If you’re planning a Garden of the Gods elopement, look no further! As a Colorado elopement photographer, this is easily one of my favorite locations and most stunning places to say “I do.”
In this guide, I’ll share everything you need to know about having a ceremony at Garden of the Gods, including pro tips, the best time to elope, and amazing locations inside the park.
Yes, Garden of the Gods is one of the best places in Colorado to elope. Not only is it absolutely gorgeous, but there are also no fees or permits required to get married here.
As a Colorado elopement photographer, here are a few reasons I love capturing wedding ceremonies and adventures at Garden of the Gods:
No, one of the best parts about a Garden of the Gods elopement is that permits aren’t required.
No, it’s hard to imagine that this stunning park is entirely free, but there aren’t any fees for getting married or entering the park.
Having a dream elopement ceremony at the Garden of the Gods is easy. Here are some helpful tips to ensure you have the best experience ever.
As I mentioned above, the park has six dedicated locations for elopements. I’ll share more details about each of these below, but they include magical views of Pikes Peak and incredible red rock formations.
I recommend choosing two or three locations, so you can be flexible on your elopement day. The park can get busy. And unfortunately, you can’t reserve your elopement spot.
That said, I work with couples on choosing an elopement day and time that’s not too chaotic. However, it’s always comforting to have a backup plan. And, honestly, no matter where you have your ceremony in the park, you’re sure to have an epic experience.
You can also explore the park on your elopement day to truly appreciate its beauty and take advantage of various photo ops.
Want to chat about finding your dream location?
Carefully timing your elopement is essential. Garden of the Gods is easily one of Colorado’s most breathtaking locations. In fact, about four million people visit each year.
I highly recommend eloping on a weekday instead of the weekend for fewer crowds. If you really want to have a weekend Garden of the Gods wedding, plan for sunrise.
As for what time of year to have your Garden of the Gods elopement – summer is my absolute favorite season to photograph there. From June through August, the warm sun shining on the red rocks is amazing, and the weather is BEAUTIFUL.
Fall and spring are also nice times of year to elope at the Garden of the Gods. On the other hand, winter can be challenging because of snow on the rocks, making it icy and difficult to navigate.
If you’re planning an elopement with just you and your love, FABULOUS!
However, if you’re hoping to have an intimate wedding, I recommend keeping your guest list to about 15 people or less.
While some sites say you can have up to 50 people, this isn’t practical. Parking is limited, and it’s not easy to access a location that comfortably accommodates too many people.
While there are many reasons I love Garden of the Gods for elopements, being able to have your pet with you is a top one.
If you’re a dog lover like me, this is the perfect location to have yours join you for your special day.
Note: Pets must always be on a 6-foot leash while in the park.
Although the Garden of the Gods doesn’t allow you to bring in any decor, you don’t need it. With the most picture-perfect scenery, minimalism is effortless! The natural decor is truly one-of-a-kind.
While couples can’t bring decorations into the park, chairs are allowed for elderly or disabled individuals.
A few ways you can add your own touch to your Garden of the Gods elopement without decorations are:
If you want to celebrate with loved ones after your elopement ceremony, you can either have a picnic at one of the picnic areas in the park or go somewhere nearby.
I recommend having a reception outside of the park for more space. Downtown Colorado Springs is just a short drive away, and there are several restaurants and bars to have a celebration.
Here are a few other essential tips and things to know about your wedding day at Garden of the Gods:
There are six main locations for an elopement ceremony at Garden of the Gods. They’re all first come, first served basis, so it’s important to have a couple in mind.
These are the more established spots where you can also have a few guests if you’d like.
If it’s just you and your love celebrating your special day, you can also get away from crowds and have your ceremony in more hidden areas throughout Garden of the Gods.
Jaycee Plaza is ideal for couples looking for the most accessible location. It’s close to the main parking area and is a flat area that’s easy to get to and navigate. There’s also room for a few guests if needed.
It’s important to note that because of its location, there’s a lot of foot traffic nearby, making it less private than others. Impressive red rock formations surround it, but there aren’t sweeping mountain views like you can see throughout most areas of the park.
Three Graces Plaza is also fairly accessible. It’s backed by towering red rock formations offering a stunning backdrop. You can also climb around the rocks for a fun experience of unique photo ops.
High Point Overlook is one of the most popular Garden of the Gods elopement locations. There’s a parking lot nearby for accessibility. It’s also surrounded by red rocks and picturesque views of the mountains.
Note: Although there is space for guests to join you at High Point Overlook, there’s no room for seating.
Sentinel Plaza is near several hiking trails, so it’s an excellent spot for adventurous couples. That said, there’s often foot traffic nearby, depending on when you have your elopement. Regardless, it’s a gorgeous spot to exchange your vows.
The Scotsman Picnic Area is a great option if you’re looking for seating at your ceremony location. It’s in the center of the park. Although it’s not backed by red rocks, you can find lush greenery most of the year and nature trails nearby.
Similar to the Scotsman, South Spring Canyon Area is surrounded by greenery. It’s one of the more secluded areas of the park and offers beautiful mountain scenery.
Note: If you prefer to have your ceremony off one of the many trails and at less popular sites, consider working with a Colorado elopement photographer (like myself!) who can help you plan your dream day and an unforgettable adventure.
If you need help planning your Garden of the Gods elopement, Among the Pines Photography can help! Not only do I capture your special day, but I can also help you plan your dream wedding day.
My Colorado elopement packages include:
CHLOE + CONNER
Brooke is professional, prepared, and provides all the peace of mind that a bride needs on her wedding day. Because of our conversations leading up to the day, I had no doubt that she would capture every important moment and more. Throughout the day, she was present and helpful, but never overbearing or controlling. She beautifully captured the moments that happened naturally & her experience allowed for insight and ideas that I wouldn't have thought to ask for but that I'll now cherish forever! She is flexible, understanding, and patient, and looking back, we can't imagine our day without her. If you are looking for someone to capture your wedding day, or just any day, Brooke is your girl. She goes above and beyond to serve her clients, and she is absolutely gifted at what she does.
"SHE GOES ABOVE AND BEYOND TO SERVE HER CLIENTS, and she is absolutely gifted at what she does."
Linden + Brent
In the end, her creativity and our happiness totally shine through in every single photo. Brooke made both of us feel so at ease, from our individual sessions before we had our first look, to strolling through downtown Ouray, to our ceremony and in the scenic spots we visited afterwards. Her talent is beyond compare and we are absolutely thrilled with our gallery of photos we will treasure forever. We give Brooke our highest recommendation and can’t wait to work with her again!
"Throughout the entire planning process, Brooke was honest and flexible, and made it clear that her goal was for us to be 100% happy."
Emily + Nick
Brooke is hands down the most talented photographer I have ever met in my entire life. I gave her my inspiration and she took it and made it into something entirely unique and beautiful. Brooke was able to work with my budget and offer me options. Along with all of this, she was always there to communicate with me from ideas to concerns. The day of never goes as planned, she was thrown curveball after curveball and dodged them all with ease. The photos we received memorialized the best day of our lives and we are forever grateful for the beautiful artwork she created.
"we are forever grateful for the beautiful artwork she created."
ERICA & ZACH
Brooke was booked to do our wedding June 6th. However, the virus hit and we were afraid we wouldn’t be able to have our wedding in June so we decided to go ahead and get married with just our parents there. I called Brooke and told her our plans and literally we were getting married in a week and she was so quick to say yes and capture our day for us. She helped make our day very special. She was super fun and made Zach and I feel very comfortable. I got my pictures back and I felt so overjoyed to see the happiness and love I felt on that day. Even though we didn’t have our wedding like we planned, it was still very special and Brooke was a big hand in that. She truly captured some very special memories that I will have for the rest of my life.
"SHE TRULY CAPTURED SOME VERY SPECIAL MEMORIES THAT I WILL HAVE FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE."
Our wedding was in Kentucky in September. Brooke not only traveled for us but made a custom package for us because we had a unique situation. She took pictures the day before, and just seemed to be in the right place at the right time. She met with me before the wedding and we communicated a few times up to the wedding about my specific requests, and she hit the nail on the head. I am so very thankful for Brooke's story-telling, organic nature. She captured our wedding for exactly what it was and what I will remember it to be...full of joy, laughter, love and hope for the future!
"I AM SO VERY THANKFUL FOR BROOKE'S storytelling, organic nature."
JENNA + JOSH
KRYSTAL & BRANDON
She’s professional, creative, organized, kind, and just a blast to be around. She made my husband comfortable instantly in front of a camera so she’s a miracle worker too. We can’t stop staring at our photos! So many people keep telling us how amazing they are!
"YOU WON'T FIND A PHOTOGRAPHER BETTER rounded than brooke!"
Jessica & Robby
Brooke has a true talent. She is able to tap into and capture moments you didn’t even realize were happening. Absolutely 100% recommend Brooke and her beautiful pictures. We booked her services for our engagement pictures and then immediately realized we needed to have her for our wedding also. I’m already preemptively dreaming of the anniversary shoot I want!
"Brooke will make you feel comfortable and like a friend - she will take your ideas and inspiration and produce something better than you thought."
Rori + Eli
Brooke truly listened to what we wanted as a couple, our hopes, and took time to understand our "vibe," which came through in her work she delivered.
I can't thank Brooke enough for her amazing work - seriously the BEST decision we made and brings me to tears each time I look at these beautiful, photographic memories we'll have forever.
ALYSSA & HUNTER
Not only is Brooke an amazing photographer, but she is so fun and easy to work with! She made the whole process feel natural and comfortable for someone who typically feels awkward and weird while getting pictures taken! I love all of the pictures and I highly recommend Brooke as a photographer!
"SHE MADE THE WHOLE PROCESS FEEL natural & Comfortable."
ALI & KYLE
That's exactly what Brooke does, she captures a story. No words needed. You can see it and feel it. You can remember the exact moment and how you feel for that person and see how they feel about you. Her intuitive eye has only gotten sharper. I can’t wait to see what other adventures await for her to capture.
"SHE CAPTURES A STORY, NO WORDS NEEDED. you can see it and feel it."
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. Our engagement session with Brooke was such a special experience and a memory we will cherish forever.
Brooke is so sweet, fun, personable and incredibly talented. We could not be more in love with our engagement photos!