Do you guys remember that show MythBusters?

I honestly can’t say I ever watched it (if it’s not Keeping Up with the Kardashians I don’t want it), BUT I do remember people talking about all the crazy shit they did. I didn’t think that nerdy show would ever be relevant to my life, but here we are. Sometimes I feel like a real life myth buster when talking my couples through how to elope in Colorado. There’s so much fake news out there about Colorado elopements and intimate weddings, so I’m here to set the record straight. Buckle up buddies.

My dog can sign my marriage license.

True AND false. Colorado has something called self-solemnization, which means you can officiate your own wedding and marry yourselves without an officiant or witnesses. Because a witness signature isn’t required, that means your doggo can sign your official marriage license! BUT. If you’re getting your marriage license in Arapahoe or Denver County, they do NOT allow your dog to sign with their paw print. Go literally anywhere else and you’ll be fine. More about getting a Colorado marriage license here.

I need an officiant to get married.

Fake news buddy! Couples can officiate their own wedding through something called self-solemnization, which means you can marry yourself without an officiant or witnesses. Thanks to Colorado being badass, it can be just you and bae alone when you share vows, with no awkward agenda from an officiant. Have a bestie you want to lead the ceremony? That’s totally cool – they don’t even have to take that lame online course to be ordained.

Self-solemnization in Colorado doesn’t mean you CAN’T have an officiant though. It’s totally up to you and the vibe you want on your wedding day. I’ve had plenty of couples hire an officiant to help make their day run a little smoother.

I can elope at any location, regardless of what month it is.

I wish I could say yes, but this is not true. The month you elope in Colorado will play a big factor in your location choices. In the warmer months, June – October, you’ll have plenty of options when it comes to your Colorado elopement location. Things get dicey when winter rolls around, which is about November – May. A lot of roads close to keep everyone safe, and that means certain locations aren’t accessible. Snow and Colorado’s unpredictable weather can also impact your elopement spot. The higher you go in elevation, the weirder, and colder, things get. I never want to put my couples’ health or safety at risk, so I’ll always work with you to make the smartest decision. If you’re planning to elope during these iffy months, we can discuss a backup plan in case something happens. 

My dog can come with to our elopement.

YAS! I always encourage my couples to bring their doggos if it’s a priority to include them. There are certain locations that don’t allow dogs, so that will be something we keep in mind when deciding on your elopement location. For example, Rocky Mountain National Park isn’t super dog friendly, so dogs are only allowed in certain areas of the park and prohibited from trails and meadows. I also really encourage my couples to bring along a buddy to help out with potty breaks or keeping them entertained.

I can’t bring friends and family with to my elopement.

I hate that people think this – it’s not true! When it comes to how to elope in Colorado, you can do whatever you want. A lot of my couples will do hybrid elopements, where they include friends and family in certain parts of their day and keep other parts for only themselves. Or you can do an intimate wedding, which I typically describe as 10 – 20 of the most important people in your life. The amount of people you bring along will factor in to your location, but don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something on your elopement day. There are no rules.

Anywhere we want to elope requires a permit.

Nope! I have tons of free Colorado elopement locations up my sleeve. Free spots are a great way to save money, but there are also some downsides to keep in mind. Because these spots are free, they’re usually a lot more crowded and can take some creativity to find a quiet spot. Weekday or sunrise elopements are usually what I recommend to beat the crowds. That’s sometimes a deal breaker for some couples, so it’s important to think about.

To elope in Colorado, we have to hike.

Hang on, let me get up on my soap box really quick. ELOPING IN COLORADO DOESN’T REQUIRE HIKING. I wish more couples already knew this, but I’m making it my personal mission to educate everyone. In some of my dreamiest elopement photos, you’d never know there was a parking lot right behind us. Colorado’s beautiful mountains, forests, and wildflowers aren’t only for adventurous, outdoorsy couples. I know a ton of spots we can drive to and have gorgeous views of the mountains. If nature isn’t your vibe at all, Colorado still has something for you! Denver and Boulder have some epic, intimate venues if that’s more your speed.

McKenzie only photographs elopements in Colorado.

Not true. I book anywhere and everywhere if you can promise a good time and good food. I would love to photograph your elopement no matter where your love takes you. Finding great flight deals is one of my best skills, so I’ll always try to find the best price for you to get me where you need me. I’ve photographed elopements all over the place – Arizona, Michigan, Montana, Texas, and more. Me and my drink coupons are ready to come see you!

Check out my TikTok for more mythbusting!

alternative colorado elopement resources