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What is Self Solemnization?

 head due north

How to Self-Solemnize on Your Elopement Day – Tips for Marrying Yourself


Couple self solemnizes in Colorado mountains.


So, you want to head for the hills (or, in this case, the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains) and marry your very best friend your way.

That’s the spirit of adventure and genuine love that I’m all about, so hear me when I say I feel you.

If you want to avoid all the red tape and paperwork traditionally associated with getting married—talk about a drag—you may want to consider self-solemnization.

Yep, you can get married without an officiant, judge, or special building. Who woulda thought?!

What exactly is self-solemnization, and how does it work? Find out below how to self-solemnize!


Two brides self solemnize in LGBTQ wedding


What is Self-Solemnization?

Learning how to marry yourselves is easier than you might think! In certain states, Colorado included, you can get married conveniently and easily. All you have to do is pick up a marriage license from the DMV or County Clerk, pay a $30 fee, and head off to your dream elopement destination.

In other words, the government gets out of your way, so you get married how you want to—exactly as it should be!

Pretty neat, right?

By simplifying the requirements for a legal marriage, self-solemnization gives you the opportunity to have a ceremony however you see fit—even if it’s just the two of you! And don’t worry, the legality of self-solemnized marriages is recognized in other states. Get legally married on your own! 



The Significance of Self-Solemnization

Whether you have deeper motivations or simply want to share the most significant moment of your life with only one other person—your partner—the reality is that there is a profound significance to the act of self-solemnizing.

While there is nothing wrong with making your vows before an officiant, church leader, or other authority—again, do things your way—the only opinions that should matter on your elopement day are yours and your partner’s. So if uniting your marriage alone is important to you, this is a great option!

Long story short, eloping is supposed to be an experience that embodies freedom, and marrying yourselves is an important element in ensuring that is exactly what happens.

So, invite anyone you want or no one at all. Have an officiant or share that special moment exclusively with your loved one. The choice should be yours, and self-solemnization makes sure that it is.



How to Self-Solemnize Alone or With Guests

Opting to have your ceremony without an officiant of any kind does not mean you have to be alone on your elopement day—unless you want to be, of course!

You can include any guests in any capacity that you want. Whether it’s family, friends, or canine companions, having those you care about there to support you can make your elopement all the more special.

Involve them in any way you want, from integral roles in the ceremony to simply observing and celebrating with you.

At the end of the day, your elopement day is exactly that—yours. If you envision sharing it with others, there is no reason you can’t self-solemnize in their presence. Opting to enjoy the exclusive company of your partner is a-okay, too!



Beyond Vows – More Ways to Make Your Self-Solemnization Ceremony Special

For many elopers, the ceremony is just that—ceremonial. It represents love and unification. It is not necessary or required, it is an intentional symbolic choice.

Your vows, whether traditional or bearing that personal touch, are sure to be an integral element of your ceremony. If you, like many couples, want to do something special in addition to the meaningful exchange of vows, there are endless opportunities to do so.

When you self-solemnize, you can stay as traditional or get as creative as you want. If you’re looking for fun ideas for when you preform the ceremony even more memorable, you’ve come to the right place.



Spiritual Unity Traditions for Self Solemnization

Nearly every religion across the globe has its version of a unity symbol. From braiding a cord of three strings (representing you, your partner, and God) to binding your hands together in a Celtic handfasting ritual, opting for an activity that symbolizes spiritual unity is important to some couples. For others, it can simply be a meaningful representation of their new life together.

There are a lot of religious ceremonies that symbolize unity and are meant to be incorporated into your wedding. Whether you are religious or not, exploring these fascinating traditions, their origins, and their meanings is a wonderful pre-elopement activity.

Couples uses sand for unity ceremony during elopement


Non-Religious Unity Ceremonies for Self Solemnization

Not all unity ceremonies have religious roots. Whether you are trying to keep your elopement free of religious influence or are simply searching for a unity activity that speaks to you, there are plenty of non-religious unity traditions you can choose from or use as inspiration.

Popular options include lighting a unity candle, pouring two colors of sand into a single vessel, and planting a symbolic tree. The possibilities don’t stop with these examples, but there is a clear trend—two separate things becoming one.



Want to Learn Even More about How to Self-Solemnize in Colorado?

If self-solemnizing sounds like your cup of tea, Colorado is the perfect place to plan the elopement of your dreams. To learn more about this amazing opportunity to do your ceremony your way, feel free to reach out to me. I’m happy to guide you and your partner through the ins and outs of eloping in Colorado, including the details of marrying yourselves!


Couple self-solemnizes during their Colorado elopement

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Alex, Coastal Elopement

"We loved our experience having Marcela as our elopement day photographer.

What was even more special about our experience was her ability to set us at ease months before our day. Through constant communication leading up to, and during, the day we got eloped. Her personality is that, in just four days time, we felt as if we've known her for years. 

Ah, but you're wondering about her photos. We loved every thing about them especially the raw emotion captured in many of the shots."

Caitlin, Alpine Lake Elopement

"My husband and I have been trying to put into words how simply amazing working with Marcela was.

From the start we could tell she truly cared about us, our relationship, and our story. She asked us so many questions, valued what we wanted, and kept up with the ever changing plans that came along with planning a wedding.

She made us feel so comfortable, made us laugh till we cried, and captured our true wholesome love for each other."

"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!"

Lauren, Sand Dunes Elopement

Amy, Forest Elopement

"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!"

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."

Andrea, Red Rocks Elopement

"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!"

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