How To Elope In Colorado [Ultimate Edition]
If you’ve ever wondered how to elope in Colorado, wonder no more! Colorado is one of the most ideal places to elope in the United States. And It’s not hard to see why people come from all over the world to have a Colorado elopement.
When it comes to scenery, Colorado has it all. From the Great Sand Dunes National Park, to Maroon Bells Lake in Aspen. From the infamous mountain town of Breckenridge, to the beautiful San Juan Mountains of Telluride. The options are endless!
As a Colorado native, I have spent years growing up exploring and finding all of the most picturesque locations! This definitely shaped and guided me to become one of the best Colorado elopement photographers!
PICKING A LOCATION FOR YOUR COLORADO ELOPEMENT
Since Colorado is so diverse, it can feel overwhelming when trying to pick the perfect location to say your I do’s! But it’s pretty simple: you can’t go wrong! When planning how to elope in Colorado, it’s pretty important to first pick your location. What a lot of people don’t know is that there are a lot of photographers who supply location guides in their packages. It’s important to choose a photographer who has all the knowledge about logistic (ie. any permits and/or rules about the area of your choice). However, if you need help with this part, this guide is here to help you with anything you need.
As a Colorado elopement photographer, I make it my mission to do a TON of research for all of my couples who hire me as their photographer. Some of my planning includes finding the best times of day for each part of your adventure. As well as gathering information on necessary permits (photography and wedding permits). And also finding the most secluded areas in specific locations for privacy, and (of course) searching for the spots with the best views!
There are many tools that aren’t elopement related that can help you make the decision of where to elope. Some of my favorites are: alltrails.com, Google Maps, Trip Advisor and/or other similar travel websites. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your search engines! It definitely doesn’t have to come from a wedding or elopement site. Think about the area you want to go, and do a little research outside of what you would normally think. You will gain so much information by doing this.
To give you some ideas, here are some of my most favorite spots to elope in Colorado below!
When it comes to eloping in Colorado, there are more locations to choose from in the San Juan area alone, than anywhere else in Colorado. However, one of my all-time favorite spots is Trout Lake. Trout Lake is absolutely stunning, and it’s also a pretty secluded option as well. It’s accessible by car so if you decide to have a micro-wedding. The mountain-scape behind the body of water is absolutely breathtaking. It’s absolutely beautiful at sunset because of the alpenglow that hits the gorgeous mountain scape to the east. It paints the most stunning picture of the beauty of Colorado and makes for the perfect place to elope!
*Rent or bring along your canoe + you can get beautiful, unique couples photos IN the water, like the one above!
GARDEN OF THE GODS
Garden of the Gods is nestled in front of the beauty of the front-range mountains in Colorado. It is one of Colorado’s biggest tourist attractions. Known for its stunning red rocks shooting out of the ground, hundreds of feet tall.
It can be heavy with tourism and people visiting the area. But there are also hundreds of trails that wind through the area. These trails are not as busy for tourists and make for amazing secluded locations for a Colorado elopement.
Breckenridge is known for its warm and quaint ski-town vibe. It’s definitely one of the most popular wedding and elopement destinations in Colorado. The town offers many activities and hiking trails all of the mountain-range. There are also many secluded and “off the beaten path” places that are absolutely stunning for your elopement!
Two of my personal favorites are Blue Lakes (pictured to the right) and Boreas Pass. You should have a good 4WD for either of those locations, but they are absolutely breathtaking and totally Colorado elopement worthy.
The town of Breckenridge is also not far from Silverthorne, which has some unbelievable + secluded views on your way to Rabbit Ears Pass! Click here for tips on how to elope in Breckenridge, Colorado.
PIKES PEAK HWY
Pikes Peak Highway is easily one of the most beautiful (and frankly overlooked), places to have a Colorado elopement. The 19-mile toll road takes you to the very top of the Peak, but along the way is some of the most stunning views I have ever witnessed. Nearing the top you are transformed into what truly feels like another country. Overlooking hundreds of miles of mountain-scapes, lakes, and above the tree-line, I believe this location is an absolute DREAM to elope at.
*It’s important to take into account the times of year that you are wanting to elope when choosing this location. Take a look at this website to see when the highway is open during the specific time of year you are hoping for, and more importantly when the bottom gates close/when you need to be out of the park. There is a hefty fine if the Parks Department has to come and let you out after they have closed the bottom gate to get out, so I recommend pairing this location with Mueller State Park.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
Rocky Mountain National Park, or RMNP, is one of my favorite locations for couples to elope! The vast landscape of mountains, lakes, valleys, and rivers, offer a lot of different choices when it comes to what fits your vision for your day.
There are hundreds of trails you can hike, if that’s your thing. But there are also locations that are extremely easy to access by car. This makes it super easy for couples who are interested in different types of adventure on their elopement day.
It also sits right outside of the cute town of Estes Park. This town, with years of rich history, makes for the perfect place to stay during your Colorado elopement.
PLANNING THE LOGISTICS FOR HOW TO ELOPE IN COLORADO
Eloping in Colorado is extremely easy. Which is definitely one of the many reasons why it’s so appealing to couples all over the world. The logistics of having a Colorado elopement don’t require much effort. However, it’s important to make sure you have all the details and paperwork in place to make it go as smoothly as possible.
Here are the most important details you need to know for how to elope in Colorado:
- Colorado is a same-day state! This means you can obtain your marriage license and get married in the same day. Appointments at the clerks office aren’t necessary, but it’s not a bad idea. This makes it SUPER easy if you are traveling from out of state. I recommend looking into the county that you’re wanting to elope in, and to double check you have everything. Here are the general items you’ll need to bring with you to obtain the license:
- Both parties must be at least 18 years old
- Two Valid ID’s from both parties (examples below)
- Driver’s licenses
- Birth Certificates (Birth Certificates in a language other than English must be accompanied by a certified translation)
- Military identification cards
- Both parties must complete and sign the marriage application form. At least ONE of the parties must apply IN PERSON before the Recording staff.
- Proof of divorce (if applicable)
- You’ll need to fill out a marriage application prior to you going to the county clerks office. You can obtain these online at each specific county.
- You do NOT need to have an officiant marry you on your elopement day! Yes, you read that right! Colorado is one of the very few states that is a self-solemnization state. Which essentially means that you and your partner can marry yourselves without any officiant needed. This is super special for those couples who truly want the secluded, private Colorado elopement experience.
- Fun Fact! You can have your DOG sign your marriage license! Is your fur-child your entire world? Well you can absolutely include them on your elopement day by having them sign your marriage license as a witness! All you have to do is put their paw in ink and put in on the witness line. Boom! Legal!
- You technically do not need to have 2 witnesses to make your marriage legal. Colorado is one of the only states that says you don’t have to have any witnesses to make it official! Another great option for the couples who want the privacy of the day to be about them. Super simple, right?
For more detailed information on legalities pertaining to your Colorado elopement, check out the local county clerks website where you’re wanting to get married.
Here are the most important details you need to know for how to elope in Colorado:
If you’re looking for more specific information on the hundreds of different locations throughout Colorado – I have plenty of guides and custom packages that go more thoroughly into the planning process to help you make your wildest Colorado elopement dreams come true.
Interested in Breckenridge? I’ve photographed Breckenridge elopements and micro-weddings for years, and have put together a guide specifically for that location. To check out more info click here.