How to Elope in Colorado -

 head due north

captured by marcela

How to Elope in Colorado

May 14, 2020

There are a few unique things about eloping in Colorado that you’ll want to know before moving forward with your plans. But, those details are the same things that make Colorado such a perfect place to elope! Keep reading and you’ll learn how to elope in Colorado, what self-solemnization means, and what you’ll need to do to legally get married



Colorado Elopements and Self Solemnization

You can marry yourselves in Colorado! Yep, you read that right. Self-solemnization is the ability to officiate your own wedding. Basically, it means the state does not require an officiant to preside over your elopement ceremony, and you can sign your own marriage certificate! Self-solemnization isn’t unique to only Colorado, but this state is one of those most familiar with the process, and it can help make your elopement planning easier.

  • Self-solemnization is super easy and cuts down your elopement planning time and costs.
    • No one except you two is required to be present and your elopement can be more private.
    • You don’t need to worry about hiring another vendor (ie. an officiant).
      • Saving costs
      • Not worrying about having a stranger join both of you in marriage.
      • Signing your own marriage license.
      • Planning a ceremony without working around an officiant’s schedule.


Colorado’s self-solemnization allowance gives couples so much freedom to do their wedding their own way! But with this freedom comes very little direction during your ceremony. It’s just the both of you sharing your vows and exchanging rings. If you want some more help with how to organize this time, let me know!


Don’t forget to check out my blog about Where to Elope in Colorado.


How Many People Need to Be At A Colorado Elopement?

Most states require a minimum of five people for an elopement to be a legally binding marriage ceremony. Most states require the couple, an officiant, and two witnesses. 


In Colorado, you legally only need two people present at your elopement. I’d argue, you need three – the two getting married, plus a rad photographer ready to document the day! 


Of course, if you want to invite friends and family as guests, you’re more than welcome to! However, it’s nice that you don’t NEED anyone else to be there. If it’s your preference, we can plan an elopement day where no one except you and your partner is present.

  • We can scout a location far out in the mountains where you’ll have privacy to share your vows, enjoy nature’s beauty, and spend time together without life’s typical distractions.
  • I’ll step back, take photos, and help guide you if you’re new to the area. I like to think of Colorado as a “choose your own adventure” place to get married, and that level of freedom can be exciting!



If you’re wanting more advice and ideas, join my Facebook group – Mindful Elopements.


Colorado Elopements: The Legal Stuff

To get legally married during a Colorado elopement, you’ll need to apply for a marriage license in person (both of you must go). If you are not able to apply in person, you can provide an Absentee Affidavit to the county you’re applying to and you’ll just need a copy of her/his valid I.D. and notarized signature. Click HERE for more information. 

What You’ll Need

  • $30
  • an I.D. (passport, driver’s license, military I.D.)
  • your social security number. 


Questions You’ll Need to Answer

  • 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


Important Facts

  • There is no waiting period to get married in Colorado, so once you have your license you’re good to go!
    • However, I do recommend obtaining your papers at least a few days before your elopement – that’ll be one less thing to worry about!
  • You’ll have 35 days to sign the license and become married.
  • Then you have 63 days to return your license for processing.


Whether you want to get the paperwork processed before your elopement, or if you want to sign the certificate as part of your ceremony, the choice is entirely yours. To learn how to fill out your marriage license click HERE.


Unlike other places where there are waiting periods, officiant requirements, and witness requirements, Colorado is one of the most elopement friendly states in the country. 


If you’re ready to begin planning your own Colorado elopement, reach out! I have a long list of locations and recommendations to suit whatever style of elopement you want. All-day hike, afternoon walk, or chill picnic by the lake – I’ll help craft the perfect elopement experience for you!


You’re not alone! I’m here to help you craft the elopement experience of your dreams, leaving you with more time to enjoy and focus on the top priorities on your to-do list. Let’s chat about how I can help!


*This blog post is to help guide you in your process but should not be used as legal advice. Please review all Colorado law requirements to understand how to legally get married.*

Hey there,

I'm Marcela!

Elopement Photographer
Here to help you plan a deeply connective and intimate elopement of your dreams!

Popular Posts:

Telling family + Friends you're eloping

7 common elopement mistakes

where to elope in colorado

Ready for the adventure of your life?

Reach out! I'm here for you every step of the way - wherever your love takes you!


Join the Facebook Community, Mindful Elopements, filled with free resources, free videos, engaging conversations and questions, and other couples that are exactly like you, in the same place, trying to book an adventure elopement and intimate wedding photographer.



Leave a Reply

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

Chris, Anniversary SESSION

"The photos we just got back from Marcela are giving me CHILLS!! They are absolutely stunning!!!

She did SO MUCH more than just photograph us — she created special moments that I’ll cherish forever. She encouraged Con & I to genuinely interact & share intimate moments together. She prompted us to tell each other things that we love about one other, ways that the other person inspires us, & how being together has positively changed us.

It was more than just a beach shoot. We ended up giving each other precious, heart melting encouragement & that makes these photos all the more treasured to me. "


"We had a pre-meet with her before the big day which definitely helped me feel more relaxed going into the wedding day. She gave us great suggestions and things to think about to be ready with on the wedding. On the day of she showed up early to help scope out the venue. She was creative to try and pull extra joy into our photographs.

When I look at these photos I see more than just beautiful images. I feel the moments that Marcela helped us experience and the connection we had.

I can't thank Marcela enough! We will treasure these moments forever!"

Lauren, Great Sand Dunes

"We loved every moment of the day she helped create. Marcela was the perfect photographer for our adventure elopement! She worked tirelessly to make our adventure into marriage happen after our first options were snowed in! Great Sand Dunes felt like the perfect unique place for two Floridians who met in the mountains.

She made us comfortable to be ourselves throughout the whole day while making her job look effortless and fun. Our cheeks hurt from smiling, laughing and a few tears.

Marcela captured every precious moment! Her photography is absolutely stunning every way! I highly recommend Marcela for your elopement or wedding!"


"Instead of telling us how to pose or interact with each other, Marcela gave us prompts that seemed simple but made a huge difference.

She asked us to talk about our first date. We discussed the weirdest things we loved about each other (which made us laugh) and how we could fulfill each other’s love languages. Amy and I played games with each other and Marcela captured the energy that happened naturally between us.

I love this shoot because it perfectly captures the love we share. It’s incredible to see that love and admiration encapsulated in a photo! Thank you for this!"

explore more