The bride and groom are reading their vows with a lake and mountains behind them. The bride is reading the vows and the groom is holding her hands and staring at her.

Trying to find a state you can hike to an alpine lake, get mountain views, and finish off your day with a drink? Keep reading to learn more about how to elope in Colorado! With a series of mountain towns that host eclectic breweries, and are a home-base to hundreds of hiking trails, gondolas, and distinct seasons; you can plan an elopement day without having to compromise. It’s also one of the few states you can self-solemnize, (or have your pup sign for you on a mountain top!). You can truly have it all – Colorado is the perfect location for just about any adventurous or laid-back couple looking for a day filled with variety and insane views!

Where to Elope in Colorado

The bride and groom are standing on a log over a river. They are kissing and there are mountains and pine trees in the background. The groom has a grey suit and the bride has on a black dress with flowers. learn how to elope in colorado's national parks.

Many of the couples I work with have a “fuzzy” idea of how they are wanting to elope in Colorado. Here’s where I come in! Below are some questions I recommend you ask yourself before picking a location. This will help you get clear on your vision for your elopement day, and your values as a couple:

  • Do you have a specific place you want to stay/spend time in before or after your elopement? (If you aren’t from Colorado, I would recommend looking into the Colorado mountain towns – they are a great gateway to the outdoors with the ability to still eat, drink, and sleep comfortably!)
  • What kind of activities are you interested in doing before, during, or after your elopement? (think… Stand-up paddle boarding, skiing, kayaking, or having a picnic)
  • How do you want to get to your location? Some popular options are: hiking, off-roading, horseback riding, or finding an accessible spot!
  • What views are you looking for? (mountains, alpine lakes, forests, rivers, etc.)
  • Are you bringing your dog(s)? Guests? Any mobility issues?

These questions are a great starting place to narrow down the location of your elopement! Check out my guide on The Best Places to Elope in Colorado to learn about my favorite spots!

Popular Colorado Elopement Destinations

Where to Stay

The groom is dipping the bride with a lake and mountains in the background. The groom is wearing a white button up and suspenders. The bride has a multi-colored bouquet.

I always recommend looking into airbnbs that are near your elopement location! I recommend couples stay in the town where their elopement is going to take place (Breckenridge, Buena Vista, Vail, Telluride, etc.) so you have a home-base as well as good food and drinks to celebrate!

My couples receive a custom list of airbnbs and hotels to choose from that are near their elopement location, and today I’ll share some of my favorites with you:

  1. Gravity Haus, Breckenridge
  2. Alta Lakes Observatory, Telluride
  3. Mountain View Home, Boulder
  4. Cabin in Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
  5. Cozy ranch with a hot tub, Crested Butte

Ideas for What to Do On Your Elopement Day

The bride and groom are sitting in green grass. They are sitting on a blue blanket with a table that has champagne glasses and candles. There is a lake behind them with a reflection of the mountains on it. Learn how to elope in colorado with epic activities and picnic locations.

A reminder that your elopement day can be anything that excites you or represents you two as a couple! Below is a list of activities that are common when eloping in Colorado:

  • Hiking
  • Brewery hopping
  • Getting ready together in an airbnb
  • First look
  • Off-roading
  • Cake cutting
  • Have a catered dinner
  • First dance on a mountain top
  • Kayaking or paddle boarding
  • Picnic

Once you’ve figured out what you want to do, I always help my couples create a timeline that handles all of the logistics of your elopement day!

What to Bring

The bride and groom are hand in hand and looking off into opposite directions on a ledge. There is a lake behind them and pine trees. The mountains are turning yellow from the sunset. The bride is holding her multi-colored bouquet and the groom is in a dark green tux. Learn how to elope in colorado in epic locations in breckenridge and telluride.

I provide my couples with a check list that goes over what to pack, what to have in a details box, and what vendors/rentals you should confirm!

Packing List: 

  • Wedding dress & suit
  • Vows
  • Snacks/picnic supplies/water
  • Wedding rings
  • Light rain coats, leggings and light down jackets
  • Flowers
  • Your Dog! Blanket/food/water for your pup
  • Champagne/ Craft beers
  • Marriage License and pen
  • Hiking boots/layers/backpack
  • Permits/lift tickets/parking permits

As a reminder, Colorado’s weather systems in the mountains are so different from the majority of places in the US, so remember to come prepared when packing! If you’re curious about weather during your elopement, I’ve broken down a month by month guide that details and recommends when to elope in Colorado!

Marriage License

Bride has the marriage license pressed to the groom's back and she is signing it. There are green trees in the background and the bride is out of focus. The groom is in a tan suit and the bride has french tip nails.

A marriage license can be obtained in any Colorado county at the County Clerk’s Office, but I recommend getting your marriage license at a County Clerk’s Office near where your elopement will be! Here is a full list of all the County Clerk’s Offices in Colorado.

Fun Fact: In Colorado, you can self solemnize, which means you don’t need any witnesses to sign your marriage license! But, if you want your dog to sign your marriage license with their paw print, they can too! It’s a fun way to include your dog in your elopement day.

Marriage License Requirements in Colorado

bride and groom are bent down with their dog's paw pressed against their marriage license. The dog is looking off into the distance smiling and the couple is staring down at the paw print on the marriage license. The photo is in black and white. Learn how to elope in colorado with more information on marriage licenses and regulations.
  • One form EACH of valid, photo identification, such as a driver’s license or passport.
  • Both parties must be present to pick up a marriage license.
  • Colorado marriage licenses cost $30. In addition, it is suggested that you also get at least 3 certified copies, this will be an extra fee (typically around $3/copy). These are good to have for your records as well as for the name-change process, if you plan to do so.
  • Colorado does not have a waiting period for marriage licenses, you can sign it on the same day that you pick it up! However, we do suggest picking up your marriage license at least one day early in case there are any delays.
  • Colorado marriage licenses are only valid to be used for ceremonies in the State of Colorado. You can’t pick up a Colorado marriage license and then have your ceremony in another state.
  • Once you’ve picked up your marriage license, your ceremony must take place within 35 days. After that, your marriage license will no longer be valid and you will need to reapply.
  • After your ceremony, you will return your signed marriage license to the county clerk & recorder office that you picked it up from. For most locations, you can either drop it off in person or mail it in. You have 63 days to return your marriage license, but we recommend doing it as soon as you can!

Planning Tip for How to Elope in Colorado

bride and groom are sitting in the bed of a pick up truck. The groom is untying the bride's hiking boot. they are smiling and laughing. There are tall trees and a windy road behind them. The photo is in black and white.

Elopements are so much more than just portraits on a mountain top. It’s a day that you and your partner get to dream up together – a day that represents you two, and one that you will remember for the rest of your lives. An elopement day is a lot of things, but most importantly it’s how you feel during it. It’s important that you find an elopement photographer that takes photos you love, but even more important that you find someone who you connect with and can bring your ideas to life.

I am an Elopement photographer in Colorado, check out my page for more information on eloping in Colorado!

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  1. […] For more tips on how to plan your elopement day, check out my recent post on eloping in Colorado! […]

  2. […] If you are interested in planning a Colorado elopement, check out my blog on How to Elope in Colorado! […]