How to Legally Get Married in Colorado: What You Need To Know

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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. 

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Getting married is a big and beautiful step in life. It’s a time of love and promises for the future. If you’re planning to get married in Colorado, there’s something special about saying “I do” surrounded by its stunning mountains and lakes. But before you get too caught up in choosing the perfect spot or deciding on your wedding colors, it’s important to know about the legal stuff you need to do first. Colorado has its own rules for weddings, and it’s good to know what they are so everything goes smoothly.

In this blog, I’m going to make it easy for you to understand what you need to do to get married in Colorado. I’ll tell you how to get your marriage license and explain any special rules Colorado has. Whether you’ve always lived in Colorado or you’re coming from somewhere else for a destination wedding, I want to help you focus on the fun part: celebrating your love. So, let’s get into the details of making your wedding official in Colorado, ensuring that your special day is just as perfect as the beautiful Colorado views you’ve chosen as your backdrop.

Why Should You Get Married In Colorado?

Choosing Colorado as your wedding destination is an excellent idea for several reasons that make it stand out from other locations. Here’s why you should consider getting married in Colorado:

Natural Beauty: Colorado’s landscapes offer breathtaking backdrops for your wedding. From mountains to serene lakes and rivers, the natural scenery can add a special touch to your special day.

Variety of Venues: Whether you prefer a rustic setting in a mountain Airbnb, a classier venue, or a simple outdoor ceremony in the mountains, Colorado has a wide range of locations to suit every taste.

Outdoor Activities: For couples and guests who love adventure, Colorado provides multiple outdoor activities. You can enjoy hiking, skiing, or also a hot air balloon ride, making your wedding an unforgettable experience for everyone.

Pleasant Weather: With over 300 days of sunshine a year, Colorado has one of the most pleasant climates in the country. This makes it ideal for outdoor weddings, with less worry about rain ruining your big day.

Elopement and Intimate Ceremonies: Colorado is very friendly to elopements and more intimate ceremonies. The state allows self-solemnization, meaning you can marry without an officiant, offering a unique and personal experience.

Accessibility: Denver International Airport offers easy access to visitors from around the globe, making it convenient for your out-of-town guests to attend your wedding.

Cost-Effective Options: While Colorado has its share of luxury venues, it also offers many cost-effective options for those on a tighter budget. You can find beautiful locations that won’t break the bank.

Colorado’s combination of stunning natural beauty, diverse venue options, and friendly policies towards weddings makes it a top choice for couples looking to tie the knot in a memorable and meaningful way.

couple taking casual couples for their Colorado elopement

How To Get Married In Colorado

Whether you are from Colorado, or anywhere else, these are the steps you need to take to legally get married in the state:

1. Determine Your Eligibility:

In Colorado, you don’t need to be a resident to get married. However, both parties must be at least 18 years old. If under 18, there are specific requirements and consents needed.

2. Visit a County Clerk and Recorder’s Office

You and your partner should go to any county clerk and recorder’s office in Colorado to apply for a marriage license. While appointments are not always necessary, it’s a good idea to check with the office beforehand.

3. Complete the Marriage License Application

You’ll need to fill out an application form. This typically requires providing some personal information, such as your full names, ages, places of birth, and current addresses.

4. Provide Identification and Pay the Fee:

Both parties must present valid identification, such as a driver’s license, passport, or birth certificate. There’s also a fee for your marriage license, which varies by county but is generally around $30.

5. Receive Your Marriage License

Once your application is processed, you’ll receive your marriage license. In Colorado, there is NO waiting period, so you can use it immediately! The license is valid for 35 days, and you can marry anywhere within the state.

6. Conduct Your Ceremony

Colorado is unique in that it allows self-solemnization, meaning you don’t need an officiant or witnesses to legally marry. You can, of course, choose to have a more traditional ceremony with an officiant and witnesses if you prefer.

7. Return the Signed License

After the ceremony, you must sign the marriage license and return it to the county clerk’s office for recording. This can often be done by mail.

8. Obtain Certified Copies of Your Marriage Certificate

After your marriage license is recorded, you can obtain certified copies of your marriage certificate from the county clerk’s office for a small fee. These documents serve as official proof of your marriage.

The rest is up to you! These are just the legal steps that have to take place. In Colorado, it is a pretty straightforward and simple process, making it very easy to get legally married.

How Do You Get An Officiant?

In Colorado, you have multiple options when it comes to choosing an officiant for your wedding ceremony. Here are some steps and tips on how to get an officiant:

Have a Friend or Family Member Officiate

  • Get Ordained Online: Your friend or family member can become ordained online to perform your ceremony. Websites like the Universal Life Church (ULC) and the American Marriage Ministries (AMM) offer free online ordination that is recognized in Colorado. This process is usually quick and straightforward.
  • Check County Requirements: While Colorado doesn’t have officiant registration requirements, it’s always a good idea for your chosen officiant to check with the county clerk’s office where your ceremony will take place. They should introduce themselves as an officiant of a wedding to inquire about any local guidelines to follow.


  • No Officiant Required: Colorado allows for self-solemnization, meaning you and your partner can marry yourselves without the need for an officiant. This unique law makes it possible to have a very personal and intimate ceremony with just the two of you, or in front of guests without a certified officiant.

Who Can Sign The Marriage License?

In Colorado, the process for signing a marriage license is quite flexible when comparing it to many other states. Here are the options for who can sign your marriage license in Colorado:

  1. Yourselves: Just you and your partner if you went the self-solemnization route.
  2. A Friend or Family Member: Anyone who attended your ceremony.
  3. Civil Officiant: Judges, magistrates, and other judicial officers who are authorized by the state to perform wedding ceremonies. 
  4. Religious Officiant: Any pastor, minister, priest, rabbi, or another religious officiant.
  5. Your Pet: That’s right! If your dog, cat, chicken, fish, horse, or other pet attended your ceremony they can legally sign your marriage license!

How Much Does It Cost To Get Married In Colorado?

Having your wedding in Colorado can vary widely in cost depending on the type of ceremony you choose, ranging from traditional weddings to more intimate elopements. Here’s the average costs and factors based on the most recent data available:

Traditional Wedding

Average Cost: Overall, the average cost of a Colorado wedding, which typically includes multiple vendors and is more focused on guest experience, is approximately $34,000.

Factors to Consider:

  1. Reception Venue: The location for your celebration.
  2. Wedding Photographer: To capture all the special moments.
  3. Videographer: For a moving memory of your day.
  4. Clothing: For wedding attire including dresses and suits.
  5. Beauty Vendors: Hair stylists and makeup artists.
  6. DJs or Wedding Bands: For entertainment and music.
  7. Florists: For all your floral arrangements and decorations.
  8. Catering: To feed yourself and guests.


For those seeking a simpler or more intimate ceremony, eloping in Colorado offers a significantly less expensive alternatives:

Average Cost: The average price of a Colorado elopement is approximately $10,000.

Factors To Consider: 

  1. Reception Venue: The location for your celebration.
  2. Permit Fees: Outdoor locations may have a permit required with a small fee.
  3. Wedding Photographer: To capture all the special moments.
  4. Clothing: For wedding attire including dresses and suits.
  5. Beauty Vendors: Hair stylists and makeup artists.
  6. Florists: For all your floral arrangements and decorations.

If you are looking to save money and get the best views for your wedding or elopement, check out my blog: Free Places To Get Married In Colorado.

Whether you’re dreaming of a grand celebration or a private elopement, Colorado offers a range of options to suit different budgets and preferences. It’s important to consider all potential costs and plan accordingly to ensure your day aligns with your financial expectations.

Other Things To Know About Getting Married In Colorado

Outdoor Ceremonies: Colorado’s natural beauty makes it popular for outdoor weddings. If you’re planning one, especially in Rocky Mountain National Park or on other public lands, check for any permit requirements or regulations well in advance. I can always help with this process.

Weather Considerations: The state’s weather can be unpredictable, with possible snow in the mountains even during summer months. Always have a backup plan for outdoor ceremonies.

High Altitude: Some guests might not be comfortable in Colorado’s high altitude. Remind them to stay hydrated and consider scheduling activities that allow for acclimatization, especially if your wedding is in the mountains.

Popular Venues and Dates: Colorado’s most popular venues and vendors can book up quickly, especially for weddings in peak seasons (summer and fall). Plan and book early to secure your preferred options. Also, if you want privacy when you are at a National Park or elsewhere, consider saying your vows at sunrise or during the week.

Are You Ready To Have Your Own Colorado Wedding?

Colorado offers a stunning backdrop for your wedding with its mountains and serene landscapes. Its unique marriage laws allow for a deeply personal and intimate ceremony.

If you are ready to have your own Colorado Wedding fill out my contact form. We can then set up your free consultation call and dream up your perfect day!

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