Colorado Self Solemnization: How you can marry yourself!

Looking for a way to legally marry yourself? It’s called self solemnization, and Colorado is the easiest state to do it in. Keep scrolling to learn more!

Couple eloping with a mountain background on a sunny Colorado day

What is self solemnization?

Self solemnization is where the couple legally marries themselves, without the need for an officiant or a witness to be present to sign their marriage certificate.

How to self solemnize your wedding in Colorado

Self solemnizing your marriage in Colorado is very easy! It’s the same marriage license as a traditional wedding, but you’ll fill it out a little differently. You and your partner simply sign on the line where the officiant would typically sign. Just 4 easy steps!

  1. Go to a county clerk and recorder’s office. 
  2. Apply for a marriage license. It costs $30 and you need both parties’ social security numbers and valid forms of identification.
  3. Complete the marriage license within 35 days.
  4. File the license back with the clerk and recorder’s office within 63 days of the wedding.

Keep in mind that if you have a non-officiant relative or friend lead the ceremony, they can sign as a witness, but they won’t sign as an officiant. Think of them more like a speaker at your ceremony than an officiant. From a legal standpoint, you are still pronouncing yourselves married.

Are there any other states that allow you to self solemnize your wedding?

Colorado is the only state that currently allows couples to legally marry themselves, without any caveats or the need for any witnesses or officiants whatsoever.

Washington D.C. also allows self solemnization with no witnesses or officiants. There are a few other states that have a form of self-uniting marriage, but there are caveats. 

Wisconsin allows self solemnization; however, you must sign a form acknowledging that the state can’t guarantee your marriage will be legally recognized in all cases. Pennsylvania and California only require two witnesses; officiants are not required. And Illinois, Nevada, Kansas, and Maine allow forms of self-solemnization as part of certain types of religious ceremonies. This site has more info on the marriage laws in various states.

Eloping couple at the Paint Mines in Colorado has a self solemnization ceremony

What will our ceremony look like if we self solemnize?

In short, however you want! It’s your day so you get to make the rules!

It can look very similar to other, more traditional wedding ceremonies if you’d like it to. You can exchange your own vows, exchange rings, and even read sentimental readings or letters to each other.

Or you could try things like hand-fasting, sage smudging, or wine blending. Really the options are endless!

6 Reasons to consider self solemnizing

  1. COVID-19 ruined your original wedding plans. If you were planning a big, traditional wedding but COVID-19 ruined your wedding plans, you can still get married! If you want to have a smaller wedding or elopement, self-solemnizing is a great option!
  1. You want to have a “just us” experience for your wedding. When it comes down to it, your wedding day is about you and your partner, and the commitment you’re making to each other. It’s not about anyone else, so maybe you’d rather have an experience just for the two of you. If this is the case for you, self solemnizing is a great choice.
  1. You want to get married on an epic adventure. So you want to hike to the top of a mountain to say your vows or take a helicopter out to a glacier for your ceremony? But it’s been a little difficult to find an officiant who’s game for this (or you just don’t want to bring one along!) Self-solemnizing is definitely the way to go!
  1. You’re not religious. Many couples who are not religious just can’t picture having an officiant lead their ceremony, so self solemnizing is much more appealing. 
  1. You want a friend or family member to lead the ceremony. So you have a loved one that would be perfect to lead your ceremony, but you don’t want them to be inconvenienced by the process of legally becoming an officiant. In Colorado, your friend or family member can lead the ceremony without actually having to sign any paperwork! Or, you could even have your dog sign as your witness!
  1. Endless options! Self solemnization gives you more opportunity to take back your wedding day and make your own rules! So start dreaming about what you REALLY want your wedding day to look like!
Eloping couple holding their vow books in a golden grassy field

Looking for a photographer for your Colorado self solemnized elopement or microwedding?

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!

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 an 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
Elopement reception planning guide cover
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!

FAQ

Can you officiate your own wedding in Colorado?

Yes, you can! It’s called self-solemnization. Self solemnization is where the couple legally marries themselves, without the need for an officiant or a witness to be present to sign their marriage certificate.

What states allow self solemnization?

Colorado is the only state that currently allows couples to legally marry themselves, without any caveats or the need for any witnesses or officiants whatsoever.

Washington D.C. also allows self solemnization with no witnesses or officiants. There are a few other states (Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, California, Illinois, Nevada, Kansas, and Maine) that have a form ofself-uniting marriage, but there are caveats.

What is self solemnized?

Self solemnization is where the couple legally marries themselves, without the need for an officiant or a witness to be present to sign their marriage certificate.

Who can perform a marriage in Colorado?

According to the Colorado State official website, the following parties can legally perform a marriage in Colorado:

A judge of the court
A court magistrate
A retired judge of the court
A public official whose powers include solemnization of marriages
Clergy
The parties to the marriage

Is a self solemnized marriage in Colorado considered legally valid in other states?

Yes, once you file the paperwork with a Colorado Clerk and Recorder’s office, your marriage is legal just the same as any other type of wedding.

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