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Elope in Estes Park | An Unforgettable Rocky Mountain National Park Experience

Today we’re going to help you decide if you should elope in Estes Park, Colorado. Estes park is a popular destination for weddings because of its unparalleled beauty. It’s a small town in the mountains of the Colorado Rockies right outside of Rocky Mountain National Park.

As wedding photographers with over 10 years of experience shooting adventurous weddings and mountain elopements, we’ve worked in a handful of National Parks. National Park towns can be popular but they’re popular for good reason: adventure! And if you make a solid plan you can even find a little solitude in the wilderness.

This guide will walk you through how to plan your Estes Park wedding, plan for epic elopement photography, and soak up the beauty and adventure of the Rocky Mountains. Whether you’re looking for swaying aspen trees or epic mountain views, Estes Park has it all and more.

elope in estes park in summer with flowers

Why and How to Elope in Estes Park

Why you should plan your elopement in Estes Park is simple, it’s breathtaking and memorable which are two perfect things for a wedding day. The “how” will be laid out later on in this article but essentially it’s easy. First, book a National Park permit and a photographer, and then find accommodations and plan the rest of your trip.

It is as simple as that! If you’re eloping there’s not much you need in life in terms of plans except the plan to have fun and make memories with each other or maybe some family. You will have to get your marriage license and find your way from the airport to the National park, but as far as wedding planning goes it couldn’t get more stress-free.

elope in estes park trail ridge road wildflower portrait

The main point is that with an elopement, everything else is optional. You don’t need to plan centerpieces or colors or deal with family drama. As an Estes Park wedding photographer, I often guide my clients around a few beautiful places for photos. We spend time exploring and enjoying the day, not bad for a wedding timeline.

There are a few more nuances that can make navigating an Estes park elopement a little easier. Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of planning your special day.

What to Know about Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park has done a great job of handling the demand for weddings in the mountains and various locations throughout the park. There are rules, permits, and regulations to follow but everything is clear, understandable, and affordable. And the good news is that the clear instructions help keep weddings in the park safe so that we can all continue to enjoy everything the park has to answer.

Simply go to the National Park website for information on wedding permits and locations. You’ll see that restrictions vary based on the size of your party. If there are no permits in the National Park for the timeframe you’re interested in, ask your photographer for suggestions in the surrounding area.

elope in estes park getting ready with mountain view

Estes Park Wedding Venues, Packages, and More

For many of the elopements we photograph in Estes park, the couple simply hires a wedding photographer and gets a fancy outfit. A lot of them self-solomize but an officiant is another vendor some couples choose to book. Some couples also get their hair and make-up done and get flowers from a florist. From there it’s about finding accommodations and making any reservations for dinners.

If your elopement starts to evolve into more of an Estes Park wedding, there are a lot of great wedding venues in the Estes Park area that vary in size so that you can find one that fits your vision and the size of your party. Some examples include Black Canyon Inn, Skyview at Fall River Village, the Landing, Della Terra, and the Stanley. You can find a lot of information on the Estes Park Wedding Association website. There you’ll find everything: venue caterering planner Rocky Mountains experienced vendors.

If you want something more casual, we’ve had a lot of our elopement couples spend a couple of hours with us and then head to a restaurant or Airbnb for dinner. Our wedding packages are customizable for elopements since everyone’s idea of the perfect day varies. Typically we recommend 3-4 hours to cover the ceremony and exploring some locations in the park and more time if you want any getting ready, first look or reception-type events covered.

elope in estes park sunset portrait on a rock

Let Your Estes Park Wedding Photographer Be Your Guide

As an Estes Park wedding photographer, I do more than take your epic wedding photos, I also help guide you to the best experience. We see it as a win-win. If you have a great wedding experience, we’ll be able to take amazing photos.

The cool thing about elopement photography is that as photographers we can take you to the best locations in the best light. We love showing couples the majestic beauty of the Rocky Mountains. If you have favorite spots we’ll go there too!

Elopement photos are similar to engagement photos in that it’s usually a fun and laid-back experience. As photographers, we’re able to tell your love story through photos of intimate moments in beautiful places. Your job is simply to be together and enjoy this special day that kicks off your marriage.

estes park wedding photographers elope in estes

The Secret to Estes Park Wedding Photography

The secret to Estes Park wedding photography is being flexible. It might rain, it might be crowded, and you might have to adapt your plans on the fly. But if you’re willing to be flexible it may rain on your wedding day resulting in a photo of a rainbow.

As I mentioned in the intro, the National Park can be crowded so if you can plan for a weekday or shoulder season, you’ll have better luck fighting the crowds. Also, plan around sunrise or sunset when the light is most beautiful and everyone else in town is sleeping in or eating dinner.

Sometimes the best wedding planner Rocky mountains is a photographer. Unless you’re looking for a wedding catering planner Rocky Mountains, we do everything but food and food is a must!! Reach out for elopement photography ideas from your favorite wedding organization rocky mountains.

elope in estes park in winter

about the author – colorado elopement photographers

I am Brenda Bergreen, one half of a husband and wife photography team specializing in Colorado wedding photography and videography and outdoor photography. Don’t miss other blog posts like these adventure wedding readings and quotes. Be sure to reach out if you’re looking for an elopement wedding photographer Estes Park, CO! We also offer video add-ons.

As a Colorado elopement photographer, I’d love to help you elope in Colorado or meet you somewhere else in this beautiful world. Check your date or reach out for elope quotes and let’s get to planning your perfect colorado elopement photography.

Download our free Wedding Planning Guide on how to prioritize your planning! Don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know how we can help!

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