Colorado is an amazing state to get married in for a myriad of reasons. A seemingly never ending array of beautiful locations, easy marriage laws, and lots of sunshine all come to mind. If you think Colorado might be the state where you want to get married here are 10 things to know about eloping in Colorado!
1. Don’t trust the weather
We all joke about it, but Colorado weather changes so fast! If its snowing in the morning it could be sunny by the afternoon. Summer is known for its afternoon storms that roll in and out super quickly. It can be freezing in the morning and high 70s by the afternoon- especially in the mountains. All that is to say, on your elopement day, make sure you have layers and possibly rain gear. But if it is raining, don’t be too worried because it will probably stop soon.
2. Sunrise is the best
Sunrise is amazing for so many reasons. One of the best things though, is the extra privacy. Significantly less people are out for sunrise and you could have a typically crowded area to yourself. In the summer, when afternoon storms and clouds are frequent, you’re more likely to have beautiful weather for sunrise too. And honestly- morning alpenglow is one of the most romantic things ever to experience. You can always take a nap that day to make up for the early wake up call!
3. Its super easy to get married
Colorado is one of the easiest states to get married it which part of the reason its so popular for elopements. There’s no waiting period for a marriage license, you can self solemnize (meaning you don’t need an officiant), and you don’t need witnesses! It also means that if you are including friends and family one of them can officiate even if they’re not ordained. Many couple enjoy the privacy and flexibility that Colorado marriage laws allow and decide to have a day with just the two of them by opting exchanging personalized vows.
4.There’s more than mountains
We love love love our mountains here in Colorado, but there’s so much more than just mountains! One of the amazing things about Colorado is the different amount of topography packed into one state. There’s Black Canyon of the Gunnison (a steep deep walled gorge), the Great Sand Dunes, the Paint Mines (bright pink, orange, and yellow hoodoo rock formations). So many different option without even having to leave the state!
5. Don’t forget about permits
Permit laws are always changing. Take into account that some areas might require permits or entry fees. Some places go off of group size, others require a permit of you’re having any kind of ceremony. There are also a ton of places that are amazing and don’t require permits! Definitely have your photographer help with this part.
6. Definitely include your dog
With so many dog friendly area its super easy to include your dog on your elopement day! Since you’re not confined to a venue and strict timeline, bring them along for all or part of your elopement day adventure. Fun fact- your dog can be a witness and stamp your marriage license with their paw!
7. Winter is….weird
Winter is such a strange season here in Colorado. It could be windy and 3 degrees or 50s and sunny. You just don’t really know. Ones thing is for sure though- its still going to be snowing in March and April. Going out in the winter takes a bit more preparation, but you’re more likely to have places to yourselves in the colder months. Make sure to bring layers, warm shoes, a warm blanket (Pendleton are the best!), and maybe some handwarmers and hot chocolate (or whiskey!). Warm up breaks in the car are an option too!
8. Hiking is always a good decision
Hiking allows you to get to super epic places with fewer people! You don’t have to hike for miles and miles either; there’s options for every skill and fitness level! It also adds an extra element of adventure into your day and allows you to get to some really amazing places.
9. Mountain towns are the perfect place to celebrate!
Seriously- they look like actual Hallmark Movie towns. They have cute local restaurants and most likely a brewery! Elopement days don’t have to take place 100% in the mountains (although that’s totally fine too). You can end the day with an amazing dinner in town. If you’re including family some places even have private event spaces!
10. You can fit multiple adventures into one day
The amazing thing about Colorado? It has a ton of scenic spots and many are close together. You hike in the morning and drive up a mountain pass in the afternoon and have two totally different views on your elopement day!