Planning your day
The best part about planning an elopement is it isn't a cookie cutter wedding, it is unique to you! When you are eloping just the two of you, you have the freedom to do anything you want to do. Go to city hall and get pictures taken downtown or at your favorite brewery, get married on the side of a mountain, go on a gorgeous hike, or a local park! The possibilities are endless. You can elope affordably or go all out, up to you!
I always recommend you make it a full day thing! Even if you only book your photographer for a couple hours, treat the entire day as your wedding day. Wake up to your favorite breakfast, go on your favorite hike, have dinner at a fancy restaurant, or get couples massages. The possibilities are endless and based on what you love. During your elopement, you can incorporate food & beverage. Have a cake cutting and first dance, pop champagne, do a glamourous pop-up picnic, have catering for two done!
This guide is here to help you plan your elopement, find the perfect location, get ideas, and find vendors!
Colorado is one of the few states where you can self-solemnize your own wedding, meaning you don't need an officiant or any witnesses if you don't want to. You have several options
1) hire an officiant
2) Go to the courthouse/clerk and recorders office, get your marriage license, sign it and turn it in right there
3) Go to the courthouse/clerk and recorders office, get your marriage license, take it with you to the elopement. We can get pictures of you signing your marriage license. Afterwards, you can mail it back in.
Picking a location
Picking a location in Colorado can be hard because there are endless gorgeous options depending on your style and vision. There are location close to Denver and far. There are locations that are easily accessible or more adventurous hikes. There are places that require reservations and permit and places that do not.
Elopement location guide- here
Rentals/Micro-wedding venues- here
Airbnb rentals - here
Picking a date
I always suggest that you elope on a week day if possible. If you are going to be at a park, you can avoid the crowds by choosing a week day. Weekends tend to be very busy at most Colorado parks. We love to get out and enjoy! Also, avoid holidays!
It snows in Colorado November/December through May. Just remember, not all locations will be accessible during this time. March is actually the snowiest month in Colorado. Spring brings mud in Colorado. In April and May, the temperatures are rising and the snow is melting, making it muddy. It can be a toss of weather it will be warm or cold. By June, everything is turning green, woohoo! All the summer months are amazing for eloping with gorgeous weather. The warmest months will be July/August. September is the most popular month to elope because it has the wonderful fall weather and everything is turning the beautiful fall colors. October is an in-between month where it could be warm or chilly. A lot of summer only spots close mid-October.
Every bride should feel beautiful on their wedding day, regardless of how big or small your special day is. You can go all out on your wedding dress or go more casual. If you are looking for more casual/less expensive, try checking out Lulu's, Reclamation, or Grace Loves Lace. You also want to think about your footwear. A normal bride might wear super fancy heels. But, if you are going to walking outside (almost always on trails/not on flat ground), I would advice against this. Wear a little more comfy shoes. If you are having a winter elopement, wear boots! Be prepared, your dress WILL get dirty.
Creating your timeline
The "golden hour" and the best time for photos is typically in the evening before sunset. Plus, who doesn't love a gorgeous sunset? I always recommend planning your elopement around the time that the sunsets. Avoid mid-day harsh lighting for the best photos. Another great way to avoid the crowds is by choosing a sunrise elopement! If your elopement does not include hiking, I would estimate around two hours.
Talk to your significant other about how you'd like to do yours vows. Will you have an officiant? If you do not have an officiant, let coordinate so that I can help with your vows and saying, "Do you take her? Do you take him? You may now kiss the bride!" You can also do all your own! It is your day!
As I do not provide videography services, here are some videographers that you can check out if you are interested in that service. Videography can be a great way to share your special day with everyone who cannot be there
Elopement $500-Wedding $1,500
Packages range from $700-$2,500
Also says on his website he is willing to work with budgets
Packages range from $700-$1,200
Veiled Rose Films
Packages range from $600-$1,800
Local Motion Productions
Live steaming & video, packages range from $500-$1,800
Mountain Event Services
Packages range from $1,295-$1,695
Elizabeth Mae Cinematography
Elopements: $2,500 & Weddings: $3.500
- Celebrations Silk Florals- Parker Website
- The Perfect Petal- Denver Website
- Penny & Leo Floral Design- Littleton website
- Parsley & Valentine- Littleton Website
- Four Seasons Custom Florals- Silks Website
- Something Borrowed Blooms- Online Website
- Bloom Bar & Co- Colorado Springs Website
- Enchanted Florist- Estes Park Website
- Kaylin's Silk Flowers- Colorado Springs Website
Cake & Dessert
- Sweet Ride Bakeshop- Denver Website
- Sweet Obsession Cake Co- Denver Website
- Whipped Bakery- Littleton Website
- Sweet Inspirations Bakery- Denver Website
- Cherry on Top Bakery- Thornton Website
- Azucar Bakery-Denver Website
- Colorado Rose Cake Company- Loveland Website
- Sugarplum Cake Shoppe- Colorado Springs Website
- The Treatery - Denver Website
- Something New Boutique-Colorado Springs
- Abeille Bridal- Loveland
- Affordable online options such as Lulu's or Ever Pretty
- Malana Boris Designs: creates custom vinyl designs such as bride tanks, bride jean jack, sun hats, dress hangers, t-shirts, coffee mugs, wine tumblers and more. email: email@example.com
- Release Massage Therapy: get an at home/at hotel massage to relax the day before or the day of your wedding. Tina is amazing and super affordable! I have personally got an in-home massage by Tina and it was a great experience. email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 602-679-5124. Rates: $75+
Booking your honeymoon
Hallie with White Glove Destinations
Hallie is a travel planner who can help you find and book the right destination for your honeymoon. She can help you book anywhere you want to go. The best part, her services are complimentary to you! Reach out to her and let her know that I am your photographer and she will help you out.
Name change check list
When getting your marriage license, go ahead and buy certified copies because you will need them to change your name
Change your social security card
Change your license at the DMV
Change your passport
Change your bank accounts
Change name through employer/payroll
Change name through landlord/mortgage company
Change name on health insurance/doctor's office
Change your airline accounts
Cell phone company
Home services: tv/internet/utilities
There are companies out there like hitchswitch that help you change your name
Don't be afraid to text me to ask me questions, even if they aren't photography related. I may not always have the answers, but I am happy to help in any way I can. I am always here to chat for anything you need! I mean this. If you are reading this, shoot me a text!
Printing your photos
I do not offer printing through my website. Here are some sites I recommend for printing and making photo books.
- Nations Photo Lab
- Milk Photo Albums
- Artifact Uprising