Aspen Elopement Photographer
Aspen Elopement Photographer
Hi, I’m Lucy, Aspen elopement photographer! I love this central Colorado town and its mountain views, and by the end of this guide, you will too! From high end dining to epic mountain peaks, beautiful forests, rivers and valleys, Aspen is the heart of the Rocky Mountains. This is an area packed with adventure too – jeeping, mountain biking, hiking, and everything in between! A popular year-round destination, there are tons of amazing places to explore and plan your elopement in Aspen. Read on to see some of my favorite places with amazing mountain backgrounds that will have you drooling!
Where is Aspen?
It takes about 4 hours to drive to Aspen from Denver. There are big advantages to getting away from the Front Range of Colorado, where most of the trailheads are busy. Aspen is an incredible place for a getaway, a vacationer’s dream. There are several ways to get to Aspen.
1. Take i-70 west to Glenwood Springs and take 82 South. This route will take you past the highlights of Mt. Evans, and Summit County.
2. Drive i-70 west to Copper Mountain and take 91 South to 24 South and take the extremely scenic 82 West over Independence Pass. This route is closed in Winter.
Seasons to Elope in Aspen
Like much of Colorado, fall is an absolutely magical time to visit and elope in Aspen. The quaking aspens turn yellow for just ten days at the end of September. The fall has mild daytime temperatures and cold nights. Winters are popular with skiiers and riders and the lifts can take you to some epic overlooks. Springtime is hit or miss with a high chance of snowstorms, rain, or summer’s heat! And June to August are the warmest months in Aspen, best for hiking among the bright green leaves. Mornings, midday, and early afternoon are great times of day here. In summer, watch out for a rogue afternoon thunderstorm at high elevations.
How to Elope in Aspen, Colorado
Eloping here is not hard! You can Elope in Aspen with just a few steps and key decisions. I’ll walk you through it! A $30 marriage license from any Colorado county courthouse is all that’s legally required. You can get this marriage license from ANY county, not just Pitkin county where Aspen is located. Here is my step by step guide on planning an elopement in Aspen, Colorado.
- Choose a season or date range that works with your schedules.
- Book a way to get there – by plane if you have to or by car or campervan.
- Hire an Aspen elopement photographer who will guide you through all subsequent steps
- Book your Aspen accommodation – somewhere that excites you!
- Work with your photographer to create a day plan and timeline that is perfect for you
- Hire any additional vendors as desired: officiant, beauty, florist, jeep tour, etc
- Pick up your marriage license, put your best outfits on and elope!
Self Solemnizing Elopement in Colorado
There are tons of great places to elope, but one thing that makes Colorado so special and easy to plan your elopement is that it is a self-solemnizing state. This means you can act as your own officiant to marry yourselves anywhere in the state. And you don’t have to do anything to qualify or register. You can sign your own marriage license on the ‘officiant’ line. Witnesses aren’t required – though you may have them if you wish.
Real Aspen Elopement Photos
Ashley and Roland married in fall of 2021 in Aspen, Colorado. See a few highlights of their incredibly colorful Aspen elopement. And if these images have you saying, “I want that!” Then you know where to find me! Keep in mind that no two elopements are the same, and your Aspen elopement day might look totally different! Their first look in front of the bright gold aspen trees was one of my favorite moments. The scenery could not have been more beautiful.
Where to elope in Aspen, Colorado
Aspen is located at 8,000 feet elevation, so you’ll feel a lack of oxygen if you’re coming from sea level. Keep this in mind if you are planning to hike further up into the mountains. Almost all the locations are located on National Forest land and a permit is not required. That said, you can’t always put up a decorative arch or chairs without advanced permission. I’m going to group the best Aspen elopement locations into the following groups:
– Aspen Lakes
– Aspen Mountain Locations
– Ceremony locations you can rent
– Elopement locations outside of Aspen
Aspen Lake Elopement Locations
While Aspen is not known for its lakes, there are some incredible lakes in and around Aspen. In fact, two of my favorite lakes in all of Colorado are located here! In early July, this area of Colorado is absolute paradise because it is still green and there may even be patches of snow at high elevations. There are several not-well-known hikes in this area where you can expect to have the place to yourselves! Some great lakes: Snowmass Lake, Maroon Lake, Crater Lake, Weller, Independence, Linkin, Portal, and Twin Lakes. Of these, only Twin lakes and Maroon lake are accessed without hiking.
Mountain Elopements in Aspen
Mountain views are everywhere in Aspen, but not every view makes a good ceremony location. Some valley views are accessed by dirt road. Others are accessed by taking a gondola or lift chair to the top of Aspen mountain, Snowmass, or Buttermilk mountains. This is an easy way to reach the views without breaking a sweat. And lastly, there are a few jeeping and off road locations surrounding Aspen if you’re looking for thrills and seclusion.
Elopement Venues you can rent in Aspen
There are a few rentable spaces in Aspen for your elopement ceremony or microwedding. The rates and terms of the rentals differ greatly, so it’s best to check with each spot directly. It is even harder to find a place for a reception in Aspen, especially if you are having close to 10 or more people. Outdoor picnic tables are scarce, so even a summer outdoor reception is tough to plan. It may be worth reserving a group campground, or keeping your guest list slim in order to fit into a restaurant.
- Maroon Bells Amphitheater
- Rotary Pavilion
- Beyul Retreat
- Cliffhouse at Buttermilk
- Lynn Britt Cabin
- Snowmass Wedding Terrace
- Dunbar Ranch
Eloping at the Maroon Bells in Aspen, CO
This well known Aspen elopement location is so popular, it deserves its own elopement guide! The Maroon bells are the most photographed peaks in the lower 48. Just to get there, you’ll have to take a reservation-only shuttle. Plus, eloping there requires an advanced reservation of the ceremony site through recreation.gov, and they often sell out. But if you’re desiring these epic peaks in your background, fear not! I’ve got a short list of locations with a similar view of these famous mountain peaks. You just have to know where to go! See Michael and Ryan’s ceremony at the Maroon Bells here!
Elopement Locations outside of Aspen
Aspen is a small town at the end of a mountain valley that stretches from Glenwood Springs, through Carbondale, Basalt and Snowmass. The hot springs at Glenwood are a must-visit while you are here! And there’s a large cave that you can get married in, if you’re into that. High mountain passes surround Aspen valley which are home to some of Colorado’s tallest 14’ers. Lakes, rivers, and red-rock walls are just some of the stunning geographic features that make this alleyway one of the most scenic in the state. Truly, the only hard part of eloping in Aspen is choosing where to go!
Here is my Aspen Elopement Locations map:
This custom map is a virtual tour of Aspen and central Colorado that I’ve created with color photos of each place. So you can see all the great spots without leaving your living room. If you’re planning from afar, this is a visual key to picking out the elopement spot that works for you. Details like what seasons and time of day are best for each location are included. To get full access to this map, book me as your Aspen elopement photographer. I will help you plan your activities, accommodations, and your day’s itinerary. It’s easy to have a great backup location picked out with this map in front of you. Having that Plan B in your back pocket will keep your eopement planning stress-free!
What to do in Aspen – Colorado Elopement Ideas
There are tons of great hikes and places to explore in the Aspen valley. Hiking to an alpine lake is a great way to feel grounded and connected to nature on your day. There are waterfalls if you know where to look, a scenic gondola, and a mountain coaster for the child-at-heart couple. But that isn’t the only way to enjoy Aspen. Did you know that in the winter months, you can even take a dogsled tour in Aspen? How fun would it be to pound down the trail on a totally new adventure like that? Also – while I’m not a huge fan of the city of Aspen, they do have some KILLER dining options. You can and should eat your heart out! And I’ll send you my recommendations if you’re a foodie!
Do we have to hike to elope in Aspen?
No, you don’t have to hike to enjoy an elopement in Aspen. Don’t let the abundance of hiking elopements on instagram make you think you have to be, or do, anything that isn’t you! You CAN hike here, but there are plenty of awesome locations you can access by car according to your own adventure level. There are some you can drive right up to. I know of a few that are ADA accessible. Or just a short, flat walk.
How long is an Aspen Elopement?
Eloping in Aspen should be fun and easy, but not rushed and quick! A lot led up to this day, so take a big bite of this buffet of experiences you get to have. The best locations take a gondola, hike, or dirt road drive to access, so anything less than a 4 hour timeline is going to be cramped. Full day elopements will allow you to take advantage of all that Aspen has to offer.
Sample Aspen Elopement Timeline
Here is a sample timeline for a beautiful mountain elopement in Aspen.
6:45 Meet up for sunrise first look
7:15 Hike together to viewpoint or alpine lake
7:45 Your elopement ceremony at a spot that feels right to you.
10:00 Make breakfast pancakes in campsite or have boujie brunch
11:30 Take a gondola ride
12:30 Sightseeing around the top
2:00 Set up picnic with cookies and champagne
3:00 Cloud gazing and forest hike. Read each other letters from loved ones.
4:00 Take the alpine coaster down
6:30 Sunset first dance in mountain valley
8:00 Spa massage appointment and pampering
How much does it cost to elope in Aspen?
Eloping in Aspen can be as affordable as your $30 marriage license or as lavish as a dream honeymoon in a mountain town. A big cost will be accommodation, and getting to Aspen if you are from outside of Colorado. Further, the vendors that live in this valley deal with some of the highest costs of living in the state, so their rates are understandably higher. If you invite loved ones, they may be able to share cost of where you’re staying. But conversely, feeding them will break down any cost saving measures. Let me break down a hypothetical elopement budget for an all day elopement in Aspen, Colorado.
$30 Colorado Marriage License
$600 to $6000 Accommodation – there’s a huge range of options in every budget
$500 to $5000 Elopement clothes and accessories
$5000 to $9000 An experienced Aspen Elopement photographer
$500 to $1200 Optional officiant
$600 to $1500 Florist, hair and makeup services (Each).
= $6700 to $24,000
Aspen Elopement Photography Packages
I offer both Aspen elopement photography packages, or All inclusive elopements for a one stop shop option. There are no travel fees, download fees, watermarks or other hidden fees.
2 Days of Aspen elopement photography – $7900
1.5 Days of Aspen elopement photography – $5900
1 Full day Aspen adventure elopement photography – $4900
Up to 4 hours elopement photography in Aspen – $4200
Where should we stay in Aspen?
Aspen is expensive, especially when it comes to accommodation. If that sounds like no big deal, Aspen is perfect for you! But if you’re looking to save a buck, there are still options for you to elope in Aspen affordably. Enter Airbnb! There are fantastic cabins, A frames, modern homestays, mountain huts and riverside yurts just begging for you to stay there. Please note: I am not suggesting you have your ceremony at an Airbnb, just that you stay there while you are in Aspen.
View my favorite Aspen Airbnbs
About your Aspen Elopement Photographer:
I’m a nomadic and colorful Aspen elopement photographer with an obsession for mountains, hiking, and my cats. My photography style emphasizes the epic landscape of your dreams and the authentic moments that make you two.. well, you two! I love my job and my nature-loving clients. Aspen is a beautiful place to explore in Colorado especially if you love mountains. Maybe I’ll see you there!
Contact Lucy – Aspen Elopement Photographer
I offer full day, 1.5 day and 2 day Aspen elopement photography and Aspen all inclusive Elopement packages. See my pricing and package details here. I would love to chat with you and help see if an elopement with me is what you’ve been dreaming of. Get in touch below!
Need more Colorado elopement locations?
I’ve got you covered. And ask me about my front range guide for elopement locations within an hour of Denver!
–Mt. Evans Elopement Guide
–Black Canyon of the Gunnison Elopement Guide
–Ouray, CO Elopement Guide
–Telluride, CO Elopement Guide
–Garden of the Gods Elopement Guide
–Summit County Elopement Guide
– Crested Butte Elopement Guide
–Great Sand Dunes Elopement Guide
–Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement Guide
–Boulder, CO Elopement Guide
–Colorado National Monument Elopement Guide