Colorado’s landscape is vast and breathtaking. From its jaw-dropping mountains, majestic rivers, never-ending forests, wide canyons, and expansive deserts, it’s no wonder so many couples travel to Colorado to profess their love for one another!
You’ve decided to elope in Colorado! Where do you go from here?
Do you envision a mountain top elopement in the summertime, above tree line atop of one of Colorado’s famous 14ers, watching the alpenglow dance on the mountains at sunrise. Or a cool Colorado fall day amongst the changing Aspen leaves. Maybe springtime is your jam, something a little more lowkey and less crowded. Or maybe you love the idea of a cozy winter wedding amongst snow-blanketed pine trees
When you have your season picked out, then we can work together to pinpoint the exact location where you will say I do! Having trouble figuring out which season to elope in? We wrote this blog just for you!
First Things First: The Legal Stuff
Obtaining your marriage license:
In addition to the incredible beauty of Colorado, one of the biggest draws to elope here is the fact that Colorado allows couples to solemnize their own marriage. Meaning you can marry yourselves! You do not need witnesses and you do not need to be a resident to elope here. Meaning, you can self solemnize and sign as your own witnesses. No officiant needed! But in case you want one, Bailee is ordained.
Better yet, have your fur babies sign as your witness! Yeah, you can totally do that in Colorado. All you have to do is get a pet friendly ink pad (we like this one) and have them stamp your marriage license on the witness line!
Keep in mind, your marriage license is only good for 35 days after you apply for it, so it is super important that you elope within that 35 day period. If you are self solemnizing, you can see an example of how to fill out your marriage license here.
Questions you will be asked:
- The date that you are getting married
- Where you are marrying (license only valid in Colorado)
- The exact date and location of your divorce or previous spouse’s death. Both parties must be able to provide this information. If you were previously in a civil union and are marrying someone else, you must provide the name of your partner in the civil union.
- Know your relationship if related by blood
- The city and state where parents of both parties were born
Where can you get a marriage license?
Both of you need to appear in person at the county office to obtain your marriage license. You can obtain a marriage license in any Colorado county and there is no waiting period.
Both of you are required to provide a valid US state-issued I.D. with your name and date of birth. This I.D. can be a passport, drivers license, or military I.D. You will also be asked to provide your social security number.
What if one of you cannot be present to get the marriage license?
If either you or your partner cannot appear at the Clerk and Recorder’s office in person to apply for your marriage or civil union license, the absent party must complete an absentee affidavit and have it notarized. The notarized absentee affidavit must be used within 30 days from the date it was notarized. The party appearing in person must present, on the behalf of the absent partner:
the completed and notarized absentee affidavit, and a clear and legible photocopy of a valid form of identification of the absent intended spouse (faxes not accepted) the identification of the absent intended spouse must have the month, day and year of birth. If the absent party does not have a social security number, an affidavit to accompany the marriage license form must be completed and notarized. The absent party’s name written on the forms must match exactly to the ID provided. The absentee application and affidavit to accompany marriage license may be found here.
Cost of a marriage license
The fee for a marriage license is $30. Payments can be made in cash, check, or debit/credit card. Forms of payment may change from county to county, so be sure to check with the county before heading in.
Other Important Information
The marriage license and marriage certificate are two distinct instruments that appear on the single form. Please do not separate them. The marriage certificate must be recorded no later than 63 days from the date of solemnization or late fees apply.
So you’ve picked a day and location, what’s the next step?
We will help you every step of the way with local vendors (yes, you can have a bouquet!), detailed elopement day timeline, customized location guide, alternative locations, permit help, what you will need for the weather (baselayers, hats, etc.) and everything in between! Need a little help narrowing down a location to elope? We totally get that! There are so many gorgeous places to elope in Colorado, here is a list of our favorites!
Grab your hiking boots and let’s do this!
You made the brave decision to forgo a big wedding that just doesn’t feel like you. Instead, you’re chose to celebrate your love in an adventurous, intimate, and meaningful way. We absolutely love this state and we are so excited to photograph a day that is authentic to you and your partner!
We can’t wait to adventure with you,
Bailee & Jake