Denver elopement guide

Denver Elopement Guide

Most people who elope in Colorado come here for the mountain views, but Denver elopements are so underrated! Whether you want a courthouse elopement or to get married at a nice hotel or rooftop bar, Denver has so many great places to elope for couples who want a city wedding (without the huge guest list).

LGBTQ+ elopement at Byron White Courthouse in Denver
Byron White Courthouse elopement

Best places to elope in Denver

If you want to elope in Denver, I’m guessing you’re all about the city aesthetic! (Because if you want mountain views, there are so many better options nearby, whether you head up to Boulder, Rocky Mountain National Park, or further into the mountains like Breckenridge or Buena Vista.)

Denver has a handful of beautiful courthouses that are perfect for city elopements. The most popular ones are the Byron White Courthouse and the Denver County Court. Both have the classic, tall column vibes that photograph beautifully. The third courthouse that’s popular for Denver elopements is the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse, which is much more modern than the other two.

There are also a handful of venues owned by the City of Denver that are great for elopements with guests where you also want to host a small reception in the same space. The Washington Park Boathouse is my personal favorite, but the City Park Pavilion is also beautiful—albeit a bit large for elopements.

Of course there are countless traditional wedding venues in Denver as well, and many of them have discounted rates for smaller events on weekdays (Mon-Thu). While I have every venue listed in the post I just linked, two of the best for elopements and micro-weddings are Realm Denver and Woodland Mosaic at the Botanic Gardens.

And finally, you can search a site like for vacation rentals that allow events. There aren’t many that I’d recommend for a ceremony as most of the homes don’t have the best views, but there are lots of great options if you want a place to stay with your guests and host a small dinner reception after having your ceremony elsewhere.

Denver elopement at Union Station
Elopement photos outside of Union Station

Denver elopement photography permits

Denver Parks and Recreation, which includes popular locations like Cheesman Park, City Park, and Washington Park, does not require a photography permit for sessions with fewer than 5 people total (including the photographer and clients). If you’re photographing a larger group of people, or plan to use tripods, light stands, or other non-handheld equipment, you do need a permit and can apply for it online. This also applies for elopement ceremonies, as they are not seen as different from other photo sessions as long as they follow those same guidelines.

Once you have more than 5 people in your group, you will likely need to either rent/reserve a location or apply for a special use permit. A local photographer (hi, that’s me!) can help you navigate this, and recommend the best locations for elopements with guests where we can have privacy without random people walking past in the middle of your ceremony. The larger your guest list, the more likely that you’ll need to spend more on a venue rental.

I also have a big post about photography permits in Colorado here, which includes information on locations like Union Station, the Denver Art Museum, and the Byron White Courthouse.

Denver elopement guide
Rooftop elopement in Denver

The best hotels in Denver

There is no shortage of beautiful hotels in Denver, and many also have event spaces available for rent for weddings and elopements. Some of the hotels (I’m looking at you, Ramble) don’t allow photography within their public spaces (like lobbies and hallways) to avoid interrupting the experience for other hotel guests, so if you’re planning on doing photos at your hotel I recommend contacting their front desk to ask about their photo policies before booking a room.

Having a photographer join you for getting ready photos in your room is almost always allowed, but leave a note with the front desk so that they can let us up, since some hotels require keycards to access the elevators.

Bride and groom elope in Denver in a rain storm with umbrellas
Rainy elopement in downtown Denver

Best places to take photos in Denver

While I think the best photos come when you’re just living through your elopement day instead of posing for the camera, the right location does help set the scene. Some of the most popular places to take photos in Denver include the Cheesman Park Pavilion, the Denver Botanic Gardens, Union Station, the RiNo Arts District, the Denver Art Museum, and Larimer Square.

Instead of just going with a location because it’s popular, think about what you two like doing together. Do you always go to a brewery when you visit a new town? Do you love thrifting or shopping for vinyl together? Do you love live music, or drinking martinis with a view? When you plan the day around something you love, the photos will not just feel more personal to you two, but they’ll also be better because you’ll have the best memories to go along with them!

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