Colorado is one of the most beautiful places - with the peaks of the Rocky Mountains towering above valleys and forests, sparking alpine lakes, cascading waterfalls, and endless natural beauty, it’s an incredible place for adventurous couples to tie the knot. If you want to elope in Colorado, this guide will tell you how - we’ll talk about elopement locations, marriage laws, and more! Should You Elope in Colorado?
The first step in planning any elopement is… deciding to elope! That might sound simple, but for a lot of couples it gets pretty complicated. It can be scary to let go of traditions and ditch people’s expectations, but you deserve to get married exactly how you want to - and the only right way to get married is the one that feels right to you!
An elopement is perfect for couples who want a more intimate experience, and who want to make sure their day is all about them. So if you know that a big wedding with a hundred pairs of eyes on you just isn’t your jam, you can elope in Colorado!
The Best Places to Elope in Colorado
One of the best things about eloping is that you get to exchange vows in a beautiful place, surrounded by amazing landscapes! Colorado has so much natural beauty, there really are infinite options. To help you narrow it down, here are a few of the best places to elope in Colorado.
Rocky Mountain National Park
This is one of the most popular places to elope in Colorado, because it’s absolutely gorgeous! The mountains, wildflower meadows, and alpine lakes make this an incredible place for hiking and exploring, and an ideal location for adventurous couples. Keep in mind that because it’s a national park and a popular spot for elopements, it can get pretty busy, and the permit process is a little competitive!
San Juan National Forest
Heading to a national forest to elope (instead of a national park), is a really great way to avoid crowds, because national forest trails and overlooks are usually less popular. You probably don’t want an audience when you exchange vows, so this is a great way to get some privacy.
The San Juan mountains frame the blue lakes and wildflower fields, and there are a few fun mountain towns - like Telluride and Ouray - that make great places to elope!
Another one of Colorado’s iconic mountain towns is Breckenridge - a home base for hikers in the summer and a paradise for skiers in the winter. This is one of the best places to elope in Colorado if you want to be close to the mountains!
Great Sand Dunes National Park
While Colorado is best known for the mountain views and greenery, there’s also some desert scenery! Great Sand Dunes National Park is a unique place, with rolling dunes and vast stretches of desert. You’ll feel like the only two people in the world, and its remote location means it’s an amazing place to stargaze!
Pasang and Tshering.
The Best Time to Elope in Colorado
When you set a date for your elopement, weather will be really important! Colorado has all four seasons, and they differ pretty dramatically.
Summer Elopements in Colorado
Summer is ideal for most couples - if you want snow free trails, this is your best bet! In the mountains, the snow usually melts by mid July, so this is a great time to explore outdoors. Alpine meadows are covered in wildflowers, which can be a really magical experience.
I don’t recommend desert elopement locations in the summer, as temperatures can get really hot!
Fall Elopements in Colorado
Fall is another amazing time for a Colorado elopement, and if you elope early in the season (September and early October), you’ll enjoy good weather with fewer crowds, along with the chance to see some beautiful autumn foliage.
Snow usually starts falling in the mountains in October, so higher elevation places will be snowy pretty quickly! This is also a great time to elope in the desert, as temperatures are a lot more mild.
Winter Elopements in Colorado
Winter is cold, and there’s a lot of snow - but if you’re looking for a unique experience, you can definitely tie the knot this time of year! The landscapes look pretty incredible dusted in snow, and even in the winter, Colorado is usually pretty sunny. Some mountain roads will be inaccessible, so as you plan, be careful to check which locations are possible!
Spring Elopements in Colorado
Spring can be a little unpredictable, especially in the mountains. Some days are snowy, while others can be warm and sunny. In high-elevation areas, snow will stick around until summer, but lower-elevation areas can be fun to explore in the spring when waterfalls are in full force and wildlife can be spotted!
How to Get Legally Married When You Elope in Colorado
One of the best things about eloping in Colorado is that it’s one of the few states where you can self-solemnize! That means you can tie the knot, legally and all, with no witnesses and no officiant. This is amazing for elopements, because you can plan an experience that’s perfect for you, just the two of you, and you don’t have to worry about finding other people to sign your marriage license.
To get a marriage license in Colorado, you’ll need to go to any county clerk’s office in the state. You don’t have to live here! But, if you do live in Colorado, you can apply online and get your marriage license in the mail. Couples who are traveling from out of state can apply online too but will need to go to the office in person to pick up the marriage license, so make sure you get here early and have enough time to do this!
Once you get the marriage license, it’s valid for 35 days. Because no officiant or witness signatures are required, all you need to do is sign it and return it!
Colorado Elopement Packages
Eloping is a magical experience - and Colorado is an amazing place. So if you’re drawn to the authenticity and simplicity of an elopement that’s all about you, and you’re ready to tie the knot in your own adventurous way, I’m here to help!
My job as an elopement photographer is to make sure this day is perfect - so I’ll be your cheerleader and adventure buddy in making it happen. And of course, I’ll document the whole thing, so that you can look back on the incredible story of the day you got married.
Ready to elope, or want to learn more about Colorado elopement packages? Contact me!