Free Places to Get Married in Colorado

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Hi, I’m Megan and your story matters to me. You deserve to break your wedding day from the traditional mold into something that is uniquely you.

I specialize in intimate mountain weddings and elopements and love working with people who are stoked to get married in nature surrounded by their closest family and friends. I am here for you and to organically tell your story. 

Getting married? Check out my recent work here and connect with me here to learn more! 

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Colorado is a place where love meets the great outdoors, and it doesn’t have to cost you a thing to say “I do” with a stunning backdrop. Imagine getting married with the Rocky Mountains watching over you, or under the wide-open blue skies that Colorado is famous for. The best part being all these places are free to you!

In this blog post, I’m going to go over some awesome spots in Colorado where you can have your wedding without spending a penny on the venue. So, if you’re ready for a beautiful wedding without breaking the bank, stick around as we go over some of the best free spots to get married in the wonderful state of Colorado.

couple kissing at their Colorado wedding

Why Should You Get Married In Nature?

Getting married in nature can be incredibly rewarding and memorable for many reasons:

  1. Natural Relaxation: The outdoors naturally eases tension, promoting a calm and peaceful wedding environment.
  2. Less Decorations: With nature’s true beauty, you often need fewer decorations, saving on costs and effort while still having a stunning setting.
  3. Versatile Styling Options: Whether you’re going for rustic, elegant, boho, or anything in between, nature complements every style choice and offers a range of themes to play with.
  4. Intimacy and Connection: The openness of a natural setting creates an intimate atmosphere that encourages genuine interactions and closeness among your guests.
  5. Unmatched Photo Ops: With the great outdoors as your backdrop, you’ll have incredible photo opportunities with beautiful lighting and authentic scenery.
  6. Personal Touch: Outdoor venues are like blank canvases where you can put more personality into your wedding by perfecting every detail to your liking.
  7. Memorable Experience: An outdoor wedding stands out and is likely to be remembered for years to come due to its unique setting and the experiences it offers.
  8. Eco-Friendly Option: Outdoor weddings can be more sustainable, reducing the need for artificial lighting and air conditioning, and they encourage minimalistic decor.

Overall, choosing to get married in nature isn’t just about a location. It’s about creating an experience that’s as alive and vibrant as the love you’re celebrating.

How To Have An Outdoor Wedding In Colorado

To have an outdoor wedding in Colorado, consider the following steps and tips:

  1. Pick A Date: Choose a date that fits you and your guests schedule. What time of year? What day of the week? Think about privacy ahead of time especially if you choose a more public space.
  2. Consider Guest Accommodations: Make sure the venue can handle the number of guests you’re inviting, and check that it’s accessible for everyone attending.
  3. Choose Your Location: Look for outdoor venues that reflect the natural beauty of Colorado, and your own preferences. (I have some of the best below!)
  4. Plan for the Weather: Colorado weather can be unpredictable, especially in the mountains. Have a backup plan in case of rain or sudden temperature drops.
  5. Obtain Necessary Permits: Some locations, especially state parks, might require special permits for large gatherings or events like weddings. Check the regulations ahead of time.
  6. Get Necessary Vendors: You’ll want to have an officiant, photographer for sure! Also consider a florist, musician, caterer or anything else to make your day perfect. Communicate with your vendors about the outdoor setting. They’ll need to know about power sources, setup space, and any potential challenges.
  7. Decor and Floral Arrangements: Take advantage of the natural setting to enhance your decor. Use florals that complement the surroundings and don’t require too much upkeep in the outdoor conditions.
  8. Leave No Trace: Commit to a “leave no trace” philosophy to ensure the site is just as beautiful when you leave as when you arrived.

By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that your Colorado outdoor wedding is not only beautiful and memorable but also runs smoothly.

couple taking photos at their Colorado wedding

The Best Free Wedding Venues:

Here I have listed some of my favorite free wedding venues in Colorado! From mountains, to canyons, and even wildflowers…there is something for everyone on this list!

Garden of Gods

Garden of the Gods offers a naturally colorful setting that will make your wedding unforgettable. The extraordinary landscape, with its massive rock formations and panoramic views, creates an atmosphere that’s perfect for celebrating such a special occasion. Photo: rtw in 30 days.

Distance From Denver: 1 Hour 15 Minutes

Permit Required: No

Max Guests: 50

Best Time of Year: November-April

Reservation Required: No

Nearest Town: Colorado Springs

garden of the gods a free Colorado wedding location

Twin Lakes

Twin Lakes is an ideal location to tie the knot. You can be surrounded by snow-capped mountains and serene lakes as the background of your photos. The natural beauty and peacefulness of the area will add to your wedding, making it a truly unforgettable experience. Photo: Leadville.

Distance From Denver: 2.5 Hours

Permit Required: No

Max Guests: 75

Best Time of Year: Spring

Reservation Required: No

Nearest Town: Leadville

twin lakes a free Colorado wedding location

Chautauqua Park

Chautauqua Park in Colorado is beautiful, with mountains and green fields in the background. It’s a peaceful place that will make your wedding day special and memorable. Photo: Day Hikes Near Denver.

Distance From Denver: 30 Minutes

Permit Required: Only the Photographer!

Max Guests: Varies By Spot

Best Time of Year: Spring

Reservation Required: No

Nearest Town: Boulder

chautauqu park a free Colorado wedding location

Flagstaff Mountain

Flagstaff Mountain is a peak in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. It offers panoramic views, hiking trails, and picnic areas. It’s a great place for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers to share their wedding vows! Photo: Your Boulder.

Distance From Denver: 30 Minutes

Permit Required: Only the Photographer!

Max Guests: 10

Best Time of Year: September-November

Reservation Required: No

Nearest Town: Boulder

flagstaff mountain a free Colorado wedding location


Telluride, Colorado has mountain views and a box canyon setting, which provides an extraordinary backdrop for your wedding that is both visually stunning and romantic. It is the perfect little mountain town for your wedding! Photo: afar.

Distance From Denver: 6 Hours

Permit Required: No

Max Guests: 75

Best Time of Year: Summer

Reservation Required: No

Nearest Town: Telluride

telluride a free Colorado wedding location

Artist Point 

Artist Point is a stunning scenic viewpoint located on the South Rim of the Black Canyon. This overlook offers impressive views of the deep, narrow canyon carved by the Gunnison River over millions of years. It’s a great spot for weddings and simply taking in the natural beauty of this unique landscape! Photo: Soji Ojugbele.

Distance From Denver: 40 Minutes

Permit Required: No Permit, Just An Application

Max Guests: 12

Best Time of Year: August & September

Reservation Required: No

Nearest Town: Boulder

artist point a free Colorado wedding location

Gunnison National Park

Gunnison National Park specifically near Crested Butte, Colorado, might be my favorite location on this list! This spot is the wildflower capital of Colorado. It contains mountains, meadows, rivers, and streams around. For more info on how to get married at here near Crested Butte check out my blog here! Photo: Gunnison Crested Butte.

Distance From Denver: 4 Hours

Permit Required: No

Max Guests: 15

Best Time of Year: July

Reservation Required: No

Nearest Town: Crested Butte

Crested Butte a free Colorado wedding location

Are Dogs Allowed At Your Colorado Elopement?

Yes, you can absolutely bring your dogs to your elopement in Colorado. The state is known for being very dog-friendly. However, it’s important to note that specific rules may apply depending on the location of your ceremony. Some parks and outdoor areas may have restrictions or require leashes. It’s always best to check with the venue or local park services beforehand. Additionally, in Colorado, your dog can even be a witness at your wedding, their paw print can be used as a “signature” on a marriage license.


What is Self-Solemnizing?

Self-solemnizing is a practice where a couple can legally marry without the need for an officiant or witnesses. This means that the couple themselves can lead their own marriage ceremony in any way they see fit, and simply sign their marriage license to make their union legally binding. This practice is not allowed everywhere, but some places like Colorado do permit self-solemnization. It’s a popular choice for those wanting a more personal or private wedding ceremony.

How Do You Self-Solemnize?

Self-solemnizing your marriage in Colorado is a straightforward process. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Complete the Online Application: First, fill out an online application for a marriage license. You’ll need to provide some personal information about both parties.
  2. Schedule Your Appointment: After you’ve completed the application, schedule an appointment with the county clerk’s office to pick up your marriage license.
  3. Obtain Your Marriage License: During your appointment, you and your partner must present valid ID and sign some documents to get your marriage license.
  4. Solemnize Your Own Marriage: Once you have your marriage license, you and your partner can solemnize your own marriage. In Colorado, this means that both parties can sign the marriage license without needing an officiant or witnesses.
  5. Return the Completed License: After your ceremony, return the completed license to the county clerk’s office within 63 days of your elopement.

Remember, the specifics might vary slightly depending on the county, so make sure to check with your local county clerk’s office for the most accurate information.

Leave No Trace

Ensuring a “leave no trace” wedding in Colorado is all about respecting and preserving the natural beauty of the surroundings. Opt for biodegradable or reusable dinnerware instead of single-use plastic items. Instead of traditional confetti or rice, consider eco-friendly alternatives like dried flower petals or bubbles. Ensure all trash is properly disposed of, or even better, plan for a zero-waste event where everything possible is recycled or composted. Finally, respect local wildlife by not using harmful decorations, keeping noise levels down, and maintaining a safe distance. By being mindful of these practices, you can celebrate your special day while preserving Colorado’s breathtaking landscapes for future generations.

The Next Step

Overall, choosing a free outdoor venue in Colorado for your wedding allows you to embrace the state’s unrivaled natural beauty as the backdrop of your special day, adding a sense of intimacy and nature that a traditional venue could hardly match. Furthermore, it provides a unique, cost-effective solution that allows you to allocate more resources towards creating unforgettable experiences for you and your guests, making your wedding not only picturesque but also personalized and budget-friendly.

If you are ready to take that next step and plan your own outdoor Colorado wedding fill out my contact form here! From there, we can set up your free consult call and dream up your perfect day.

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