Thinking of having your very own Rocky Mountain National Park elopement? Colorado is becoming one of the most popular states for elopements in the United States. With something to offer to every adventure-lover, whether you’re looking to scale a mountain or just want to have a stunning natural backdrop for your wedding photos. There’s really nowhere better to elope than Rocky Mountain National Park if you want to experience the spectacular views of the Colorado mountains. As elopement photographers, we’ve gathered the essential information you need to know about having your very own Rocky Mountain National Park elopement.
Planning Your Elopement at Rocky Mountain National Park
Eloping in Rocky Mountain National Park does take some strategic planning. There are only a few authorized ceremony sites, and permits for these sites are first-come, first-serve (they’re already sold out for 2021!). The number of permits the park hands out has been decreasing every year, making it harder and harder to elope here. Since it is a public park, you’ll also have to keep in mind that you may not have total privacy during your ceremony.
Where to Get Married in Rocky Mountain National Park
There are 12 designated wedding ceremony sites in Rocky Mountain National Park, and all require reservation through the U.S. National Park Service. While you must exchange vows only in those designated areas, you are free to take photos anywhere within the park, as long as it’s a spot open to the public.
Each wedding ceremony site has a different maximum number of guests, and all ceremonies are limited to no more than 30 people in total, including children and vendors. Refer to the specific site for accessibility, restrooms, and whether pets are allowed.
When Can I Get Married in Rocky Mountain National Park?
You can get married at the park year-round, but not all sites have vehicle access during winter. The peak season for hikers and elopements is between Memorial Day and Labor Day, which offers the best weather and elopement locations. Which season best suits you? Is it springtime, when we could be either covered in snow or starting to feel the first warm days of spring? Is it during the peak of the summer wildflowers, or maybe in the golden foliage in mid-September? Winter weddings can be rough in Colorado, but don’t let the cold keep you from a winter elopement!
If you have a date in mind already, contact the Rocky Mountain National Park office via email and inquire about the locations still available for that day. But if you’re flexible with the date or time of day, many elopement vendors recommend eloping on a weekday, as you’ll have more privacy and vendor availability.
Rocky Mountain National Park Wedding Permit and Elopement Costs
To get married in RMNP, you’ll need to purchase a nonrefundable wedding ceremony permit for $300. This permit covers everyone involved, but you can’t exceed the maximum number of guests for your specific site. (Note: this is NOT your marriage license! You’ll still need to get that from the clerk’s office separately.) The permit grants you a 2-hour window to exchange vows in Colorado’s absolutely stunning mountains. Chairs, tents, ceremony arches, and other furniture are prohibited in ceremony sites, but the breathtaking natural backdrop more than makes up for it.
Rocky Mountain National Park wedding permits are first-come-first-serve and are available beginning a year in advance. If you have a date in mind, send your application email ASAP! Only 60 permits per month will be issued for May-October, and 40 permits per month will be issued for November-April, and they fill up FAST.
If you plan to have any guests at your ceremony, each vehicle must pay the $25 vehicle entrance fee, and each site has vehicle limits. If you print your ceremony permit (which you should absolutely do and keep the permit on hand during your ceremony), that waives your vehicle entry fee, but all other vehicles in your party will have to pay. Consider carpooling or shuttle services!
Alternatives to Rocky Mountain National Park For Your Elopement
Getting a permit to elope in Rocky Mountain National Park is challenging and requires a lot of advance notice. We’ve created a guide on the Best Places to Elope in Colorado that can give you a similar experience to RMNP, if not a better one! Colorado locals like us are the best resource for hidden gems that will fit your wedding vibe, so make sure you check it out or get in touch with us!
We want you to have the elopement of your dreams, customized exactly to reflect your relationship and the commitment you are making to each other. We are more than just elopement photographers — we will help you plan every step of your Colorado elopement so everything is perfect for you on your big day. Get in touch with In Love and Adventure to book your elopement today!