colorado elopement guide



colorado elopement photographer

Knowing how to elope in Colorado sounds like it should be an easy task. In many cases, however, when couples arrive here they are unprepared and surprised at the complexity of what should be a fun, beautiful day and they are left scrambling to get things done.



Here we will do what we can to help ease some worry with a list of items that we’ve found to be very important when coming to Colorado to elope. Living next to RMNP, in Estes Park, we have been present to hundreds of elopements both here in Colorado and abroad and we feel as though we have a pretty good understanding of what to plan for.

Let’s make a “Colorado Elopement Guide” list to check off…

Here is a list of things to consider when eloping here. These are in the order of importance based on how far in advance people or places book up. (notice #2!) I will give you details of each below.

1. Choose a venue or place to say your vows


This is number one because, as you may know already, Colorado is a very popular place to elope. There are literally thousands of weddings and elopements here every summer and fall and it’s a good idea to secure a place as soon as you’ve made up your mind.

This is by far the most important piece of the puzzle, and for some, the most daunting. “Do we want mountains? forests? a stream? snow? history? glamour? simplicity? or…? 

Living in the mountains certainly has its benefits and RMNP is really perfect for a location to elope. We are able to be in the park within 10 minutes of our home and we meet most of our clients there.

2. Choose a photographer


Along with choosing a venue, the photographer you choose is usually booking about six to nine months in advance and needs to be contacted as soon as you decide on a location or venue. There are a lot of us around, but we are all quite busy with weddings, especially in the Estes Park and front range area. 

Please do your homework with this selection. Don’t get me wrong, it’s amazing to shoot in locations that are exotic and new, especially the rockies, but it should be clear on their site that they do not live there and have a great knowledge of the area unless they really do. There are many, many photographers that will tell you they are “locals” to the area, or “experts at shooting in X location” and yet they live hours away. Or, they live in another state and have worked there once or twice. Something to note about photographers who don’t live in the area is that they will inevitably be charging you for travel whether they tell you or not. 

We live in Estes Park, all year. Spring, summer, fall, and winter. We know RMNP very well, more than a lot of people who live here, because we are there several times per week. We moved here so we could be close to RMNP and we don’t take it lightly.

3. Book flights, car rentals, or both


As soon as you’ve made a decision about your location and hired a photographer, you will want to check flights and car rentals. It’s important to know about the area you are headed to as well. For instance, if you are going to be flying into Denver via DIA, and not leaving town for much, you don’t need a 4X4 Jeep fully loaded for off-roading. Conversely, if you’re planning on camping and driving on what’s known around here as “jeep roads”, then yes! Get a 4 wheel drive beast, because these roads are gnarly!

4. Find an AirBnB

This shouldn’t be a surprise, but you’ll need a place to crash. Airbnb has recently taken off in Colorado and in any town there will be a house, room, or duplex to rent. If you are crafty, you’ll get one big house for everyone to stay in that was in your wedding party so the “party” can continue!

5. Book your hair and makeup artists if wanted


Since the wedding industry is huge in Colorado, it should be no surprise that there are a lot of hair and makeup artists here. Depending on their availability, you should get them lined up as soon as you’ve made your decision to elope here. If your plans are in northern Colorado hit us up for a list of great vendors. We’d be happy to help!

6. Choose a florist, also if wanted


This point could’ve been made along with number five, but I felt it deserved it’s own section. Flowers are definitely a luxury if you are planning on eloping here in Colorado. There are many, many florists and they all create wonderful bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres. Do your homework and look at several if you’re planning on having a ceremony and want flowers there.

There are of course many other things to consider. These are just a few that we thought were pretty important. Please let us know if you have questions or concerns about our Colorado elopement guide. We would love to help you!