cody
WHAT ARE THE ELOPEMENT LAWS IN COLORADO?
- *COVID-19 UPDATES FOR 2021* Colorado has made changes to the marriage license application process due to COVID-19. Appointments are now offered virtually, but please note that they require that you be in Colorado when you do the interview. That may impact your travel plans, so I recommend that you check the dates that the Clerk has available for interviews before you schedule your elopement and definitely plan on arriving early!
- Colorado’s marriage license doesn’t have a waiting period. After you get your marriage license, you can literally pop out that day and elope that night in the mountains of Colorado!
- According to Colorado state law, couples are required to apply in person for their marriage license at the local County Clerk’s office. If you are from out of state, the best method is to set up your appointment online. My wife and I also did our paperwork beforehand, which saves you some time.
- Be sure to ask for a sample marriage license that you can use for reference. It helps to eliminate mistakes!
- What a deal, the cost for a marriage license in Colorado is $30! You must sign and turn in all the documents within 63 days for the marriage to be legal and official.
- Turning in and filing your marriage license is pretty easy. A hard copy of your license needs to be delivered via in person, US Mail or deposited into a local dropbox.
- Colorado does not require a blood test. All you’ll need for your appointment is a form of ID from both parties and hopefully not be blood related..
WHAT DO YOU WEAR TO AN ELOPEMENT IN COLORADO?
If you’re doing a hike for your elopement in Colorado, 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:
• SAFE SHOES
Hiking shoes are a must for everyone! Forget your high heels; this is mountain country! Not only are hiking shoes much safer, but they also make for amazing photos.
Buy the best hiking boots you can afford, and make sure to break them in before the big day. You will never regret spending money on good boots; you can use them for many adventures to come!
• WEDDING DRESS ADVICE
Think exploration, hiking, and moving when looking for a wedding dress. Find a dress that you feel great in, feel great about, and are okay with getting a little dirty. In the mountains, we could have some wind, so think about how the gown moves, too.
I love a big flowy EPIC dress with the mountains! Don’t you want that? Yes, you do; that’s why you chose an elopement in Colorado! 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 a Colorado 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. Wear something stylish that you feel good about, making it easy for you to adventure around the mountains.
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. Going casual does not mean it won’t look awesome in your photos.
• DON’T FORGET TO LAYER
Elopements in Colorado 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.
The layers will allow you to feel comfortable while we hike in or if the weather changes quickly (Welcome to Colorado!). Look for fabrics that wick away moisture or that are good insulators. This will keep you warm while helping you avoid blisters.
• 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 elopement in Colorado to the next level!
VENDORS TO BUILD YOUR COLORADO ELOPEMENT
Kick up your hiking boots and enjoy the ride. It’s always great working with folks who are passionate about making sure your day goes smoothly and that you have a great time! A good elopement vendor is worth their weight in gold! I’ve paired up with these RAD folks because I know that they will help make your Colorado elopement go extra special.
Here are some of the vendor options I can provide you with my Colorado elopement package.
Photo and video go together like peanut butter and jelly. If you’re planning something as unique as a Colorado elopement, you want to remember every moment. Having an experienced elopement videographer is a must!
I can hook you up with some epically talented videographers who are a perfect fit for my photography style. This means that years down the road, you have the stills that capture the emotion in time and the video that gives you the sounds and feeling of what the day was like.
Flowers can add different colors and really elevate the photos of an elopement day. There’s so much to take inspiration from here in the mountains, and these florists will help you pinpoint exactly what you want with consultations and mood boards. This is a great opportunity to get something creative on your Colorado elopement!
• HAIR & MAKEUP
Just because you are hiking up a mountain, doesn’t mean you should skip out on pampering yourself. These guys work with you to create natural looks that make you look like YOU.
It can be windy up in the mountains, so some well-placed bobby pins and hairspray can be a lifesaver. The vendors I work with also don’t mind a 3 AM wake up call to get you ready in time for your sunrise elopement!
• PRIVATE CHEF
Probably one of my favorite vendors for Colorado elopements. They’ll source local and help you come up with a private menu just for YOU! When you have an elopement, put your money where it makes YOU happy. And it’s more affordable than you might think; way less than a fancy restaurant that is packed with other people. Cheers to that!
• DESSERTS + SWEAT TREATS
When it comes to sweets and cakes, I’m not going to sugar coat it; I’m serious about them. I’m a believer that if you are going to indulge, make it SO worth it. It’s a special day, so let’s GO FOR IT and make it nothing but the best.
From cookies to pie to any kind of dessert you are looking for, I’ve got you covered with the area’s best dessert vendors. Just make sure you save a piece for me!
THE BEST LODGING FOR YOUR COLORADO ELOPEMENT
When my wife and I eloped, we found the most amazing, cozy little cottage in Ireland, and it really did make for some of the most special memories from our day! I think you should pick the place you spend your first married night together with care.
One of my favorite things to do is help couples find that perfect location to elevate their experience while they are here for their Colorado elopement. This is especially important when I am helping couples from out of state because they may not realize how far apart locations are or how remote some areas can be!
From amazing AirBnb’s to cozy cottages to freaking EPIC multi-million dollar homes built into the mountainside, Colorado has literally any kind of lodging you can imagine (and some you could not have imagined!). I’ll help you find the place that fits your vibe and aesthetic while keeping any logistics or travel issues in mind.
Some things to consider:
- How far is your lodging from your ceremony spot? It’s important to keep your drive times down so you can be fresh for your big day. This is especially important for couples doing sunrise elopements in Colorado.
- Make it epic! Colorado has some of the best lodging choices in the US. You’re spoiled with cabins galore and scenic views that will blow your mind! It’s important to be creative when searching for lodging.
- If you have your elopement where you are lodging, make sure that they allow events. Also, take into consideration; is there room for your vendors? How about parking? Are there any permits that have to be acquired?
- Look for the light! Big, bright, open windows are the bomb for getting ready and for photos. Not only that, it will just make you happy and excited to see that light pouring into the room or a fantastic view to gaze out on while you sip a cocktail after your elopement in the Colorado mountains.
These are just a few suggestions for your lodging. The important thing is that your Colorado elopement has as many elements as possible that feel like “you” and feel like the special day it is. Trust me that shows in the photos!
PREPARING FOR WEATHER IN COLORADO
One thing is for certain: Elopements in Colorado can have some very unpredictable weather. It can be snowing one day and in the high 70s the next, and summer brings frequent—but short!—afternoon rains in the high elevations. And if you don’t like the weather, just wait 5 minutes!
But seriously, if bad weather is a big concern for your Colorado elopement then read the tips below:
- Colorado is notorious for afternoon showers, which means that planning around a sunrise elopement automatically gives you a better chance of clear weather in the mountains.
- Have a good backup plan and set expectations accordingly. Having a backup spot and the option to move around your timeline will go a long way in keeping you happy and dry. My suggestion? Move your timeline around the forecast before or after the storm comes a-knocking.
- Embrace is! When my wife and I eloped, we had rain all day and our photos turned out so unique & dramatic! Bonus point: Photos with rainbows – can’t get rainbows without rain.
- Be prepared! Keep an eye on the forecast and bring appropriate clothing. Rain jackets, waterproof boots, clear umbrellas and hand warmers will always be life savers in the mountains.
- The weather in the mountains warm up throughout the day, so avoiding an afternoon elopement in Colorado might be best. Not only will sunrise have cooler temps but you’ll sweat less and get to rock a headlamp!
At the end of the day, there’s no such thing as good weather, or bad weather. There’s just weather and your attitude towards it. Your Colorado elopement will be great no matter the weather!
WHAT IS LEAVE NO TRACE AND WHY SHOULD WE CARE?
Respecting the wild and keeping Colorado beautiful is super important to local Coloradans. The original Estes Park conservation group, once made declared: “Those who pull flowers up by their roots will be condemned by all worthy people.” But there are many things you can do beyond not picking wild flowers. Why? Because following the Leave No Trace ethics is the most important thing to remember when planning out your elopement in Colorado.
Here are some things I expect out of my couples on their Colorado elopement:
- Avoid geo-tagging your elopement spot. Tagged photos are leading to the overcrowding and destruction of fragile places for photos on the “gram”.
- Using biodegradable products and leaving things how you found it.
- Staying on the marked trail and avoiding sensitive open tundra and wild flowers.
- And one of the golden rules: If you pack it in, then you pack it out! This goes for your poop as well.
Nature is giving you this big connection on your Colorado elopement, so I ask all of my couples be respectful and treat the earth right!
Still have questions about Leave No Trace? I’m always here for the crash course!
YOUR COLORADO ELOPEMENT GUIDE
My name is Sean, and I can’t wait to help create your elopement in Colorado! 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, where I can follow my heart and share my love for the outdoors with others on their wedding day. It’s truly an awesome experience, and I’m stoked every time I get to document your day.
When I’m not photographing couples, I love to go exploring the mountains of Colorado with my wife and our corgi.
Sound like the perfect match? Reach out so we can get started on your epic Colorado elopement package!
• Where do I get ready? Before we start hiking, or …?
There are no rules when it comes to eloping. But hiking long distances while decked out in wedding attire can be a challenge, which is why so many of my couples opt for carrying their wedding clothes, flowers, and other gear in a backpack until they reach their epic destination to exchange vows. Or you can say eff it and spend every moment of your wedding day in your gown or suit. It’s your day—do what you want!
• My family wants to be there. What are my options?
More than half of my elopements include family members. Again, the whole point of an elopement is, you make the rules! It’s completely normal for couples to want their family to witness their wedding (but give yourself permission to say no to family if you want).
So if your family is on board with your vision, invite them along for the adventure! Another option is to elope just the two of you then throw a big party when you get home—wear your wedding clothes and share the story of your epic day!
• Any tips for awkward and camera shy people?
This isn't like any other time you’ve had a camera in your face. The point isn’t the photos—the point is to enjoy this experience! That’s the sweet spot where captivating, natural photos happen. I’ve found it helps to incorporate some of your favorite activities: paddle boarding, rock climbing, hiking, cliff jumping, bringing your pet, or even spraying champagne (hey, that can be your favorite activity). You’ll forget my camera is even there!
• Who marries us? (I assume there’s not an ordained moose hanging out.)
In some places, like Colorado, you can marry yourselves! Or invite a friend or family member to adventure with you to officiate. Just make sure that officiant is 100 percent on board with your bad-ass elopement (and the level of hike we’ve planned)!
• How far in advance should I start planning my elopement?
I suggest booking your date and general location 3-6+ months out but I've done elopements in just 7 days! After you book your date, I’ll guide you through the entire process. Elopements are supposed to be no stress and minimum planning on your part, while still achieving the perfect wedding day!
• How would you describe your photography & editing style?
I would describe my style as adventure storytelling. You’re getting married in some of the most stunning spots on the planet, so I focus on the couple while highlighting the amazing landscape. I’ve always been a sucker for keeping photos as natural as they were in the moment, while adding an extra special zest in post editing. I am a lover of nature and people, and these two things combined make for some epic photos!