How to Choose The Perfect Elopement Location in Colorado

Posted On | February 13, 2020

How to Choose Your Elopement Location

You and your partner just decided to get married. You’ve both decided that a big, traditional wedding isn’t for you – but now what? You want to elope, maybe somewhere you don’t even live or have never been to – like Colorado. Now you’re wondering how to choose your elopement location in Colorado?

We’re going to tell you exactly how to choose your elopement location based on your wants and needs. We’ll even toss in some resources to help you with such a big decision!

the different views of a colorado wedding

Things to Consider When Choosing Your Elopement Location

When choosing the best elopement location in Colorado, there are some really important things to consider:

Do you pick somewhere new or somewhere meaningful?

We’ve worked with eloping couples that have done both, and it’s honestly just a personal choice. We’ve had some couples elope on the same trail where they went on their first date or it’s somewhere they’ve gone to so many times together throughout their relationship that they couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else. On the other hand, many of our couples live out of state and have never been to Colorado, or only traveled here a few times. In that case, eloping in Colorado is a brand-new experience for them. If you have a specific meaningful location in mind, let’s chat about the logistics of having your elopement there. Or if you’re up for a brand-new adventure on your elopement day, get in touch and we’ll help you start to find the perfect location!

Whichever you choose, just remember: there’s no right or wrong answer!

How accessible is the location?

If you have family or friends coming to your elopement ceremony, you might want to pick a location that doesn’t require a hike. This is especially important if anyone coming has a disability or illness that might limit their physical activity. Since the majority of the state ranges anywhere from 5,000 to 14,000+ feet in elevation, it is also important to keep in mind the effects that higher elevations might have on your and your guests. You’ll want to carefully consider the group’s abilities before selecting your elopement location.

View this Point Park elopement that is accessible all year long (and free to rent!), while this Dream Lake elopement requires a hike and is more difficult to access.

 How cold are you cool with?

Colorado can be quite cold, especially in the winter months – and if you’ve got dreams of a sleeveless wedding gown and your hair blowing the wind, take the temperature into consideration. Even in the middle of August, the top of a mountain peak such as Loveland Pass could see a 30-degree temperature difference compared to the foothills of Boulder at the Sunrise Amphitheater.

View Seth and Miranda’s cold but beautiful winter elopement. Or opt for a summer elopement in Breckenridge!

Are permits required?

With Colorado being one of the top elopement destinations in the world, it’s no surprise that many of the places you might be considering for your elopement will require permits. Locations such as Sapphire Point, Maroon Bells and Rocky Mountain National Park will require a permit, while others like Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs currently don’t require a permit.

Do your permit research before you plan for your elopement because the last thing you’ll want is to deal with a park ranger on your wedding day! (P.S. Permits are something we help all our eloping couples with, so get in touch if you have a question about a specific location.)

How important is seclusion?

Colorado is one of the most beautiful places in the world, with a huge collection of 14ers, wildlife, world-class skiing and everything else Colorado has to offer. That said, tourism is huge in Colorado. With tourism comes – you guessed it: tourists! If you want to be completely alone for your elopement, you are likely going to want to consider a longer hike or a less popular location, especially during peak tourism months.

Places like Maroon Bells are constantly welcoming people to visit and if you don’t want a huge crowd for your ceremony, it’ll be a better idea for you to consider an adventure elopement with a little bit of a hike. Alternatively, you can always pick less popular locations like Grand Lake to reduce the chances of big crowds.

 Do you want to bring your dog?

Dogs are often super important to our couples, but unfortunately, you can’t bring dogs with you everywhere in Colorado for your elopement! There are some parks, such as Rocky Mountain National Park, that don’t allow you to bring pets onto the trails for their safety (as well as your own). So, if bringing your dog is a deal-breaker for your elopement location, you’ll definitely want to check to see if dogs are allowed wherever you are considering.

Check out this adorable Sapphire Point elopement with the couple’s husky dog.

What kind of scenery do you feel most in awe of?

Are you the type of person who loses their breath with the view from the top of a mountain peak? Or, perhaps you think that the middle of a forest, surrounded by giant pine trees is the most magical place. Maybe, you have always loved water and feel most at peace next to a river or lake. We urge you to really consider what type of scenery you want to be surrounded by. The good news is Colorado has pretty much every kind of scenery you can think of: valleys, peaks, lakes, forests, waterfalls, open fields, and even desert. You name it, and Colorado most likely has an option for you. (Except the ocean. We have yet to find one of those in this awesome state!)

View this foothills elopement, alpine lake elopement, packrafting elopement, sand dunes elopement, or mountaintop elopement for inspiration!

What time of year do you want to elope?

With all the beauty that the Colorado Rockies have to offer, there are actually some locations that are inaccessible during the winter months. Locations such as Independence Pass and Trail Ridge Road close because of the snow and ice and are only available during the summer and early fall months. Other locations, such as Maroon Bells, are flooded with tourists in the fall seeking a peek at the changing aspen leaves.

If you’re unsure about which month to elope, here is a blog post that walks you through every month of the year in Colorado and which is the best month to elope.

Our Favorite Tools for Finding an Elopement Location in Colorado

We love utilizing the internet to find elopement locations, whether it’s on the research side or on the social side of scouting.

Google is a fantastic tool for scouting elopement locations, especially Google Maps with street view and Google Earth Pro. We love using these tools because they’re constantly being updated and they help with planning out the timing of elopements with sunrise and sunset.

Social Media is another incredible asset for anyone trying to decide on where to elope – especially on Instagram! We recommend looking up hashtags, such as #locationWedding or #locationElopement that way you can see what it actually looks like in photographs. Pinterest is another valuable social media that serves as a search engine for scouting the perfect elopement location!

Aside from Google, there are some amazing hiking and trail websites that you can use for research. Those include:

Many of those websites also have Trail Apps for your phone, in addition to CoTrex.

Finally, utilizing travel guides is always a wise research method. We personally love to use:

If you’re still looking for the perfect spot to elope, we’re here to help! We provide a custom location guide to each of our couples full of hidden gems and all of the information you need to make a decision.

In the meantime, we’ve compiled an extensive list of our favorite elopement locations in Colorado!

Ready to find the perfect elopement location?

As two born and raised Coloradans who have photographed 200+ couples in over 100 locations across Colorado we are ready to make your dream elopement day happen. Yes, we are photographers, but we are also your pack mule, your best friend, your planner, and your guide to having the best dang day in Colorado. If you love new experiences and want to kick wedding tradition to the curb, then reach out to us and we’ll help you start planning a wedding day as adventurous as you are. Now, let’s do the dang thing!

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?

Download Our Free Colorado Elopement Planning Guide & Checklist

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

Are You Freakin’ REady?

We’re 100% here for whatever day you’re dreaming up. Fill out our contact form to start chatting.

Are You Freakin’ REady?

We’re 100% here for whatever day you’re dreaming up. Fill out our contact form to start chatting.

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