How to Elope in Colorado

You can elope in Colorado and it can be a truly epic and adventurous experience. The process will vary depending on the specific location within the state of Colorado. When planning to elope within the Rocky Mountain National Park, you must meet other requirements. Regardless of the location, here are some general steps to guide you on how to elope in Colorado. Don’t miss the bonus at the end, too!

How to Elope in Colorado at Dream Lake

Steps on How to Elope in Colorado:

  1. Choose a Location
  2. Obtain a Marriage License
  3. Plan the Ceremony
  4. Hire Officiant and Witnesses
  5. Book Accommodation and Services
  6. Check Weather and Season
  7. Respect the Environment
  8. Capture the Moments
  9. Celebrate Afterwards
  10. File the Marriage License

Choose a Location for Your Elopement

The initial step is choosing the specific area within Colorado where you want to say I Do. Whether it’s in a national park, a forested area, or a mountain town, make sure you research the location’s regulations and obtain any necessary permits. Colorado has tons of beautiful and breathtaking views so take your time and make sure the location really resonates with the two of you. Check out the top 10 best elopement hikes in Colorado here!

Obtaining Your Marriage License

Each state has its own requirements for obtaining a marriage license. A couple planning to marry must apply for a marriage license in the county where they intend to tie the knot. Make sure to research the specific requirements and timeframes for the state you’re considering. If the Rocky Mountains are your thing, here is a quick link to Larimer County and Huerfano County for your marriage license. These are two common counties near the mountains, but you should always double check for your ceremony!

Plan Your Elopement Ceremony

Decide whether you want to have a small and intimate ceremony with just the two of you or if you’ll invite a select group of family and friends. Plan the ceremony details, such as the vows, any rituals or traditions you want to include, and the overall flow of the ceremony. If you’re looking for ways to include others, here are a few more tips!

Deciding to Hire an Officiant or Have Witnesses

If you’re not having a friend or family member officiate, hire an officiant to perform the ceremony. Many mountain areas offer local officiants familiar with the surroundings. (Hint: most photographers are also officiant’s and CO is a self-solemnization state). Self-solemnizing simply means that you can legally declare yourselves married with your two signatures. It’s so easy…your dog can be your officiant.

Book the Accommodation’s and Services

If you’re traveling to the location, book accommodation for yourself and any guests. Be mindful though that some of the best hidden gems require a little bit more riding, off-roading, or hiking. When it comes to booking an Airbnb or cabin, treehouse, etc. don’t be afraid to splurge so that you can really enjoy the whole experience. A lot of couples get ready in these locations so being mindful of natural light for portraits is also something to think about.

Check the Weather and Decide on the Season

Prepare for changing conditions, as the mountain weather can be unpredictable. Check the average weather for the time of year you plan to marry, and have backup plans in case of rain or other inclement weather. When you decide on the Season that you want to elope in, remember that some locations may be off limits in the Winter because of excessive snowfall. On the other hand, the winter may be the perfect time to go if you love activities like snowboarding, skiing, or even cozying up by a fire while the snow falls.

Respecting the Environment: 7 Principles

When you marry in natural areas, remember to respect the environment. Follow Leave No Trace principles, pack out any trash, and avoid disturbing wildlife or delicate ecosystems. Those include planning ahead, traveling on the appropriate trails, disposing of any waste, leave what you find, respect wildlife, be mindful of campfires, and being considerate of other people around you.

Hiring an Elopement Photographer

Consider hiring (ME) as your photographer or videographer to capture the beauty of your Colorado or Rocky Mountain wedding. The stunning backdrop and natural lighting make for incredible photos and videos. An elopement photographer will help plan, prepare on how to elope in Colorado, and execute your most epic elopement day ever.

Celebrate Afterwards

After the ceremony, celebrate your union! Whether it’s with an intimate dinner, a picnic, or a larger reception, take the time to cherish the moment with your loved ones. Celebrating after your elopement gives depth to your elopement day. If you opt to have just you two, then consider partaking in an extra activity. Try something new together or enjoy something familiar…either way make sure you include only what feels you on your elopement day.

File Your Marriage License!

Following the ceremony, make certain that both the officiant and witnesses appropriately sign the marriage license. Failing to ensure this crucial step may leave you without a legal marriage! Follow the instructions provided by the county or state to officially file the license and receive your marriage certificate.

Elopement location in Rocky Mountain National Park

In conclusion, to elope in Colorado, you must take specific steps. Are you ready to take that next step and go all out? Forever is just waiting on you. I am here to be your personal elopement guide and advisor, to help along the way and make your day as epic as your love story. Let’s tell your tale in a passionate and dreamy way….through portraits that will last a lifetime.

How to Elope in Colorado: Rocky Mountain National Park

If you want to get married inside of the National Park, there are a few things that you need to pay close attention to. There are a few extra required permits as well as passes that you must have before saying “I do”. All of their information for weddings can be found on their website! Inside the park are some super epic locations that have been approved for ceremonies. Check them out here!

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  1. […] you plan your elopement adventure, remember that the Rocky Mountains are more than just a backdrop – they’re a canvas for […]

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