How to Elope in Crested Butte Colorado
Nestled amidst the breathtaking Rocky Mountains, Crested Butte is a hidden gem, enchanting couples seeking an intimate and extraordinary wedding experience. This cute mountain town is located about 1h from Aspen, 4 and half hours from Denver (major airport to fly to), or 3 h from Grand junction.
Eloping in Crested Butte allows you to exchange vows amidst the picturesque landscapes, immersing yourselves in nature's splendor. Say goodbye to conventional wedding worries and embrace a celebration that speaks to your adventurous souls.
Things to Know Before Eloping in Crested Butte
If you ask locals to Colorado very few with disagree with the statement that Crested Butte Colorado's capital of wildflowers. If your dreaming of summer, wildflower filled background for your pictures then mid July till the end of August are the best to elope here. I have been to many places during wildflower season but few beat Crested Butte in terms of the color and amount of beautiful lupines, columbine and sunflowers. Just please be mindful and stay on trails or bald spots. Practice LNT leave no trace practices when visiting fragile areas and meadows. Your Photographer should know how to capture beautiful photos making you look like you're amidst wildflowers without stepping on them.
What you need to elope in Crested Butte?
I wrote a guide on top elopement locations in Colorado (Crested Butte is one of them) which you can read here.
- In order to elope in Colorado you will need a Marriage License: To make your union legal, you'll need to obtain a marriage license from any County Clerk and Recorder's office in Colorado. Both you and your partner must appear in person to apply for the license. Bring valid identification, such as a passport or driver's license, as well as your Social Security numbers. The license is usually valid for 30 days after issuance.
- In Colorado, you can have a licensed wedding officiant (such as a religious or civil officiant) conduct the ceremony, or you can choose to self-officiate your elopement. Colorado allows couples to solemnize their own marriage, meaning you can exchange vows without the need for an officiant.
- Witnesses (optional): While Colorado doesn't require witnesses for a marriage ceremony, you might choose to have close friends or family members or even you dog! present to witness and share in your special moment.
- Location Permits (if applicable): If you're planning to hold your elopement in a public park, forest, or other protected areas, check if you need any permits or approvals for your ceremony. Some locations may have restrictions on the number of attendees, so it's essential to research and secure any necessary permits in advance. In general you won't need any permit to elope in a National Forest if you bringing less than 30 guests, but things constantly change I recommend confirming before months before. Logistics get more complicated with larger groups but myself, as you wedding photographer will reach out to appropriate ranger to get all the information for you.
Best Elopement Locations in Crested Butte
No matter which location you choose, Crested Butte's natural beauty and romantic ambiance ensure that your elopement will be an extraordinary celebration of your love amidst some of Colorado's most stunning landscapes. Your photographer (say hi) should be able to recommend the best location that fir your criteria: hiking time, scenery , accessibility etc.
Some of my favorite portrait locations are just outside of town with beautiful meadows, aspen forest and views of Crested Butte. Some of the most popular ones include:
Emerald Lake: Nestled within the Gothic Valley, Emerald Lake offers a secluded and enchanting elopement location. A short hike through the stunning scenery will lead you to this hidden gem, where you can say your vows by the shimmering emerald waters, surrounded by towering peaks.
Schofield Pass and Devil's Punchbowl: For adventurous couples looking to make a bold statement with their elopement, Schofield Pass and Devil's Punchbowl offer dramatic and rugged landscapes. The towering cliffs and waterfalls provide a striking contrast to the softness of a wedding ceremony, creating an unforgettable experience.
Crested Butte Mountain Resort: If you're looking for convenience and accessibility without compromising on breathtaking views, the Crested Butte Mountain Resort is an excellent choice. You can take a scenic chairlift ride to the top of the mountain and exchange your vows with panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and valleys.
Kebler Pass: Known for its expansive aspen groves, Kebler Pass is a fantastic location for fall elopements. When the leaves turn golden, the pass transforms into a fairytale-like setting, making it a photographer's dream and a romantic backdrop for your intimate ceremony.
Woods Walk is one of the ceremony sites owned by Crested Butte Land Trust, where you can reserve for both elopements and larger weddings. This is a perfect option if you want to include more guests, have chairs and easy walking access to town.
Best Time to Elope in Crested Butte
Colorado's weather can be unpredictable, especially in the mountains. Be prepared for changes in temperature, potential rain showers, or even snow depending on the season and location. Bring appropriate clothing and accessories to stay comfortable throughout the day. The best time to elope in Colorado largely depends on your preferences and what type of experience you desire. Each season in Colorado offers its own unique charm and activities.
- Late spring and summer are the most popular time for outdoor weddings and elopements in Colorado. The days are long and sunny, allowing for more time to explore and enjoy the scenic beauty. The mountain trails are accessible, and the wildflower display reaches its peak during this season (my favorite time to get married in Colorado). However, keep in mind that popular destinations can get crowded.
- Autumn is a favorite season for many couples to elope in Colorado. As the aspen leaves turn into shades of gold, the mountains become a breathtaking canvas of warm colors.
Best Places to Stay and Fun Things to Do
Crested Butte offers an array of private accommodations, from rusting and charming cabins and Airbnbs to refined in elegance chalets and hotels. Whether you choose a quaint mountain lodge or a cozy cabin tucked away in the wilderness, these places blend seamlessly with nature's grandeur.
For adventurous souls, eloping in Crested Butte opens up a world of exploration. Go on a pre-wedding adventure with your partner, hiking through the rugged terrain (Gunnison National forest offers many beautiful hikes), discovering hidden alpine lakes, and climb mountain peaks together. Share an adrenaline-pumping experience by going mountain biking or horseback riding along scenic trails. These activities not only strengthen your bond but also create memories that will last a lifetime. If you're in a good shape and love hiking as much as I do you should consider 11mile hike over the pass connecting Crested Butte to Aspen.
Are you looking to elope in Colorado or want to find out more about my Colorado packages? Click here to read more.