So you’ve decided to plan a Colorado elopement! And now that you’ve figured out where to elope, you’ve realized that the state is massive with so many locations, activities, stays, and scenery options to choose from. That’s where I come in! Being a Colorado elopement photographer, I have traveled the state extensively and have condensed all of the information on the best of Colorado elopements right into this guide for you to check out!

Hi I’m Sydney & Here’s a Recent Story of A Colorado Elopement!

Girl is smiling at the camera. She is holding a camera with ice bergs and a glacial lake in the background. She is wearing a long navy rain coat and grey leggings. She has hiking boots on her feet and a black hat on. She has brown hair and hazel eyes.

Our day began walking up a hidden trail among tall pines and forest overgrowth. After an hour of dense fog with E & C’s pup in tow, we emerged at a secluded alpine lake. By a stroke of luck – the sun peeked out from behind the clouds as E & C began reading their vows. They went from deep belly laughs to tears. Their intimate ceremony ended with their dog signing their marriage license with his paw print, as they excitedly announced that they just got married in coordinates no one else had before. 

In that moment I knew exactly why I am so passionate about photographing Colorado elopements. 

I’m here to plan a day that represents your relationship to its fullest. Whether that’s hiking up a mountain or something as simple as watching the sunrise over the mountains with a thermos of coffee… I’m here to capture adventurous photos for couples seeking an intimate experience in wild places.

Check out my Colorado Elopement Photography for more information!

Table of Contents: What’s in The Colorado Elopement Guide?

When You Should Elope in Colorado
How to Choose a Colorado Elopement Location
Elopement Packing List
How to Elope With a Dog in Colorado
Colorado Marriage License Laws
How Much Does a Colorado Elopement Cost?
How to Include Family & Friends in Your Elopement
Colorado Elopement Photography Packages

bride and groom are kissing. The bride has her hand on his neck and the groom has his hands around her waist. The bride is in a white wedding dress and the groom is in a black suit. There is a lake in the background and there are pine trees and mountains.

The Best Time of Year to Elope in Colorado

You can technically elope in Colorado year-round, but let’s chat about the months in Colorado that are more *ideal* for your elopement. Take note: the mountains of Colorado have a different weather system than most of the US which means that when it’s fall, winter, and spring in the majority of the US it might not be the case in the Rocky Mountains.

(Before we get started, I’ll let you in on a pro-tip – my favorite months for elopements in Colorado are September and January!)

To figure out when you want to plan your Colorado elopement, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you wanting warmer weather for activities like hiking and off roading?
  • Do you want snow capped mountains and frozen lakes?
  • Are you ok with snow and cold weather?
  • Would you like fall foliage in the background?

Weather in Colorado

Spring: Spring is a tricky time to elope in the Colorado mountains, and I typically don’t recommend eloping until mid-June due to snowpack, mud, and unpredictable weather. But, if you’re planning a ski elopement or are wanting warmer weather while still experiencing snow, the spring can be very ideal.

Summer: Summer is one of my favorite times for Colorado elopements! (Although, be wary of summer thunderstorms in the late afternoon). Rain fall can happen at anytime but it typically passes through quickly. July is the best month to see wildflowers, everything has turned green, and the weather is a comfortable 60-70 degrees daily in the mountains.

Fall: Fall is definitely a favorite for elopements, and for a good reason! The aspens change colors and are neon yellow and orange against the pine trees! The weather in early fall is very predictable and temperate.

Winter: Winter *may* be when to elope in Colorado! Although it may be colder than the summer and fall months, the ski towns are fully open (which means endless restaurant and brewery choices) and the hiking trails are empty! Popular spots that tourists flock to in the summer months will be completely empty for snowshoeing and cross country skiing. Winter in Colorado is also very sunny especially in places like Boulder and Idaho Springs – so there’s a good chance you’ll experience a bluebird elopement day. Not to mention, all the alpine lakes freeze over so you can read your vows right on them!

the bride and groom are reading their vows. The bride is crying and wiping a tear away. The groom is opening his vow book. The groom is wearing a tan suit and the bride has a checkered shawl around her waist. The lake has an island with trees in the middle of it, and there are yellow trees in the background.

How to Choose a Colorado Elopement Location

Living and photographing in Colorado, I have found the best hidden gems around the state from boots-on-the-ground scouting so that you can have a unique, crowd-free elopement experience! From hidden waterfalls and alpine lakes to stunning meadows that you can’t find on Google, I’ve got you covered!

My favorite thing about Colorado is there there are so many different regions and towns within the state that all have their own unique personalities. Below is a list of my personal favorites!


Breckenridge is just an hour and a half drive from Denver with some of the best views in Colorado. The town itself is filled with restaurants and breweries, and there are tons of places to stay! There are awesome accessible alpine lakes and ceremony sites that are accessible by car here. This is a great spot if you don’t want a long travel day from Denver, or if you plan to invite guests!

Ceremony Locations in Breckenridge

Sapphire Point The site has room for up to 35 people and is on a cliff off of a hiking trail that overlooks Lake Dillon. Permits are available up to six months in advance and cost $110, and are available year-round.

Windy Point Camp Ground – This is a dog-friendly ceremony location with a lake and picnic tables which is perfect for a casual reception afterward. The permits cost $250.

The Lodge at Breckenrige – Great for ceremonies of all different sizes. You can have your ceremony on the deck overlooking the mountains, and they have a dedicated reception room where you can have a catered dinner and dancing after your day!

couple is standing on the edge of a lake kissing with their backs to the camera. The sun has already set and there are mountains covered in snow and a lake in the background. The groom has a white shirt and black suspenders and black pants on. The bride has florals in her braided hair.


Boulder is one of the best places to elope, especially if you don’t want to roadtrip if you plan on flying into Colorado. Although it’s apart of Colorado’s front range, the town itself has a cute downtown, endless stays, and is only around an hour drive from hidden high alpine hiking trails!

Boulder is where boutique hotels and rooftop dinners meet endless hiking trails just minutes from downtown. Boulder is also a great location if you plan to bring guests! With easy to rent outdoor venues like Sunrise Ampitheater, you can spend the first half of your day hiking to alpine lakes, and the second half saying your vows with family and friends in an accessible location!

Sunrise Amphitheater – Sunrise Amphitheater allows up to 100 guests, but it’s great for small groups eloping as well!

Click here to reserve your spot!

Chautauqua Park – Chautauqua only allows for couples without guests to elope on their trails, plan to reserve their shelter spaces if you plan on bringing guests! I personally only recommend this spot on weekdays at sunrise due to how popular and easily accessible it is. This way you don’t have to deal with crowds and people watching you on your day!

Halfway House – The Halfway House is an enclosed stone facility that is available by reservation for groups of up to 49 people in boulder. This is a great ceremony option if you plan on having guests!

Click here to reserve your spot!

The bride and groom have their foreheads pressed together. They eloped in boulder for their colorado elopement. The bride has her flowers out of focus in the camera and the flat irons are in the background and they are green and grey.

Rocky Mountain National Park/Estes Park

O’Connor Pavilion – The O’Connor Pavilion is one of the most affordable wedding venues in the Estes Park area, located five miles west of downtown Estes Park, and backs up to the Rocky Mountain National Park. Allows up to 140 guests!

Click here to reserve your spot!

Bristlecone Inn – a more traditional take on a small wedding venue, but great if you want to spend the day exploring Rocky Mountain National Park and finish the day with a reception and dinner!

Click here to reserve your spot!

Hermit Park Pavilion – With some light off roading, head out to Hermit Park (in Estes Park CO) and reserve the Pavilion out there. You can have up to 150 people at this secluded location!

Click here to reserve your spot!

The bride and groom are standing together smiling at each other. there are giant mountains in the background and green trees. There are aspens turning yellow and the couple is standing on a cliff ledge overlooking this.


San Sophia Overlook – Accessed by the Gondola, this mountain top outdoor venue overlooks the Town of Telluride, surrounded by mountain peaks and towering spruce trees. You can have up to 200 guests!

Click here to reserve your spot!

Dunton Hot Springs – Having a full wedding requires a buyout of the property and allows up to 44 guests. But, you can elope here for much less. Elopements for up to 14 people can be booked as an add-on to any lodging reservation!

Click here to reserve your spot!

The Observatory at Alta Lakes – The Observatory is a private backcountry cabin just outside of Telluride.

Click here to reserve your spot!

Check out my full guide on Places to Elope in Colorado for in-depth information on all of these spots and all my other favorite locations!

groom is leading the bride through a grassy meadow with wildflowers. There are large mountains in the background and pine trees all around them. The groom is looking back at the bride and the bride is smiling at him.

Colorado Elopement Packing List

The Necessities

Hiking Backpack: Your hiking backpack can make or break your experience! Make sure it’s comfy, distributes weight on your back, and is big enough to carry everything you need (sometimes this even includes wedding attire!) Check out Osprey for some awesome backpacks.

Water bottle & extra water: With high altitudes you will naturally drink more water, which means you should not only bring at least a water bottle, but extra as well (especially if you’re bringing your pups along). My favorite water bottles are those with filters such as Lifestraw and Hydrapak for extra water.

Hiking Boots: Make sure you have hiking boots with solid grip (especially when you are in wedding attire!) and ankle support. I always recommend waterproof hiking boots as well. Pro-Tip: get matching hiking boots for pictures on the trail!

Safety Items (For your backpack):

  • Bear Spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Compressed Oxygen
  • Mini first aid kit
  • Handwarmers
  • Headlamps/Flashlights

I also provide custom elopement packing lists for my couples, so that you have a tailored packing list for the time of year you plan to elope, where you are going, and the activities you are doing!

Check out my comprehensive Colorado elopement packing guide here!

The bride and groom are out of focus and the mountains behind them are in focus. They are standing in snow and the bride is holding the edge of her dress. There are tons of pine trees behind them leading up to the snowy mountains. They are smiling into each other's mouths.

How to Elope With a Dog in Colorado

Step 1 – Choose a Dog Friendly Location

Step 2 – Choose a Dog Friendly Vacation Rental

Step 3 – Choose a Dog Friendly Ceremony Location

Step 4 – Plan Dog Friendly Activities

Step 5 – Consider the Context and Training Needed – One of the best ways to reduce stress with bringing your pup is to practice some training before your day! Do you want your dog to pose for pictures? Practice your sit and stay commands. Do you want your dog to be able to hike off-leash? Work on recall!

Don’t Forget: In Colorado you can have your dog “sign” your marriage license with their paw print! I always bring an ink pad so that you can get these adorable photos with your pup! The marriage license also serves as a great keepsake and reminder of your dog and the day you shared with them for years to come.

Want to learn more about eloping with your dog? Check out my comprehensive blog on How to Elope With a Dog in Colorado

Colorado Marriage License Laws

Colorado is one of the few states that allows couples to self-solemnize. This means, you can elope in Colorado without any witnesses! You two are able to sign your marriage license yourselves for it to be valid.

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 where you can pick up your marriage license.

Want all the details on Colorado Marriage Licenses? Check out the blog How to Legally Elope in Colorado!

How Much Does a Colorado Elopement Cost?

Colorado elopements can range from an average cost of $8,000 on the low-end to $20,000 on the high end. Let’s break it down!

For a High End Elopement Experience:

$30 – Marriage license
$3,500 – 3 nights at a 5-star resort
$10,000 – Photographer
$500 – Private chef/coursed out dinner experience
$900 – Private Jeep tour
$750 – Bouquet and boutonniere + florals for reception
$1200 – Hair and makeup on site
$6500 – Wedding dress + accessories
$1500 – Suit + accessories

For an Average Elopement Experience:

$30 – Marriage license
$500 – 3 nights at a simple cabin
$5,000 – Photographer
$200 – Restaurant dinner & drinks for the two of you
$200 – Bouquet and boutonniere
$250 – Hair and makeup at salon
$800 – Wedding dress + accessories
$200 – Suit rental

Want to learn more about how much to invest in your elopement photographer? Read about how much elopement photographers cost in colorado!

couple is having a picnic by an alpine lake. They are drinking champagne and sitting on a blue blanket. There are large mountains behind them and an alpine lake with the reflection of them. The couple has a picnic set up with a small table and charcuterie. they are smiling at each other.

How to Include Family and Friends in Your Elopement

What if I told you it’s possible to have the elopement of your dreams, and also bring family and close friends along?

Start by determining the activities you two are wanting to share alone, you can start thinking of the ways you plan to include your family.

To many this looks like: 

  • Sharing private vows and a hike, and then returning for a ceremony with family and friends
  • Spending the day with your partner, and then having a celebratory dinner or private chef with family and friends
  • Spending the morning with family and friends, heading out on your adventure, and then returning in the evening for a celebration

For more tips on how to plan your elopement day, check out How to Include Family and Friends in Your Elopement!

groom is kissing the bride's forehead and they are standing on a large rock overlooking the mountain range. The mountains are stained purple and the couple is holding hands. The grass is green and the pine trees are sparce behind them. They planned an epic colorado elopement on a mountain pass.

Colorado Elopement Photography Packages

If you’ve reached the end of this guide you might be overwhelmed about the elopement planning process. But don’t worry, that’s where I come in! I will plan your entire elopement from start to finish so you two can have a stress-free day packed with intention and fun.

Elopement Planning

All of my packages include personalized elopement planning help:

• Collaborative Planning Portal – with timeline creation, planning resources & custom packing lists

• 100-Page Elopement Planning Guide – will answer all the big, overarching questions about eloping!

• Planning To-Do List – to stay on track throughout the entire process

• Location Recommendations – all of my favorite off-the-beaten-path hidden gems that aren’t on google!

• Custom guides with the best stays, eats, and logistical information (marriage licenses & travel)

• Vendor Recommendations + Permit Help – All permit costs are included in my packages, and I will provide you with vendors that are tailored toward elopements as well as you two as a couple!

• Non-Traditional Ceremony Ideas – I’ll do the heavy lifting and dreaming! We will create a ceremony tailored towards you two as a couple.

Click here to view my Colorado Elopement Packages!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *