What to Do During Your Elopement
Posted On | February 17, 2021
Elopement Activities to Make Your Wedding day Unique
Congratulations on making the choice to elope! Now you may be wondering what to do during your elopement? The number one rule when planning your elopement is to make it about YOU! On your wedding day, it is the perfect chance to create a day around elopement activities that reflect your relationship and values. You have the exciting opportunity to get as creative as you’d like and bring in activities that are either meaningful to you as a couple, or a chance to celebrate your first day as a married couple in a way you won’t soon forget! Below are a few of our favorite elopement activities to consider on your wedding day!
What to Do During Your Elopement Year-Round
Slow Down when getting ready
The getting ready portion of your wedding day can include so much more than just putting on your wedding attire. Slow down a bit and think about how you would like to spend the last few hours before saying your vows. This is such a special time, so we encourage you to be intentional with it! Some of our favorite “getting ready” activities include:
- Snuggling up with a cup of coffee or tea
- Taking a bath or enjoying a soak in the hot tub together
- Playing a round or two of your favorite board game
- Help each other get dressed for the day
- Coping your vows into your vow books or typing them up with a typewriter
- Cooking breakfast together
- Putting on your favorite record
- Writing and sharing love letters with each other
- Exchanging gifts
- Meditating or practicing yoga
- Reading letters from loved ones
For more ideas for how to make your getting ready portion of the day unique check out this guide!
Share a first look with each other, or with friends and family
There is an indescribable magic in the first moment you lay eyes on each other dressed in your wedding attire. It’s a moment filled with anticipation, emotion, and pure joy. Consider carving out a special time to share a “first look” with your partner, embracing the opportunity to see each other before the ceremony begins. And it’s not limited to just your soon-to-be spouse; you can extend this heartfelt experience to include your beloved family and friends as well. By allowing for separate first looks, you create additional cherished moments and ensure that everyone feels the love and excitement in their own unique way.
Do you find yourself constantly captivated by the mesmerizing beauty of the stars? Whether you’re tying the knot bright and early or enjoying a magical evening ceremony, why not seize the opportunity to indulge in some celestial wonders and capture breathtaking photos under the stars? With just a little planning, you can make your special day even more enchanting by incorporating a precious moment to stargaze.
Check out Kathy + Zac’s elopement or Leslie + Nathan’s elopement for stargazing inspiration!
Soak up blue Hour
The magical moment just before sunrise or just after sunset is known as the enchanting “Blue Hour.” Break out the lanterns and enjoy watching the light change! The tender glow of the lanterns, the delicate play of shadows and light—it’s a recipe for pure magic and the most dreamy, romantic photos.
Check out Emilie and Jacob’s elopement for blue hour inspiration!
Take a Hike
Whether it’s the dead of winter or the middle of summer, it is almost always possible to hike on your wedding day in Colorado! There are many different trails that allow you to get away from the crowds and into nature. We are happy to suggest hiking trails that range from less than 1 mile all the way to 8+ miles for your wedding day!
Check out Kendall and Ally’s hiking elopement or this backpacking elopement for hiking inspiration!
Play a few rounds of your favorite board game
Your adventurous elopement doesn’t mean you have to be constantly on the go. Consider taking a break to play your favorite game! How about a few rounds of UNO, a game of cribbage, or a game of Catan?
Check out Serena and Victor’s or Leslie and Nathan’s elopement for some inspiration!
VISIT A BREWERY, DISTILLERY, WINERY, OR COFFEE SHOP
There’s nothing more refreshing than an ice-cold microbrew on a hot day, or a warm cup of coffee on a cold morning. If you’re like us and love to explore different local haunts, building time for a drink into your timeline is a great way to soak up the local culture while enjoying a break on your wedding day! Some of our favorite places to visit are Bird’s Nest in Estes Park, Outer Range Brewing in Dillon, and The Hub in Grand Lake.
Check out Cody and Gwenanne’s elopement for some coffee inspiration, or Kacey + Sarah’s elopement with lunch at a brewery!
Ride a Gondola or Ski Lift
Sometimes all it takes to get incredible mountain views is a quick ride on a ski lift! There are so many options year-round for a ride up the mountain at a Colorado ski resort. Telluride’s free gondola and Keystone’s view at the top are two of our favorites!
Check out Joelys + Steven’s Telluride elopement for some gondola inspiration!
relax in some hot springs
Did you know that Colorado has natural hot springs all over the state?! Imagine taking a soak in the morning before you get ready for the day, or slipping in to relax after a full day of celebrating! Some of our favorite hot springs are Dunton Hot Springs near Telluride, Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort near Buena Vista, and Strawberry Park Hot Springs near Steamboat Spring. If you’re looking for something a bit more private, this Buena Vista Airbnb and this Buena Vista Airbnb have their very own hot spring!
Explore a National Park
Did you know that Colorado is home to four National Parks?! While Rocky Mountain National Park might get all of the attention, Black Canyon of the Gunnison and Great Sand Dunes are two other incredible places to consider exploring on your wedding day! While not a National Park, Colorado National Monument is another beautiful place to add to your list!
Check out Amanda + Joe’s or Ali + Tom’s Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement for inspiration!
Get a birdseye view with a Helicopter, hot air balloon, or private plane ride
Looking for a scenic view but don’t want to hike? How about getting a birdseye view on a helicopter tour, hot air balloon ride, or a plane ride? Companies like Grand Adventure Balloon Tours, Grandview Flightseeing, and Fly Venture offer unique tours to see Colorado from a whole new viewpoint!
Have a Picnic or a Meal with a Private CheF
We’re big fans of food around here and love when couples build a meaningful meal into their day! Whether you pack a picnic to enjoy on top of a mountain or hire a private chef to cook you a special meal, there are so many ways to incorporate delicious food into your day! Consider Summit Brunch, who will bring a fine dining experience to wherever you are in Summit County, (including a mountain peak!), or Juli y Juan, who will prepare the absolute best meal of your life in your Airbnb’s kitchen!
Check out Nik and Rebekah’s elopement where they shared a charcuterie board on a mountaintop for inspiration or Giedre + Brooke’s elopement which ended with a meal cooked by a private chef!
Have a Zoom/Facetime Elopement Reception
Eloping just the two of you but still want to include loved ones? Consider a virtual reception over Zoom, Skype, or Facetime! Connect, share, and celebrate your love, even from afar.
Check out Stanley and Leah’s Zoom reception at Lake Dillon for inspiration!
Read Letters from Loved Ones During Your Elopement
One of the best ways to still include family and friends on your elopement day is by having them write personal letters to the two of you. You can take a break on a rock overlooking the mountains, open them up, and laugh and cry with the sweet words they wrote.
Check out Sophia and Keaton’s elopement where they took a break together and read letters from family and friends.
Get a tattoo
If you’re looking for a unique way to commemorate your wedding day, consider getting a tattoo together! It’s not just a tattoo—it’s a symbol of your unwavering unity, shared memories, and everlasting commitment.
Take a Break and relax
Often elopements are a full-day adventure. Consider making space for some downtime to relax between important moments of the day to recharge. Consider taking a nap in your favorite hammock, or even setting up a blanket and lying in the sun for a bit!
play music together
Do you love to play music? Bring your favorite instrument along and play a few chords together! Whether it’s your guitar, ukulele, harmonica, drums, or something else, there’s never a bad time for some music!
Share Your First Dance
Even though you’re foregoing a traditional wedding, it doesn’t mean you can’t share a first dance! Sway along to your favorite song on a lakeshore, overlooking the mountains, next to a campfire, or even in front of your car’s headlights. The options are endless!
What to Do During Your Elopement in the Summer and Fall
Summer in Colorado, especially in the mountains, typically begins in mid-June. At some elevations there might be snow present year-round, but for the most part, the majority of mountain passes and trails are open by this point! Summer in the mountains is full of green grass, lots of wildflowers, and crystal-clear alpine lakes to explore with temperatures often in the mid-70s.
Depending on the elevation and part of the state you’re in, fall color usually starts to appear in late August and lasts until the first week or so of October. Temperatures can be a bit cooler but are usually pleasant in the mountains and along the front range. It is not unusual to start seeing snow in mid-September, especially at higher elevations, but most trails and passes are accessible until late October.
Check out our guide to help decide when the best time to elope is for you! If Summer or Fall is your ideal timeframe, there are lots of options to consider on your wedding day!
Enjoy a CAMPFIRE + S’MORES
There’s nothing like warming up around a campfire under the gorgeous Colorado stars! If cake isn’t your thing, consider making some s’mores or sharing your first dance around a campfire! You could even have your first dance by firelight! Just be sure to check the current fire restrictions in your elopement location before lighting your campfire to make sure you’re good to go,
Check out Jake + Caiti’s elopement for some campfire inspiration!
Explore with a Jeep or ATV
If you’re wanting to get to more secluded areas with incredible views but hiking is just not your jam, a Jeep or ATV tour might be a great option for you! Tours like these are led by professionals and allow us to cover large distances on mountain passes and trails in a shorter period of time. They’re great if you have guests who might not be as mobile, as well! Two of our favorite Jeep trails are Yankee Boy Basin and Rollins Pass!
Check out Kayla and Jeff’s UTV elopement for inspiration!
If fishing is one of your favorite summer activities, there is no reason why you can’t spend some time casting a line on your wedding day! There are numerous streams, lakes, and rivers throughout the state that allow fishing, and getting a fishing license is a super easy process!
Feeling adventurous? Colorado has several adventure parks that offer zip-lining! Soar through the trees and get your blood pumping at places like Royal Gorge Zip Line Tours, Steamboat Zipline Adventures, or Top of the Rockies Zipline!
Go for a swim
If cooling down on a hot day sounds like the ideal way to spend an afternoon, consider going for a swim on your wedding day! Colorado is full of lakes and rivers that are perfect for taking a dip, as well as lots of places to cliff jump if you’re wanting to get your heart pumping!
explore on horseback
If you’re looking for a true “wild west” experience, horseback riding definitely fits the bill! Just like a Jeep or ATV tour, this unique experience allows you to cover a good amount of trail in a shorter time period. Whether you’ve never been near a horse or have ridden all of your life, there are many outfitters all over the state who can make your riding dreams a reality! Check out Saddleback Ranch in Steamboat, National Park Gateway Stables in Estes Park, or Breckenridge Stables in Breckenridge!
get out on the water
There are reservoirs and lakes all over the state that offer great opportunities to get out on the water! Whether you’re looking for something motorized, or would rather paddle yourself, there are many options to rent a watercraft for the day, including pack rafts, canoes, paddleboards, pontoons, kayaks, jet skis, and more! Shadow Mountain Lake in Grand Lake, Ridgeway State Park in Ridgeway, Steamboat Lake near Steamboat, and Dillon Reservoir in Dillon are all beautiful places to paddle around!
Check out Marlene and Martin’s elopement to see how they incorporated a canoe into their wedding day, or Merina and Sierra’s pack raft elopement!
There is no better way to truly immerse yourself in the mountains than getting away for a night (or two), setting up camp beneath the stars, roasting s’mores over a campfire and waking up to a pink sunrise. A backpacking elopement is for those couples who want to get away from the crowds, breath in the fresh mountain air, and truly immerse themselves in the mountains. Some of our favorite backpacking trails are Mohawk Lakes and Blue Lakes.
Check out this backpacking elopement for inspiration!
Picture a secluded campsite, nestled amidst towering trees and overlooking a serene lake. Let the crackling campfire be the backdrop to your love story, as you celebrate your marriage surrounded by the tranquil ambiance of nature. This unique elopement experience is sure to create cherished memories!
Take a Motorcycle or bike ride
Choosing to ride a bike (motor or pedal!) on your wedding day is a unique and meaningful choice that can add an extra layer of joy and adventure to your special day. It symbolizes a spirit of freedom, togetherness, and embracing the simple pleasures of life and allows you the chance to slow down, savor the journey, and appreciate the beauty of your surroundings.
Hike a via ferrata
A via ferrata is an exhilarating and unique mountain adventure that combines elements of hiking, rock climbing, and mountaineering. If you’re looking to get your heart pumping on your wedding day, it’s a thrilling activity that offers a perfect balance between adventure and safety, allowing you to push your limits while appreciating the stunning natural landscapes that surround you. Whether you’re a seasoned climber seeking a new challenge or an adventurous beginner looking to step out of your comfort zone, a via ferrata promises an unforgettable outdoor experience that will leave you with lasting memories! Check out these top via ferratas in Colorado!
go rock climbing or bouldering
If you’re a climber, consider doing your favorite hobby on your wedding day! By incorporating rock climbing into your wedding day, you infuse it with adventure, excitement, and a shared sense of achievement, creating unforgettable memories (and epic photos!) along the way!
go sandboarding at the Great sand dunes
Sandboarding on your wedding day offers more than just adrenaline-pumping thrills. It presents an opportunity to connect with nature, as you immerse yourself in the serene ambiance of the Great Sand Dunes National Park. The quiet solitude, interrupted only by the sound of the wind and your own laughter, creates a sense of peace and tranquility. Learn more about sandboarding and sand sledding!
What to Do during Your Elopement in the Winter and Spring
Winter/Spring in Colorado can look different depending on what elevation you’re at! Along the front range, any snow that comes through often melts quickly and temperatures can range anywhere from the mid-50s to below zero. In the mountains, once it begins to snow heavily (usually around the beginning of November), it typically sticks around until the end of spring in late-April. The temperature can range from mid-30s to below zero, with temperatures slowly rising as spring approaches. March and April are our snowiest months, and most mountain passes are closed between Labor Day and Memorial Day.
Check out our guide to help decide when the best time to elope is for you! If you’re dreaming of a snowy wonderland, there are lots of cold-weather options to consider on your wedding day!
Explore the mountains via sleigh ride, dog sled, or snowmobile
When there’s a lot of snow, transportation in Colorado can get creative! Live out your dreams of a winter wonderland wedding by taking a romantic sleigh ride through snow-covered trees, fly through the forest on a dog sled, or ride to the top of a mountain pass on a snowmobile!
Check out Kacey and Sarah’s snowmobile elopement or Brittany and Ray’s dogsledding elopement for inspiration!
While hiking is an option year-round in Colorado, some trails might require snowshoes in the snowier months. This is a great way to get away from the crowds and explore during the winter! You can rent a pair of snowshoes and poles from places like REI and Christy’s Sports!
go Ice skating
Once the many ponds in Colorado freeze for the winter, they make the perfect spot to skate! Places like the Rotary Park Rink in Ouray, Evergreen Lake, YMCA of the Rockies, Dercum Square Ice Rink in Keystone, or Winter Park’s Village Ice Rink are all great options!
go skiing or snowboarding
Colorado is known around the globe for our incredible skiing, both at resorts as well as backcountry! Imagine celebrating your wedding day on the slopes, or gliding through trees while cross-country skiing!
Check out Megan and Ethan’s cross-country skiing elopement for inspiration!
If you still crave some speed but skiing or snowboarding isn’t your first choice, consider taking a break to go sledding on your wedding day! Did you know you can even sled in Rocky Mountain National Park?!
Visit the ice castles
If you’ve ever wanted to live out some major Elsa-vibes, check out the Ice Castles in Dillon! This castle is constructed each year and is usually open January through the beginning of March, depending on weather. It’s best to get tickets as soon as they go on sale since they almost always sell out! Note: the Ice Castles are not currently scheduled to be in Colorado during the 2023/2024 season. We’re keeping our fingers crossed they come back next year!
Play in the snow
Let your inner child loose and play in the snow! Build a snowman, create a snow fort, or have a snowball fight!
Regardless of what you decide to do during your elopement, it is your opportunity to create a day that is just as adventurous as you are! Are you ready to get started planning your best day ever? Get in touch and let’s do this 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!
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