Eloping in Ouray, Colorado.
If you want to elope in the mountains or among wildflowers, but you don’t know how to even start planning your Colorado elopement, you’re in the right place.
In this guide, I’ll share with you why Ouray is one of the most special places to elope in Colorado, and I'll explain legalities of how to get your marriage license and self-solemnize your marriage, and I'll help you decide on the best time of year to elope in Colorado.
Why eloping in Ouray? Well, Ouray is one of the cutest mountain towns in Colorado, nestled at the end of Million Dollar Highway, between Silverton and Ouray.Known as the “Switzerland of America,” Ouray, Colorado this beautiful mountain town is surrounded by rugged canyons and truly unparalleled beauty of the San Juan Mountains. Ouray is famous for its hot springs, amazing hiking opportunities, jeep adventures as well as other outdoor activities, and its historic charming downtown. If you chose to elope here you will have many attractions to choose from before your elopement day. One of my favorite things to do in Ouray, other than hiking is visiting one of the hot springs. My favorite are Orvis hot springs (clothing optional so keep that in mind), settled on a beautiful property with great ladscaping, peace gardens, waterfalls and 12 natural pools.
To elope in Ouray you'd have to obtain Colorado marriage license (valid for 35 days) While the process of acquiring one is mostly straightforward, there could be some slight variations depending on the county where you're obtaining your license. Be sure you find out the nearest county clerk, and find out processing times so there are no last minute delays... Since Colorado is self-solmenizing state, you don't have to have an offciant to legally marry you. Colorado is the only state where you don’t need an officiant or witnesses to be legally married. So if you’ve been dreaming about a private elopement for just the two of you, Colorado is the way to go!
Best Time of a Year to Elope in Ouray
As always it depends on what are you looking for in terms of activities (hiking to more remote locations or easy year round access?), scenery (snowy mountains or abundant wildflowers?) In the spring, you get the benefit of dazzling sun, fresh green popping up, rainbows but you're still risking snowfall and road closure.
Summer is peak wildflower season, but with unpredictable thunderstorm, so I always suggest being ready for passing rain and adjusting time if needed.
Autumn may be a good season, considering the changing foliage which provides stunning backdrops for both your ceremony and photoshoot. Colorado is known for yellow aspens in a fall, contrasting with blue skies. Although the weather can still be fickle during this time of the year, with snow falling as early as October.
Winter would best for those looking for skiing adventures, snow capped mountain and wintery woodland scenery. Just keep in mind- most mountain passes will be closed Nov-April, so not all roads spots will be accessible. If you're set on a winter Colorado wedding, consider eloping near Ouray or Breckenridge, Keystone, Telluride, Aspen or Vail, the most famous mountain towns.
Ready to elope in Ouray? Let me be your Colorado elopement photographer.