The Ultimate Denver Elopement Planning Guide

Are you thinking about planning an elopement near Denver? This guide has everything you need to know, including the best places to elope in Denver, Denver elopement packages, and lots more!

Blue his and hers vow books, bouquet and ring box sitting on a table

How to plan your Denver elopement

  1. Start daydreaming about what you want your Denver elopement to look like! Check out sites like Pinterest for inspiration. Think about questions like: What does the setting for my elopement look like? Who do I want to be there with me (e.g., friends, family members, etc.)? What time of year sounds best to me?
  2. Get in touch and book your Denver elopement photographer.
  3. Work with your photographer to help you find the perfect Denver elopement location. Check out some of the more popular spots below!
  4. Once you determine your elopement location, choose your elopement date.
  5. Book lodging and any travel needed.
  6. Hire any other elopement vendors you want, such as a florist, hair and makeup artist, officiant, or videographer.
  7. Obtain your marriage license.
  8. Enjoy your epic elopement day!

Getting your marriage license for your Denver 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.

What else should I know?

  • In Colorado, the legal age to get married without parental consent is 18. If either party is age 16 or 17, a parental consent form is required to be signed by both parents.
  • There is no blood test requirement to get married in Colorado.
  • Both parties are required to be present at the Clerk and Recorder’s office to obtain a marriage license. If one party cannot be present, then an absentee affidavit must be completed.
  • It’s a good idea to obtain certified copies when you file your completed marriage license with the County Clerk and Recorder’s office. This makes legal stuff like name changes easier, and it helps to have a few copies handy in general.
Bride and groom holding each other in front of trees and rocks

Best places to elope in Denver, Colorado

But first, a word on permits…

When couples start planning their elopements, sometimes they are surprised to find out that you might need a permit to get married in a certain location. Many public parks or areas have rules requiring a special use permit to hold your ceremony at that location. Always make sure to check on this wherever you decide to elope. Your Denver, Colorado elopement photographer is often a good resource to help with understanding these requirements as well!

Cheesman Park

Cheesman Park is one of the most popular parks in the heart of Denver. If you’re looking for a simple, outdoor elopement spot in Denver, this could be your perfect location! There is a beautiful marble pavilion where you can say your vows and take pictures. Be aware though, this spot can get very crowded!

Denver Botanic Gardens

Located right next to Cheesman Park is the Denver Botanic Gardens. A rental is required, and there are a variety of sites available throughout the gardens. The Denver Botanic Gardens offers rental options for ceremony only, ceremony and reception, reception only, and more.

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater

Red Rocks is an iconic must-see site to visit when in Denver, and it’s a great place to get married too! There are lots of beginner friendly trails with views of red rock formations. There are also sites that can be rented if you’re planning to have a larger number of friends and family members attend your elopement.

Denver Clock Tower

The Denver Clock Tower is an incredibly unique location in downtown Denver, and they offer elopements right in front of the large clock face! Elopement packages include up to 4 hours of time and up to 20 guests are allowed.

Nearby Mountain Towns

If you’re looking for more of a mountain elopement, luckily there are several mountain areas not too far from Denver. Check out Breckenridge or Vail, which are also popular places to visit and plan an 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.

Places to stay near Denver – Instagram worthy Denver Airbnbs

If you’re looking for a great place to stay in Denver, look no further! I’ve done the hard work for you by searching through dozens of listings in Denver. Check out some of my favorites below.

Please note that some links above are associate links, and I may earn a small fee if you book using these links, at no additional cost to you. However, all opinions and favorites are my own!

Choosing when to elope in Denver

Season

Colorado weather is known for its unpredictability! Weather conditions can 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 locally-based professional can help you get a better understanding of what to expect for your chosen location.

In Denver during the summer, the mornings and evenings are pleasant, although it can get quite warm during the day. The summer also tends to see the most afternoon storms, which can help with cooling off the hotter temperatures.

The spring and fall in Denver 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. But normally April is when the wildflowers start to bloom, and the leaves usually start to change in September.

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

Weekend/Weekday

Because of the popularity of many Denver 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. 

Bouquet of yellow, white, and purple flowers, held by bride with engagement ring sitting in one of the flowers

Where to have your Denver elopement reception

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

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 your pup.

Some popular parks near Denver include Cheesman Park and Washington 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!

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.

Denver elopement FAQ

Where can I elope in Denver?

There are a number of great elopement locations near Denver, including Cheesman Park, the Denver Botanic Gardens, the Denver Clock Tower, and Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater.

Can you get married the same day in Denver?

Yes! In Colorado there is no waiting period to get married. You can pick up your marriage license from the Clerk and Recorder’s office and complete it within the same day.

How much does it cost to elope in Denver?

A marriage license in Colorado costs $30.

Denver elopement packages

What’s included in my elopement photography package?

My Colorado elopement/microwedding packages start at 4 hours, but when you work with me you’re getting way more than just a photographer. 

I am fully invested in making sure every single one of my clients has the most amazing elopement day possible. That’s why I offer help in ways that most photographers don’t! 

Here are just a few things that come with having me as your photographer, adventure partner, friend, and guide:

  • Documenting your epic elopement day. Of course as your photographer, I’m going to make sure you have amazing photos so you can relive your special day again and again. There are so many special moments outside of just saying your vows and taking portraits. Everything from the anticipation as you’re each getting ready, the laughs when your dog does something silly like always, the tears as you share your commitment vows, or your first champagne toast together as husband and wife. As a photographer, my focus is documenting these candid and REAL moments of your day, in a natural way. No forced or cheesy smiles here!
  • Custom elopement planning tools and guidance. Every client I work with gets access to customized planning tools, planning resources, and guidance to help make your small wedding or elopement planning as stress free as possible. From location ideas to timeline planning to vendor recommendations, no detail is overlooked. Forget the work, and focus on having fun!
  • All your photos. You’ll have access to a fully-edited online gallery of your images, which you can download in either high-resolution or web-size (ideal for sharing on social media). You can also order printed products like albums, canvas prints, or framed prints right from your online gallery if you choose. Or share your gallery with friends and family so they can relive the experience with you!
  • Travel included. All my packages include my travel, so you’re never surprised by extra fees.

Are you planning a Denver 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!

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
Step by step tutorial on creating a flower collar for your dog for your wedding
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!

Denver elopement guide cover photo

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