Boulder has some of the most gorgeous natural beauty in Colorado. That’s why it’s one of my favorite places to join couples for their elopement as their photographer! In this article, I’ll dive into everything you need to know about planning and having the perfect Boulder, Colorado, elopement.

elopement couple in Boulder reading vows
May’s Point, Among the Pines Photography

Below, I’ll discuss the best Boulder elopement locations, the best time for your ceremony and pictures, and information about the legalities. I’ll also share details on Boulder elopement packages.

Why have a Boulder, Colorado, elopement?

There are countless reasons to elope in Boulder, including natural beauty, fun things to do, and convenient location.

A few of my favorite things about Boulder include:

  • Beautiful outdoor spaces – Boulder’s outdoor spaces are unmatched. With over 45,000 acres of protected land, 155 miles of maintained trails, and some of Colorado’s most stunning parks, it’s the perfect place for an outdoor wedding in Colorado.
  • Adventurous activities – If you and your partner like adventure, you’ll love Boulder. There are endless activities, from biking and hiking to water sports and off-roading.
  • Delicious food and drinks – Boulder has many great restaurants, breweries, and cafes. Pearl Street is one of the best areas to eat, drink, and celebrate with your love.
  • Convenient location – As one of the best small cities in the US, Boulder has a small-town charm with a city feel. It’s also close to a lot of nature and the big city of Denver, where there’s an easily accessible international airport.
  • Self-solemnization – One of the best parts of eloping in Colorado is that you can legally get married without any witnesses or an officiant. Your dog can even be your witness and sign your marriage license! 
  • Pets are welcome – Boulder is the perfect place for a dog-friendly wedding. Not only can your pup join you for your ceremony and sign your license, but pets are also welcome in many establishments throughout the city.

The Best Boulder Elopement Locations

Whether you want to have an adventurous elopement with hiking or rock climbing, say “I do” next to a beautiful lake, or exchange your vows with your closest loved ones, there are many incredible places to choose from.

Below, I’ll share some of the best places for a Boulder, Colorado, elopement.

Chautauqua Park

Chautauqua Park is a historic park dating back to the late 1800s. It’s been preserved, and the entire area is breathtaking. It covers 26 scenic acres, perfect for exploring and taking lots of photos. 

The park is a few minutes from Downtown Boulder at the base of the Flatirons, which are magical red-rock formations that make for one of the best elopement backdrops. I especially love summers at Chautauqua Park because of the wildflower fields, but it’s beautiful year-round.

Lost Gulch Overlook

Lost Gulch Overlook is one of the most beautiful places for a Boulder, Colorado, elopement. It’s also great for semi-adventurous couples because the stunning lookout point is accessible by an easy hike. The mountain views surrounding Lost Gulch Overlook are incredible, especially at sunrise or sunset.

It’s a popular area, so the best time for an intimate Lost Gulch Overlook elopement is during the week at sunrise or sunset. Guest count is also limited, so it’s best for a just-us elopement or only a few loved ones.

bride and groom posing at Lost Gulch Overlook in Boulder, Colorado
Lost Gulch Overlook, Among the Pines Photography

Sunrise Amphitheater

The Sunrise Amphitheater is a larger space perfect for inviting loved ones. It’s also a great elopement spot if you want to have a special ceremony without worrying about other people nearby. You can rent the Sunrise Amphitheater for your private ceremony between May and October.

The large stone platform overlooks Boulder and its natural scenery. As the name suggests, it’s especially gorgeous at sunrise, but it’s a beautiful location any time of day.

May’s Point

May’s Point is a scenic hike from the more popular Artist Point. It’s close to Sunrise Amphitheater and ideal for a small elopement ceremony and pictures surrounded by beautiful scenery. 

The May’s Point hike is short and easy to moderate, with open views of the Continental Divide and foothills. This is the perfect area for a mountain elopement and to explore, while taking advantage of multiple photo opportunities. 

Red Rocks Trail

Red Rocks Trail is the perfect Boulder, Colorado, elopement location if you and your partner enjoy hiking or climbing. The half-mile hike is relatively simple, and the Red Rocks Trail is surrounded by cool red rock formations you can climb, which make for fun pictures. 

There are a few secret spots for an intimate ceremony, and the scenery offers unique photo ops. Since this is a trail, there’s not much space for guests, so this location is best for a just-us elopement.

Eldorado Canyon State Park

Eldorado Canyon State Park is a stunning park just outside of Boulder in Eldorado Springs. The park is most popular for rock climbers but is also a gorgeous place to exchange your vows

The South Boulder Creek runs through the park, and it’s surrounded by sandstone cliffs, so there are many unique photo ops and ceremony spots. It’s also a great place to spend the day with your love, with water activities, hiking, picnicking spots, and winter sports. Pets are welcome, too!

Eldorado Canyon State Park, Photo by Max and Dee Bernt

Halfway House

The Halfway House is ideal for a micro wedding or small elopement. It’s a small trail with an enclosed stone structure for a ceremony surrounded by trees and mountain views.

You can reserve the Halfway House for up to 49 people. That said, the space is small, so it’s more comfortable for smaller groups. While there’s a small enclosed space for a reception, you can also head to downtown Boulder to celebrate.

Brainard Lake

Brainard Lake is easily one of my favorite elopement locations. I’ve joined several couples for their elopements and small weddings at Brainard Lake, and every experience is stunning.

Brainard Lake is less than an hour’s drive from Boulder and is the perfect location for an outdoor, easily accessible ceremony. If you’re looking to get adventurous, there are more than 20 trails in the area. You can also easily reach the lake, which is a gorgeous backdrop for your elopement ceremony and pictures.

Hidden Gems in Boulder

There are countless Boulder elopement locations, so if you’re looking for something different or off the beaten path, let’s chat. I love helping couples plan their perfect elopement experience!

When to Elope in Boulder

My favorite time of year for a Boulder elopement is winter because the locations remain accessible, there are fewer crowds, and the flat iron mountains look magical when it snows.

That said, Boulder is incredible all year. Here’s what you can expect during each season:

  • Winter – It’s really cold, and there will likely be snow, which makes it beautiful! A winter elopement is best for couples who enjoy chilly weather and winter activities.
  • Spring – The weather varies, as it may still be cold and snowy or warmer. Spring is usually less crowded than other times of year, but you’ll need to be flexible as the weather is unpredictable.
  • Summer – Summer is amazing, with sunshine, warm weather, and wildflowers. It’s a great time of year for adventurous couples who want to enjoy outdoor activities.
  • Fall – The weather is still nice but a bit cooler than summer. The colorful leaves are also gorgeous during late September and early October, ideal for an outdoor elopement.

As for timing, Boulder is a popular destination, especially during winter and summer. I recommend eloping early in the morning or late afternoon during the week to avoid crowds at peak times.

Logistics of a Boulder, Colorado, Elopement

One of the best parts of eloping in Boulder is how easy a legal marriage is. Colorado is one of the only states where you can marry yourself without other witnesses or an officiant. All you need to do is apply online for your marriage license, then go to the local County Clerk’s Office when you arrive in Boulder.

If you’re not from Colorado and would rather handle the legal details in your home state, you can also do that! Then, head to Boulder for your elopement and celebrations.

Something else to keep in mind is that many Boulder elopement locations require permits for photography, and some have regulations on when you can have your ceremony. As a Colorado elopement photographer, I take care of the permit fees for couples I work with. However, I don’t handle ceremony permits if required, but I can help you look into regulations. 

Where to Stay in Boulder

Boulder has many hotels and vacation rentals, so finding the perfect place to stay is pretty simple. That said, since Boulder is a popular vacation destination, you’ll want to book well in advance.

Airbnb has amazing rental options, including cute homes conveniently located downtown and mountain cabins outside the city. There are also several hotels, including charming inns and luxurious downtown hotels.

Boulder, Colorado, Elopement Packages

Plan and experience your dream wedding day with the perfect elopement package

Among the Pines Photography (that’s me) doesn’t only take pictures. I also help you throughout the entire planning process. Whether you want a multi-day, full-day, or mini-elopement, I’ve got you covered! 

My elopement packages include:

  • An initial phone consultation
  • Location Scouting
  • Timeline Planning
  • Vendor Recommendations
  • All-inclusive elopement planning resources
  • Custom online gallery with all edited high-resolution images
  • 48-hour sneak peek photos
  • Rights to printing

Let’s Plan Your Boulder, Colorado, Elopement

If you’re ready to start planning the perfect elopement, I’d love to help! We can talk through your dreams and make them a reality. And, of course, I’ll capture all the special moments on your big day! 

Client Praise

kinsley + caden

“Brooke was the perfect choice for our wedding day! We had a micro wedding at Sapphire Point in August. I had never been to Sapphire Point and Brooke was so helpful suggesting vendors, picture locations, parking, marriage license info etc. She was so kind and helpful before and during the whole process and was a large part of why the day went so smooth. She does so much more than just show up and take pictures, Brooke will truly go out of her way to make your wedding day perfect! The photos are gorgeous and I keep getting so many compliments! I truly cannot recommend her enough!”

"Brooke was a large part of why our day went so smooth and will truly go out of her way to make your wedding day perfect!"

We chose Brooke to capture our Colorado elopement and she did exactly that and more. She made it easy to plan our day out with locations and timelines so that we could focus on ourselves. We decided last minute to change our afternoon/evening elopement to a 6am sunrise one so beat the heat of the day. Brooke accommodated us without hesitation and even created a new timeline for us so that we knew where to be for the perfect sunrise. She was kind and understood what we wanted in terms of our elopement and we are so grateful to have her capture the day. Our photos turned out beautiful and truly helped us relive the day. I would recommend Brooke to anyone wanting their special day photographed.

"Brooke accommodated us without hesitation and even created a new timeline for us so that we knew where to be for the perfect sunrise."

erica + stacy

kirstie + colin

Brooke not only photographed our mountain elopement beautifully, but she put so much thought into the details and knew all of the answers the questions I didn’t even know to ask. She really puts a lot of thought into each photo and brings her expertise while still remaining very open to what we wanted and ideas we had. She even helped pick the perfect spot for us and advised us on the logistical details like securing a reservation at the mountain lake where we wanted our ceremony. She is SO easy to work with and very friendly and chill. My husband and I are super awkward in front of a camera but she made it so natural and easy - and the shots came out better than we could have imagined.

"She really puts a lot of thought into each photo and brings her expertise while still remaining very open to what we wanted and ideas we had."

amanda + jace

Brooke is many things; talented, calm, flexible, experienced/ knowledgeable, patient, incredibly responsive, organized, resourceful in a pinch, supportive, creative, professional yet a blast to work with, and goes above & beyond w her clients. Our wedding was a spectacular dream and we couldn't be more grateful that she made that single day last forever. Whether she's photographing nature or an intimate event, her pictures tell a story of peace, love, whatever your vision may be. We couldn't recommend her more and we look forward to booking with her for all of our vow renewals, seasonal and family pictures for as long as she'll have us.

"Whether she's photographing nature or an intimate event, her pictures tell a story of peace, love, whatever your vision may be."

linden + brent

Working with Brooke was a dream come true! Before we even met, my husband Brent and I were impressed by her portfolio. After meeting, we were even more convinced that her photography skills and knowledge, and her fun and easygoing personality were exactly what we were looking for in an elopement photographer. Brooke was able to take our vision and facilitate everything so that it worked out beautifully, especially when it came to finding the perfect location (the incredible mountains surrounding Ouray). Throughout the entire planning process, she was honest and flexible, and made it clear that her goal was for us to be 100% happy. In the end, her creativity and our happiness totally shine through in every single photo.

"Throughout the entire planning process, she was honest and flexible."

lauren + branden

I can't begin to express my gratitude for the intimacy and beauty behind Brooke's photographs. In capturing our wedding day, she went above and beyond to document our story, our families, and the depths of our love in ways that I'll forever be grateful for. Brooke has an eye for not only capturing the adventure and magic of your love, but deeply connects with your personal story, understands your relationship, and then gives that back in the most incredible way. She is truly an artist and tells your story in an authentic and creative way for you to look back on for years to come. We are forever grateful to Brooke for spending the time to get to know us, our story, and capturing the memories that we'll relive for years to come.

"Brooke deeply connects with your personal story, understands your relationship, and then gives that back in the most incredible way."

heather + jedd

“If you're contemplating which photographer to go with, THIS IS YOUR SIGN TO CHOOSE BROOKE!!!! She is so so so talented and was able to capture our elopement exactly how I pictured and wanted! We eloped in Ridgway, CO this past September and she was so helpful figuring out picture locations, recommendations of timeline for the day, and just made the whole day feel so smooth. She schedules multiple check ins, phone calls, etc., leading up to the big day to ensure everything is as you want it. Brooke has such a calming, down to earth presence and is one of those awesome people you feel like you've known forever after just the first time of meeting."

"Brooke has such a calming, down to earth presence and is one of those awesome people you feel like you've known forever."

christy + austin

Brooke is the absolute best. She truly went above and beyond for my fiancé and I to be able to get our engagement photos taken with the fall colors. Brooke is so sweet, fun, personable and incredibly talented. We could not be more in love with our engagement photos! Our engagement session with Brooke was such a special experience and a memory we will cherish forever.

"Our engagement session with Brooke was such a special experience and a memory we will cherish forever."

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