So you decided on eloping in Colorado. That’s awesome! You picked one of the most amazing (and picturesque) states to elope in. Not only does Colorado have some of the most beautiful and diverse national parks in the country, but the landscapes of Colorado make it the perfect backdrop for an elopement! Notice how I said national parks plural…did you know Colorado is home to four national parks?! The most loved obviously being Rocky Mountain National Park, but there’s also Mesa Verde National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. You get everything from desert sand dunes to alpine lakes to open fields as far as you can see.
That said, I’m sure you’re wondering where in Colorado you should elope. Honestly, that’s a tough one. Colorado has so many beautiful places that would make a perfect backdrop for your elopement. My advice? Take a second to think about the landscapes that tug on your heartstrings. Maybe it’s that one you saw while scrolling on Instagram that you can’t get out of your head. Do you want expansive views of the mountains? More into the idea of eloping on North America’s tallest sand dune? Or would you rather have a ceremony by a lake in the foothills? Or maybe there’s a spot or trail that holds some sentimental value to you and your partner. That’s a great place to start.
The most significant piece of advice I can offer when it comes to figuring out how to elope in Colorado and where you should do it – talk with your elopement photographer! Why? As a Colorado-based elopement photographer myself, I always have an eye out for the best places throughout Colorado for my couples to elope in. If I’m not physically hiking the trails, I’m hiking them online (we love Google Earth Pro) to find the most incredible locations to elope at in Colorado. It’s important you go with a photographer who has a list of not-so-known elopement locations in addition to the well-known spots. Why? Well, usually, the places you find easily online are heavily trafficked trails. Meaning you might not necessarily get to have a secluded and private elopement experience.
Now that you’ve decided where to elope in Colorado, I’m sure you’re wondering, “okay, now how do I elope in Colorado?” I got you covered! In this post, I’ll be sharing the essential details on how to elope in Colorado. Giving you the rundown on the things you need to do to bring your dream Colorado elopement to life.
How To Get Your Colorado Marriage License
First things first – make it legal.
Speed up the process of getting your marriage license by filling out the online application before heading to the Clerk & Recorder’s Office. Here’s where to apply for a marriage license. Note that you will still need to go in person with your valid I.D. to obtain your marriage license, even if you started your application online.
Fun fact: Marriage licenses can be obtained in any Colorado county, regardless of where the ceremony will occur in Colorado!
That said, the lone exception to going in person to obtain your marriage license is an order-by-mail Marriage License offered by Eagle County. You can mail them a packet of information, and they will send back a Marriage License – It’s probably the best option if you’re traveling from out of state and can get them the packet a few weeks before the ceremony. The fee for a Colorado marriage license is $30. Payments can be made via cash, check, or debit/credit card.
Did you know that if you elope in Colorado, you don’t need witnesses or an officiant?! Yeah. You read that right. Easily one of the coolest things about eloping in Colorado is that you can self-solemnize your elopement! Colorado is one of the only states that allows the couple to legally get married without a witness or ordained officiant. That means you can literally go into the mountains, just the two of you, and get married. How freaking cool.
If you have an ordained officiant, they will give you directions on how to fill out your marriage certificate. If you are self-solemnizing, you and your partner will sign on the line where the officiant typically would sign since you’ve officiated your own wedding.
One more thing to note:
Your Colorado marriage license has to be signed within thirty-five days of you obtaining it. The marriage certificate must be returned within sixty-three days from the day of the wedding to the County Clerk and Recorder’s Office. Most of the time, couples mail it back or drop it off at the same location they obtained it.
I take pride in being more than just a Colorado elopement photographer; helping you figure out all of the little details is my jam. I would love to be a resource to you during the whole elopement process, whether you’re looking for the perfect place for your ceremony or trying to figure out whether or not to hike in your wedding attire. If that sounds good to you, I’d love to talk with you and hear all about your vision for your Colorado elopement!
***This blog post is for informational purposes only and not for legal advice. I advise you to do your own research on Colorado law requirements to legally get married here.***