A Photographer's roadmap for your colorado elopement adventure

Colorado Elopement Guide

The Ultimate

Your stress-free journey to an elopement adventure begins here! As a Colorado elopement photographer, I've crafted the ultimate handbook covering the why, the what, the where, the when, and the how – so you can step (or hike) into your forever without a worry.

Use this guide to navigate the next steps of your love story, knowing that on the other side lies an elopement that is nothing short of legendary.

but not for long!

You know your Colorado elopement is going to be extraordinary. It's the details, the planning, and the logistics that are causing some stress...

1. Colorado is known for its unparalleled beauty. 
Colorado isn't just a state; it's a masterpiece painted by nature itself. Majestic mountains, serene lakes, dense forests, and open meadows create a breathtaking canvas for your love to unfold. Whether you dream of exchanging vows against the backdrop of snow-capped peaks or in a field of wildflowers, Colorado offers a stunning setting for every love story.

2. The power of self-solemnization (aka you are the officiant to your own ceremony!)
Here's a secret perk: in Colorado, you don't need an officiant to say "I do." The state allows couples to self-solemnize, giving you the freedom to craft a ceremony that is authentically and uniquely yours. It's just you, your partner, and the incredible landscape, making your commitment even more intimate and personal.

3. There are year-round opportunities for elopement magic.
Colorado isn't bound by the seasons; it thrives in every one of them. Whether you envision a winter wonderland elopement with snowflakes gently falling around you, a vibrant autumn celebration with golden aspens, or a springtime ceremony surrounded by blossoming wildflowers, Colorado provides year-round opportunities for a magical elopement.

4. You're seeking an elopement that's as adventurous as your love. 
Colorado has your back. Hike to a mountain summit for your vows, exchange rings by a cascading waterfall, or say "I do" in a secluded alpine meadow. The options are as boundless as your imagination, promising an adventure-filled start to your marriage.

Why Elope in Colorado


5. You can stay in the newlywed bubble after the elopement.
Beyond the breathtaking landscapes, Colorado offers a haven for romance. Cozy mountain cabins, charming bed and breakfasts, and luxurious resorts provide idyllic settings for your post-elopement celebration. Whether you're soaking in a private hot tub under the stars or sharing a candlelit dinner in a quaint mountain town, the romance of Colorado extends beyond the ceremony.

Awesome Places for your Colorado Elopement

It's no secret that Colorado is loaded with extraordinary landscapes that will take your breath away. Snowy mountains, sunny fields of flowers, serene sand dunes - whatever you envision as the epic backdrop for your elopement, Colorado offers a myriad of options.  Check out some of my favorite places to elope:

Where to Elope in Colorado

As the snow melts away, Colorado transforms into a canvas of vibrant colors. Spring is a celebration of renewal and life, and your elopement can mirror this energy. If you're looking for a ceremony surrounded by blooming wildflowers or budding trees, a spring elopement may be for you!

Blooms and Bliss in Spring

Winter in Colorado is pure enchantment. Picture yourselves surrounded by a blanket of snow, exchanging vows with the world draped in white.  The serenity of a winter elopement brings a unique kind of intimacy. If you want to embrace the chill with cozy blankets, warm embraces, and soft snowfall, consider eloping in the winter months!

Winter Wonderland Elopements

December to February



March to May

When to Elope in Colorado

Choosing the perfect moment to elope means diving into the distinct offerings of each season. Colorado's ever-changing landscape, with its month-to-month transformations, consistently reveals something awe-inspiring. Your dream elopement is in the details, and the breakdowns below will provide the insights you need to decide when to say 'I do' in Colorado.

Summer in Colorado is a symphony of adventure and relaxation. The mountains come alive with lush greenery, and the days are filled with sunshine. Choose a summer elopement, and you'll have your pick of breathtaking locations, from mountain peaks to alpine lakes. The warm breeze and long days mean you can savor every moment, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Summer Serenity

June to August

If you're captivated by the beauty of changing leaves and a crisp breeze, fall in Colorado is your time to shine. The landscape transforms into a tapestry of reds, oranges, and yellows, creating a stunning backdrop for your elopement. Picture yourselves under a canopy of golden aspens, with the scent of autumn in the air. 

An Autumn Tapestry

September to November

You want to choose your elopement photographer first so they can help guide you through the rest of the elopement planning process! As your expert Colorado elopement guru, I not only capture the big (and little) moments, but help you tackle the big (and little) tasks when it comes to planning the rest of your epic adventure. 

How to elope in colorado

Time to say "I Do"


The Planning Process

1. Choose your photographer

After choosing your photographer, they'll help you narrow down the endless list of beautiful elopement locations in Colorado. Mountain, river, meadow, sand dune - let's find a location that resonates with your style and story.

2. Pick the perfect spot

Once you determine your dream location, it's time to navigate the permit process. Your photographer will walk you though the necessary steps - making sure your celebration is as smooth as a mountain breeze. 

3. obtain permits

Your ceremony, your way. You and your photographer will talk about infusing your personality into every moment – from heartfelt vows to unique rituals. Need inspiration? I've got tips and ideas to ensure your ceremony is a true reflection of the love you share. 

4. customize your ceremony

I go into this in more detail below, but securing your marriage license in Colorado is pretty easy to do! There's no waiting period here so you can get and use your marriage license on the same day. 

5. get your marriage license

The planning is taken care of, the waiting is done, and now, you get to marry the love of your life. From the tender glances to the joyous celebrations - soak it in and enjoy the beginning of your favorite adventure.

6. Marry the love of your life

To get your marriage license in Colorado, you will locate a county clerk's office or approved marriage license agent (don't worry - I can help!). Bring your valid ID, like a driver's license or passport, fill out the application, pay the $30 fee, and walk away with your marriage license!

Colorado has no waiting period; you can obtain and use your license on the same day.

How to get your marriage license

Eloping in Colorado means that you don't need an officiant to perform your ceremony. The state offers the unique option of self-solemnization, where you and your partner can officiate your own intimate, personal ceremony and then sign your marriage license!

If you're looking for a different option, you can also have a family member, friend, or clergy member oversee your ceremony. And they can officiate your ceremony without being ordained - another Colorado perk!

How to officiate your own elopement

Navigating the costs of eloping in Colorado involves a thoughtful consideration of various factors that contribute to creating your perfect day. The budget for a Colorado elopement can vary widely based on your preferences, from the location you choose to the level of services you desire.

For those seeking an intimate affair without breaking the bank, budget-friendly elopements typically range from approximately $2,000 to $5,000. If you're aiming for a bit more splendor and additional services, a moderate elopement budget might fall in the range of $5,000 to $12,000. For those envisioning a truly luxurious and all-encompassing experience, a luxury elopement could start at $12,000 and go above, providing an opulent celebration amidst Colorado's stunning landscapes.

Check out some of my budget approximations below for examples at each of these price points. Keep in mind that these are general estimates, and actual costs may vary based on your specific choices, vendor selections, and individual preferences. The key is to tailor your budget to align with your priorities, ensuring a memorable and personalized Colorado elopement within your means!

How much does an elopement cost?

Photography (4 hours): $4,000

Marriage License: $30

Accommodations: $300 (Budget AirBnb or hotel)

Attire: $800 ($500 dress, $300 suit)

Hair & Makeup: $0 (DIY)

Flowers: $0 (DIY)

Activity/Food: $100 (DIY Picnic)

Cost-Effective Budget


Mid-Range Budget




Photography (8 hours): $4,800

Marriage License: $30

Accommodations: $700 (Mid-range AirBnB)

Attire: $3,000 ($2,000 Dress, $1,000 suit)

Hair & Makeup: $300

Flowers: $250

Activity: $650 (Off-roading rental)

Food: $270 (Post- ceremony dinner)

Photography (12 hours): $6,000

Marriage License: $30

Accommodations: $1,000 (Luxury AirBnB or hotel

Hair & Makeup: $300

Videography: $6,000


Activity: $1,000 (hot air balloon ride, private jeep tour, horseback riding, private chef, etc.)

Choosing what to wear for your Colorado elopement is an exciting part of planning your special day. Given the diverse landscapes, your attire can range from elegant to casual, depending on your chosen location and personal style. 

For mountain settings, I recommend packing layers to accommodate potential temperature changes. Brides may opt for a flowy gown or a more practical bridal jumpsuit for ease of movement. Grooms can choose between a classic suit or embrace the rustic charm with more casual attire. Footwear should be comfortable and suitable for the terrain you choose, whether it's hiking boots, stylish shoes, or even barefoot for a mountain-lake ceremony!

Here are a few more helpful tips when planning your elopement attire:

  • Don't forget to consider the season – lighter fabrics for summer, and cozy layers for cooler months. Given Colorado's ever-changing weather, consider packing extra layers, a light jacket, or a shawl for cooler moments, to be prepared for any weather surprises on your elopement day.
  • Think about your mobility during the day. When planning your elopement attire, especially if you're embarking on activities like hiking or exploration, prioritize clothing that allows for unrestricted movement. Opt for flowy dresses, comfortable pants, and appropriate footwear to ensure you're not only stylish but also ready for the adventurous journey ahead.
  • Let your elopement attire be a true reflection of your personal style! Whether it's bohemian chic, classic elegance, or something entirely one-of-a-kind, feel free to express yourself through your clothing choices. 

Ultimately, choose the outfit that makes you feel comfortable and radiant on your elopement day. During the planning process with your photographer, they will work with you to make sure you bring all the necessary gear and items for your chosen location.

What To Wear For Your Colorado Elopement 


Great question. The answer will vary based on your elopement location! Whether you decide to go with a national park, forest, or other public land, each location may have unique permit requirements. 

Colorado's landscapes often fall under the jurisdiction of various land management agencies, and permits help manage visitation and protect the environment. Working with your elopement photographer will be crucial to making sure you have all the permits and paperwork you need for your specific elopement spot. We are the go-to guides, helping you tackle this step so you have a magical celebration at your ideal Colorado destination.

What kind of permit do I need?

No, you don't need to have an officiant for your Colorado elopement. One of the unique aspects of getting married in Colorado is the option to self-solemnize. This means you can marry each other without the presence of an officiant. It offers couples the freedom to exchange vows in a more intimate and personal setting. 


Do I need to have an officiant at my elopement?


Certainly! You have complete flexibility in deciding whether to have guests at your elopement. Elopements can be intimate affairs with just the two of you, or you can invite close friends and family to share in the celebration. The choice is entirely yours, allowing you to create a meaningful and personalized experience that aligns with your vision of the perfect day. 


Can I have guests attend my elopement?


I sure can. From florists to videographers, I can provide a curated list of trusted vendors experienced in crafting memorable elopements in Colorado.


Can you recommend elopement-friendly vendors in Colorado?


Absolutely! Colorado's pet-friendly atmosphere makes it easy to include your furry friends in your elopement celebration. Just ensure that your chosen venue permits pets.


Can we bring our pets to our Colorado elopement?





Hi, I'm Jason! I'm a Colorado elopement photographer with a track record of orchestrating and capturing extraordinary elopements - just like yours is going to be. Whether your vision unfolds in grandeur or intimate simplicity, I handle every detail to guarantee you a day that's not only seamless but brimming with joy, love, and adventure. 

So are you ready?

Let me capture your best day yet.

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