How to Plan a Wedding at Garden of the Gods Park in Colorado Springs
If you’re looking for a unique, centrally-located elopement or micro wedding location, look no further than Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Getting married here will give you so many beautiful backdrops with beautiful mountains in the background and sweeping red rocks surrounding you. This post will help guide you through everything you need to know to have the Garden of the Gods wedding of your dreams!
Tips and General FAQs for Planning Your Garden of the Gods Wedding
Which airport is better to fly into?
The two best options for airports in Colorado are Colorado Springs Airport (airport code COS) or Denver International Airport (airport code DEN). The airport in Colorado Springs is located on the eastern side of the city and despite it being smaller than Denver’s, there are many direct flights to big cities like Salt Lake City, Chicago, and Phoenix which makes flying in a breeze!
Getting to Garden of the Gods from Denver takes less than an hour and a half without traffic (and there’s nearly always traffic) so I’d definitely recommend finding a place to stay locally the nights surrounding your wedding day to avoid the stressors of being stuck in traffic due to construction or accidents!
How do we get our Colorado marriage license?
To obtain a marriage license for your Colorado wedding day – you’ll want to visit the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder office located in Colorado Springs. As of February of 2022, a marriage license is only $30 to obtain and must be used within 35 days of obtaining it. Although at the time of writing this their North Office has Saturday hours, I highly recommend planning to allow yourself time to go on a weekday since I’m sure that’s a busy time for them!
Prepare for your trip by bringing valid forms of IDs such as passports, driver’s licenses, military IDs, and birth certificates. It might be helpful to keep all of this in a folder so nothing gets confused, misplaced, or left behind in the hustle and bustle of your trip!
More information on requirements and the online application can be found on the marriage license page of the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s office website.
Are our dogs allowed for my Garden of the Gods elopement or intimate wedding?
Yes, they are! Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times and picked up after but are absolutely allowed to be present for your elopement or intimate wedding ceremony. If it’s just the two of you eloping with your photographer, I highly recommend asking them to bring along an assistant to help hold your dog during vows and photos to make things a bit easier for you!
Where can we buy wedding attire in town?
Whether you’re local or planning a more spur-of-the-moment elopement during your trip to Colorado Springs, there are countless options in the area to make your day a dream!
One of the most amazing places to shop that has both dresses and tuxes is Something New Boutique. The people who work there are absolutely lovely and would do an amazing job helping you two pick out something that makes you feel comfortable and confident!
Do you know of local vendors that you can recommend?
Absolutely! I provide every Colorado Springs elopement couple with a list of vendors based on what they’re looking for on their elopement day including hair and makeup artists and florists. I even have a few up my sleeve who aren’t deterred by an early alarm to get you feeling like your best self for a sunrise elopement too!
Planning Your Elopement in Garden of the Gods
First things first, let’s define elopements because I know it can be super confusing as you’re beginning to plan your wedding day. In the context of this blog, an elopement is defined as a wedding with just the couple along with their photographer (and of course their pup(s) too)! If you’re looking to plan an occasion with guests along, you’ll find the wedding section to be much more helpful!
How much does it cost to elope at Garden of the Gods?
Absolutely great question! For the location itself, there is no permit fee that needs to be paid to exchange vows and have your elopement at Garden of the Gods Park. But if you’re looking for more information on what to budget as a whole, head over to my blog post covering how much do elopements cost to answer all of your questions and give some great insight!
What are your Garden of the Gods elopement packages?
For more information on my Colorado Springs and Garden of the Gods elopement packages and pricing, visit my experience page for a full look at what it’s like to work with me. Since I’m an elopement photographer based in the area, I do have a limited number of special packages for couples eloping in Colorado Springs! If you fill out the form on my contact page, I’ll happily email you a full pricing guide detailing my packages as well as schedule a no-pressure call to chat about all of your questions.
Do we need an ordained minister for our ceremony? What about witnesses?
Well, there are a lot of different components to chat about here so let me break it down a bit!
What does it mean for us to self solemnize our marriage?
In the state of Colorado, you actually don’t need anyone in order to become legally married – no witnesses, no officiant, just the two of you performing your marriage ceremony. Personally, this is one of my favorite things about being an intimate wedding and elopement photographer in Colorado – couples can have the ultimate private experience they’re hoping for!
Does the person marrying us need to be ordained?
Although self solemnizing is an option, if someone is conducting your ceremony they’ll need to be ordained.
If you’re looking to have a loved one officiate your ceremony don’t fear, there are so many online websites that make getting ordained a breeze and whose licenses are recognized in many states. Personally, I’m chose to get ordained through Universal Life Church! It’s completely free, unless you want to pay a little extra for the official certificate and is a really easy process to go through that took maybe 5 minutes. If your loved one is nervous about putting together a ceremony, Brides.com has a wonderful resource with sample ceremony scripts and writing tips!
Do we need witnesses at our Garden of the Gods ceremony?
Nope! But there are lines on the marriage license if you would like for particular loved ones who are present to sign their names. At Jaclyn and Mark’s Elopement at Garden of the Gods, their dog actually put his paw print on their marriage license which was so sweet and special!
Planning Your Wedding in Garden of the Gods
Where can we get married in Garden of the Gods?
Although there is no charge, there are also no reservations and all spots are on a first-come, first-served basis. It’s also not possible to prevent tourists or other park guests from walking around the area of your ceremony! Because of all of this, I highly recommend a sunrise or early morning elopement so that we’re better able to reduce the chance of crowds or a location being used by another couple for their ceremony.
Do we need to obtain a permit to have a wedding ceremony in Garden of the Gods?
Nope! But there’s admittedly a downfall to this. Although there is no charge or permits, there is also no way to reserve a ceremony site and all spots are on a first-come, first-served basis. It’s also not possible to prevent other park guests from walking around the area of your ceremony.
Because of all of this, I highly recommend a sunrise or early morning elopement so that we’re better able to reduce the chance of crowds or a location being used by another couple for their ceremony.
My favorite ceremony site at sunrise is High Point Overlook or Three Graces Plaza! Both look beautiful in the mornings and as you can see from Emily and Jack’s Garden of the Gods wedding photos, these spots are stunning options! I also like that they’re are spots in these locations away from major trails to help avoid early-bird hikers and walkers from strutting through your ceremony.
Is there plenty of parking in Garden of the Gods?
While, yes, there are a wide variety of parking areas – even during the winter it can be challenging to find parking as it gets later in the day which is why I always recommend having your Garden of the Gods elopement or wedding ceremony in the early morning hours to prevent endlessly looping in hopes of snagging a spot.
How many guests can we have present at our wedding?
The maximum number of guests allowed at weddings in Garden of the Gods park is 50. Although in my professional opinion, if you’re looking to have any more than 25 guests, I’d highly recommend looking into a Garden of the Gods wedding venue (like Garden of the Gods Resort) to ease the potential stressors of finding parking for everyone (and to even have a convenient place to eat together afterwards).
Brittney and Jesse did just this and had a beautiful wedding with their loved ones and then the three of us went to Garden of the Gods Park at sunrise the next morning to get beautiful elopement-style photos for the two of them to cherish.
Let’s plan your Garden of the Gods wedding or elopement together!
As an experienced Colorado elopement and intimate wedding photographer based in Colorado Springs, I’ve got you completely covered when it comes to planning your dream day. Please take some time to read all about me, what it’s like working with me, and don’t hesitate to fill out the contact form on my contact page to get more information about us working together!