Maroon Bells Wedding Guide

Posted On | April 11, 2023

Bride and groom laughing and walking on their wedding day with the Maroon Bells in the background

How to Get Married at Maroon Bells

The Maroon Bells are one of the most photographed locations in Colorado, and for good reason! With dramatic, maroon-colored mountain peaks, reflective lakes, and mountainsides full of Aspens, it truly is a breathtaking view. It is no surprise then that it is also an extremely popular location to get married! If you’re thinking about planning a Maroon Bells wedding or elopement, here are some helpful things to know. 

Maroon Bells Amphitheatre Wedding Permit Information 

If you would like to get married at Maroon Bells, there are two options: 

Maroon Bells Elopement with No Guests 

If you would like to elope at Maroon Bells and have no guests (it’s just you and your photographer/videographer), then you do not need to reserve the Amphitheatre. As of March 2023, you are allowed to hold your ceremony anywhere within the Maroon Bells Scenic Area that is accessible to the public and following Leave No Trace Principals and Maroon Bells Scenic Area regulations. 

It is important to stay up to date with current regulations, so it is always a good idea to run your plans by the Aspen Ranger Station at (970) 963-2266 to confirm if any additional permits are required. We’re also always happy to assist our couples with determining any additional permitting needs! 

Maroon Bells Wedding with Guests 

If you are planning on having ANY guests at your Maroon Bells wedding, then a wedding permit is required for the Maroon Bells Amphitheatre.

The Maroon Bells Amphitheatre can accommodate up to 50 people total and is reservable Sunday through Thursday in June, July and August, and Monday through Thursday in September and October. While the exact dates change each year, reservations are typically available for weddings from early June through early October. 

Reservations are released online one year in advance at 8:00 am MST. Only one wedding is allowed per day. 

Be sure to check out the current Maroon Bells Amphitheatre rules and regulations

How Much Does It Cost to Get Married at Maroon Bells?

The cost for a Maroon Bells Amphitheatre wedding permit is $200 (plus tax) and allows you exclusive access to the amphitheatre between 8 am and 5 pm. It also includes five parking passes for the Maroon Bells which allows you vehicle access past the Maroon Bells Welcome Station.

Bride and groom holding hands while hiking in the Maroon Bells Scenic Area after their wedding ceremony

Tips For Securing a Wedding Permit 

The Maroon Bells Amphitheatre is an extremely popular ceremony location, so reservations are typically booked as soon as they are released. Below are a few tips if you are hoping to snag a reservation of your own! 

Be flexible with your date

It is not uncommon for couples to have to try a few different times before they are able to secure a reservation. The more flexible you are with your date, the more chances you have to secure a reservation. If having your ceremony at Maroon Bells is your number one priority, then some patience and flexibility can come in handy! 

Set An Alarm 

Since reservations go almost instantaneously, you’ll want to know exactly when you need to be online and ready to go. We have occasionally seen reservations go live a few minutes before the officially stated time, so it doesn’t hurt to plan on getting online at least 15 minutes early. Since many couples plan a wedding at Maroon Bells from out of state, be sure you’re calculating the right time zone – Mountain Time. 

Create an Account in Advance 

If you haven’t already, be sure to create an account on Recreation.gov and be logged into your account before reservations open. As soon as you are able to add a reservation to your cart, you’ll want to be able to check out and not have to worry about remembering your login or creating your account.

Don’t be discouraged! 

It’s important to note that if you have tried for a reservation multiple times and exhausted your available dates, there are still SO many gorgeous locations in Colorado to choose from! Check out our list of 50+ of the Best Small Wedding Venus in Colorado for some of our favourites. We also offer custom location scouting for each of our couples if you need assistance finding the perfect spot! 

Bride and groom's interlocked hands out of focus in the foreground with the Maroon Bells in focus behind them

Maroon Bells Wedding Amenities

Bathrooms

Vault toilets are available near the parking lot and at the Visitor’s Center. 

Parking

From May through the end of October, access to Maroon Bells requires a parking or shuttle reservation. As of March 2023, parking reservations are $10/vehicle and dog-friendly shuttle reservations are $16 for adults, $10 for seniors and $10 for children. If you are holding your ceremony at the Maroon Bells Amphitheatre, you will receive five parking passes with your reservation. You must pick up your parking passes up to five days in advance from the Maroon Bells Welcome Station.

Hiking Trails

There are several hiking trails with trailheads near the Maroon Bells Amphitheatre that range from a short stroll to a multi-day hike. Our favorites to consider exploring on your wedding day include the following: 

  • Maroon Bells Scenic Loop Trail – This easy, 1.9 mile hike has minimal elevation gain and gorgeous views of both Maroon Lake, West Maroon Creek, and the Maroon Bells as well as plenty of aspen groves. 
  • Crater Lake Trail – For couples looking for a bit more adventure on their wedding day, consider this 3.5 mile hike! With 688 feet of elevation gain, it is considered a moderate trail with views of Maroon Lake, West Maroon Creek, the Maroon Bells, and Crater Lake in addition to lots of aspen groves. 

Wheelchair Accessibility 

The Maroon Bells Amphitheatre is wheelchair accessible. There is accessible parking located 50 yards from the Amphitheatre with a fully paved path connecting the two. 

Seating

The Amphitheatre has three rows of raised benches available for use. 

Wedding Reception Option

While receptions are not allowed at the Amphitheatre, they can be held at the nearby  East Maroon Portal Picnic site which can accommodate up to 75 people and requires a reservation.  

Bride and groom kissing after their wedding ceremony at the Maroon Bells Amphitheatre

Maroon Bells Amphitheatre Wedding Tips 

Arrange For Transportation 

Be sure to arrange for transportation to Maroon Bells for yourselves, vendors, and guests well in advance. You will receive five parking passes with your Maroon Bells Amphitheatre reservation. If your wedding guests and vendors require more than the five allotted vehicles, you have the option of arranging a private shuttle for your wedding guests. Email info@visitmaroonbells.com at least two weeks in advance to make arrangements. 

These reservations tend to sell out rather quickly, so be sure to consider your transportation needs for your entire group when planning for the big day. 

Prepare for High Altitude 

The Maroon Bells Amphitheatre sits at around 9,500-foot elevation, so it is important to keep in mind how you and your guests react to high altitude, especially if coming from sea level. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to acclimate and consider staying somewhere lower (like Denver) for a night or two before heading up to Maroon Bells.

The best way to avoid altitude sickness once in the mountains is to make sure you’re staying hydrated. You’ll likely need to drink more water than you think and there is no drinkable water available at Maroon Bells, so bring plenty of water with you! You’ll also want to make sure everyone wears sunscreen (even on cloudy days) since the air is thinner and the sun’s rays are harsher at high altitudes.

For more information on how to prepare for being at high altitude, check out these tips from the CDC.

Respect Wildlife 

One of the perks of having a Maroon Bells wedding is the chance to see wildlife! Moose, chipmunks, foxes, elk, deer, and even the occasional bear have all been seen in the area. It is important to give any wildlife you see plenty of space, pick up any trash when you leave, and not feed them under any circumstances.  

Bring Your Pooch

Maroon Bells is very dog friendly – they are allowed on the shuttles, at the Amphitheatre, on most of the trails, and along the first portion of the scenic loop (there will be a sign about a quarter of the way along the scenic loop noting where they are no longer allowed due to moose)! If you are planning on bringing your pup, be sure to be aware of the signs informing you where they are and are not allowed, keep them on a leash at all times, and always pick up after them. 

There’s No Cellphone Reception 

Maroon Bells is located approximately 8 miles from where most carriers lose cellphone reception. It’s important to keep in mind that you or your guests likely won’t have cellphone reception at the Amphitheatre, so be sure to coordinate ahead of time. 

Receptions Aren’t Allowed 

While receptions aren’t allowed at the Amphitheatre, there are several locations nearby that are wonderful options! If you’re looking for a casual space to celebrate with your loved ones, you can rent the East Maroon Portal Picnic Site, which can accommodate up to 75 people. For something a bit more formal, The Edge Restaurant, Hotel Jerome, The Pinecreek Cookhouse, Casa Tua, and the Highlands Alehouse can all accommodate receptions!   

Don’t Forget Your Marriage License

In order to get legally married in Colorado, you will need to apply for a marriage license. The nearest place to do so is at the Pitkin County Clerk and Recorder’s Office in Aspen, but you can go to any county in Colorado! 

Bride and groom holding hands and laughing during their wedding ceremony at the Maroon Bells Amphitheatre

When is the Best Time of Year to Get Married at Maroon Bells?

Maroon Bells Summer Wedding 

Maroon Bells typically opens for the season in mid to late May depending on the snowpack, and wedding reservations begin in early June. The weather is usually quite comfortable during the summer months with an average high of 68°F in June, 73°F in July, and 71°F in August. Afternoon thunderstorms are common during the summer months but typically pass quickly. It can get close to freezing at night and before sunrise, so be sure to have a jacket on hand! 

The Maroon Bells Amphitheatre can only be reserved from June through August Monday through Friday. 

Check out Abby and Luke’s summer Maroon Bells wedding for inspiration! 

Maroon Bells Fall Wedding 

Fall is by far the most popular time of year for people to visit Maroon Bells. While the timeframe for peak Fall colors changes each year and is hard to predict, it usually falls between the last week of September through the first week of October. The average temperature quickly starts to fall each week, with an average high of 65°F in September and 49°F in October. Reservations for the Amphitheatre typically end for the season in early October, and the road closes in early November (the official closing date is highly weather dependent!) 

The Maroon Bells Amphitheatre can only be reserved Monday through Thursday in September and October. 

Check out Braydon and Emily’s or Nick and Ashley’s fall Maroon Bells wedding for inspiration! 

Maroon Bells Winter/Spring Wedding 

Maroon Bells is not accessible via car from early November through mid-May. For those wanting to cross-country ski, snowshoe, or snowmobile in, you can still access the area, but ceremonies at the Maroon Bells Amphitheatre are not allowed in the winter and spring months. 

Maroon Bells Wedding Vendors 

Looking for the perfect local vendors for your wedding at the Maroon Bells Amphitheatre? Here is a list of our favorite LGBTQ+ affirming small wedding and elopement vendors that serve Aspen, CO and the area! 

Maroon Bells Wedding Officiants 

Maroon Bells Wedding Florists 

Maroon Bells Wedding Hair and Makeup Artists  

Maroon Bells Wedding Planners

  • Prisma Events | Based in Centennial, CO, but will travel to Aspen | LGBTQ+ Employees
  • Carver Coordination | Based in Windsor, CO, but will travel to Aspen
  • Mountainside Events | Based in Fort Collins, CO, but will travel to Aspen | LGBTQ+ Owned, LGBTQ+ Employees
  • Urban Events | Based in Denver, CO, but will travel to Aspen | LGBTQ+ Employees

Real Maroon Bells Wedding Photos

Ready to plan your Maroon Bells small wedding or elopement?

Meet Larissa + Bailey! As two born and raised Coloradoans who have photographed 200+ couples in 100+ locations across Colorado, we specialize in creating a different kind of wedding day that is just as adventurous as you are. We use our experience and knowledge to craft a different kind of wedding day that feels completely authentic to you. Want to hike to a high alpine lake? We can give you trail options for that! Want to canoe along the banks of a mountain lake? We can tell you the best lakes to do it on! Want to watch the sunset from the top of the world? We’ll lead you to our favorite spots for sunset! Book your Maroon Bells wedding photographer today!

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

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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