The Go-To Elopement Guide for Aspen, Colorado

 head due north

The Go-To Elopement Guide for Aspen, Colorado 

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The Go-To Elopement Location Guide for Aspen, Colorado 

 

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I’m going to start this blog off with a very, very bold claim—there is literally nowhere else in the world like Aspen. 

I know what you’re thinking—“it’s a Colorado ski town, how unique could it really be?” Friends, I might be a notorious Colorado fangirl, but I’m not exaggerating when I say that Aspen brings it when it comes to breathtaking views, outrageous adventure, and plenty of jaw-dropping and exhilarating opportunities for kickass elopements like you’ve never imagined. 

Whether you visit in the heat of the summer or the dead of winter, Aspen is always popping off—it’s one of those year-round places that’s never dull and always stunning, so, you know, pretty much paradise. 

This blog is an entire guide (you’re lucky it’s not a love song) to the best elopement tips, tricks, and locations in Aspen, Colorado. It’s packed with all the information you need to decide if you and your partner should pick a perfect-for-you destination for your Aspen elopement

 

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The Top Reasons to Elope in Aspen 

Again, you’re so lucky this isn’t a dedicated love ballad—I could sing Aspen’s praises until the cows come home. Instead, I’m offering you a (very-whittled-down) list of some of the premium reasons that Aspen is a must-elope location. 

 

Quintessential Colorado Ski Town Goodness 

Yep, Aspen is a killer little ski town and that’s one of its greatest strengths. Because of this, you get an out-of-this-world mix of all the best winter activities (um, hello, it’s a ski town!), tons of outdoor adventures at your fingertips, and straight-up luxurious accommodations within the little town itself. Amazing apres-ski activities? Yep. Delicious beverages and fine dining? You bet. Picturesque views and even more jaw-dropping outdoor adventures? Uh-huh. It’s no secret that Colorado itself brings the heat when it comes to amazing spots, but I’m not lying when I tell you that Aspen is always going to top the CO list of best places to elope (in my book, at least!). 

 

So Much Nightlife (& Food) 

Do you love a good party? Are you absolutely obsessed with local, craft breweries? Here’s the deal. Aspen has some seriously awesome nightlife. If this is your scene, then you’re going to fall in love with this little ski town’s nightlife goodness. Why does this matter for your elopement? If you and your partner are people who love a good celebration in the form of a traditional party, then Aspen is basically a built-in reception for you. This is a great option for folks who plan to have guests at their wedding because there’s so much to choose from! 

 

All the Mountains 

The immediate Aspen-centric area offers you four (four!) mountains to choose from. And if you’re willing to drive a bit, you’ve got even more choices. That being said, you can check out Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk Mountain—each and every mountain offering its own mix of stunning views, amazing adventure, and jaw-dropping beauty.  

 

Tons of Private Nearby Locations 

Aspen is great because you’re never stuck—in other words, if you’re not in it for skiing or snowboarding, there are so many unique and beautiful mountains to explore on your own, far away from any type of resort-style activity. Want to elope privately? Do the damn thing—I can help you find a gorgeous, adventurous spot not far from where you’re staying but totally secluded from others. And you know what? It’s truly not that difficult in this area—there’s so much wild country to be explored! 

 

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The Best Locations to Elope in Aspen 

Thinking of getting hitched in Aspen? You’ll have all the outdoor spaces to choose from. There are so many spectacular sites for an Aspen elopement that will add a touch of amazing magic to any wedding and make your day totally unforgettable. 

My list could go on and on, so I’ve done my best to just list out a few that absolutely sing

 

Independence Pass Elopement

A perfect place to wed for the adventurous and daring at heart, (BTW, this is where my hubby and I eloped, so it’s super special to me!). Independence pass is located at an elevation of 12,059 ft, so you know that you’re getting a majestic view of the mountains and an epic adventure all at one time. 

 

Maroon Bells Amphitheatre Elopement

The famous Maroon bells Amphitheatre is a pretty valley full of evergreen trees and is bordered by the Elk Mountains. The site is easily accessible with a shuttle service for convenient transportation. The benches in the area can handle 50 guests and the cost of renting the property per day is just $200. The Amphitheatre is only available from around Memorial Day until October, and as a caveat, there are also restrictions on booking the place on certain days, so be sure to check the availability first.

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Crater Lake Elopement

Crater Lake is a high-altitude lake in the Elk Mountains of Colorado. This 3.6-mile round-trip trail passes through a beautiful Aspen grove most of the way with wonderful views of 14ers, the Maroon Bells. and Pyramid Peak. The best time to visit this gorgeous lake? During the fall at sunrise—the views are absolutely breathtaking. 

 

 

Let’s Talk Seasons: The Best Time of the Year to Elope in Aspen 

You already know that Colorado is famous for blue skies and sunshine, but Aspen is way up high (at about 8,000 feet)—and that sometimes means the weather can be super unpredictable. While you can pretty much get married at any time in Aspen, there are some things you should know about the weather in order to help you pick the right time for you to get married. 

 

Fall in Aspen (September- October) 

Fall in Aspen is famously gorgeous. The weather is crisp, the leaves are brilliant, and the town is truly on fire with Fall charm. The only thing to note about this time of year? Fall will be a little chilly. So, layers are a must for autumnal elopements. 

 

Winter in Aspen(November-April) 

If you are not a snow person, then Aspen in the winter is definitely not for you. Don’t get me wrong, it can be sunny and beautiful (and often is during the winter, which is why the snow sports people love it here), but it’s destined to be cold and you have to be bundled up. If this isn’t your jam, I highly suggest a summer or fall elopement in Aspen. Remember, Aspen is a ski town—that means the snow is plentiful. 

 

Spring in Aspen (May-June) 

Colorado spring is gorgeous—but at such a high altitude, Aspen basically has split personalities. Springtime in Aspen could be sunny, warm, and full of bluebird days so beautiful you could rock a t-shirt—or you could be stuck in the middle of a snowstorm. Don’t get me wrong, spring in the mountains is next-level gorgeous, but I always suggest a plan B location just in case Mother Earth has random weather plans to throw at you. 

 

Summer in Aspen (July-August)

Sunny, hot, and absolutely stunning—Aspen in the summer features optimal temperatures, full-time accessibility to most adventuring, and re-opened adventurous spots that were shut down in the winter. As always, layers and sunscreen are a must in the summer—even in the full sun, it can get chilly when you’re up so high. An important thing to remember? Mountain thunderstorms are a real-deal thing in the summer—that’s no reason to stop you from adventuring or eloping in the summer, but it is important to keep in the back of your mind. 

 

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The How-Tos & Paperwork: Aspen, Colorado Wedding Permit Details 

Location Permits & Fees

The good news? There’s no shortage of where you can get have your Aspen elopement. The bad news? There really isn’t any—you’ll just need to make sure wherever you decide you want to get married is legal. Honestly, most spots allow you to get married, say your vows, and have your ceremony, but sometimes you need to fill out the right paperwork, get the right permit, and pay a fee.

Ultimately, this is pretty dang easy—but sometimes it gets a bit confusing dealing with the back-and-forth. I am so on board to help you out with this! If you’re feeling overwhelmed about finding the right permits and paperwork, just let me know—when we work together, I’m there for you and can help you figure it all out, no prob. Plus, I’ll never suggest or OK locations where you’re not allowed to elope—we want your elopement to be beautiful, seamless, and legal, too. 

 

Wedding Permits & Paperwork 

It’s boring, but it’s necessary—here’s what you need to know about getting a marriage license in Aspen (AKA Pitkin County):

  • Marriage licenses must be used within 35 days of the issue date in Colorado 
  • You don’t have to get your marriage license in Aspen—CO is cool with you getting your license in any county so long as it’s in Colorado 
  • No witnesses are necessary—no officiants, either (we’ll get to that in a second)
  • Licenses cost $30—but some counties might only accept cash, so prepare for that 
  • There’s no waiting period—AKA, if you want to get your license, get married, and turn it back in all in the same 24 hours, that possibility is all yours.
  • You must file the license (in person or by mail) in the county it was issued
  • No blood tests necessary! 

 

**IMPORTANT NOTE** Some of these details might change because of COVID, the best advice I have is to check Pitkin County’s website to get all the info you’ll need.

 

Everything You Need to Know About Self-Solemnizing 

OK, friends, here is the very best part about eloping in Colorado (literally anywhere in Colorado, Aspen included)—you can freakin’ self-solemnize. AKA you don’t need witnesses or an officiant to make your marriage official. 

Like, are you hearing me? No witnesses, no court magistrates, no officiants, no religious officials necessary. Just you, your partner, and that’s it. 

Every state has different rules about what “counts” for an official wedding—often, you’ll have to include a witness or two and have an authorized person perform your marriage ceremony. But Colorado? They’re chill—they’re all about couples doing the damn thing all by themselves. 

*BONUS TIP* Because self-solemnization is a thing and witnesses aren’t needed, it is straight-up legal to have your pup sign your marriage license as your witness. Seriously, Colorado is all for it—and so am I. 

 

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The Top Elopement and Wedding Venues in Aspen

Hallam Lake

Hallam Lake is a 25-acre nature reserve where you can hold a lakefront ceremony in the company of your closest friends and family members. Surrounded by nature with a beautiful view of the lake, this spot is the perfect place to get married for couples who want to make their big day an intimate, whimsical affair.

 

Anderson Park

Love the idea of merging a traditional wedding venue with an adventurous, outdoor experience? Anderson Park is an amazing fit. Full of lush green sites, the park is home to the Aspen Meadows Resort, which offers ideal accommodations for all wedding guests. 

 

John Denver Sanctuary

This sanctuary is nestled in the heart of Aspen right next to Rio Grande Park. This location has a beautiful walking path through huge boulders engraved with John Denver lyrics. This sanctuary is covered in wildflowers and the flowing streams make it a peaceful and serene location to share your vows. 

 

Hurst Theatre

Located right next to the John Denver Sanctuary, the Hurst Theatre has a stunning pavilion overlooking ponds and greenery with amazing mountain views. It’s available for rentals during late summer and fall.

 

 

Aspen Elopement Packages

Looking to create your ideal Aspen elopement and have it captured by your perfect-fit elopement photographer? Friends, I’m your gal! 

Don’t be fooled by the title, I’m so much more than your photographer. I’m there with you EVERY step of the way of your beautiful day, from brainstorming and planning to capturing and documenting your love story on the day you say “I do.” 

Want to know more about how I can help you plan your dream Aspen elopement? I’ve got you. Here are a few ways that I can be there for you throughout your entire elopement:

  • Exclusive 100-page Elopement Planning Guide for Captured by Marcela Couples
  • 3 Questionnaires that help you get down to the root of what you want to better help you plan your perfect elopement
  • Personalized and detailed elopement recommendations from yours truly 
  • Local vendor recommendations 
  • Timeline creation that details all the possibilities for your day 
  • Packing lists galore 

And that’s just the start of it all! From helping you with permits to scouting out the best locations to being on your team through thick and thin, I’m here to help you and your partner craft a day that’s unique, memorable, and perfect for the two of you. 

 

 

Is Aspen Your Perfect Elopement Location? Let’s Do This Thing

I’m kind of feeling like I don’t have to sing Aspen’s praises to you anymore—you’re probably hearing your very own Aspen love song ringing in your ears by now, right? There’s no doubt in my mind. 

If you’re ready, then friends, I’m ready—let’s plan the hell out of a perfect-for-you elopement in Aspen.  I’m here for whatever you need during the entire process, from planning advice and permit help to capturing your authentic, genuine love on your most special day. Let’s get you married your way! 

Aspen is calling, so let’s do it! Reach out to me ASAP and I’ll be back to you even faster—and don’t forget to check out my Colorado elopement guide right here for a comprehensive look at elopements and how to craft your perfect-for-you day. 

 

 

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I'm Marcela! I'm an Elopement Photographer here to help you plan a deeply connective and intimate elopement of your dreams!

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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!"

Lauren, Sand Dunes Elopement

"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!"

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