Rebecca + Michael’s St Mary’s Glacier Elopement
When Rebecca and Michael first reached out, they told us they were planning on having a St Mary’s Glacier Elopement. They were still interested in other locations though, it was just a spot they happened to come across online. We were totally into it! We had been up to St Mary’s Glacier a few times, mainly for backcountry snowboarding, so we were familiar with the area. But we still sent them a list of locations that checked off all their boxes. They were staying in Colorado Springs, so they were hoping for a location near there, but at the end of the day, they went with something off of I-70. St Mary’s Glacier was actually their Plan B! So a few days out from their elopement, we were all looking at the forecast. Temperatures were forecasted to be in the single digits for their Plan A location, so we talked through our choices and decided to move their day one day later, planned for a later start in the day vs their original hopes for sunrise, and changed their location to St Mary’s Glacier. We ended up changing the day, time, and location, which can happen when you’re planning to get married outdoors! Adventure elopements are tricky, you really have to be able to go with the flow, and just know in your heart that no matter what – the day is going to be beautiful.
We met the couple at the trailhead and began our hike. Taking it slow, as these two are from Ohio and not used to the elevation. Once we got to the lake, we kept hiking to find the perfect ceremony spot. We were taken away by the beauty of this place. The colors and textures make it so intriguing. It recently snowed two nights before, leaving a small amount of snow on the trails and mountain peaks, and the fall foliage was still showing off. It was the perfect mix of fall and winter. Once we found a spot for these two to get married, we were so excited. We found a spot off the main trail with the perfect rock for them to stand on for their private ceremony, and with a view. The two had a private ceremony surrounded by tall evergreen trees, and after they held their ceremony we went back up to the lake to do some more exploring and to take a few more photos. By the time we had to start heading back to the trailhead, Rebecca was really feeling the elevation. This can happen sometimes. Elevation affects everyone differently, and unfortunately, the only way to really stop altitude sickness is by going down in elevation, so that’s what we did. We headed back to the car and said our goodbyes. When we asked these two to describe their vision for their wedding day early on in the planning process they said, “Calm, peaceful, simple, intimate, genuine, romantic, surrounded by epic scenery, and private – just us.” We’re so happy we got the chance to work with these two and were able to make their dream elopement a reality. If you’re looking to elope at St Mary’s Glacier, keep reading. We made this blog a two-part blog, 1) Rebecca and Michaels St Mary’s Glacier Elopement, plus a St Mary’s Glacier Elopement Guide for all of our couples looking to have a St Mary’s Glacier Elopement.
Can you get married at St Mary’s Glacier?
Yes, you can get married at St Mary’s Glacier. And with a backdrop like that, who wouldn’t want to!?
Do I need an officiant when getting married at St Mary’s Glacier?
Nope, you don’t need an officiant when getting married at St Mary’s Glacier. Colorado has this wonderful law where couples looking to elope can legally marry themselves without an officiant, or witnesses.
Do I need a permit to get married at St Mary’s Glacier?
You nor your photographer need to obtain a permit when holding a wedding ceremony at St Mary’s Glacier (as of September 2021.) Permit rules and regulations are constantly changing though, so just be sure to double-check with the parks office before heading up there. And if you can, get it in writing that you got the okay to hold your ceremony up there without an official permit.
Best Time of Year to Elope at St Mary’s Glacier
We think the best time of year would be either summer or fall, but if you’re wanting a winter wonderland elopement, consider winter or spring.
Eloping at St Mary’s Glacier in the Winter
You can expect to find freshly fallen snow at St Mary’s Glacier from October-May, sometimes even into June. St Mary’s Glacier is a big backcountry snowboarding and skiing area (Alex and I go here all the time to backcountry board!), so you might even get to witness some riders having the time of their lives! (only if they’re coming down, going up is not what I would describe as the best time of my life.)
Eloping at St Mary’s Glacier in the Spring
Some years you will still see freshly fallen snow at St Mary’s Glacier into June. So you can expect there to be snow on the trails still, or maybe even some mud and ice.
Eloping at St Mary’s Glacier in the Summer
The emerald water and fresh green ground cover, along with the evergreens make the summertime the perfect time to elope at St Mary’s Glacier.
Eloping at St Mary’s Glacier in the Fall
If you’re hoping for some variety of color for your St Mary’s Glacier elopement, consider the fall. There is a lot of bush and ground cover all around the lake, and their leaves turn bright yellow, orange, and red during this time of year.
Best Time of Day for a St Mary’s Glacier Elopement
The best time of day for a St Mary’s Glacier Elopement is early morning. The mountain that surrounds the lake faces east, which causes a really beautiful alpenglow for sunrise. The side of the mountain glows bright orange, and it’s a natural phenomenon that is absolutely worth the early wake up call. Not only will you catch the alpenglow, but you’ll likely avoid the crowds. St Mary’s Glacier is a well known area, and it’s easily accessible, inevitably causing it to be crowded, especially during the weekends. By waking up early and beating the crowds, you’re more likely to have fewer people there with you.
I’m planning on having a wedding ceremony at St Mary’s Glacier, where should I get my marriage license?
The closest Clerk and Recorders office to St Mary’s Glacier will be the Jefferson County Clerk and Recorders office: Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder, 100 Jefferson County Pkwy Suite 2560, Golden, CO 80401. If you plan on staying near Breckenridge, or anywhere West of St Mary’s Glacier, the Summit County Clerk and Recorders office might be the better option, which is located at: The Summit County Clerk & Recorder’s Office, 208 Lincoln Ave, Breckenridge, CO 80424. There is also a Boulder County Clerk and Recorders office located at: Boulder County Clerk & Recorder Office Boulder, 1750 33rd St, Boulder, CO 80301. You don’t have to get married in the county where you picked up your marriage license. You do, however, need to drop it off at the same Clerk and Recorders office, or you can mail it in, or we could drop it off for you, whichever is easiest for you!
How many guests can I bring to my wedding at St Mary’s Glacier?
It’s totally up to you! If you’re planning on having guests at your St Mary’s Glacier ceremony, we wouldn’t recommend more than 15. There are no specific rules or permit requirements, but this public space would be hard to accommodate for more than 15 guests. But as long as everyone is respecting the land, leaving no trace, and respecting the other visitors, more the merrier!
Can I bring my dog to my St Mary’s Glacier Elopement?
Abso-fucking-lutely! We love dogs (we have 2 fluffer wuffers ourselves), and we love that you want to include your dog(s) in your elopement.
What to expect when eloping at St Mary’s Glacier
There is a parking lot that is close to the trailhead that is accessible with two-wheel drive. There is a small fee to park that is regulated by the honor system. During busy times, the parking lot does fill up, and you might have to find parking elsewhere. The hike up to the lake from the start of the trailhead is a short half a mile hike, but it’s steep with ~400 ft. elevation gain. If you want to hike above the lake, you’ll have to hike another quarter-mile, which is continuously uphill. If you go during the winter or springtime, be prepared by bringing some yak tracks. You’ll be so happy you brought these if the trail is icy. Although the hike is a bit steep, the views are absolutely worth it and make it a really great option if you’re wanting an epic backdrop that’s easily accessible and not too much of a hike.
If you’re not feeling St Mary’s Glacier, but know you want to elope in Colorado, check out some of these other locations:
Next Steps for Planning Your St Mary’s Glacier Elopement
- Fill out the contact form below. We’ll be in touch!
- Set up a phone call with us. After you hear back from us about your inquiry, we will set up a phone call to go over all your thoughts and plans for your St Mary’s Glacier Elopement!
- The fun begins! We will help guide you through the planning process. Over the years, we’ve perfected a system to ensure each one of our couple’s elopements is unique and crafted for them.
We would love to be there for your big day at St Mary’s Glacier! We know this area really well and do the hike often. Fill out the contact form below, and we’ll get in touch soon. We can’t wait to hear from you!