How to Elope in Colorado
Updated: Aug 27
Colorado is pretty much the most ideal place to elope in the US, people come from all over the world to elope here, and it's not hard to see why! When it comes to scenery, Colorado has it all. From the Great Sand Dunes National Park to Maroon Lake in Aspen to the beautiful San Juan Mountains of Telluride, the options are endless.
As a photographer who is a native to Colorado, I have spent years growing up exploring and researching all of the most epic places to visit and find adventures. Little did I know this would guide me to be an expert in elopement photography!
So buckle up, the adventure is about to begin + you will not be disappointed!
Picking a Location For Your Colorado Elopement
Since Colorado is so diverse, it can feel overwhelming when trying to pick the perfect location to say your I do's! But it's pretty simple: you can't go wrong! Your photographer should have plenty of recommendations when it comes to locations, and have all the knowledge about any permits or rules about the area of your choice.
As an elopement photographer myself, I make it my mission to do a TON of research for all of my couples who are eloping to find the best time, gather necessary permits, find the most secluded area, and the spots with the best views! I spend + have spent hours upon hours scouting locations in person as well as using google maps + the internet to find the most ideal and unique location for all of my couples. There are so many different tools on the internet that aren't elopement or wedding related that can really help when making the decision of where to elope. Some of my favorites are: alltrails.com, Google Maps, Trip Advisor and/or other travel websites. Get creative with your search engines! It definitely doesn't have to come from a wedding or elopement website, think about the area you want to go, and do a little research outside of what you would normally think! You will gain so much information by doing this.
To give you some ideas, I'm going to talk about some of my most favorite spots to elope in Colorado below!
While there are so many stunning options to choose from in Telluride, CO, one of my favorite spots is Trout Lake. Trout Lake is absolutely stunning, and it's a pretty secluded option as well. It's accessible by car so if you do have a small amount of friends or family joining you, it is not hard to get to. The mountain-scape behind the body of water is absolutely breathtaking. It paints the most stunning picture of the beauty of Colorado and makes for the perfect place to elope!
*Rent or bring along your canoe + you can get beautiful, unique couples photos IN the water, like the one above!
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO
Steamboat Springs is nestled in the beauty of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. It is a ways off the beaten path but absolutely worth the drive/flight for the hometown feel and unbeatable mountain views. The town has so much character, and there are state parks surrounding every which way to make the elopement experience truly one-of-a-kind. There are so many stunning lakes and beautiful rivers in the area as well; giving you several options for the kind of landscape you are hoping for, for your gorgeous elopment!
Breckenridge is definitely one of the most popular wedding + elopement destinations in Colorado. But there are so many secluded and "off the beaten path" places that are absolutely stunning for your elopement! Two of my personal favorites are Blue Lakes (pictured above) and Boreas Pass. You should have a good 4WD for either of those locations, but they are absolutely breathtaking and totally elopement worthy. The town of Breckenridge is also not far from Silverthorne, which has some unbelievable + secluded views on your way to Rabbit Ears Pass!
PIKES PEAK HWY - CASCADE, CO
Pikes Peak Highway is easily one of the most beautiful (and frankly overlooked), places in Colorado to elope. The 19-mile toll road takes you to the very top of the Peak, but along the way is some of the most stunning views I have ever witnessed. Nearing the top you are transformed into what truly feels like another country. Overlooking hundreds of miles of mountain-scapes, lakes, and above the tree-line, I believe this location is an absolute DREAM to elope at.
*It's important to take into account the times of year that you are wanting to elope when choosing this location. Take a look at their website to see when the highway is open during the specific time of year you are hoping for, and more importantly when the bottom gates close/when you need to be out of the park. There is a hefty fine if the Parks Department has to come and let you out after they have closed the bottom gate to get out.
Planning the Logistics For Your Colorado Elopement
Eloping is Colorado is SO easy, which is definitely one of the reasons why it's so appealing to couples all over the world. One of the best things about choosing to elope in Colorado is how freaking easy it is to take care of the boring legal details of eloping!
While the state of Colorado makes it super simple to elope, there are some details you need to know before tie-ing the knot:
Colorado is a same-day state! Meaning you can literally go to the county clerks office in whichever town you are wanting to get married in (usually by appointment) and get the license within 20 minutes + be legally married that same day! This makes it SUPER easy if you are traveling
You do NOT need to have an officiant marry you on your elopement day! Yes, you read that right! Colorado is one of the very few states that is a self-solemnization states, which essentially means that you and your partner can marry yourselves without any officiant needed. This is super special for those couples who truly want the secluded elopement experience.
You can have your DOG sign your marriage license! Is your fur-child your entire world? Well you can absolutely include them on your elopement day by having them sign your marriage license as a witness! All you have to do is put their paw in ink and put in on the witness line; and that is totally legal.
You technically do not need to have 2 witnesses to make your marriage legal, Colorado is one of the only states that says you don't even have to have any witnesses at all to make it official! Super simple, right?
For more detailed information on legalities pertaining to your Colorado elopement, check out Denver's website!
If you want more specific information on different locations throughout Colorado I have plenty of guides + custom packages that go more thoroughly into the planning process.
Interested in Breckenridge? Check out my tips for eloping in Breckenridge here.