If you’re planning a micro wedding or elopement in Colorado with breathtaking scenery in mind, you’re in luck! Colorado boasts some of the most captivating natural backdrops in the country. From snow-kissed mountains to rolling sand dunes, lush forests, and iconic red rock arches, this state has it all. With so many picturesque possibilities, the challenge isn’t finding a stunning location, but deciding which one speaks to your heart.
It’s time to envision your perfect wedding day. Do you dream of expansive plateaus, mountain summits, serene lakeshores, or something entirely unique? To simplify your question of ‘Where should I get married in Colorado?’, I’ve crafted this ‘scenic wedding guide’ that showcases 15 incredibly breathtaking locations for your micro wedding or elopement. Let’s dive in!
If you’re dreaming of awe-inspiring mountain vistas for your Colorado micro wedding or elopement there is no shortage of stunning locations in this state. With a whopping 3,422 named mountains, Colorado offers a diverse range of mountainous beauty. Let me introduce you to a handful of spectacular locations that perfectly embody the grandeur of Colorado’s mountain scenery:
Rocky Mountain National Park is an absolute gem, renowned for its breathtaking beauty. With over 4.5 million visitors each year, it’s one of the most sought-after destinations within the national park system. The park’s expansive mountain views and serene lush forests create a picturesque backdrop for your special day. And, if you’re lucky, you might even have the chance to encounter some of Colorado’s native wildlife.
Conveniently located just 1.5 hours from Denver, it offers an easy escape from the city’s hustle and bustle and is also quite accessible from Boulder. While the park welcomes visitors year-round, you should keep in mind the possibility of road closures during the winter months. Although summer showcases undeniable beauty, it also brings crowds. As a result, I recommend considering the spring and fall seasons for your micro wedding or elopement. During fall, the aspen trees light up the mountainsides with their radiant golden hues.
Rocky Mountain National Park boasts twelve elopement and wedding ceremony locations within its boundaries, provided you obtain a permit. Hidden Valley, Lily Lake Trail, 3M Curve, and Copeland Lake (Wild Basin Area) are among the perfect spots to host your intimate wedding or elopement. Each location comes with its specific guidelines on the number of people and vehicles allowed. For the latest information on the various wedding spots, attendance limits, potential closures, and permit details, be sure to stay updated at www.nps.gov.
But it’s not just the ceremony sites; the park offers an abundance of Colorado mountain scenery and perfect locations for capturing stunning portraits. It’s a photographer’s dream and a nature lover’s paradise, ensuring you have stunning backdrops for your most cherished moments.
Golden Gate Canyon State Park, just 45 minutes from Denver, provides an idyllic setting for your wedding portraits. It’s not only a budget-friendly option but also incredibly accessible. Despite its proximity to the road, there’s a sense of privacy here, due to the park’s lush foliage.
Since we are discussing scenery here, I cannot skip over the breathtaking beauty of the park during fall. The aspen trees in this park are nothing short of phenomenal, and the mountain views are pure gold. Moreover, it’s not as crowded as some other popular locations like Rocky Mountain National Park or Garden of the Gods. There are plenty of spots to explore and capture incredible portraits.
Golden Gate Canyon State Park offers two primary options for your wedding portraits: Panorama Point and the Red Barn Group Picnic Area. Panorama Point treats you to stunning views of the Continental Divide, while the Red Barn Group Picnic Area provides a rustic setting to gather with your loved ones. You even have the flexibility to reserve both! Keep in mind that it’s a very basic setup, so you’ll need to bring everything you might require. It’s also worth noting that the Red Barn is only available from May to October.
To secure a spot within Golden Gate Canyon State Park, you’ll need a permit, which I’m happy to assist you with.
Sapphire Point Overlook, located between Keystone and Breckenridge and just under 1.5 hours from Denver, is a true treasure. Sitting at an elevation of 9,500 feet, it showcases its beauty in every season. This remarkable location treats you to grand views of the Gore and Tenmile mountains, with the serene Lake Dillon below.
The convenience of reaching Sapphire Point Overlook, combined with its breathtaking views and ADA accessibility, makes it a popular choice for micro weddings and elopements. While this means you may not get complete privacy outside of the reserved overlook, you can secure this stunning spot for your special day with a permit and reservation. With the ability to accommodate up to 35 people, it’s a budget-friendly option for an intimate wedding in Summit County. Reservations open at 8:00 AM MT, six months in advance, and can be made online at recreation.gov. Since there are only a limited number of slots available each day, I recommend asking your photographer for advice on the best time to capture the perfect lighting for your ceremony.
Lost Gulch, situated just outside of Boulder and a mere hour’s drive from Denver, is a highly sought-after and undeniably stunning location. The vistas at Lost Gulch are nothing short of breathtaking, offering expansive mountain views that will undoubtedly leave you in awe on your wedding day. The overlook faces west, treating you to panoramic views of the Indian Peaks Wilderness and the mountain peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Lost Gulch’s beauty is on display year-round, but for the most favorable weather conditions, I recommend planning your visit between June and October. It’s essential to exercise caution during the winter months, as the rocks and trails can become slippery. While you can’t hold an official ceremony at Lost Gulch, it’s the perfect spot for capturing your portraits. Your photographer will need a Boulder Open Space & Mountain Parks permit, which I always have on hand. The process is simple: hold your wedding or ceremony elsewhere first, such as at Sunrise Amphitheater, and then venture over to Lost Gulch for some stunning portraits, either before or after your ceremony.
Loveland Pass is one of the highest mountain pass roads in the country. It’s a fairly easy location to access because the pass remains open year-round and reopens once the roads are cleared in the winter. Located at over 11,900 feet in elevation and just a little over an hour from Denver, this stunner offers spectacular mountain-top views that are true showstoppers for your micro wedding or elopement.
Loveland Pass is fantastic in late summer if you want to skip the city heat or in the fall to potentially witness a few snowflakes. It might surprise you, but there can be snow up there from October all the way through June! While there isn’t a dedicated ceremony site, permission for intimate ceremonies can be obtained from park rangers on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, Sapphire Point is nearby as a wedding ceremony space that you can reserve for larger gatherings before taking portraits at Loveland Pass. This location is also convenient because it’s close to places like Georgetown and Silver Plume, where you can enjoy a nice meal after your celebration.
If you’re yearning for a desert-inspired atmosphere with vast plateaus, striking orange arches, and iconic red rock formations for your wedding day… Colorado’s got you covered. This stunning state offers more than just mountains; here are some dazzling examples:
Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre is a global icon, and its fame is well-deserved. This remarkable site features towering slanted red rocks, breathtaking mountain vistas, and sweeping views of the city in the distance. Just a short 20-minute drive from Denver, it provides easy access to a plethora of vendors and great restaurant options for your wedding day.
This area is divided into two main sections: the Amphitheatre and the Park trail system. While a permit is always required for photo sessions at the amphitheatre, the rules for the park grounds are slightly different. If your portrait session involves fewer than 5 people, there’s no need for a permit.
Red Rocks offers multiple locations for your microwedding or elopement ceremony, both indoor and outdoor. The Trading Post Backyard, for instance, provides incredible views of the stunning Red Rocks formations in an intimate garden setting. Although this location is beautiful year-round, the period from early summer through fall offers the most ideal weather conditions.
Colorado National Monument may be a bit further from Denver, approximately 4.5 hours away, but the journey is undoubtedly worth it for your big day. This location is filled with grand arches, winding canyons, slot canyons, and towering spires, creating an experience reminiscent of a mini Grand Canyon.
This adventurer’s paradise is open year-round, with spring and fall being the best times to avoid extreme heat and cold winds. Keep in mind that certain roads, such as Rim Rock Drive, can close in the winter due to heavy snow. If you’re looking to rent an actual space for your micro wedding, there are several areas that accommodate small groups, which you can reserve with a permit. Some of these include Book Cliffs View, Saddlehorn Picnic Area, or Devil’s Kitchen Picnic Area.
Colorado National Monument is a dream come true if you’re planning a Colorado adventure micro wedding or elopement. Many of the hikes and slot canyons here don’t require any technical skills, providing outstanding options for portraits and intimate vow readings. For more detailed guidance on how to plan your Colorado adventure elopement, check out my other blog.
Garden of the Gods is the most photographed spot in Colorado Springs, located about 1.25 hours from Denver, and is a highly popular location for elopements and intimate ceremonies. What makes it truly exceptional is its proximity to restaurants and vendor options, offering convenience alongside stunning views. Whether it’s for your micro wedding or elopement ceremony, you can choose to be nestled among the rocks, surrounded by fiery red rock formations. You can also have the snow-capped mountains as your backdrop or combine these impressive settings, and capture it all.
Garden of the Gods allows wedding ceremonies, provided they are small and brief, on a first-come, first-served basis. While you can’t have any decorations, the natural beauty of this place more than makes up for it. Although you don’t need a permit for wedding photography here, keep in mind that it can get quite busy, especially during the summer. To beat the crowds, I always recommend visiting at sunrise or sunset. Summer offers fantastic views but attracts numerous tourists. Nevertheless, this location’s beauty is accessible all year round, with the vibrant red rock formations contrasting beautifully with the white snow.
If you’re in search of an entirely unique and distinctive wedding experience, Colorado has some otherworldly options to consider for your special day:
Just a short drive from Colorado Springs, and a little over 1.5 hours from Denver, lies the Paint Mines Interpretive Park – a truly unique destination for your micro wedding or elopement day. It whisks you away to a space-like realm with its mesmerizing layers of pink, white, yellow, and orange.
Although you’ll need to conduct your official ceremony at a different location, this park, with the appropriate permit, provides a remarkable backdrop for your wedding or elopement photos. On the other side of the mines, you can discover rolling fields of tall grasses and vibrant wildflowers when they’re in bloom. The best time to visit this park is from March to October to avoid the intensely cold winds. And, golden hour, which offers the perfect lighting, is unquestionably the best time of day. Another fascinating tidbit about this place: it’s designated as a Dark Sky Location!
Imagine vast sand dunes rising majestically amidst the Colorado mountainscape– that’s Great Sand Dunes National Park. Located in the San Luis Valley, approximately 3.5 hours from Denver, this astonishing park holds the tallest sand dune in North America, yet it seems tucked away off a quiet exit from the main road.
If you’re seeking a truly unique Colorado landscape for your micro wedding or elopement, this is the place to be. Surprisingly, it’s an excellent choice for most of the year, although expect a bit of wind. If you’re planning a summer celebration, be prepared for hot sand when the sun is high and opt for an early morning or late afternoon ceremony.
For very small micro weddings or elopements with under 15 people in total, you can have your ceremony in the dune field. Celebrations with more than 15 people will be directed to the park’s Amphitheater. This location is a testament to the incredible wonders Mother Nature can create. Similar to Paint Mines Interpretive Park, Great Sand Dunes is also designated as a Dark Sky Location. As an added bonus, the park remains open all night, making it a perfect spot for those who want to include stargazing and nighttime portraits on their wedding or elopement day!
Photo Credit to SkyeWater Photo + Film
Edits by Stephanie Yves Photography
Does the thought of being around a serene mountain lake fill your wedding day vision? Let’s take a look at a few gorgeous places to say ‘I do’ beside a Colorado mountain lake:
St. Mary’s Glacier is a popular hiking destination near Idaho Springs, about an hour from Denver and 1.25 hours from Boulder. It’s a stunning location that offers breathtaking views of the lake and the serene beauty of the evergreen forest for your micro wedding or elopement. The lake view is just one part of the incredible scenery here; the hike itself is a breathtaking experience. The moderate 1.5-mile round-trip hike to the top is highly rewarding.
This mountain lake area is perfect for summer, although it can get quite busy. The 11,000-foot-elevation lake provides a refreshing escape from the summer heat, and you’ll find snow there for most of the year. Fortunately, you don’t need a permit to get married here, but keep in mind that parking fees apply.
Point Park is situated approximately 2 hours from Denver on Colorado’s largest lake, Grand Lake. This scenic location is surrounded by mountain views that reflect beautifully on the lake, making it an ideal spot for your micro wedding or elopement. However, it’s important to note that there is no reservation system at this location; spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Point Park also features a dock on the lake, which can add a fun element to your wedding portraits. Being on the lake also offers the opportunity to include exciting activities like kayaking or canoeing as part of your wedding or elopement day festivities.
Dillon Reservoir, also known as Lake Dillon, is a gorgeous mountain lake situated between Dillon and Frisco, with Silverthorne just below the dam. It’s a short drive to Breckenridge and approximately 1.25 hours from Denver, making it a versatile location. Featuring 26 miles of shoreline surrounded by breathtaking mountain vistas, this reservoir offers a picturesque and easily accessible backdrop for your intimate wedding or elopement.
The best weather at Lake Dillon can be enjoyed during the summer and fall. There are parts of the shoreline where the aspen trees showcase their golden leaves in the fall, making it a wonderful setting for wedding portraits. If you’re seeking a dedicated ceremony space to gather your nearest and dearest for your big day, there are nearby options available. Sapphire Point, located on Lake Dillon, is an awesome and affordable choice, as well as the Windy Point Campground.
I cannot write this Colorado location guide without mentioning the infamous Maroon Bells in Aspen. This jaw-dropping location is about 3.5 hours from Denver, but the views are worth every minute for your micro wedding or elopement. This spot is the most photographed location in the entire state, and for excellent reason. However, it’s important to note that you need a permit to photograph weddings here.
Describing the true beauty of this place can be quite challenging. The Aspen Chamber aptly describes it as “a series of distinctively bell-shaped, wine-colored peaks towering 14,000 ft. above the pristine, glacial Maroon Creek Valley, offering some of the most spectacular natural views in the world.”
If you want a dedicated private area, it’s necessary to reserve the Maroon Bells Amphitheater, and I believe it’s well worth it as you’ll have a slice of this heaven all to yourself. Maroon Bells is stunning in every season, from the vibrant colors of fall to the glistening winter wonderland, and the blooming wildflowers of spring to the warm golden hues of summer. If you’re still uncertain about which season to choose for your Colorado wedding, check out my guide on the best time to get married in Colorado.
Up on Loveland Pass, about 1.25 hours from Denver, you’ll find Pass Lake. While Loveland Pass, in general, is a fantastic spot for intimate weddings or elopements, Pass Lake takes it to another level with its tranquil alpine lake setting. Sitting at an elevation of over 11,500 feet, you can enjoy absolutely stunning views of the towering mountain tops without requiring strenuous hiking. This location offers easy accessibility, breathtaking views, and a sense of being tucked away from it all.
Similar to Loveland Pass, Pass Lake can have snow for most of the year. If you want to witness Colorado’s gorgeous snowfall, fall would be an ideal time. On the other hand, if you prefer to avoid the snow, late summer is the perfect season for your celebration. It’s essential to be mindful of a few vague regulations, but I always ensure that my couples receive the assistance and guidance they need for a smooth and stress-free experience. If you’re seeking a dedicated ceremony site, once again, Sapphire Point comes to save the day.
While it was incredibly challenging to narrow down my favorite locations for this list, I believe this is a good starting point. Colorado offers a plethora of dream-like atmospheres to choose for your micro wedding or elopement. Although it may seem overwhelming with the abundance of information out there, don’t worry.
When couples book with me, I assist with everything – from location scouting and timeline planning to vendor recommendations and handling the logistics of all those permits. All you need to do is envision what your dream day looks like, and, from there, we can create a personal and authentic intimate wedding day for you and your partner.
For more resources to help plan your special day, check out my other guides:
When you’re ready, get in touch, and we can find the perfect scenery to start crafting your best day ever.