Colorado Elopement Photographer

Check out my elopement guide and pricing below
Couple exchanging vows against a Colorado mountain backdrop, bathed in warm sunlight, capturing the intimate essence of

Your Elopement Expert

I freakin' love elopements. I love the idea of breaking tradition and starting marriage how you want. This is the start of YOUR story, nobody else's, and you should do it exactly how you want.

As a Colorado elopement photographer, I'm so passionate about elopements because they're so customizable, but more importantly, they allow for so much more intentionality. There is no rushing, no fighting, just you and your boo on an adventure in the beautiful outdoors.

Don't know where to start planning your elopement? I gotchu. Here's my ultimate guide to eloping in Colorado as a Colorado Elopement Photographer.

The First Elopement FAQs

Can I Invite Friends and Family?

Absolutely. An elopement gives you the freedom to invite whoever you want, as long as the focus of the day is about the two of you and your relationship.

When Should I Start Planning my Elopement?

3-7 months is the standard amount of time needed to plan an elopement, though I've planned elopements as far as 1 year out and as soon as 1 week out!

How Much Does It Cost?

The average elopement costs around $15,000, half of what a traditional wedding costs ($34,000), though this number can be higher or lower depending on how you plan.

Let's Do This

Planning & Dreaming of Your Perfect Elopement

Where to get Inspiration


Places like Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, movies, wedding blogs, travel blogs, and even google maps are great places to get inspiration for your elopement.


Simply type in the word "elopement" or "adventure elopement" to get a ton of inspiration for your own celebration.

Joyful celebration captured by a Colorado Elopement Photographer, highlighting candid moments and laughter in the mounta

Questions to Spark Ideas


What is your intention for the day?

Why an elopement over a big wedding?

Picture the wedding, you can close your eyes to help the creativity.

What scenery comes to mind when you picture exchanging vows?

Intimate sunset glow captured by a Colorado Elopement Photographer, emphasizing the couple's warmth and connection

How To Choose the Best Elopement Location in Colorado

Scenery & Weather


Do you want white mountains, golden forests, a warm lake, or beige sand dunes?

Think of any places on your travel bucket list and where you dream of going.

Think through the weather at the dream destination; are you in a snowy lodge in the mountains, or barefoot on the beach?


Experiences & Activities


Think about what kind of activities (or not) that you want to include.


Will you go swimming? Sit by the fire? Lay under the stars? Go snowboarding? This will help narrow down a location.

Meaning


Consider the place you met, or somewhere you’ve both wanted to go.

Meaningful locations can be some of the best ones!

Accessibility & Vendor


Another important detail to consider is how easy it is to get to the location and what options of vendors are available. If you want to elope on a mountain in the middle of nowhere, be ready to not have many options for vendors available. If you want to include family, friends and other guests, think about how easy or difficult it will be for them to get there.

Whimsical playfulness expertly photographed by a Colorado Elopement Photographer, showcasing the couple's spirit

Who Are You Inviting?

Who is Present on your ideal day?

One of the biggest questions during the planning stage is deciding who to invite.


Ultimately, your elopement is about the two of you. You should invite only those you truly want to. There are special ways you can plan to include your friends and family who won't be there before and after the day as well.


How tO include friends and family on the elopement day

  • Have a friend or family member officiate the ceremony (it's free!)
  • Zoom or FaceTime the ceremony
  • Plan a small reception after your elopement
  • Bring home souvenirs
  • Include mementos or a family heirloom on your day
  • Shop for wedding attire together
  • Invite them to be part of the planning process
  • Send them an album of photos from the day!


Silly Wedding Party photos at Sprague Lake in RMNP captured by a Colorado Elopement Photographer
Boisterous Wedding party at Lake Dillon captured by a Colorado Elopement Photographer

My Favorite Colorado Elopement Locations

Breckenridge

Rocky Mountain National Park

Vail

Black Canyon of Gunnison

The Details

Couple has their dogs sign their marriage license in Dillon, Colorado

License To Wed

Elope in style, but don't forget the nitty-gritty legal stuff! In Colorado, acquiring a marriage license is fairly easy, depending on what county you choose to get married to. What makes Colorado so great is that you can self-solumnize! This means you don't need an officiant or any witnesses; however, if you'd like your dog to sign, you totally can! Arapahoe County is currently the only county in which you cannot have your dog sign.

Permits & Fees

It’s good to note that most state parks charge entry fees, which you’ll want to pay (in addition to any application fees) on the day of your elopement. Information on permit processes, event costs, and entry fees are generally available on park websites.

Lodging & Accommodations

The best thing you can do is to pick accommodation that can be multi-purpose! Your lodging can double as a wet weather alternative, a place to take photos in the morning, or somewhere you can celebrate with family after the event. These are all great factors to keep in mind. Ideally, look for somewhere spacious, and aesthetically unique, and most importantly, that has a ton of natural light for pictures. The more beautiful the location, the more I have to work with when it comes to your photos!


A quick reminder: Airbnb does not allow weddings at their properties.


Hiring Vendors


While it's definitely not required to hire vendors for your elopement, professionals can make it a LOT easier & bring your vision to life.


While the four MUST HAVE vendors for your elopement are generally the Photographer (me!?), Florist, Officiant & Hair + Makeup Artist, here are some other vendors to consider...


Videographer

Video for elopements is especially beautiful as it allows you to share the moments with those who couldn't be there - Which REALLY helps smooth any hurt feelings!


Musician

Walking down the aisle to an acoustic guitar or dancing or dancing under the stars to a string trio can be a magical element to make your day totally unique.


Personal Chef

Both for the day before & the day of - Having good food makes everyone happy!



Planner / Designer

The right planner or designer will not only create a breathtaking elopement, they will help you save money on vendors & avoid painful mistakes with permits, timelines and other logistics you might not think of



Picnic, Small Caterer, or Cake

If you're headed somewhere REALLY remote, consider hiring someone to pack you a charcuterie or delicious dessert to celebrate after everything is finished!


Once we start working together, I will send over a list I've compiled of all of my trusted vendors.

Couple share a romantic kiss at Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park during their elopement

C h o o s e S o m e A c t i v i t i e s

Couple partaking in wine and cheese during their elopement captured by a Colorado Elopement Photographer

Hiking

Sightseeing

Helicopter tour

Dog sledding

Horseback riding

Soaking in a hot tub

Bonfire with s'mores

Riding bikes

Wine tasting

Swimming

Playing a sport

Kayaking

Taking a boat ride




Newly engaged couple skiing at Loveland Ski Resort for their elopement

Playing board games

Glamping

Skiing or snowboarding

Taking a cooking class

Go on a safari

Take a wildlife tour

Go fishing

Stargazing

Dancing

Have a picnic

Walk along the beach

Bake a cake together

Watch a movie

Rock climbing


Incorporating activities on your elopement day is such a fun experience. This gives you two the chance to sit down and craft a day that's truly unique to who you two are as a couple. Check out some of my favorite activity ideas below!

Elopement Attire

Wedding Dresses

Suits

Elopement Attire

Wedding Dresses

Suits

Here are my top tips for choosing great attire!
Intimate sunset glow captured by a Colorado Elopement Photographer, emphasizing the couple's warmth and connection

When looking for wedding attire, try keeping an open mind. You can keep it traditional or totally break the mold - Keep in mind your location, time of year, weather, and planned activities. Make sure you are comfortable and feel confident.

Whimsical playfulness expertly photographed by a Colorado Elopement Photographer, showcasing the couple's spirit in the wilderness

Elopement Attire

Wedding Dresses

Suits

Make sure you can move comfortably in the dress!
"Close-up of a loving gaze between the couple, beautifully captured by a Colorado Elopement Photographer, revealing their deep connection

Depending on your location, you might want a lightweight style that fits in a backpack for a hike or a full gown and fur wrap in the snow.


Try out some dance moves, walk or jog around the dress store and make sure you test out sitting down.


Opt for something with a bit of a smaller train if you'll be walking around a lot. Most importantly, choose something you feel confident and beautiful in.

Elegant simplicity as the couple walks amid nature, skillfully photographed by a Colorado Elopement Photographer

Elopement Attire

Wedding Dresses

Suits

Have fun with the Colors!
Close up of a groom suit in as he elopes in Breckenridge Colorado

If it's cold at your elopement location, purchase a suit with a heavier fabric like wool or tweed.


Try to match color to the location. In general, lighter colors stand out and work better for most outdoor locations.


Don't be afraid to think outside the box. Think about adding fun accessories like cufflinks, suspenders, bowties, etc. to add more dimension to your outfit.

Close up of a groom's suit as he elopes at Sunrise Amphitheater in Boulder Colorado
Soulful reflection in the bride's eyes, emotionally captured by a Colorado Elopement Photographer during this heartfelt

Elopement Timelines


Budgeting enough time for your day is so key.


You want to savor every minute & document every moment - Which means allowing enough time for each part of the day.


Below are some examples to help you plan the perfect timeline!

4 Hour Elopement



3:30pm - Detail photos

4:00pm - Getting ready photos

4:30pm - First look photos

5:15pm - Head to ceremony location

5:45pm - Begin ceremony and take couples portraits after

6:00pm - Couples portraits around the location

7:30 pm - Wrap up sunset photos, photo coverage ends

8 Hour Elopement


12:00pm - Detail photos

12:30pm - Getting ready photos

1:30pm - First look

1:45pm - Head to ceremony location

2:30pm - Begin ceremony

3:00pm- Family photos + toasts

4:00pm - Couples portraits around the location

5:30pm - Go to next location

7:00 pm - Dinner

8:00pm - Photo coverage ends

The Timing

What time should we start?


Sunrise and sunset are the two best times of the day for pictures. This is because at this time of day, the light is soft and even. Try to avoid midday ceremonies or portrait

sessions, as it causes harsh lighting

Why Sunrise?


It's more secluded, especially in populated places like national parks. It's cooler. You have the rest of the day to spend together as a married couple. Sunrise elopements allow you to take your time throughout the day and also gives you time to rest if you need it.

Why Sunset?


It's more secluded, especially in populated places like national parks. It's warmer. If you don't like the cold, or it's winter, eloping during the evening usually brings warmer

weather. You can sleep in. If you're not an earlier riser, sunset elopements are the way to go so you can take your time waking up and enjoying the morning.

Aerial perspective expertly documented by a Colorado Elopement Photographer, showcasing the couple's love against vast l

The Big Day

The Big Day

How To Prepare


Make a list of what to pack


My advice is to always start packing sooner than you think, as it will make your overall experience that much smoother.


Checklist

  • Marriage license
  • Permit (if applicable)
  • Travel documents (ID, Passport etc)
  • Rings
  • Vow books
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Snacks
  • Water bottle
  • Shoes with good tread
  • Layers
  • Bluetooth speaker


Bride and groom kissing in Dillon Colorado captured by an Elopement photographer

Getting Ready


One of the most underrated parts of an elopement is the getting ready portion. During this time, the excitement is high and everything starts feeling real!


This portion of the day really sets the scene for the rest of your elopement. Not only does it help me document your entire story, but it also helps you get comfortable in front of the camera.


During this time, I usually capture all the details, as well as you both getting into your wedding attire, hair and makeup, and more.


Below are some of the things I tend to photograph during this time and some other suggestions of what you can bring to have ready when I arrive.


Candid laughter by a tranquil Colorado lake, skillfully documented by a Colorado Elopement Photographer, encapsulating the couple's carefree love
Items to Have Prepared:
  • Wedding attire
  • Rings
  • Vow books
  • Any family heirlooms
  • Shoes
  • Invitations
  • Gifts
  • Jewelry

It's the small moments.

The First Look

Beautiful intimate moment of an alternative bride and groom's first look

A first look is the moment where you two see each other for the first time, and can happen anywhere you choose; at the getting ready location, the trailhead, during the ceremony, etc.

Some couples choose to have one, and others don't. It's truly up to you and your partner. What will make the day feel like you?

Chic and timeless, a Colorado Elopement Photographer captures the couple's stylish elopement against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains

Planning Your Ceremony


Before having your ceremony, you can choose to be legally married, have a symbolic ceremony, or not get legally married at all. It's completely up to you.


It's especially important to decide this ahead of time, as getting all the legal documents in different countries can be a much longer & tedious process.

When it comes to what to do for the ceremony, there are many different traditions. Here are a few to spark some ideas:


Vibrant autumn hues frame the couple's elopement, skillfully documented by a Colorado Elopement Photographer amidst the changing leaves
  • Read personal vows
  • Exchange rings
  • Have a unity ceremony (light a candle, make a PB&J, plant a tree together, or something unique!)
  • Read letters from family and friends
  • First kiss and dance
  • Cut a cake together
  • Pop & spray champagne
Raging wedding party in Breckenridge Colorado

Dinner or Party?


Having a meal or party after your ceremony can be a fun way to celebrate the day.


Some couples choose to do something a bit more luxurious and hire a private chef, and some couples are super casual and will order a pizza. You can think about having a private celebration or including your guests as well.


Pro tip: This is a great moment for me to document if you love candid images!

Tender whispers amid evergreen trees, captured by a Colorado Elopement Photographer, embodying the couple's love in a se

YOU'RE READY TO ELOPE!


Well... Almost. Now it's time to inquire! :D

YOU'RE READY TO ELOPE!


Well... Almost. Now it's time to inquire! :D

romance captured by a Colorado Elopement Photographer, as the couple shares an intimate embrace beneath the forest

Day After Sessions


Day after sessions are a fun option to celebrate & hit hard to get to locations or activities you couldn't do on the elopement day. Many couples choose to go with a casual shoot style, or do a more creative "trash the dress" session, which is exactly what it sounds like. This could include going on a muddy hike, jumping into the ocean, or turning it into an art project. I’m up for anything!


Editing Your Photos


You eloped! Now, it's time for me to go through your images and create the perfect elopement gallery, just for the two of you.


After shooting your elopement, I'll deliver a "sneak peek" gallery (around 10 images) within 48 hours because I know it’s hard to wait to see how they turned out, and you can have something to send to family and friends straight away.


The remaining images will be delivered within 4-8 weeks through an online gallery link where you can download all the high-resolution files and print directly from the lab



Prints & Albums


Photo albums and prints are a great way to display your images. Plus, it's a great way to share the experience with anyone who wasn't able to attend! Through my delivered galleries you will be able to access a world class print shop for both prints and albums!


CREATIVE WAYS TO DISPLAY AND SHARE YOUR PHOTOS:

  • A wedding album that sits on the coffee table
  • Big canvas prints you can display on the walls
  • Cute "We Eloped" announcements
  • A customized box filled with printed photos (Etsy has great options)
  • An album for friends and family to display in their homes


Eloping couple takes a shot ski excitedly at Keystone Mountain Ski Resort

What You'll Get


  • An experienced, world-class elopement photographer
  • A personal consultant to answer your questions about travel, visas, venues, or whatever kept you awake the night before
  • A thoughtful questionnaire so you can share your vision
  • Location ideas to get you inspired and excited
  • Permit coordination to stay legal & safe no matter where we go.
  • A curated vendor list of folks who will exceed your expectations
  • Exciting activity ideas that’ll elevate your experience
  • A customized itinerary to keep your dream day on track
  • Resources and guides that I’ve created exclusively for my couples
  • Elopement day photo coverage that’s fun and free from stress
  • A high resolution, fully-edited digital gallery of images to download, print, and share


I'm So Excited for You!

I'm Ready to Book!
Colorado elopement photographer smiling and jumping for joy

Oh the Places we'll go

If you've made it this far... congratulations! You're now an elopement expert. There’s nothing I love more than helping my couples create unforgettable experiences in beautiful places.

If you're looking for more elopement inspiration or
have any questions,
please reach out and
we can chat further
about your dreams!

I'm here to help
you have the best
day ever!
-Erica