A Photographer’s Guide to Planning your Aspen Elopement

This guide has everything you need to know about planning an elopement in Aspen, Colorado, including the best places to elope in Aspen, Aspen elopement photography packages, and lots more!

Woman holding man's face during embrace with mountains in the background of adventure elopement near Aspen, Colorado

Best places to elope in Aspen, Colorado

Maroon Bells 

This location is considered to be one of the most photographed places in Colorado, and for good reason! Two beautiful 14ers tower over the valley below, making this location incredible for your Aspen elopement. Check on this guide to planning your elopement at Maroon Bells!

Independence Pass

Independence Pass is the route between Twin Lakes and Aspen, Colorado. It offers beautiful mountaintop views from the summit, which makes it a great place to elope! It’s important to note that this road completely closes during the winter months.

Crater Lake Hiking Elopement

Crater Lake is a hike near Aspen that is a great option for those wanting the same views as Maroon Bells, but without the crowds. The hike is just under 4 miles long with elevation gain of around 700 feet, making it a great option for an adventure elopement.

Airbnb/VRBO

Another fun idea to consider for your elopement would be to rent an Airbnb or VRBO with a great backyard or beautiful views for your elopement. If both privacy and accessibility are important to you, renting a private property is a great choice! Of course, always make sure to check with the owners about your plans before booking your property. Check out this post for more info on Colorado Airbnb Elopement Venues.

Chat with your photographer about hidden gems for your elopement

Aspen and the surrounding area has many more hidden gems that are perfect for a Colorado elopement, especially during the summer months. Location assistance is included with all of my Aspen elopement packages! Get in touch for more info!

Maroon Bells near Aspen Colorado during the summer time with yellow wildflowers

Getting your marriage license for your Aspen elopement

How to get your marriage license in Colorado

The process for getting your marriage license in Colorado is very simple. 

You will need to go to a County Clerk and Recorder’s office. You can go to any county’s office in the state, regardless of where you are getting married.

Although some counties allow you to start the application online, you must complete the process in person.

There is no waiting period to get married in Colorado, so you can use it the same day you get it. However, keep in mind that these offices follow typical government office hours and holidays. Most offices are open Monday through Friday from 8 A.M. to 4:30/5 P.M.

The process is very quick! It will usually only take about 20 to 30 minutes and you should not need an appointment.

You must use the license within 35 days of applying for it. Then it must be completed and filed back with the County Clerk and Recorder’s office within 63 days from the date of the wedding. You can either mail it back in, or return it physically to the same location.

What do I need to bring?

  • $30 (most counties accept cash, check, or credit card)
  • Valid form of identification (e.g., passport, driver’s license, military I.D.), including proof of age
  • Social security numbers

If I live elsewhere, should I get my marriage license in Colorado?

If you are getting married in Colorado, you should obtain your marriage license in Colorado rather than your home state if you live elsewhere. This is because very few states allow you to apply for a marriage license, have your ceremony in another state, and then return home to file the license. 

The reverse is also true. If you live in Colorado, but want to have your ceremony in another state, you should apply for your marriage license in the state where you’re having your ceremony. Colorado requires you to sign your marriage license within the state.

Choosing when to elope in Aspen

Season

There really isn’t a bad time of year to elope in Aspen! You’ll want to consider the type of scenery you want, as well as the specific location where you want to elope. For example, there are certain areas or mountain passes that are closed during the winter (which may last from October through June here!), including Independence Pass and the road to Maroon Bells.

The summers in Colorado are a personal favorite! I love all the wildflowers and how the mornings are still cool in the mountains. It’s also nice to have all your location options available when all of the trails and passes are open and accessible!

Fall is also a beautiful time in Aspen, as you can imagine from the name of this ski town! Usually in mid to late September the leaves will start to change colors, and the fall foliage in certain areas is really stunning.

Winter is also gorgeous in Aspen if you can tough out the cold! All of the snow makes it a winter wonderland.

Finally there’s Spring, when the temperatures are starting to warm up and the crowds are starting to dissipate after ski season. You’ll want to keep in mind that Spring is very unpredictable. If you’re not from Colorado it may surprise you to hear that Aspen sometimes sees snow days as late as June or even on occasion in July! The melting snow can also make certain trails very muddy!

Weekend/Weekday

Because of the popularity of many Aspen locations, I always recommend a weekday elopement if at all possible. It will offer you significantly less crowds and more privacy than a weekend elopement.

Time of day

Equally as important as choosing a weekday elopement over a weekend elopement, is choosing a time of day that will offer you the best chance of privacy. 

Early mornings are by far the best time to elope if seclusion is important to you. If you can’t make a morning elopement work for you two, evenings are generally the next best time. 

Where to have your Aspen elopement reception

Here are a few different options you have for celebrating your Aspen elopement, whether that be just the two of you or with others.

Table settings with rustic orange napkins, wine glasses, greenery, and white candles at an Aspen elopement

Picnic

A picnic at a local park is always a great option for celebrating your elopement, especially if you’re planning to celebrate your elopement with friends and family.

Some popular parks near Aspen Include the East Maroon Portal Picnic site, the John Denver sanctuary, and Wagner Park.

Restaurant

Another option would be to make a reservation at a nearby restaurant for your reception. Many restaurants have a private event space option. You could also consider having your reception at a nearby distillery or craft brewery!

Here are a few restaurants near Aspen and Snowmass Village that I recommend!

Private Chef/Catering

Finally, if you love good food but want more privacy to celebrate your marriage, consider hiring a local private chef or ordering catering. This is a great option if you’re renting an Airbnb or VRBO in the area.

Places to stay near Aspen

Aspen elopement photography packages

I’m more than just a photographer…I’m here to help you have the best day ever!

Based on my experience, especially with elopements and microweddings, couples need more than just a photographer.

Unlike with a traditional wedding, you may not have a venue coordinator or wedding planner helping you think through logistics, locations, or all the little details that really add up!

But here are just a few of the ways I can help you, all included with my custom elopements:

  • Elopement & Micro wedding VIP Planning Guide exclusively for Wild and Found couples
  • Questionnaires to help you through the planning process
  • Personalized location assistance
  • Local vendor recommendations
  • Logistics help and a custom timeline
  • Gear and day-of checklists customized for your day
  • More one-on-one planning help

I don’t just show up and take photos on your day. I’ll be here for you every step of the way. 

I know you have a lot of choices when it comes to picking a photographer. What makes me different is that my number one goal is to be here for YOU–not just as your elopement photographer… but as your adventure partner, friend, and guide to the epic day your love story deserves!

The Ultimate Full Day Custom Aspen Elopement Package

The best choice for capturing memories of your entire elopement day, from getting ready through celebrating with friends and family.

Includes 12 hours of photo coverage.

Personalized assistance with locations, local vendor recommendations, custom planning tools, checklists, and more. I’ll be there to help you every step of the way.

You get an entire gallery of edited, high-resolution images great for printing, PLUS websize images ideal for posting to social media.

Includes the rights to print, share, and download all of your images.

Travel included!

$6,000

8 Hour Custom Aspen Elopement Package

Best suited for covering the highlight moments of your elopement day.

Includes 8 hours of photo coverage.

Personalized assistance with locations, local vendor recommendations, custom planning tools, checklists, and more. I’ll be there to help you every step of the way.

You get an entire gallery of edited, high-resolution images great for printing, PLUS websize images ideal for posting to social media.

Includes the rights to print, share, and download all of your images.

Travel included!

$4,500

4 Hour Custom Aspen Elopement Package

A great choice for simple elopements at accessible locations.

Includes 4 hours of photo coverage.

Personalized assistance with locations, local vendor recommendations, custom planning tools, checklists, and more. I’ll be there to help you every step of the way.

You get an entire gallery of edited, high-resolution images great for printing, PLUS websize images ideal for posting to social media.

Includes the rights to print, share, and download all of your images.

Travel included!

$3,000

Are you planning an Aspen elopement or microwedding?

I’m more than just a photographer. Helping couples create their dream day is what I do best!

Get in touch with the contact form below and let’s chat about your vision!

Get more elopement and microwedding info here!

Or check out more elopement planning resources…

A complete guide to Airbnb Weddings and Airbnb Elopements in Colorado
Fluffy rottweiler mix dog wearing a pink and white flower collar
Couple hugging each other on their hiking wedding in Colorado
Elopement Photographer Kim from Wild and Found Photography

Hi I’m Kim, a Denver, Colorado based photographer specializing in Adventure Elopements in Colorado and worldwide! Photographing couples on the most special day of their lives is a true honor for me. But I’ve made it my mission to take it one step further than that. When you work with me, you’re getting more than just a photographer. I’m here to help you with all of the planning resources you need to have the most amazing elopement day ever! That includes everything from assistance with location ideas, timeline planning, and lots more free resources. So you can forget the work, and focus on having fun!

Aspen elopement guide cover photo

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