How to Plan Your Crested Butte Elopement In 2024

Posted On | February 15, 2024

Crested Butte is one of our favorite low-key elopement destinations for good reason! This charming mountain town offers everything you need for an intimate and magical celebration in 2024. Here’s everything you need to know about planning your Crested Butte Elopement.

A bride and groom hold lanterns and kiss during blue hour on their elopement day in Crested Butte. Two white horses walk past them in the background. A field of wildflowers is in the foreground, and mountain are in the background.

Seven Reasons To Elope in Crested Butte 

1. It’s Remote

Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Crested Butte boasts pristine wilderness and panoramic views without the hustle and bustle of larger tourist destinations. Located about four and a half hours from Denver International Airport, it’s one more the more remote locations in the state, which means fewer crowds! Say your vows surrounded by towering, colorful peaks, rushing waterfalls, golden aspens, lush meadows, and vibrant wildflowers—it’s the quintessential Colorado experience.

2. Laid-back Atmosphere

Leave the stress of wedding planning behind and embrace the laid-back atmosphere of Crested Butte. Here, it’s all about kicking back, soaking in the scenery, and savoring every moment with your partner. As one of the more laid-back mountain towns in the state, Created Butte has a reputation for having more of a local feel. 

3. Affordable Options

Despite its remoteness, Crested Butte offers plenty of low-key and affordable options for your big day (especially compared to other mountain towns!) 

4. Spectacular Views

Known as the Wildflower Capital of Colorado, Crested Butte boasts stunning vistas in every direction. Whether you’re eloping in the summer amidst a sea of wildflowers in the summer, exchanging vows against a backdrop of golden aspens in the fall, or hitting the snow-covered slopes in the winter, you’re guaranteed to have breathtaking views that you’ll remember for a lifetime.

5. Endless Activities

Looking for adventure? Crested Butte has it all. Lace up your hiking boots and explore scenic trails, paddleboard on serene alpine lakes, or spend a night under the stars camping in the wilderness. And for adrenaline junkies, there are ATV/4×4 trails to conquer and world-class skiing and snowboarding in the winter months.

6. Dog-Friendly Destination

Want to include your furry friend in your elopement? Crested Butte is a dog-friendly destination, so you can bring your beloved pup along for the adventure. Plus, your pup can even act as your witness and sign your marriage license with their paw print! 

A bride and groom hold hands in an Aspen grove in Created Butte. They are looking up at the tall, green trees as they celebrate their elopement.

When is the best time to elope in Created Butte? 

Whether you’re dreaming of saying “I do” amidst a sea of wildflowers or against a backdrop of snow-covered peaks, Crested Butte offers something magical for every couple. Let’s dive into what to expect during each season!

Summer Elopement in Crested Butte

Months: Mid-June to early September

Average High/Low Temperatures: 70°F/40°F (21°C/4°C)

In the summertime, vibrant wildflowers carpet the meadows, creating a kaleidoscope of colors against the backdrop of lush greenery. The mountains are alive with the sound of rushing streams and chirping birds. Summer is the perfect time for hiking through wildflower-filled meadows, paddleboarding on alpine lakes, mountain biking along scenic trails, exploring 4×4 trails, camping along mountain passes, stargazing, and attending the renowned Crested Butte Wildflower Festival! For those dreaming of exchanging vows among a sea of wildflowers, late July is going to be your best bet to see them at their peak! Check out Emilie + Jacob’s summer wildflower elopement for inspiration!

Fall Crested Butte Elopement

Months: Late September to mid-October 

Average High/Low Temperatures: 60°F/30°F (15°C/-1°C)

During the short fall season, aspen trees set the mountains ablaze with hues of gold, orange, and red, creating a breathtaking backdrop for your elopement. The air is crisp, and the scent of autumn fills the air. Fall is the perfect time to elope if your dream wedding day consists of leaf-peeping hikes through golden aspen groves, scenic drives along Kebler Pass, or horseback riding through colorful forests! 

Winter Crested Butte Elopement

Months: December through March 

Average High/Low Temperatures: 30°F/10°F (-1°C/-12°C)

A winter wonderland awaits with snow-capped peaks, frost-covered meadows, and icicles glistening in the sunlight. The town is blanketed in snow, creating a cozy and romantic atmosphere. For those who love the snow, winter is an excellent time to elope! Eloping in winter means you have the chance to ski or snowboard on world-class slopes, snowshoe through pristine forests, take a sleigh ride under the stars, explore trails on a snowmobile, or cozying up by the fire in a mountain lodge! 

Spring Crested Butte Elopement

Months: late March through early June  

Average High/Low Temperatures: 50°F/20°F (10°C/-7°C)

Spring in Crested Butte is often considered “mud season,” but don’t let that keep you from exploring the outdoors! As the snow begins to melt, creeks flow with crystal-clear water, and the mountains come alive with the sound of wildlife awakening from winter. During the springtime, you can expect to spend time exploring trails as the snow begins to melt, hiking to see cascading waterfalls, mountain biking on newly accessible trails, and enjoying quiet moments in town before the summer crowd arrives! 

Best Places to Elope in Created Butte

Choosing the perfect location for your elopement in Crested Butte is an essential part of creating the perfect day. From lush forests to serene lakes and majestic mountain vistas, this charming mountain town offers a variety of breathtaking backdrops for your special day. While we create a custom location guide full of stunning hidden gems for all our couples, here are a few of the more well-known elopement locations Crested Butte has to offer:

NOTE: We do our very best to stay updated on the current permit requirements for each location, however you should always verify the current restrictions for each location on your own since they are subject to change! Anytime you venture out in nature, please be sure to respect the land and practice the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace.

Mountains glow with alpenglow in Crested Butte. There are purple and yellow flowers in the foreground and a lush green hillside in the background.

Woods Walk Elopement 

Maximum Number of People: Small intimate ceremonies, typically up to 30 guests

Estimated Cost: $350 for no guests, $1500 for up to 30 people 

Best Time of Year: Available year-round 

Website: https://www.cblandtrust.org/weddings/ 

Nestled amidst towering aspen trees and fragrant wildflowers, Woods Walk offers a secluded and serene setting for your elopement ceremony. One of three wedding sites owned by the Crested Butte Land Trust, reservations are accepted up to 7 days before the event. Availability can be confirmed on their website

Peanut Lake is in the foreground. The meadow and mountains have a golden glow in the background.

Peanut Lake Elopement 

Maximum Number of People: Small to large-sized gatherings, typically up to 100 guests

Estimated Cost: $350 for no guests, $1500 for up to 100 people 

Best Time of Year: Summer through Fall

Website:  https://www.cblandtrust.org/weddings/ 

With its tranquil waters and stunning mountain views, Peanut Lake is a picturesque location for your elopement, and is an excellent choice for a larger group! Located minutes from downtown, it’s a convenient location for those wanting to hold a reception or dinner nearby. One of three wedding sites owned by the Crested Butte Land Trust, reservations are accepted up to 7 days before the event. Availability can be confirmed on their website! Check out Michael and Caitlin’s summer elopement for inspiration! 

Gunsight Bridge Elopement 

Maximum Number of People: Small intimate ceremonies, typically up to 30 guests

Estimated Cost: $350 for no guests, $1500 for up to 100 people 

Best Time of Year: Summer through Fall 

Website: https://www.cblandtrust.org/weddings/ 

Spanning the Slate River and minutes from town, the Gunsight Bridge wedding site offers sweeping views of the surrounding mountains. Say your vows against the backdrop of rushing waters and towering peaks for a truly unforgettable ceremony. One of three wedding sites owned by the Crested Butte Land Trust, reservations are accepted up to 7 days before the event. Availability can be confirmed on their website

Two kayaks rest along the shore of Lake Irwin in Crested Butte. Snowcapped mountains are seen across the lake in the background.

Lake Irwin Elopement 

Maximum Number of People: Intimate ceremonies only, typically up to 10 guests 

Estimated Cost: Free 

Best Time of Year: Summer and Fall

Website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/gmug/recarea/?recid=33340 

Tucked away in the mountains, Lake Irwin is a hidden oasis of crystal-clear waters and alpine beauty. Whether you choose to elope on the shores of the lake or venture out onto the water in a kayak, you’ll be surrounded by breathtaking scenery at every turn.

A couple twirls along the shore of Emerald Lake in Crested Butte. The water is a beautiful emerald color, hence the name, and the mountains form a dramatic V in the background revealing the sky.

Emerald Lake Elopement 

Maximum Number of People: Intimate ceremonies, typically up to 10 guests

Estimated Cost: Free

Best Time of Year: Summer and Fall 

Website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/gmug/recarea/?recid=33264 

True to its name, Emerald Lake boasts stunning emerald-green waters and panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Exchange vows on the rocky shoreline or venture out onto the water in a canoe for a truly unforgettable ceremony. Check out Laura + Joel’s couples session and Emilie and Jacob’s elopement at Emerald Lake for inspiration! 

A cow grazes in a meadow along a mountain pass in Crested Butte. The snowcapped mountains in the background make for a beautiful view, and the perfect spot for a Crested Butte elopement.

Mountain Pass Elopement 

Maximum Number of People: Small gatherings, typically up to 10 guests

Estimated Cost: Free

Best Time of Year: Summer and Fall 

Surrounded by towering aspen trees and vibrant wildflowers, numerous near-by mountain passes offer a scenic and serene setting for your elopement ceremony. Ranging from easily accessible trails to serious off-roading trails that require a 4×4 with high clearance, there are many breathtaking spots to choose from! 

A couple kiss in front of a red canoe along the shore of an emerald green alpine lake during their wedding day in Cresetd Butte.

Alpine Lake Elopement 

Maximum Number of People: Intimate ceremonies, typically up to 10 guests

Estimated Cost: Free

Best Time of Year: Summer and Fall

Accessible via a scenic hike or 4×4 trail, several alpine lakes in the area offer stunning views of snow-capped peaks and pristine alpine waters. We keep these locations secret to limit the impact on their resources, but are always willing to share them with our booked couples! 

A the slate river runs along Gothic Road in Crested Butte, Colorado

Gothic Road Elopement 

Maximum Number of People: Intimate ceremonies, typically up to 10 guests

Estimated Cost: Free

Best Time of Year: Summer and Fall

Winding its way through lush meadows and dense forests, Gothic Road offers endless opportunities for scenic elopement spots. Whether you choose to exchange vows amidst the wildflowers of summer, the golden foliage of fall, or the rushing Slate River, you’ll be surrounded by natural beauty at every turn. Check out Laura + Joel’s summer couples session for inspiration! 

A couple stands holding hands during a rainstorm at Peanut Lake in Crested Butte on their wedding day.

Best Microwedding Venues in Crested Butte 

Wanting to include your loved ones for your Crested Butte microwedding? You’ve chosen a destination known for its stunning scenery and charming venues. From rustic lodges to picturesque gardens, Crested Butte offers a variety of options for couples seeking an intimate and memorable celebration. Let’s explore some of the top microwedding locations in this mountain town:

Scarp Ridge Lodge Microwedding 

Maximum Number of People: Up to 75 guests

Estimated Cost: Starting at $15,820

Website: https://elevenexperience.com/scarp-ridge-lodge-colorado-summer/ 

Nestled in the heart of downtown Crested Butte, Scarp Ridge Lodge offers a luxurious and intimate setting for your ceremony or intimate reception! With its rustic-chic decor, panoramic mountain views, and impeccable service, this lodge provides the perfect backdrop for your special day as well as your all-inclusive luxury lodging for up to 18 people.

Rocky Mountain Biological Lab Microwedding 

Maximum Number of People: Up to 128 guests

Estimated Cost: Starting at $7,500

Website: https://www.rmbl.org/private-events-and-for-profit-conferences/ 

Surrounded by pristine wilderness and breathtaking mountain vistas, the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab offers a unique and unforgettable setting for your microwedding. Exchange vows amidst towering pine trees, wildflower-filled meadows, and crystal-clear streams for a truly magical experience.

Crested Butte Town Ranch Microwedding 

Maximum Number of People: Up to 150 guests

Estimated Cost: Starting at $700

Website: https://crestedbutteco.myrec.com/info/facilities/details.aspx?FacilityID=13414 

Situated on the outskirts of town, the Crested Butte Town Ranch is a charming and picturesque venue for your microwedding. With its rustic barn, expansive meadows, and stunning mountain views, this ranch provides a beautiful backdrop for your special day.

A couple recites their vows during their wedding ceremony at the Mountain Wedding Garden in Crested Butte.

Mountain Wedding Garden Microwedding 

Maximum Number of People: Up to 125 guests

Estimated Cost: Starting at $800

Website: https://mountainweddinggarden.com/#rental-info

Located minutes from downtown, the Mountain Wedding Garden is a tranquil and picturesque setting for your microwedding. With its lush gardens and stunning mountain views, this venue offers a private space for your ceremony, as well as the option to reserved a covered pavilion for your reception! Check out Michael and Caitlin’s summer elopement for inspiration! 

Taylor Ridge Lodge Microwedding 

Maximum Number of People: Up to 40 guests

Estimated Cost: Starting at $49,600

Website: https://elevenexperience.com/taylor-river-lodge-summer/ 

Located on the outskirts of Crested Butte, Taylor Ridge Lodge offers a serene riverside setting. The property consists of several cabins and a communal lodge and provides the perfect setting for an intimate and romantic microwedding, as well as all-inclusive luxury lodging for up to 32 guests. 

Sopris House Microwedding 

Maximum Number of People: Up to 50 guests

Estimated Cost: Starting at $19,400

Website: https://elevenexperience.com/sopris-house-weddings/

Located in the heart of downtown Crested Butte, the Sopris House is a historic and charming venue for your microwedding that also acts as your all-includive luxury lodging for up to 10 people! With its Victorian architecture, cozy rooms, and intimate courtyard, this house provides a romantic and elegant backdrop for your ceremony or intimate reception. 

A couple holds hand while walking through a field of wildflowers during their elopement in Crested Butte

How to Get Married in Crested Butte 

Let’s talk about the practical stuff: getting your marriage license. Don’t worry, it’s easier than you think! 

In the state of Colorado, you can go to ANY country clerk in the state to obtain your license. If you’re staying in Crested Butte, the Gunnison County Recording Office will be the closet location! As of February 2024, appointments are still required to for marriage license applications, so be sure to plan ahead! You’ll need to bring along a form of ID (usually your drivers license or passport), as well as $30 to pay the fee. 

In Colorado, you have the option to self-solemnize your marriage, which means you can legally marry yourselves without the need for an officiant or witnesses. It’s a unique and romantic way to tie the knot and perfect for couples who want to exchange vows in a private and intimate setting. Because no witnesses are required, you can even have your dog sign with their paw print! 

After you’ve exchanged vows, be sure to sign your marriage license and submit the signed license to the same Clerk and Recorder’s Office that you picked it up from to make it official! 

For more in-depth information on obtaining your marriage license, check out our post on How To Self-Solemnize In Colorado

Crested Butte Elopement Vendors 

As you’re planning your Crested Butte elopement, it’s inevitable that the need for additional vendors will come up. Here are a few of our favorites in the area! 

Crested Butte Wedding Florists

Crested Butte Wedding Private Chefs/Catering 

Crested Butte Wedding Hair & Makeup Artists 

Crested Butte Wedding Officiant 

Crested Butte Elopement Packages 

we’re more than just your photographer

We’re not kidding. We’re here to make this process easier than “accidentally” binge-watching the newest season of your favorite show. Every single elopement package includes:

  • Adventure Elopement Planning Guide with step-by-step plans, insider tips and resources from the 250+ elopements we’ve planned.
  • A custom location guide with hidden gems for you to explore and info on accessibility, privacy, permits and photos.
  • Unlimited communication – You can email us anytime, anywhere, about anything – no question is too silly.
  • Recommendations for vetted, LGBTQ+ affirming elopement vendors.
  • A custom timeline that allows you to have the epic and stress-free elopement day of your dreams.
  • Local knowledge about Colorado’s quirky features, like weather patterns, seasonal closures, last-minute back-up locations, and dealing with high altitude and wildlife .
  • We’re CPR, AED & Wilderness First Aid Certified and always travel with backups of anything we might need.
  • A built-in back up photographer you know you can trust (because we’re a team).
  • Day of coordinator (you don’t need to look at your watch one time), best friend, and hype girl.
  • A polaroid memory to take home as a tangible keepsake on your wedding day.

If it’s on your elopement to-do list, we’re here to help check it off.

Crested Butte Elopement + Small Wedding Packages

Crested Butte is THE spot to elope if you want adventure, stunning scenery, and wildflowers galore. We specialize only in Colorado and can help you plan the perfect just-us day or a celebration with up to 30 of your friends/family.

What’s Included

8+ Hours of Photography Coverage

We intentionally document your day with both digital and film. Includes high-resolution digital images, printing rights, a shareable online gallery, and free album design.

Full Elopement Planning Assistance

When we say we help with it all, we mean it. Location scouting and ideas. Vetted and LGBTQ+ allied vendors who know elopements. Recs for activities to do on your elopement day. Stress-free timeline planning. Planning resources and ideas. Unlimited communication because we never leave you high and dry.

Ready to get started?

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

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