Colorado has one of the widest variety of landscapes to choose from when planning your elopement. There are 54 mountain peaks that rise over 14,000ft! Colorado has the highest sand dunes in North America at the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Towering Red-Rock formations sit near Colorado Springs at Garden of the Gods. The grassy plains stretch far to the east toward Kansas. From alpine lakes, aspen groves, and mountain peaks, Colorado provides diverse and epic scenery for a memorable elopement!
Steps to planning your elopement
Elopements don’t take as much planning as a traditional large wedding, but still require intentional decision making. This is your day to craft something that is an extension of you and your partner! Here are a few steps to help you get started:
- Pick a season
- Hire a photographer
- Pick your elopement location
- Obtain your Colorado marriage license
- Most importantly, celebrate! Let’s do this.
Pick a Season to elope in Colorado
Dreaming of romantic and cozy winter wonderland? Winters in Colorado are a mixture of abundant sunshine and snow. A few days and feet of snow are often followed by stretches of bright blue sky and warm sunshine. Winter activities range from skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, downhill snow tubing and hot chocolate (yes, hot chocolate is a winter activity). Between the plethora of seasonal activities and cozy lodges and cabins that Colorado provides, we feel Winter can be one of the best seasons to elope. So grab your hot cocoa and contact us!
To be honest, Spring is one of our least favorite seasons for eloping. Would you believe Colorado is know for dumping most of its snow in the spring? The mountains tend to be a combination of deep snow pack, snow melt, and mud. We still do love Spring though! With lengthening days and many ski resorts and winter activities still accessible, a Spring elopement is definitely a possibility. If you love those tiny, bright green tree buds and singing birds with the possibility of a blizzard, then spring might be the season for you.
Summer is by far our favorite time of the year to elope in Colorado. Most of the snow pack has melted down by the end of June. Colorado’s famous high country wild flowers begin to bloom in July and the trails to visit them become accessible. Colorado is known for its afternoon thunderstorms and the higher elevations can get chilly and windy, so bringing or dressing in layers is important. We provide a full gear recommendation list when booking with us. If you want an epic backcountry elopement or mountain peak elopement then summer is your best friend. Grab your hiking boots and reach out! We’d love to help you start planning an awesome Summer elopement adventure.
Fall comes just barely behind Summer as our second favorite season to elope in Colorado. The aspens begin turning gold and amber and the weather is often still relatively warm and sunny (mixed with the occasional gentle, cool Autumn breeze). Generally, there isn’t much snow in the Fall. We may have a few inches here and there around the end of October, but the trails and peaks are still easily accessible. Fall is often relatively mild and makes exceptionally colorful photographs! For these reasons, it makes a great season for eloping.
Hire an elopement photographer
We understand hiring your elopement photographer is a big decision. Naturally, you’re going to want beautiful photographs of your elopement day. You also want to hire someone with experience in Colorado! But, a good elopement photographer provides much more than that. In addition to amazing photos, you’ll want someone to help you plan and execute a seamless and memorable occasion.
We’re not just elopement photographers. From in-depth location scouting and first hand knowledge and experience of Colorado’s seasonal weather patterns, we will help you pick the perfect date and time of day to pull off your elopement. At heart, we are photographers; lighting, framing and other photographical elements are of highest consideration in our elopement planning. But we also can hook you up with the right vendors for floral arrangements, wedding attire, food and drink and most importantly, adventure (yes, we know a good helicopter pilot if that is your thing).
So, let’s get to the budget. How much is this going to cost? The average Colorado elopement price tag ranges from $5,000-10,000 depending on what you want to do. This includes a dress, suit, flower boquet, a super epic and romantic adventure and marriage license. The whole shebang! And of course, AWESOME photos. Compared with the $30,000 price tag of an average traditional marriage ceremony, eloping is a far more affordable option. We also believe it is the better option. 🙂
Let’s break down a hypothetical elopement to provide some numbers for ya….
- $30 – Marriage license
- $800 – 4 nights at a plush Airbnb or hotel
- $3,200 – Photographer / Elopement Planner
- $200 – Celebratory Dinner
- $250 – Bouquet and boutonniere
- $200 – Hair and makeup
- $1500 Wedding dress
- $300 – Suit rental
- Total : $6480
Naturally, these amounts can fluctuate depending on your needs and style, but help to create a vision for your day.
Check out our Colorado Elopement packages here.
Pick the perfect elopement spot
Cuddle up on the couch, grab your lover and start dreaming. Start with your surroundings. Are you on a mountain peak with epic scenery stretching far into the horizon? Are you next to an alpine lake surrounded by tall pine trees and wild flowers? Or are you dancing in an aspen meadow in the Fall? Perhaps a few mountain goats are roaming around you above the tree line? This is where the magic happens so dream away!
Once you’ve narrowed down a general location in Colorado your elopement photographer will help you pick a final, specific destination. First, we’ll send over a getting to know you questionnaire that will help us understand the vision for your day and hear about your experience with the outdoors. From there we will provide a custom and personalized location guide full of images, trail info and the best time of day for photos based on what suits your needs.
Get your marriage license
So you’ve done all the planning, checked all the boxes, crossed all the T’s. You can’t forget one important legal hoop to jump though… your marriage license! Here are the details on getting your Colorado marriage license.
- Colorado allows self solemnization, but you’ll still need to apply for your marriage license. The marriage license fee is $30.
- You can marry in front of a judge, through a religious ceremony, or by self-solemnizing which means you marry by signing the certificate yourself).
- The certificate must be signed in Colorado within 35 days from the date it was issued.
- The complete marriage certificate and license must be returned to the Clear and Recorder office within 63 days after solemnization.
- Blood tests are not required in Colorado, and there is no waiting period.
- Applicants do not need to be Colorado residents.
You can read additional info on obtaining a Colorado marriage license here.
Plan your celebration!
You’ve said your vows, exchanged the rings, had your first kiss as life partners… it’s time to celebrate! There are many options when celebrating your elopement. Here are some of our favorite ideas on how to party!
- Celebrate at an Airbnb with friends and family. Check out some of our favorite Colorado Airbnbs to host your elopement celebration. You could hire a private chef to cook up some delicious food, turn on some tunes and have your first dance around a campfire.
- If you’re already surrounded by nature why not have picnic spread! Load up your favorite snacks, cheese, crackers, desserts, wine and beer and relax on a blanket as you soak up the sunset.
- Meet up with friends and family at a local restaurant or pub. Colorado is known for its microbrews. It’s not a Colorado vacation without visiting the local brewery.
- Why not head out on a camping trip? Colorado has endless possibilities when it comes to camp spots. If your not into tent camping try a search on Hipcamp for a glamping adventure!
We are so excited that you are considering a Colorado elopement! We love living and playing in this beautiful state and know that you will too. Ready to plan this shindig? Head over to our contact form and say hello!