Let’s plan your Ouray elopement! In this guide, I’ll share everything you need to know about having a romantic adventure in the mountains. I’ll discuss why Ouray, Colorado, is one of the best elopement locations, logistics for costs and legalities, stunning ceremony locations, and where to stay.
Ouray is an adorable town in the San Juan Mountains and one of my favorite mountain elopement locations to photograph. It’s perfect for adventurous couples looking for a quintessential elopement location. It’s known as the Switzerland of America because of its stunning mountain scenery with 13,000-foot mountain peaks.
Ouray is one of Colorado’s best elopement locations because it’s a quaint mountain town known for outdoor activities, picturesque views, and a charming downtown area.
If you want a location that’s more relaxed and off-the-beaten-path than the more popular nearby city of Telluride, Ouray is ideal.
Ouray is also famous for off-roading jeep tours. There are also year-round hot springs and beautiful San Juan Mountains scenery.
Colorado is one of the easiest states to get married. You can legally marry yourself, meaning you don’t need an officiant or witnesses.
For a legal marriage in Ouray, you’ll need to apply for and get your license from the Ouray County Clerk’s Office. You can get married immediately after, and the license is valid for 35 days (at the time of writing this in October 2023). See updated information here.
To keep things even simpler, you can handle the legalities in your home state, then go to Ouray for your elopement adventure and photos.
It usually costs between $3,000 to $10,000 to elope in Ouray. The total cost depends on the time of year, how long your elopement is, where you stay, and how far you’re traveling. With so many options, you can plan your elopement around just about any budget.
Ouray has many incredible spots to exchange your vows and explore for adventurous elopement photos. From Jeep and hiking trails to mountain and waterfall backdrops, the opportunities are endless. There are also stunning places for an intimate wedding.
As a Leave No Trace aware elopement photographer, it’s important to me to keep special locations on the low down to prevent overpopulation and ensure that your wedding day remains intimate.
I love working with couples to find the perfect spot, whether you’re looking for popular locations or hidden gems. Here are a few ideas for where couples can elope in Ouray:
Cascade Falls Park takes you on a moderate short hike to a waterfall. It’s pet-friendly, perfect for couples who want their dog to join their elopement. The park is also conveniently located close to downtown Ouray if you want to hang out in town for food, drinks, and more photos.
Explore trails and an 85-foot waterfall at Box Cañon Falls Park, which is also close to the downtown area. The park has many cool features to explore, including tunnels, wildlife, and bridges.
There are many Jeeping tour adventures in Ouray that many couples love doing for their elopement. This lets you experience epic mountain peaks, Alpine Lakes, and other incredible scenery and photo ops without having to hike all day.
For an unforgettable spontaneous ceremony spot, choose your favorite view while on your Jeeping tour, make a pit stop, and say, “I do.”
If you’re interested in having a few guests join you for your Ouray elopement, there are some gorgeous venues.
Ouray is in Southwestern Colorado, about a five-and-a-half hour drive from Denver. If you’re in Denver or want to fly into the Denver International Airport, you can drive along 285 Highway to 50 Highway for one of the most scenic mountain drives in Colorado. Otherwise, you can take I-70 E.
If you want to fly into an airport closer to Ouray, Durango’s airport is about a two-hour drive, and Montrose Regional Airport is about an hour.
If you’re renting a car, consider renting a Jeep to explore Ouray. Or you can rent one or take a Jeep tour once you get to Ouray.
Fall is the best time to elope in Ouray because it’s just after the busy season, the weather is nice, and the fall colors are vibrant.
While summer is also gorgeous, you can expect crowds and warmer weather.
Winter and spring are snowy but beautiful. It’s the perfect time of year if you like snow sports, but some locations aren’t easy to access when there’s heavy snow.
Ouray has many unique places to stay that are ideal for a romantic getaway with your love.
From cozy cabins and charming inns and lodges with hot springs and adventurous campsites, there’s something for everyone.
Here are some of the best places to stay for your elopement in Ouray:
It’s easy to have an epic elopement experience in Ouray, Colorado. Here are some helpful tips to ensure you have the best day ever!
As a Colorado-based elopement photographer, I love working with couples eloping in Ouray!
My elopement packages include full or multi-day adventure elopements and intimate weddings with:
I hope you found this article helpful! Among the Pines Photography (that’s me!) works with adventurous couples to plan, execute, and capture the perfect elopement experience.
Are you ready to start planning your dream Ouray elopement?
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!