Do you dream of running away to elope with the love of your life in Colorado with just a photographer and the beautiful outdoors? Colorado is one of the few states in the U.S. that allows couples to legally marry each other without a witness or officiant! If you’re planning to elope and are interested in learning about self-solemnization in Colorado, I’ve written a brief yet detailed guide to help you navigate the process!

A couple embraces during their elopement in Colorado

A couple kisses after self-solemnizing in Colorado

What Is Self-Solemnization

Self-solemnization is the act of two people legally marrying one another and signing their own marriage license without the need for a witness and/or officiant. There are only two states in the U.S. where unrestricted self-solemnization is legal, and Colorado is one of them!  

A couple admires one another after eloping in Colorado

A couple in Colorado says their vows while eloping in the Rocky Mountains.

Newlyweds in Colorado walk hand in hand after eloping.

Why Should I Consider Self-Solemnization

Self-solemnization may be for you and your partner if you’re looking to reconnect with one another in an intimate, stress-free way for your celebration of love. In my opinion, self-solemnization is one of the purest ways a couple can say I Do. You’re free to be yourselves while celebrating your love story in an organic way. You’re not confined to reciting vows back to an officiant or scrambling last minute to find a witness!

Another great thing I love about self-solemnization is that your furry friend can legally sign your marriage license with a paw print! Colorado is a very dog-friendly state, so it’s only fitting that your dog can help you and your partner say I Do here!

A wife adventures with her husband through the mountains of Colorado after self-solemnizing.

A groom hugs his bride after their elopement in the Rocky Mountains

How To Self-Solemnize In Colorado 

The process of self-solemnizing in Colorado is very simple! First, I recommend visiting the County Clerk’s office nearest your elopement location or utilizing Denver’s online marriage license service. Here is how to self-solemnize in Colorado in 5 easy steps:

  1. Fill out the online marriage or civil union application before your appointment.
  2. Schedule an appointment either online or in person at a Colorado County Clerk’s office nearest to your elopement location. 
  3. Attend your appointment via Microsoft Teams or in person. Provide an official copy of your birth certificate and an additional valid form of ID (passport or driver’s license). This applies to both partners. You’ll also want to provide a credit card to pay the $30 marriage license fee.

****If your appointment is in person, know some offices only accept cash. 

  1. Sign the marriage certificate after your ceremony within 35 days from the date of issue.
  2. Return the signed certificate to the County Clerk’s office no later than 63 days from the date of solemnization. 

If you’re from Colorado, I recommend getting your marriage license a week or two before your ceremony to ensure the process goes smoothly. If you’re visiting Colorado from out-of-state for your elopement, make sure you plan the pickup and drop-off of your marriage license for a weekday. The County Clerk’s office isn’t open on weekends. If you plan to get your marriage license in Denver, the County Clerk’s office has a 24-hour drop-off box. 

You can find additional information about self-solemnization in Colorado here

A couple's vow books are  shown during their elopement ceremony.

Planning To Self-Solemnize In Colorado?

If you’re planning to self-solemnize in Colorado and want someone to help you navigate and capture the whole experience, I’d love to be a part of your adventure! As your elopement photographer, I can help make your elopement day as stress-free as possible! Along with the self-solemnization process, I assist couples with things like location scouting, elopement permits, and ceremony day timelines! You can tell me about your dreams for your special day and how I can help by filling out my contact form

I can’t wait to explore the beauty of Colorado with you and your partner and capture all the big, small, and in-between moments that make eloping so special! In the meantime, you can learn more about eloping in Colorado on my blog!

A couple leans on one another after eloping in Colorado in the mountains.


Hey there, I'm Reagan!

A destination wedding and elopement photographer based out of Colorado! You can usually find me with a hot cup of coffee in my hand, sporting some comfy tennis shoes, or in pursuit of my next big escape! 

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