How to Elope at Chautauqua Park

This planning guide has everything you need to know about Chautauqua Park Elopements!

Chautauqua Park elopements

Chautauqua Park is one of Boulder’s iconic locations, with the best views of the Flatirons that you will find. It’s a very popular park, and therefore, a popular place to take photos and have elopements.

This guide is intended to provide you with all the information you need to know when planning an elopement at Chautauqua Park. You can also check out more Planning Resources here or get in touch for more planning help!

How to get there and parking

Getting to Chautauqua Park is very straightforward as it is located right in the middle of Boulder, Colorado.

You can use the Google Map link here as well if you want to see it specifically on the map.

Parking

Parking is challenging at this location because it is usually extremely crowded and parking is limited. There is a lot, but it is usually full or nearly full, depending on what time of day and day of the week. The busiest times are weekends in the middle of the day. There is street parking, but that also fills up quickly. 

Both the lots and the street parking is paid parking by the hour on weekends during the summer and on summer holidays. You can use the pay stations you’ll see in the lots or download one of the parking apps listed on the signs in the area. 

If you are having trouble finding parking at Chautauqua, you can check out the shuttle service that runs during the summer.

What you need to know about eloping at Chautauqua Park

There are a few pros and cons to consider when thinking about an elopement at Chautauqua Park.

Pros

Here are some of my favorite things about Chautauqua Park elopements

  1. The beautiful views of the Flatirons! 
  1. Accessible or hiking options. There are great views from right next to the parking area, or if you’d like to do some hiking, there are a number of trails in Chautauqua Park.
  1. Proximity to Boulder. One of the best things about this location is how close it is to Boulder, which means that you have plenty of lodging and restaurant options nearby. 

Cons

  1. Crowds. One of the biggest cons to this location is how crowded it gets. I highly recommend weekdays, preferably at one of the less busy times of day, such as early mornings or in the evenings.
  1. Parking. Parking is limited here, so you’ll want to plan for this.
  1. No Guests. Unfortunately this is not a location that is suited for guests and typically Boulder’s OSMP department will not approve a ceremony here if you have any guests. Instead you would need to reserve one of their designated ceremony sites. If you do have guests you might decide to have your ceremony at one of these cites and just take your portraits at Chautauqua Park instead. Chautauqua Association also rents the greens next to the park as a wedding venue, so if you are having guests, this is an option to consider also. The Chautauqua Green can host up to 100 guests and there are indoor reception and location options as well.

How accessible is Chautauqua Park?

Chautauqua park is considered to be very accessible since there are great views only a short walk from the parking area. If you want, however, you can continue hiking closer up to the Flatirons.

Getting your marriage license in Boulder County

Getting your marriage license in Colorado is pretty straightforward. Just follow these steps below. You can find more detailed information on this process in my Colorado Elopement Guide.

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.

Special Note for Boulder County

However, one thing you’ll want to be aware of is that since COVID-19 started, Boulder County has been periodically restricting the issuance of marriage licenses to out-of-state residents. These rules change every so often, so the best thing to do is to call the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder’s office to ask about the current policy. 

If they are not currently issuing to out-of-state residents, no worries! You can simply get a license from a neighboring county and you’ll still be able to use it at Chautauqua Park for your elopement.

Best days and times for a Chautauqua Park elopement

As I’ve mentioned previously, Chautauqua Park gets very crowded during the middle of the day and on the weekends.

For these reasons, I always recommend sunrise or sunset on a weekday for your elopement here. Typically these times also have the best photo lighting, so that is another reason to avoid midday.

Seasons of the year at Chautauqua Park

Summer

Summer is absolutely beautiful here in Colorado, but it is important to remember that it can get quite hot during the daytime at this time of year. The mornings are pleasant though, which is another great reason to elope at sunrise at this location. 

If you choose a summer afternoon elopement, keep in mind that afternoon thunderstorms are frequent at this time of year. 

Fall

Fall is probably my favorite season at Chautauqua Park as the temperatures start to cool off. Although on many days you will have sunny skies, you’ll want to keep in mind that it is possible to have a snowy day as early as September. 

Winter

Winter in Boulder is also a bit of a mixed bag. Expect lower temperatures than other times of year, of course and more likelihood of windy weather conditions. If you want snow for your elopement day, your best bet will be March, which is our snowiest month of the year throughout all of Colorado.

Spring

Spring is probably my least favorite season in Colorado since it is mud season (when the snow starts to melt and conditions are muddy in a lot of places. I typically don’t recommend this location in the Spring months since conditions are so iffy. At the very least, I recommend considering a backup option!

Chautauqua Park Elopement 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!

All of my Chautauqua Park 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
  • More one-on-one planning help
  • 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 24 hours
  • PLUS a 20% off discount on prints, albums, canvas art, etc. for your first order

2-Day Chautauqua Park 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.

Travel throughout all of Colorado included!

$9,500

8 Hour Chautauqua Park Elopement Package

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

Includes 8 hours of photo coverage.

Travel throughout all of Colorado included!

$6,500

4 Hour Chautauqua Park Elopement Package

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

Includes 4 hours of photo coverage.

Travel throughout all of Colorado included!

$4,500

2 Hour Chautauqua Park 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 6 months in advance.

$2,100

Are you planning a Chautauqua Park 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!

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