I could give you a long-ass list of reasons why Colorado is the best state to get married in, but my top reason is because it’s friggin EASY. We have something called self-solemnization, which means you can officiate your own wedding and marry yourselves without an officiant or witnesses.

It’s easy, but it does take a little planning. You’ll need to pick up your Colorado marriage license first. That document is issued by a county and it basically says you and your partner are allowed to get married. You’re required to have that for any kind of marriage ceremony, even an elopement.

A marriage license isn’t just important before you get married – it’s important after too. You need it to get your marriage certificate, which is another official document that proves your marital status. It sounds super formal, but it’s really necessary for things like health insurance, taxes, name changes, and getting a mortgage. All that boring adulting shit.

Let me break down the marriage license process for you.

Colorado Marriage License 101

Some counties, like Denver, will let you complete the marriage license process online. The majority of counties only offer in-person appointments, so I would definitely plan on visiting in-person. When scheduling your trip out to Colorado, make sure you include time to visit a County Clerk’s office ahead of your elopement day. Here’s how it works.

  1. Pick the county in Colorado where you want to pick up your license from.
    • Pro tip: Denver County is usually hella busy, so I’d recommend picking one nearby to avoid a long wait. I’d look at JeffersonAdamsDouglas, or Arapahoe County for openings.
  2. Read the marriage license requirements and complete any paperwork the county may require ahead of time.
  3. Schedule an appointment. These slots can fill up FAST, so make sure you research how early they release upcoming dates. Denver County opens their schedule 7 days in advance, but other counties do 21 days before.
  4. Go in for your appointment with your partner. A marriage license will cost you $30, so make sure you have a payment method with you and your valid IDs. In and out will take no more than 30 minutes!
  5. Sign the license after you say “I do” and send it back to the county it was issued in.

Kenzie, I Have Questions

And I have answers. Your photographer should always be a big resource for you. I’ve helped all of my couples through the process and am happy to answer questions if you need me.

  • Can my dog actually sign my marriage license?
    • Hellllll yes! Because Colorado doesn’t require witnesses, your fur baby can absolutely sign. Bring an ink pad with on your elopement day and we can stamp their paw. We prefer Pearhead Clean which is fur baby safe.

  • Does it matter which County Clerk I go to?
    • No! You can get married in any county, regardless of where your license is from. BUT, after your elopement you need to send it back to whatever county you got it from so they can file it.

  • What if I’ve been married before?
    • No biggie, you may just need to provide some more info when you apply. More on that here toward the bottom of the page.

  • Do I need an officiant’s signature?
    • Nope! Remember, you can self-solemnize here, which means you and bae will sign your names on the officiant line to make it legal.

  • Are witnesses required?
    • Also a no. You’ll see two witness lines on your marriage license, but they’re totally optional. You can leave them blank or have someone (like your super cool photographer) sign them – up to you!

  • Is there a waiting period to get my license?
    • Nope. The day you go in for your appointment is the same day you’ll have it in your possession.

Bae and I are ready to make it official!

"Hiring McKenzie to photograph our wedding was single-handedly the best decision we made when planning our wedding. Wedding planning and vendor research was so stressful, and once we had Kenzie, she stepped in as support and helped us with narrowing down things that were important to us and to figure out what we really wanted.  wish we could get married over and over again just to recreate these and work with Kenzie again! "

Nadia + Daniel

"You will not find another wedding photographer who has the McKenzie signature style- she can capture the absolute beauty of the area and people all at once. She can shoot in a variety of settings and lightings and the photos are all gorgeous. One of the main reasons we booked McKenzie was the fact that she showcases a diverse clientele and finds beauty in all beings- something not all photographers can say.As a plus size bride who was extremely worried about looking back at my wedding pictures with dread that I wouldn't look like those gorgeous girlies on Instagram- this meant so much to me. "

Sydnie + Nathan

"When we got engaged, we searched near and far for an elopement photographer - & we met with several different photographers but none felt right until we met McKenzie. My husband, my dog and I are avid hikers - we wanted a beautiful hike and view, but it was also very important that we could be our authentic selves and intimately celebrate our 10 years together in the way we wanted. I'll be honest, I was shy about wanting to elope (ya know, family opinions and such), but McKenzie made us feel so comfortable in our decision. She wholeheartedly welcomed us being.. us! We couldn't have asked for more."

Maranda + Sam