Introduction – How to Elope in Colorado
If you’re wondering how to elope in Colorado, chances are you don’t need anyone to tell you that you can make your wedding day as exhilarating and magical as you dream. But how do you make your dream come true? Planning your elopement doesn’t have to be overwhelming, and in fact, at In Love and Adventure Elopement Photography, we believe that planning can be fun! We are local Colorado photographers specializing in not just wedding photography, but helping you figure out how to elope in Colorado to make it reflect who you are as a couple. We’ll be with you every step of the way to make the most out of your elopement and take advantage of all that Colorado has to offer.
Your wedding should be about the love you share with your partner, and there’s no better place to embrace love and adventure than Colorado. There’s no better resource than an experienced Colorado elopement photographer team — who actually eloped themselves — to help you not only capture your special day but to help you with every step of the adventure wedding planning process.
What does it mean to elope?
Traditional weddings aren’t for everyone. Deciding on table linens and decor and party favors makes some people (like you, me, and Alex) lose interest and change the topic. It’s not that we’re not excited to get married (of course we are!!!). We just aren’t excited about the idea of having a traditional wedding day. We always ask our couples on the phone, “Why did you decide a traditional wedding wasn’t for you?”, and we hear things like, “we’re not big on to-do’s”, “I hate being the center of attention”, “having an adventure elopement is way more us, it just feels like us, and it’s what we want, we don’t want a traditional wedding”, (all of those quotes are literal quotes I’ve taken notes on during a phone call with our couples). It’s really no surprise that elopements are becoming more and more popular. It’s about time we are given a choice on how to get married! So, what exactly does it mean to elope? There are plenty of different variations of the definition of “elopement” floating around right now. Just know that if you’re wanting your wedding day to be 100% focused on your relationship, with fewer guests, and less “stuff and fluff”, you’re here for the right reasons. If you know your values don’t align with what a traditional wedding day offers, let’s start brainstorming a wedding day you can get behind, because we can make that day happen for you, and deliver the elopement photos you’re dreaming of.
A day planned for two people to get married, involving a small number of guests, giving special attention to the commitment the couple is making.
How to Elope in Colorado – 8 Steps From An Adventure Elopement Photographer
Step 1: Dream Up Your Best Day
In Colorado, the sky really is the limit. Do you want to get married with your hiking gear on your back, ready to jump straight to the next adventure? Or do you dream about a scenic ceremony next to a crystal clear lake surrounded by wildlife? You have permission to imagine your dream wedding day, and every idea is on the table.
Step 2: Decide When to Elope: Season and Date
Pick A Season – How to Elope in Colorado
An elopement doesn’t necessarily mean you’re running off to get married two days after you thought of it. To us, elopement means that you’re doing what’s best for you and your partner, and that takes some planning and strategy. Colorado is fortunate to experience all 4 seasons, so you’ll want to choose which season fits your ideal day. Colorado winters are usually snowy and harsh with high winds and white-out conditions, and travel is often difficult. Spring is unpredictable and could give us a mild day or serious snowfall well into May. Summer is amazing with wildflowers, turquoise blue alpine lakes, long days, and accessible mountain 4×4 roads. Fall is a sea of golden aspens.
Pick Your Date – How to Elope in Colorado
When you’re planning your date, keep in mind that many of the parks in Colorado require advance reservation of specific ceremony sites and have their own limitations on the number of guests, permits, and vendors. If you’re wanting to elope in Rocky Mountain National Park, let us know and we’ll help you navigate the planning required to reserve your date.
Step 3: Hire A Local Colorado Elopement Photographer
Pick the perfect Colorado elopement photographer to help you nail down a location within the beautiful state of Colorado. Locals know the best spots! Looking for a national park? The best shady tree? The most picturesque ridge? We’ve spent a ton of time exploring to find the best Colorado wedding venues and can help you find the best location for your perfect elopement ceremony.
Step 4: Plan Travel and Lodging
Where will you stay and how will you get here? When traveling to Colorado, it’s best to arrive a few days before your wedding to adjust to the high elevation. The last thing you want is to suffer from altitude sickness on your wedding day, so check out these tips about how to adjust to the high altitude in Colorado. You can choose from lots of unique lodging options on Airbnb or Vrbo to complete your adventure getaway.
Step 5: Choose Your Vendors
You deserve to look your best when you elope in Colorado, and we can help you find the best hair and makeup vendors, florists, and Jeep rentals to make your wedding run smoothly. Ditch the limo and jump in the 4×4! Some of the best, not well-known secluded spots are best traversed in a Jeep, which is definitely not something you’d need in a traditional wedding!
Step 6: Grab Your Gear: Pack For Your Adventure Elopement
Hiking boots and a wedding dress totally go together when you’re eloping in Colorado! Make sure you have everything you need for your day. The sun is more intense in Colorado due to the elevation, so no matter the season, sunscreen is a must. Check out our blog on what to pack for an adventure elopement!
Step 7: Plan Your Elopement Ceremony
Colorado is one of the few states in the US that allows self-solemnizing, which means that you can marry yourselves without an officiant or any witnesses. Yes, you can even have your dog legally sign as a witness to your marriage in Colorado! Your elopement is totally yours, and you can make it as magical as you wish. No one gets to decide but you and your partner. Sometimes having freedom can feel overwhelming, so if you’re having a hard time figuring out exactly what your elopement ceremony should look like, head over here for all of our best tips on the perfect elopement ceremony script.
Check out our blog on how to write wedding vows for an elopement and how to make them special for you. Don’t write them the night before! Every moment in your relationship has led you to your Colorado elopement and you are going to want to spend as much time as you need to make them special.
Step 8: Get A Colorado Marriage License Before Eloping
Don’t forget to get your marriage license! In Colorado, you can get a marriage license valid on the same day, but you’ll want to make sure you make an appointment and bring all of the required ID. Make sure a stop at the clerk’s office is on your schedule when you arrive, and send it back after your wedding for processing according to their instructions.
Why you should elope in Colorado
Eloping in Colorado has become super popular, for good reason. There is literally something for everyone here. Sand Dunes, tall red rock formations, winter adventure, national parks, mountains, the list goes on.
You don’t have to hike to get epic photos. *Mic Drop* There are plenty of amazing viewpoints that you can drive to.
It’s no secret that Colorado has views for days. If you’re wanting a backdrop that shows off a beautiful view, they are all over here in Colorado.
It’s true, you can marry yourself, with no witnesses, and no guests.
There is a variety of landscapes to choose from when eloping in Colorado. Check out our blog post for Best Places to Elope in Colorado.
What to Expect When Eloping in Colorado
Have you ever heard the rumor that Colorado gets 300 days of sunshine a year? It’s true. It’s also not very humid here. When it gets hot, it’s a dry heat making it super comfortable for being outdoors.
Especially if you’re heading into the mountains. Even if you’re staying at lower elevations, still expect to be at least at 5,000 ft. As soon as you hit Denver, you’re a mile above sea level. It’s great if you already know how your body reacts to high elevations, but if not you should prepare for the worst.
Not only do we get 300 days of sunshine a year, but you’re also closer to the sun. Sunscreen and sunglasses are a must!
Maybe it’s the pot, maybe it’s all the endorphins because everyone here is so active. Either way, Colorado has some of the friendliest people!
Crystal Clear Rivers
When the weather starts to warm up come spring and summer, the snow starts to melt off the mountains and down to the rivers. The rivers here are crystal clear.
Turquoise Blue Alpine Lakes
There are so many to choose from! If eloping in Colorado next to a turquoise blue alpine lake is what you’re dreaming of, let’s make it happen! These lakes in pictures just don’t do them justice. You really do have to see them in real life to believe the colors are real.
All 4 Seasons
Colorado has all 4 seasons. Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall, and then a little bit more of winter. 😉 Colorado really doesn’t half-ass any season either. In the winter you have snowfall with a huge list of adventures to choose from. Snowshoeing, snowmobiling, snowboarding or skiing, ice fishing. In the springtime, the waterfalls are flowing. Summer in Colorado is my favorite. The wildflowers are magical and can be found all over. Fall is my second favorite when the aspens turn golden yellow.
If you’re wanting to elope in Colorado and bring your dog, there’s no question whether it’ll be a good idea or not. Bring your dog! People here are super dog friendly, and there are a ton of restaurants that are dog friendly as well.
Permits for Eloping in Colorado
How to Elope in Colordo – Why do I need a permit to elope in Colorado?
It’s super important to obtain all of the necessary permits when planning to elope in Colorado. Learn more about Leave No Trace here and why it’s so important to protect our public lands.
How to Elope in Colorado – What permits do I need?
There are typically two types of permits when it comes to eloping in Colorado. The first is a Special Use Permit. The Special Use Permit usually covers having a legal wedding ceremony in the location you’re in. The second is a Commercial Photography Permit. This permit grants permission to the photographer who is benefiting from taking photos in the location.