Garden of the Gods Elopements & Weddings: The Ultimate 2021 Planning Guide

Have you been thinking about planning your elopement or wedding at Garden of the Gods? Learn everything you need to know about getting married at this iconic Colorado location. Plus, Garden of the Gods elopement packages.

Bride looking at groom during elopement at Garden of the Gods

Updated: March 9, 2021

5 reasons why couples love Garden of the Gods elopements and weddings!

  1. Garden of the Gods is an iconic Colorado location! With stunning red rock formations, beautiful greenery, and to top it all off, views of Pikes Peak, it’s easy to understand why this is such a popular Colorado elopement location! There are so many different awesome areas where you can get married in this park, it can be hard to choose!
  2. There is no cost to have your wedding at Garden of the Gods and no permits are required!
  3. It’s also open and accessible year round! If you’re nervous about having a winter elopement in Colorado because of unpredictable access issues in the mountains, Garden of the Gods might just be the place for you.
  4. Garden of the Gods is also extremely accessible. So if you want an adventurous vibe but you’re planning on bringing elderly family members or others who are less active, this park is a great choice for you.
  5. Dogs are welcome! If having a dog-friendly elopement is important to you, rest assured that your pup is welcome at this park!

What you need to know for Garden of the Gods elopements and weddings

Of course, every location has it’s pros and cons. While Garden of the Gods is an awesome place to have your elopement or intimate wedding, there are some things you need to know!

First, it’s worth noting that there is no reservation system for the designated ceremony sites. Like many public lands, use by the public is the top priority. Because of this, there is no exclusive use of any area even for weddings.

In my experience, most people are super respectful of couples having their wedding, but there is no guarantee of privacy. If privacy and seclusion are non-negotiable for you, Garden of the Gods may not be your best bet.

Additionally, because it is such a popular spot to visit, if you want the best chance for privacy, you’ll want to plan your elopement at the less busy times (more on that later)!

Best Garden of the Gods wedding and elopement locations

Garden of the Gods has 6 sites designated for wedding events. In addition to these sites, there are lots of other areas you can explore in the park to take great photos!

Groom laughs while holding bride in front of red rock formations in Garden of the Gods in Colorado

Designated ceremony locations

  • Jaycee Plaza (50 people)
  • Sentinel Plaza (25 people)
  • Three Graces Plaza (25 people)
  • High Point (50 people)
  • Scotsman Picnic Area (25 people)
  • South Spring Canyon Area (50 people)

Tips for choosing a wedding location

All of the intimate wedding ceremony locations are generally considered to be very accessible, and most have paved walkways to access them.

When choosing a ceremony location, you’ll want to consider the number of people that you are planning to invite if you’re including friends and family in your elopement. Some of the designated ceremony locations can hold 25 people, while others can hold as many as 50 people. 

If you want to have a picnic reception at the same place as your ceremony, know that receptions are only allowed at the Scotsman Picnic Area and the South Spring Canyon Picnic Area. 

Permits and other requirements

One of the best things about having an intimate wedding or elopement at Garden of the Gods is that there is no permit required! There are some rules you should know, however, if you choose to elope here.

  • All ceremony sites are on a first come, first served basis.
  • Wedding ceremonies must be brief and you cannot bring in large props, tables, or decorations. You may only bring in chairs for the elderly or disabled.
  • You also cannot throw confetti or rice, or release balloons or birds/butterflies.
  • It’s important to follow all Leave No Trace principles, including staying on established trails.
  • No alcoholic beverages are allowed in the park, even at the picnic sites.
  • Park hours are from 5:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M.

Are pets allowed at a Garden of the Gods wedding?

Yes! Dogs are allowed in the park as long as they are kept on a six foot leash. 

There is also one area of the park where dogs can roam off leash, which is south of Gateway Road, West of 30th Street, and east of the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site.

Eloping couple petting their dog in Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs

Choosing when to elope at Garden of the Gods

Season

Garden of the Gods is a beautiful place to elope year round! The climate will be similar to the climate in Colorado Springs, since it is just northwest of the city.

In 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 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 May is when the wildflowers start to bloom.

In the winter, the area can see snow sometimes, which makes for a beautiful contrast against the red rocks. The snow tends to melt very quickly though, which can make for more days of pleasant outdoor excursions. March tends to be the snowiest month of the year! 

Couple gets married at sunrise in Garden of the Gods with Pikes Peak in the distance

Weekend/Weekday

Because of the popularity of Garden of the Gods, I always recommend a weekday elopement if at all possible. It will offer you significantly less crowds and more privacy that a weekend elopement.

Time of day

Equally as important as choosing which day to have your 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 visit the park if seclusion is important to you, and the sunrises at Garden of the Gods will knock your socks off.

If you can’t make a morning elopement work, evenings are the next best time. 

Want the scenery of Garden of the Gods but not the crowds?

Some of my couples love the beautiful scenery of Garden of Gods with the red rock formations and Pikes Peak in the background, but they are not thrilled about the large crowds of people you find on most days at the park. Understandably so, for many couples that elope, privacy is important to them on their day!

If this sounds like you, I recommend considering Garden of the Gods Resort. While this resort is paid venue, for some couples, this extra expense is worth it!

Bride and groom saying their vows by the reflecting pool at Garden of the Gods resort in Colorado Springs

Where to have your wedding reception

If you’re planning to have your elopement ceremony at Garden of the Gods, you have a few different options on having a reception.

If you’d like, you can have a picnic reception at either the Scotsman Picnic Area or the South Spring Canyon Area. Note that these areas are first come, first served so unfortunately there is no guarantee that they will be available when you arrive. If you choose one of these locations, it’s important to be flexible!

If you still want to have a picnic nearby, but don’t want to take a chance on not having the place reserved, Colorado Springs has several pavilions that you can reserve.

Finally, 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!

Places to stay for your Garden of the Gods elopement

Here are a few popular hotels and resorts in the area:

Garden of the Gods elopement photography packages

Looking for someone to help you document your special day? I’m a Colorado-based elopement and intimate wedding photographer, and I love helping couples turn their vision for their dream day into a reality!

I’d be honored to help you with photographing your elopement or microwedding. Learn more below!

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!

Garden of the Gods post card and blue vow books for an elopement

The Ultimate Full Day Custom Garden of the Gods 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 Garden of the Gods 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 Garden of the Gods 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 a Garden of the Gods 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…

Eloping bride and groom standing in a field with What Does Elope Mean? text on the image
Step by step tutorial on creating a flower collar for your dog for your wedding
Ideas for eloping with friends text over photo of eloping couple in a field
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!

Planning Guide for Garden of the Gods Elopements

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *