Location Guides

How to Elope at Garden of the Gods

Colorado is pretty epic when it comes to elopements. There are so many gorgeous places to plan your Colorado elopement. Garden of the Gods is outside of Colorado Springs and close to Denver, CO.  If you’re looking for an awesome place to elope with views of sandstone formations, then a Garden of the Gods elopement may be just for you. This elopement location is easily accessible, has Colorado mountain views, and it’s currently FREE to elope there!

Let’s jump into everything you need to know when planning your elopement at Garden of the Gods in Colorado. Feel free to use the links below to jump to the section you’re most interested in. 

How to Elope in Garden of the Gods

Where to Elope in Garden of the Gods

If you’re trying to figure out where to plan your elopement in Garden of the Gods, then this section is for you. The first rule of thumb is to get to know the park and team up with a professional. As we mentioned earlier, Garden of the Gods is one of the locations where you don’t need to pay a permit fee (more on that in the permit section below). There are 6 areas you can choose from, but these areas are first come first serve since no reservation or permit is required. 

If you’re considering having an intimate wedding ceremony with family and friends, then we suggest keeping a small guest list and minimal decor. We love it when couples embrace the natural beauty of their elopement location. You can absolutely still personalize your elopement ceremony by incorporating your favorite flowers in your bouquet, a unique elopement dress, or custom vow books

Jaycee Plaza

This is probably one of our favorite spots. Jaycee Plaza is easily accessible and open. This allows couples to easily get to this location, which is just past the visitor’s center, and take some gorgeous wedding photos after their ceremony. Limited to 50 people.

Sentinel Plaza

Sentinel Plaza is a smaller area that easily restricts the number of people who can participate in your ceremony. We love this location because the rock formations are stunning, and the smaller area allows you to have a more intimate experience together. Limited to 25 people.

Three Graces Plaza

The most unique red rock formations can be found here. If you’re looking for dramatic formations to be the backdrop of your ceremony, then Three Graces Plaza has what you’re looking for. These natural pillars stand taller than most other rock formations in the park, and it definitely makes a great spot to visit during your elopement. Limited to 25 people.

High Point

High Point is a favorite spot among our couples who love to have open views for their ceremony. It’s also one of the further options for your ceremony. We love this location for the views of the nearby mountains and other rock formations. Beware, however, of the shadows during the middle of the day here. Talk to your photographer about the most optimal time to plan your ceremony. Limited to 50 people. 

Scotsman Picnic Area & South Spring Canyon Area

These are the other two free elopement locations in the park. These spots are more forested areas and are also farther away from the rock formations. These are good options if you’re looking to have two completely different looks during your elopement. We also love this area if you are planning to invite a few family and friends. Scotman’s Picnic Area is limited to 25 people, while the South Spring Canyon area is limited to 50.

If you’re not sure Garden of the Gods is for you, then check out our Colorado elopement packages for more inspiration and location ideas. 

Colorado Elopement Vendors

No wedding day would be complete without an epic elopement team by your side to make sure everything goes smoothly. Check out these photographers and other elopement professionals who specialize in the Colorado area to build your perfect Garden of the Gods elopement package! This is the perfect opportunity to check out their portfolio, connect with them, and ask all the questions about your Garden of the Gods elopement together. 

When to Elope in Garden of the Gods

Colorado’s weather can be very unpredictable. With that being said, when planning your elopement, especially in nature, you have to roll with the punches. If the weather is not ideal, don’t freak out! Unpredictable weather is probably one of the main reasons why we recommend hiring one of our experienced photographers for your wedding day. They have experience dealing with ALL sorts of weather scenarios.

So when’s the best time to plan your elopement in the Garden of the Gods? We personally love March to May or September to October for cooler weather and smaller crowds. Whenever you do decide to elope here, however, we highly recommend visiting on a weekday and in the mornings. This will not only ensure the least crowds, but it will also secure your elopement location since they are first come first serve (more on that below).

Pick Your Season For Your Elopement

Winters at Garden of the Gods is another favorite, but it does come with some planning in advance. You can have sunny weather with some picturesque snow against the red rocks, or there could be a full blizzard (February and March are snowy months in CO). It’s best to have a backup plan just in case the weather doesn’t work in your favor. Winter is great for elopements here because you’ll definitely see fewer people on the trails!

Spring at Garden of the Gods is great for cooler temperatures, but you can still see some snow in April and early May. We suggest packing in layers just to be sure.

Summer at Garden of the Gods is HOT and the busiest season to plan your elopement. However, sunrise can be much more cooler and rewarding for your wedding portraits together.

Fall at Garden of the Gods is cool and actually similar to summer! One thing to note is you’ll probably not see any fall foliage here, since most of the trees here stay green year-round.

Permits For Your Garden of the Gods Wedding

Currently, there are no wedding permits required to elope at Garden of the Gods if you have less than 50 people and no decorations. If you have more than 50 people (not the case for elopements and small weddings), then you would need to rent a pavilion or apply for a special event permit. Please note this can change at any moment. It’s your responsibility to make sure you’re following up with the park to know the current regulations and permits required. Even though there is no permit required, it’s all of our responsibility to follow leaven no trace (LNT) principles during an elopement. Please pick up after yourself, stay on the path, adhere to signs, and don’t mess with the landscape and vegetation.

Tips for Your Garden of The Gods Elopement

  1. Ceremonies at this location should be kept brief and small.
  2. This is a public area, so you can’t block off any areas, and there may be visitors roaming around during your ceremony. This is why we highly recommend weekdays and mornings.
  3. Remember to leave no trace (LNT) as you enjoy your special wedding day together. We encourage you to keep your decorations to a minimum to ensure an easy cleanup process to not disturb the park. 
  4. Explore together! Garden of the Gods has so many gorgeous vistas and nooks to explore. Have fun on your wedding day, and enjoy the view together. There are 21 miles to explore!
  5. We love it when couples drive through the Garden of the Gods together. Most of the park has one-way roads, so this can be an awesome option to sneak in unique wedding photos after your ceremony. 

For more information on Garden of the Gods regulations during your wedding, visit their website.

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