The Ultimate Guide to Your Boulder Elopement

Planning an elopement near Boulder, Colorado? This guide has everything you need to know, including amazing elopement locations, Boulder elopement packages, and lots more info!

Two brides look at each other and smile during their Boulder, Colorado elopement

Updated: May 1, 2022

5 reasons why Boulder, Colorado is a great place to elope

  1. The beautiful scenery is definitely one of the best things about eloping in Boulder! There are so many amazing locations with mountain views, lakes, lush greenery, or even red rocks! Check out some of the many places to elope in Boulder listed below.
  2. Many locations are very accessible, including in the winter. If you’re nervous about having a winter elopement in Colorado because of unpredictable access issues in the mountains, Boulder is a great place to consider eloping!
  3. Boulder has many dog-friendly locations if you’re planning to have a dog-friendly elopement.
  4. If you’re coming from out of state, travel will be easy! Denver International Airport is less than 1 hour from Boulder, CO. 
  5. Restaurants, bars, shopping, activities, and more! Boulder has lots of fun things to do to keep you and any friends or family entertained.
Couple eloping in Boulder, Colorado with mountain views and pine trees in the distance at sunset

Best places to elope in Boulder, Colorado

Sunrise Amphitheater

The Sunrise Amphitheater is a location that you can reserve through Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks here. The views are great from this location, and because you can reserve it, you are guaranteed privacy! 

You can reserve this spot for either one hour or 3 hours, and the cost varies depending on whether you are a resident of Boulder or not. The fee for one hour is $100 for residents of Boulder and $150 for non-residents. The fee for 3 hours is $300 for residents and $400 for non-residents.

Keep in mind that this location is closed seasonally from October 31 through April 30.

Sunset amphitheater in Boulder, Colorado with concentric circles of stone benches overlooking the city

Lost Gulch Overlook

Lost Gulch overlook is a very popular location just outside of Boulder with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. While it is located right off of the Flagstaff road parking area, this spot is very rocky so it’s not ADA accessible. Due to its popularity, I recommend going at around sunrise if possible.

Boulder OSMP only allows short ceremonies, with no chairs or arches at this location. You need to get your ceremony approved through Boulder OSMP to have your elopement here and be aware that they may not approve busy days/times of day such as sunset on a weekend.

Also typically for any elopement with guests they’ll want you to move to an official ceremony site (such as Sunrise Amphitheater), so this is site is best for elopements with no guests!

Check out this blog post for all the information you need to know about Lost Gulch elopements!

Groom helping his bride climb up rocks in Boulder Colorado

Brainard Lake

Brainard Lake is one of the most popular recreation areas near Boulder. It is located west of Boulder, near Ward, Colorado. There are some beautiful lakes that you can hike to, in addition to Brainard Lake itself which is an accessible location. Entry fees are $12 per vehicle.

A couple of things to note about this location however. First, because of the popularity of this location, I only recommend it for elopements or microweddings with just a few guests. I also highly recommend going on a weekday. 

Also, note that the road up to the main recreation area at Brainard Lake  is closed during the winter months, which can start in October and last until late June sometimes! In the winter, you can hike or snowshoe in (depending on conditions) from the lower gate, which is about 5 miles round trip to Brainard Lake.

Shore of Brainard Lake one of the best places to elope in Boulder Colorado

Chautauqua Park Elopement

Chautauqua Park was named a National Historic Landmark in 2006 and is a very popular place to visit in Boulder due to its beautiful views of the Flatiron Mountains. Chautauqua Park is part of Boulder OSMP so it has similar rules as Lost Gulch.

Boulder OSMP only allows short ceremonies, with no chairs or arches at this location. You need to get your ceremony approved through Boulder OSMP to have your elopement here and be aware that they may not approve busy days/times of day such as sunset on a weekend.

Also typically for any elopement with guests they’ll want you to move to an official ceremony site (such as Sunrise Amphitheater), so this is site is best for elopements with no guests!

You can also explore the trails in the area for more beautiful spots!

Check out this blog post for all the information you need to know about Chautauqua Park elopements!

Groom looking at his smiling bride as she waves her dress in a field in Chautauqua Park in Boulder, Colorado

Boulder Reservoir

Boulder Reservoir is a beautiful and accessible location with a lake and some mountain views in the distance. I recommend checking out the northern shoreline near Coot Lake for the best views. Dogs are allowed at this location, and there are great sunset views here!

Boulder reservoir shoreline with Flatirons in the background on a partly cloudy day


Other fun idea to consider for your elopement would be to rent an Airbnb or VRBO with epic views. There are some properties with great views throughout the Boulder area. If both privacy and accessibility are important to you, renting a private property is a great choice!

Check out this post for more information on Colorado Airbnb elopements and microweddings, including event friendly properties!

Talk to your elopement photographer about more hidden gems in Boulder

Finding a location is usually the first thing couples want to do when planning their elopement or microwedding, but I’ll let you in on a little wedding industry secret…

Choosing a photographer first is actually the best thing you can do, especially if you’re planning an elopement or small wedding.

Why? Because local photographers know all the best spots! Most elopement photographers, including myself, include location help with their photography packages.

Hiking elopement viewpoint in Boulder Colorado
This hidden gem in Boulder is a short hike with great views!

For example, when you tell me what type of scenery you want, how many guests you’re planning to have, whether you want to hike or whether you need an accessible location, etc. etc., I can help you with determining what your best options are in a given area like Boulder.

Colorado is a beautiful place, and there are literally hundreds of location options. If you hire your photographer first, you don’t have to take on the daunting task of finding a place to get married by yourself.

Boulder and the surrounding area has many more hidden gems that are perfect for a Colorado elopement, especially during the summer months. Get in touch and we can start planning your dream elopement day!

Getting your marriage license for your Boulder 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.

Bride and groom stand among large boulders at their elopement

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 Boulder


Boulder, Colorado is a great place to elope at any time of year. 

Although there are great location options all year round, it’s good to keep in mind that some locations are only easily accessible in the summer (e.g., Brainard Lake).

Weather conditions can also vary significantly from day to day (especially in the Fall, Winter, and Spring), and conditions can also vary significantly between lower elevations and higher ones. Talking with a local or locally-based professional can help you get a better understanding of what to expect for your chosen location.

LGBT couple embracing each other and kissing on wedding day while the snow falls in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado

During the summer, the mornings and evenings in Boulder are pleasant, although it can get quite warm during the day. The summer also tends to see lots of afternoon storms.

The spring and fall in Boulder are not as hot during the day but the weather and temperatures can be more unpredictable. Every year is a little different as to exactly when the seasons start to change. It can snow as late as May or even June on occasion in Boulder.

In the winter, Boulder does get snow, although it tends to melt quickly in the lower lying areas which can make for more days of pleasant outdoor excursions. March tends to be the snowiest month of the year! 


Because of the popularity of many Boulder 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.

Bride and groom embracing each other surrounded by trees and fields with Boulder, Colorado mountains in the background

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 Boulder elopement reception

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


A picnic at a local pavilion is always a great option for celebrating your elopement. 

If you’re planning to celebrate your elopement with friends and family, Boulder OSMP has several pavilions that you can reserve.

Champagne bottle and glasses and engagement ring at a Boulder Colorado elopement


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!

Private Chef or Catering

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

Best places to stay for your Boulder elopement

Best Boulder hotels

Top vendors for your Boulder elopement

While you don’t have to hire any vendors to marry yourselves in Colorado, many couples do since it is still your wedding day! Here are some common categories of vendors that couples typically consider hiring when eloping in Colorado, as well as some recommendations in the Boulder area.

Boulder Florists

A beautiful bouquet, flower crown, or boutonniere can really complete your elopement look. I recommend checking out these florists in the Boulder area:

Bride with a smoky eye makeup look and curled hair with floral crown for her elopement

Boulder Hair and Makeup Artists

For many brides, getting their hair and makeup done is a big part of their day and making them feel extra special for their elopement. Some top options to check out in Boulder include Amy Merritt Hair and Makeup & Wedlocks Bridal Hair & Makeup.

Boulder Elopement Planners

As an elopement photographer, I provide my couples with lots of planning assistance, including things like finding your perfect location, vendor recommendations, timeline for the best photo lighting, and lots more.

But some couples still want to have a planner, as planners will actually help you hire each individual vendor. This can be helpful if you really want to take even more planning tasks off your plate.

The top two elopement planners I would recommend in the Boulder area are Calluna Events and COLLECTIVE/by Sachs.

Things for you and your guests to do while visiting Boulder

If you and your guests are visiting Boulder for your elopement, you’ll probably be looking for some entertainment nearby.

Here are a few ideas that you might want to consider:

Or check out this article with more of the top things to do in Boulder.

Nearby hikes for your Boulder, Colorado elopement

One of the best things about eloping in Colorado is the opportunity to add in a little adventure! Maybe you’re interested in having a hiking wedding or maybe you just want to have some extra fun on another day during your visit to Colorado. Either way, there are a ton of great hiking options near Boulder! Here are a few:

Couple eloping at Lost Gulch Lookout location in Colorado

Boulder 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!

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 elopement partner to help you create the epic day your love story deserves!

Bride and groom sit on a rock together and lookout over the mountains in Boulder together

All of my Boulder Elopement Packages include:

  • 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
  • Assistance with wedding permit if needed
  • Cost of photo permit included
  • An entire gallery of edited, high-resolution images great for printing, PLUS websize images ideal for posting to social media
  • The rights to print, share, and download all of your images
  • A sneak peek of 5 images with 48 hours
  • PLUS a 20% off discount on prints, albums, canvas art, etc. for your first order

2-Day Boulder Elopement Package

Can’t decide between a “just us” celebration, or a day with friends and family? Have both!

Includes 12 hours of photo coverage, split over 2 days.

No travel fees in Colorado!

8 Hour Boulder Elopement Package

Our most popular package–for capturing memories of your entire elopement day

Includes 8 hours of photo coverage.

No travel fees in Colorado!

4 Hour Boulder Elopement Package

A great choice for simple elopements at accessible locations or for short hikes.

Includes 4 hours of photo coverage.

No travel fees in Colorado!

2 Hour Boulder Elopement Package

When something short and sweet will do!

Includes 2 hours of photo coverage.

Available only for “just us” elopements (no guests) on Mondays through Thursdays within 2 hours of Denver.

Bookable up to 2 months in advance.

Are you planning a Boulder elopement or microwedding?

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

Get in touch and let’s chat about your vision!

Or check out more elopement planning resources…

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!


  1. Colorado has no shortage of gorgeous elopement spots, and Boulder is no exception! Super appreciate such an informative article for couples seeking to get married in this beautiful place.

  2. What a wonderful and comprehensive resource for couples wanting to elope in Boulder Colorado!! This guide is so helpful, especially when you describe the best times of the week and year for eloping in each location.

  3. Wow! I’ve never been to Boulder but your guide makes me want to explore it! Great resource for those of us wanting to visit.

  4. Thank you so much! This is such an incredibly detailed and helpful post. Now I really want to go to Colorado!

    The amount of time and effort you have put into this post is amazing. Also, your images are STUNNING

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