Colorado Elopement Planning

Eloping in Colorao with the sunset

When I was a girl, I fell in love with Braveheart… Not the movie but the secret, middle of the night elopement. The simplicity and beauty of vowing to love one another without the fan fare spoke to my heart. Maybe someday I will be able to capture a beautiful elopement in the Highlands of Scotland. I am blessed that as a Colorado Springs local I can capture couples who choose Colorado elopement every day.

It doesn’t matter if you have always dreamed of a quiet wedding with just your love or if COVID-19 caused you to consider it now. With beautiful scenery, easy to access spots, no residency requirement and the option not to have a minister – a Colorado elopement should definitely be on your radar! If you want a beautiful moment with little to no stress read my suggestions for a perfect Colorado Elopement.

Find a Photographer/Videographer

Why do I start with this for a Colorado Elopement? Hiring the right local professional photographer (and videographer if you want one) is a huge stress relief because we know our community. I help my couples by planning the perfect elopement day. Flowers, dessert, a picnic, a hike? I’ve got you on these points and more!

But finding the right photographer for your Colorado elopement is also about finding someone you are comfortable with. With self-solemnizing a choice in Colorado, I am often the only other person witness to your vows. It is important to me that we are a good fit because of this.

Pick a Location

Your Photographer will be able to help you with this. Couples start by telling me what views are important to them and from there they decide how far we want to go, how busy they want the spot to be and what area of the state we want to be in. For instance, there are red rocks all over Colorado – although Garden of the Gods is definitely the most popular spot. It also can often be the busiest. From your backyard to the great outdoors… I’m here to help create your perfect Colorado elopement. This link will take you to a few fun spots for engagements that eloping is also allowed!

red rocks behind bride and groom
Saying your vows along the trails at Roxborough State Park may be perfect for your Colorado Elopement.

Details

Choosing to Elope does not mean that you are choosing to ignore all of the details that couples love to add into their wedding day. Those details often show off a couple’s personality and are the pieces that brides leave their wedding loving the most. For me, the details of my wedding were the most exciting part to plan. Some details that couples have previously added are:

  • vow books
  • colorful rugs to stand on
  • floral pieces
  • rings
  • fun shoes
  • gifts to exchange
  • something old (this could be it’s own blog post it is so extensive)
orange and white flowers with brides shoes and vow book
Details of your wedding day deserved to be captured!

Pick a Date

If you have some flexibility in choosing dates, I suggest a non holiday mid-week. Why? Colorado is beautiful and your elopement day will potentially have witnesses hike in or out. This is less likely on a weekday. It is also less likely for a sunrise hike. While you really need to be a morning person – sunrise is a chance to typically have space completely to yourselves.

Sunrise and Sunset are both beautiful in Colorado with colorful skies and cooler temperatures than the heat of the day. The light is also better for portraits. Again, consult with your photographer because summer and fall both bring park closures for special events. Locals to the area are most likely to know about these and guide you to a date that is meaningful and works with your location!

While on the topic of seasons… Colorado looks very different from March to July to October. We go from brown and dead, to beautiful and green and then to oranges, reds and golds across our landscape. Eloping in any of these seasons is beautiful, but your time of day and location may vary. Our high country is often closed from October to May for trailheads. Not to mention, unless you are experienced – hiking in winter conditions in the mountains is not the safest idea (especially in a wedding gown). September and October both are gorgeous, with cooler temperatures and tons of color. If you are hoping for summer, I suggest early to mid June, but be prepared for the rain storms that often move through!

Enjoy a sweet treat with your love as part of your elopement day!

Final Thoughts

There is still a belief that eloping is running off and getting married. In reality a Colorado elopement is a great way to have a honeymoon along with an intimate vow exchange in an epic location at a fraction of the cost of a full wedding in your hometown. Brides are still able to have their full day of getting ready, preparing for the vows and even walking towards their love. There can still be cake and a first dance, too. Most importantly, you at the end of a Colorado Elopement you will still be married to the one that you love.

Right now, through executive order, marriage licenses are available online via an application system. You can use this link through June 30th for a Garden of the Gods elopement. At any time, feel free to reach out and I will happily walk you through anything you need for your dream Colorado Elopement!

If you want help planning your Colorado elopement – Contact me today!

C&J

Boho wedding portrait at Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods Styled Elopement

Corinne and Jeremie met in high school and have been sweethearts ever since. Jeremy is a Marine Vet and Corinne is Active Duty Army. They reached out to me because they had eloped with no wedding pictures and she wanted beautiful images for them to have to cherish. By the time Corinne found me, they had already been married for 18 months and had two little ones at home. It was important to her to have images of their love to display and have their children look at whenever they wanted.

Corinne chose an inclusive package – the dress, flowers, location planning and all portraits were

Showing off her dress!

included.  I helped her plan every detail for her boho wedding portrait dreams to come to life. This is one of my favorite aspects of being a photographer, being able to hear a vision from a client and help create it.

When we first discussed their session, they told me that they would be moving soon and really wanted to capture Garden of the Gods as part of their journey together. With the location chosen, it was time to pick a dress. I have a client closet with dresses always available as well as the ability to rent high end gowns and boho lace dreams at multiple sizes and price points, when a client has a dream, I try to make it a reality. When we met for their session, I helped Corinne get dressed and perfect all the little details, including the flower crown for her hair. This is where she told me that she was now 8 weeks pregnant with baby number 3. This session was such a wonderful celebration for them!

We spent two hours together across three locations and I was impressed with the ease of their relationship and Jeremie’s desire to make his wife happy. He wasn’t really into public displays of affection or pictures in general but knew that this was important to her, so he was happy to do it. Being able to capture the loving way he guided her when she went without glasses for her portraits and the way he caressed her hand as they sat together made me feel like I was watching a Nicholas Sparks film in front of my eyes. Love like that exists and it was easy to tell how connected they are as a couple.

The day of this session had been massively stormy and Corinne was terrified that she wasn’t going to get her pretty sunset she had dreamed up. But the clouds cleared just in time and it ended up being one of the most beautiful Colorado sunsets I have witnessed all summer. As they watched the sunset, we finished our portraits and parted ways.

An Epic Colorado Sunset

I love to plan sessions like this and capture the intimate moments between couples. Because of this, I have set my rates and created payment plans to make sessions like this affordable for couples who want to elope or didn’t get professional pictures of their wedding. If you would like to learn more about my elopement packages or working with me in general, contact me here to start the conversation. I would love to hear your vision and give a little insight to help make your session one to fall in love with and your portraits something you cherish for the rest of your lives together.

Special Thanks to Samantha Jessup for assisting me with this post.