Grand Lake Elopement Guide

Posted On | April 11, 2023

Grand Lake is one of our all-time favorite elopement towns in Colorado. With a small mountain-town feel without all the frills and tourists of more popular areas, Grand Lake is perfect for a more low-key couple. This Grand Lake elopement guide will give you all the details on cost, ceremony locations, and time of the year to consider if you want to elope in Grand Lake, Colorado.

bride and groom walking together in front of Grand Lake and Mount Baldy during Grand Lake elopement

 Why would you want to elope in Grand Lake?

One of our favorite secret spots to elope at is Grand Lake. Grand Lake is a subalpine lake located near Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, located east of the continental divide. Rocky Mountain National Park is one of our favorite places in the world to photograph elopements because it’s just so iconic to Colorado. There are so many incredible things to see and do. We can’t imagine a more picturesque place to celebrate your marriage!

Grand Lake is a hidden gem in the Colorado Rocky Mountains and a fantastic place to elope. There are less than 500 residents in this tiny mountain town. It’s a 2-hour drive from Denver – and only 45 minutes from the popular town of Winter Park. At an elevation of 8,369 feet, Grand Lake gets chilly at night (even in the summer months!), but you get the best of all seasons in this mountain town. There are always fun things to do in Grand Lake that could coincide with your wedding, including festivals, outdoor recreation, lake activities and so much more!

More reasons to consider eloping in Grand Lake?

  • It’s much less crowded than other areas near Rocky Mountain National Park
  • There is very easy access to Rocky Mountain National Park on the east side
  • Options are endless for your elopement experience and photo opportunities, including hiking, waterfalls, mountain peaks and of course, the lake!
bride and groom kissing in front of alpine lake during their Grand Lake elopement

When is the best time to get married in Grand Lake?

The truth is, Grand Lake is gorgeous year-round. There really is not a ‘bad’ month for your Grand Lake elopement. But, there are many things to consider about what the best time of year is like the temperature and landscape you’re hoping for.

Winter Elopement in Grand Lake

bride and groom snowshoeing in the mountains during winter elopement in Grand Lake, Colorado

If you’d like a wintery elopement, we would recommend December, January or February because these are the months most likely to have snow.

If you’d like slightly warmer temperatures at lower altitudes with snowy peaks in the distance, March is your best bet.

Spring Elopement in Grand Lake

bride and groom walking through field at sunset in the mountains during elopement in Rocky Mountain National Park

If you’re thinking of April or May for your wedding date, we here in Colorado call those ‘mud months’ because the temperatures are rising and the snow is melting off. Don’t let it scare you though – it can still be snowy or it can be warm and very spring-like. These are the most unpredictable months weather-wise for the entire year.

Summer Elopement in Grand Lake

bride and groom laughing and celebrating after Point Park wedding ceremony in Grand Lake, Colorado

June is the busiest summer for weddings, and for good reason: the weather is generally pretty amazing. However, that also means it’s one of the busiest times of the year for elopements in Grand Lake so if you’re considering a June date, you’ll want to book that date far in advance and not leave it to the last minute!

The summer months of July and August are our favorite, mostly because it’s nice and warm in the mountains but not so hot as it can be in the lower altitude. The wildflowers are incredible, and it’s very green everywhere. If you do better in warmer temperatures without much risk of snow, July and August are the best months to elope at Grand Lake.

Fall Elopement in Grand Lake

bride and groom walking across rocks in the mountains at sunset during Grand Lake elopement

September is the busiest month for weddings in Colorado. The leaves usually start to turn those gorgeous yellow and orange colors around the middle of the month, and usually last 2-3 weeks. Our fall is very brief, but it is absolutely beautiful. Because it’s so busy for weddings in September, we strongly recommend considering a sunrise elopement to lessen the chances of crowds!

October is another up-in-the-air month for weather; we’ve seen it blizzard in October and there’s been days where it’s been so hot outside you want the air conditioner! Usually by the middle of October, we have seen the first snowfall of the season in the higher elevations, like at Grand Lake, and the gorgeous fall colors have gone.

And finally, November is another month that can be warm(ish) or snowy; lately, it seems as though a lot of the elopements we’ve had in November have seen an abundance of snow, but it’s not always a guarantee.

What day of the week to Elope in Grand Lake

wedding couple kissing in meadow nest to river during Grand Lake wedding

One of the important things to consider when planning your Grand Lake elopement is your privacy. There are over 4.5 million visitors every year coming to experience Rocky Mountain National Park and many of them stay in towns like Grand Lake. Peak visitor season for the park is June through September, with July being the busiest month. However, winter months are full of visitors too, hoping to catch a glimpse of some winter magic.

What does that mean for you? If you are planning a destination wedding ceremony in Grand Lake, you should plan to hold your elopement on a weekday. While you are likely not to be completely alone during your elopement, this will guarantee the most privacy. Some of the Grand Lake elopement locations are much more private than others, especially if we go hiking for an adventure elopement.

Grand Lake Elopement Locations

There are a few options for you to consider for your Grand Lake elopement location:

Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park

wedding couple standing on rock with vast mountain views in Rocky Mountain National Park

While you can’t have your ceremony there, per the park rules, we can certainly adventure together there for photos! It’s not very far from Grand Lake, and absolutely worth the views.

Grand Lake Lodge

One of our favorite spots is the Grand Lake Lodge, which is on the National Register for Historic Places in Colorado. There are 70 cabins available, a tavern onsite and you will find yourself surrounded by lake and mountain views that exude the rejuvenating beauty found only in the heart of Colorado!

Point Park

wedding couple dancing next to lake in the mountains during Grand Lake elopement

This is where Dominika and Govind had their lakeside ceremony, and it was amazing. It is free to rent and has views of the iconic Mt. Baldy!

Rental Home

small wedding ceremony on deck of house overlooking the Rocky Mountains

If you don’t want to have your ceremony at Grand Lake itself, we’d recommend looking at AirBnB’s in the area or larger Grand Lake rental VRBO homes that are great for up to 30 guests. This is a great idea if you want to include family in your elopement!

Snowmobile up to Gravel Mountain

wedding couple riding on snowmobiles in the Rocky Mountains on wedding day

And for you adventure elopement couples, how about snowmobiling? We absolutely love to go snowmobiling in the winter and have been searching for the perfect couple to take with me to Gravel Mountain for a snowmobile engagement. Alternatively, we can snowshoe hike in the winter or regular hike in the summer!

Where Should You Go To Celebrate after your Grand Lake elopement?

group of wedding guests toasting with cans of beer

Our favorite local restaurants to celebrate on your wedding day near Grand Lake are:

Need a recommendation for local Grand Lake wedding vendors?

We are thrilled to share with you a few of our favorite tried-and-true vendors that are local for your Grand Lake elopement!

wedding details with small white and gold wedding cake, bouquet, vow books, rings and gold cake knife

Grand Lake Wedding Hair and Makeup Artists

Grand Lake Wedding Florist

Grand Lake Wedding Officiant

two brides running along trail ridge road at sunset during Grand Lake elopement

Interested in having a Grand Lake Elopement or Small Wedding?

We are two born and raised Coloradoans who specialize in planning epic elopements for our couples that feel authentic to who they are. If getting married in Grand Lake sound right up your alley, we’d love to help you find THE perfect spot and make sure it’s a day you never forget with stunning pictures to remember it by. Just get in touch and we’ll get planning!

In the meantime, be sure to check out our list of Best Places to Elope in Colorado, and our guide for How to Plan a Colorado Elopement!

Overwhelmed with How To Plan A Colorado Elopement?

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40+ pages of ideas, tips, and a step-by-step checklist to make your dream elopement come to life.

wedding couple in the mountains on cover of We, The Light Photography's Colorado Elopement Planning Guide and Checklist

Ready to get started?

Let’s create an elopement day that’s purely you.
People first, photos second. Always.

Comment Love


4 responses to “Grand Lake Elopement Guide”

  1. Stacey

    Would you have availability for a 2-22-22 Elopement photo shoot? We’re trying to pull this together last minute. Thank you!

    1. We, The Light Photography

      Hey Stacey! Yes we are! Sending you some more info soon via email to make this happen for you two!!!!

  2. Brittany Deaver

    I am looking into micro wedding/elopement at the end of September…? I am not sure you have any openings or can recommend any information to me would be great!

    1. Hey Brittany! Yes, we sure do have some limited availability for a wedding/elopement at the end of September depending on the date and location! We’d love to chat more, please feel free to email us at hello@wethelightphotography.com and we can help you out!


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