A location that is often overlooked, the Great Sand Dunes are an excellent choice for any couple looking to elope. With diverse landscapes, and the tallest sand dunes in the country, you won’t be disappointed. We’ve broken this blog into two parts. 1) A real elopement story, and 2) Great Sand Dunes National Park Elopement Information. Have fun while viewing this gallery of photos to get you two pumped, and while the below resource is great, don’t forget to reach out so we can start planning your Great Sand Dunes National Park elopement!
Jake and Bryanne’s Great Sand Dunes National Park Elopement
Jake and Bryanne stayed at an AirBnb just a few minutes away from the park for their Great Sand Dunes National Park elopement. While they both got ready for their elopement in their AirBnb, I took detail shots all around the cabin. I captured their elopement announcements, the dress, and the florals. After they were both finished getting ready and had their wedding attire on for their Great Sand Dunes National Park elopement, they finished writing their vows outside while enjoying the Colorado sunshine and warm weather. After they were finished up with writing their own wedding vows we took some portraits around the cabin, and some more with the mountains in the background. One of my favorite things about the Great Sand Dunes is that they abut right against the mountains. You get the best of both worlds when you have a Great Sand Dunes National Park elopement – you get the tallest sand dunes in the country, plus the snow covered peaks in the background. For Jake and Bryanne, we made sure to capture every aspect the park has to offer. They started their day with a hike through the river to get to their ceremony spot. After their elopement ceremony, we headed up the dunes for some portraits. Before the sun set completely, they had themselves a picnic right in the sand dunes. Eloping is all about creating a day that is a reflection of your relationship, and wanting to escape the traditions of a “regular” wedding day. It strips back what a wedding day is really about – two people committing their lives to one another, and making promises. It’s not a show, theres no drama, it’s just the couple. How every wedding day should be.
What to expect when eloping at the Great Sand Dunes
While it’s not required to have a 4×4 vehicle to visit the Great Sand Dunes, it is a good idea. There are a few locations you can’t get to without 4×4, like Medano Pass.
Always plan ahead and know what to expect if you’re planning on exploring this primitive road.
The time of year you plan on eloping at the Great Sand Dunes should not be overlooked. It’s important to educate yourself on the average temps, and plan accordingly. The sand can reach up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit during those sunny summer days, and in January the average high temp is only in the teens. Work with your Great Sand Dunes elopement photographer to figure out the best time of year for your elopement based on what you’re going for.
Why elope at the Great Sand Dunes
There is no shortage of things to do and landscapes to explore if you decide to elope at the Great Sand Dunes.
The Zapata Falls are worth visiting if you plan to have a Great Sand Dunes elopement. The falls freeze in the winter, and flow during warmer months!
The Sangre de Cristo Mountains are one of the longest mountains ranges on the planet. They cross over two states, Colorado and New Mexico. If you’re planning on having a Great Sand Dunes National Park elopement, plan on exploring the Sangre de Cristo Mountains!
Permit Info for Eloping at the Great Sand Dunes
You will be required to obtain a Special Use Permit from the parks office for holding a wedding ceremony in the park. The Special Use Permit fee is $200 for eloping in Great Sand Dunes National Park. In addition to the Special Use Permit, if you are hiring a photographer to take pictures of your Great Sand Dunes National Park elopement, the photographer will be required to obtain a CUA, Commercial Use Authorization Permit.
Need more location inspiration for your adventure elopement? This is our list of The Best Places to Elope in Colorado 👉
Great Sand Dunes National Park Elopement Vendors:
Photography: In Love and Adventure – Elopement Photography
Location: Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve
AirBnb: Lucky Little Dog
Stationery: Paper Girl Creative
Skull: Embellish Organics
Candles for Flat Lay: Craft Beer Babe
Florals & Elopement Styling: Blue Vessel Florista
Elopement Rentals: Blue Vessel Florista
Host/Planner: Rose Matlai
These photos were published on Inspired Bride