How Much Does It Cost to Elope in Colorado?

This is NOT your grandparents elopement. Thankfully, the outdated perception of elopements as inexpensive, hastily arranged, tacky, last-minute, disapproved, or even shameful has faded away. It’s a relief that we’re not bound by the restrictive viewpoints of the past because it allows us to experience moments like these. So how much does it cost to elope in Colorado? That can vary based off what you value most on your elopement day.

Elopements have evolved into a intentional and intimate celebration for couples who desire a personal and meaningful experience. The idea of eloping to Colorado has expanded significantly in recent years, thanks to its breathtaking natural landscapes, offering an ideal backdrop for an intimate ceremony just about anywhere. Its snow-capped mountains, serene lakes, expansive forests, and unique vistas obviously attract couples seeking a picturesque setting to exchange vows and celebrate their love.

The trend of eloping in Colorado continues to surge due to the availability of stunning natural vistas and free locations, making it an attractive option for couples seeking an alternative to the traditional grand wedding. However, it’s important to consider the legalities and policies surrounding elopements in Colorado. The cost to elope in Colorado includes understanding the permit requirements for national parks, their specific policies, and the legal aspects of getting married in the state. Embracing the charm of Colorado’s diverse landscape while navigating the legal and permit requirements contributes to the growing appeal of elopements in this beautiful state.

Garden of the Gods Colorado Elopement
Garden of the Gods Colorado Elopement

Factors Affecting Cost to Elope in Colorado

A. Location Considerations: The choice of location significantly influences elopement costs. Colorado boasts a range of breathtaking settings, each varying in terms of accessibility, popularity, and associated fees. Permits for certain locations, like National Parks, may entail expenses, while free public areas might alleviate these costs. Consider the geographical distance, scenic appeal, and logistical aspects, as they all contribute to the overall cost to elope in Colorado.

B. Vendor Expenses: Elopements often involve hiring specific vendors, like photographers, officiants, florists, and musicians. Their fees vary depending on experience, services offered, and the duration of the event. A professional photographer’s package, for instance, may include different rates based on hours of coverage, additional services, and the desired style of photography. Officiants are a choice since you and your partner can choose to self solemnize if you would like. This would lessen your overall all cost to elope in Colorado

C. Travel and Accommodation Costs: If the couple is coming from out of town or planning to explore different locations, travel and accommodation are significant considerations. Transportation expenses, lodging, and meals can collectively impact the budget. The distance between various sites can also add to the overall cost. To make things a little easier here’s a blog I wrote on where to stay for your Colorado elopement!

D. Additional Services: Supplementary services such as custom decorations, specialized attire, personalized ceremonies, and amenities for guests can augment the elopement expenses. Customized wedding attire, unique installations, or exclusive arrangements contribute to the final cost.

Eloping in Colorado offers a diverse range of opportunities, but couples need to consider these various factors that directly influence the total cost of their dream elopement. From the enchanting Rocky Mountains to the captivating beauty of Great Sand Dunes National Park, couples must understand the financial impact of their chosen elements to plan and budget effectively.

Garden of the Gods Colorado Elopement - Elope in Colorado
Garden of the Gods Colorado Elopement

Cost to Elope in Colorado Breakdown

A. Permit Fees and Location Expenses: Many scenic locations in Colorado, particularly the National Parks, require permits for events like elopements. These fees can vary based on the site’s popularity, capacity, and specific regulations. Free or public areas are available as alternatives, allowing a more budget-friendly elopement. Nonetheless, permit fees contribute significantly to the overall expenses. This can range from $0-$300 for location photography permits. Some photographers like myself, include this cost to elope in exclusive Colorado locations within their package pricing.

B. Photographer Expenses: Hiring a professional photographer is a crucial aspect of capturing the special moments during an elopement. Photography services can vary based on package inclusions, hours of coverage, prints, and digital access. As an elopement photographer, my packages include photography coverage, elopement guide, exclusive location guide, vendor recommendations, and lodging and activity ideas. You can find a professional elopement photographer from $3k-$10 and beyond.

C. Attire and Styling Costs: Customized or designer outfits, styling, and accessories form an integral part of the elopement budget. While couples can opt for simpler attire, exclusive garments and personalized styling can significantly add to the expenses. I would suggest search for white maxi dress instead of wedding dress to save!

D. Officiant, Ceremony, and Marriage License Fees: Officiant fees and acquiring a marriage license are essential expenses for legal ceremonies. Officiant fees might differ based on their services and travel requirements. A marriage license cost is variable, depending on the location and its required documentation. In Colorado Spring you can obtain your marriage license for $30.

Understanding these cost segments helps in accurately planning and organizing a budget for a dream elopement in Colorado. Couples need to balance their vision with the financial considerations to achieve a memorable and meaningful elopement experience.

Garden of the Gods Elopement - Elope in Colorado
Ronnie & Gina Garden of the Gods

Budgeting Tips

A. Prioritizing Expenses: Start by identifying the most crucial aspects of the elopement that matter most to you and your partner. Prioritize these elements in your budget, ensuring the key features align with your vision for the day. Prioritizing allows for the allocation of funds to the most significant areas.

B. Researching: Research extensively before finalizing vendors and locations. Exploring seasonal discounts can significantly help manage costs. Some venues and service providers may offer off-season rates or lower prices for specific time slots, thereby reducing overall expenses.

C. DIY Options and Cost-Saving Measures: Consider do-it-yourself (DIY) projects to add personal touches without hefty expenses. DIY elements for decorations, invitations, or small details can significantly cut costs while making the elopement more personal and unique.

D. Flexible Planning for Cost Management: Staying flexible in your planning allows for effective cost management. Being open to alternative dates or times can lead to more budget-friendly options. Additionally, remaining adaptable in guest numbers or adjusting the location can assist in balancing the expenses.

These budgeting tips aim to assist couples in creating a well-managed and affordable elopement experience without compromising the significance or beauty of the day. Cost to elope in Colorado can be as little or as much as you desire to budget for it, but make sure you take care of what matters most to you. Careful financial planning ensures that the chosen elements are highlighted while staying within a reasonable budget.

Ronnie & Gina Garden of the Gods - Elope in Colorado
Ronnie & Gina Garden of the Gods

Sample Cost to Elope in Colorado Breakdowns

A. Low, Mid, and High-Budget Range Examples

  1. Low-Budget Range Example: For a low-budget elopement, couples might opt for a free or low-cost public location, like Garden of the Gods. Permit fees for national and state parks might range from $50 to $200. A beginner photographer could charge around $1,000 for minimal coverage, and attire costs might range between $500 to $1,000. In this instance how much does it cost to elope in Colorado? a budget typically keeps overall expenses within $2,000 to $3,000.
  2. Mid-Budget Range Example In a mid-budget scenario, couples could choose a moderately priced location with permit fees ranging from $200 to $500. Engaging a professional photographer with more extensive services might cost around $3,000. Attire and styling expenses might increase to $1,000 to $2,000. This mid-budget range usually falls between $5,000 to $8,000.
  3. High-Budget Range Example For a higher budget elopement, couples might select a luxurious venue with permit fees over $1,000. A top-tier photographer might charge around $5,000, and attire and styling expenses could elevate to $2,000 or more. Overall costs for a high-budget elopement can range between $10,000 to $15,000 or more.

B. Comparisons and Variations: Based on different scenarios costs to elope in Colorado can vary widely based on location, vendors, guest count, and personalized preferences. A significant aspect of cost variation depends on the level of personalization, vendor quality, the exclusivity of locations, and the extent of additional services required. Ultimately, the elopement budget reflects the couple’s preferences and the importance they place on different elements of their special day.

Gina at Garden of the Gods - Elope in Colorado
Garden of the Gods Colorado Elopement

Real Budget Options

A budget elopement at Garden of the Gods in Colorado presents a breathtaking yet cost-effective backdrop for couples seeking an affordable ceremony. The towering red rock formations, free to visit and perfect for smaller gatherings, provide a stunning natural setting for an intimate celebration. With no entrance fee required and ample parking, couples can exchange vows against the striking views of Pikes Peak and the surrounding landscapes. Opting for budget-friendly services and accessories, like local vendors for flowers and a cake, with nature as décor, you are sure to keep costs low. Garden of the Gods is a buget-friendly option that offers the ethereal red rock.

Garden of the Gods Colorado Elopement
Ronnie & Gina at Garden of the Gods

It’s About The in Moment Memories

Planning an elopement in Colorado involves an array of considerations, particularly related to the associated costs. In this guide, we’ve navigated through factors influencing the expenses, ranging from location considerations to vendor and service costs. Understanding the breakdown of expenses such as permit fees, photographer costs, attires, and officiant fees has been crucial in shaping a comprehensive picture of budget requirements. But, the beauty of an elopement doesn’t solely depend on the dollars spent. It’s about crafting a cherished experience filled with moments of love and joy.

Eloping on a budget isn’t about sacrificing the magic of the day but rather focusing on what’s truly meaningful. Garden of the Gods, for instance, showcases how a breathtaking natural setting can host an affordable yet awe-inspiring ceremony. With thoughtful planning, it’s entirely feasible to curate a special day within your budget.

Remember, your elopement is a canvas for the unique story of your love. Despite financial constraints, the authenticity and intimacy you craft will paint a beautiful memory to cherish. Embrace the journey, get creative, and seek inspiration to design an elopement in Colorado that resonates with your hearts. Keep reading and learn How to Elope in Colorado!

 Photographing love and life for the past 7 years. My passion for elopements comes from the intimate memories and inspirational landscapes that we share our earth with. 
My goal as your photographer and guide is to provide you with all the essentials needed to elope. You and your partner deserve a stress-free experience surrounded by love and admiration from every direction in every moment of your special day. Your wedding day is an unforgettable day and it should be documented in a way that authentically serves you. 

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