Colorado is one of the leading destination elopement locations in the US- and it’s no wonder.
Colorado has a rich variety of landscapes for every taste and season. Water falls, roaring rivers, desert, mountains, sand dunes, and plenty of activities to make your destination elopement a truly one of a kind experience of a lifetime. I’ve put together a short list of the absolute BEST natural places to consider for your Colorado elopement.
*** As an important note, many places in Colorado require permits for even a private ceremony- as your photographer I can navigate this process to make sure your runs smoothly! At Wild Earth Weddings, I practice Leave No Trace principles and believe in supporting the protection of our public lands by abiding by the rules put in place to protect them.
Wild Earth Weddings offers all-inclusive Colorado elopement and micro wedding packages.
Elope at Great Sand Dunes Park and Preserve
Located in southern Colorado, this natural wonder is the perfect backdrop for a unique and dramatic place to exchange your vows. Afternoon storms often roll in across the Sangre de Cristo mountains, and the seasonal Medano Creek makes for a refreshing wade through the soft sand.
Located right at the parking lot, the foothills of the dunes are popular and easily accessible- although you will feel the effort in your thighs the next day! Surfing down the dunes is a popular summer activity, and clear starry nights- far away from city lights- will have you wanting to stay up all night and watch the sunrise from atop the highest dune.
Click below to see more of my favorite photos from this epic landscape.
Elope at Garden of the Gods
There can be no better named attraction in all of Colorado than the Garden of the Gods Park in Colorado Springs- indeed it’s one of the most unique places to get married in Colorado.
Strolling through the towering sandstone formations- Gateway Rocks, Tower of Babel, Balanced Rock, Cathedral Spires, Three Graces, Sleeping Indian, Siamese Twins, Scotsman, Pig’s Eye, you can easily imagine it as some grand entryway for greater beings.
Though usually quite busy in tourist season, you can still find private moments strolling through the classic Colorado red sandstone formations that our state is known for. (Did you know that “Colorado” get’s its name from the Spanish for “color red”?). Garden of the Gods is free to the public and offers many free (but limited) wedding sites on a first come, first served bases- perfect for elopements and small wedding ceremonies!
Elope in the Rocky Mountains
Ok, this one is obvious- when you think Colorado, you think mountains. Colorado has so many (so so many) epic and breathtaking mountains which are the perfect backdrop to exchange your vows or having your small wedding ceremony. The options are nearly endless and vary across the entire range of accessibility options.
You can wake up before sunrise and hike for 1 hours, 5 hours, 8 hours, whatever your level of comfort and sense of adventure, and you’ll find a mountain that is perfect for you.
If you or your guests have accessibility requirements, you can still have your dream mountain elopement. (Finding the perfect mountain wedding for you is exactly my specialty!)
I love the idea of supporting the National Parks system by having your wedding in Rocky Mountain National Park. However, in addition to the more well-known (and super popular!) hikes and summits in RMNP, there are hundreds of miles of lesser known and equally stunning area of the Rocky Mountain range that are waiting just for you.
Elope in Boulder, Colorado
Boulder is my favorite places in all of Colorado- I might be biased having lived here for 7 years!- but it is also a great place to elope! With over 155 miles of trails to explore just within the city, you are sure to find your perfect spot!
Centrally located just 30 minutes from Denver and the Denver International Airport, Boulder is one of the most accessible places for couples coming from out of state for their elopement! Boulder also offers many affordable wedding and elopement venues, such as Sunrise Amphitheater- situated at the top of Chautauqua Park and overlooking the city.
Boulder fits right in the with abundant beer culture in Colorado, boasting enough local breweries that you’ll have plenty of options for celebrating your marriage! (My favorites are Avery Brewing Co, Upslope Brewing, Mountain Sun, Boulder Beer, and Bootstrap Brewing- although you’ll be equally as hard pressed to pick favorites!)
Boulder’s iconic Flatirons make an impressive backdrop for wedding photos, but I know a few secret spots where you’re not likely to see anyone else in this busy park!
Elope in the San Juan Mountains
Bluegrass lovers and adventure sports aficionados alike are drawn to southern Colorado to experience “Switzerland of America” otherwise known as the great San Juan Mountain range.
Come for the annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival, (or one of the dozens of other jam packed festivals located in this happening ski town) and stay for an adventurous Jeep excursion in nearby historic mining town of Ouray.
Spas and hot springs alike dot the landscape of southern Colorodo (Orvis Hot Springs in Ridgway is a personal favorite!) and you’ll find activities aplenty to go alongside your mountain elopement set against the backdrop of Colorado’s most spectacular vistas. I recommend setting aside some time to visit Silverton along the Million Dollar Highway- you won’t regret it!
November 7, 2019