Rocky Mountain National Park Elopements
Rocky Mountain National Park elopements are my favorite! I have lived just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park for ten years now and have used all my free time to explore this beautiful place and I still just can’t get enough! RMNP has so many amazing backdrops for couples looking to elope in Colorado. From alpine vistas to quiet rivers and deep woods, rock ledges, open meadows, waterfalls and reflective lakes…Rocky Mountain National Park has it all! The Park is massive (265,751 acres to be exact!), so there are endless locations to choose from for an elopement ceremony and bride&groom photos.
Rocky Mountain National Park is also one of the easiest places in Colorado to get married. The Park welcomes couples to enjoy the beautiful area as a beautiful backdrop for their wedding and elopement ceremonies. All you need is a $220 wedding permit (required for all weddings, whether you have 20 guests or no guests) and a healthy sense of adventure! Wedding permits are typically approved if your group size is reasonable and if your location of choice is not already booked.
One important thing to take into consideration if you are planning a wedding in RMNP is understanding where you can and cannot get married. Although it would be nice to just show up and pick out a pretty spot, the Park Service has specific rules on where weddings can be held. If you are having a small wedding and are bringing guests with you, the Park has a list of designated sites where you may hold your wedding. The Park Service restricts weddings with guests on top of Trail Ridge Road. This area is sensitive alpine tundra and cannot tolerate large groups of people tromping through it, so the Park Service typically limits weddings here to 2-person elopements only.
Sprague Lake is one of the most popular (and prettiest!) places to get married in RMNP.
If you decide to elope in RMNP, you have to be willing to invite the weather to be a guest at your wedding 😉 . You never quite know what the weather is going to do. One minute it’s sunny and 70 degrees and 5 minutes later it is snowing with thunder. Weather in the high mountains is highly unpredictable, but I think that makes the images unique and beautiful! Make sure to bring an umbrella and probably a jacket or shawl in case rain or snow decide to make an appearance.
Since Rocky Mountain National Park is such a large place, one thing that is important to think through is what type of backdrop you want for your wedding photos. You can choose from deep in the woods, open valleys, mountain-tops, riverside, waterfalls, lakeside or meadows. The options are endless and they are all very different and unique! Depending on how much time you allot for photography, there is a good chance that we can take advantage of several different locations within Rocky Mountain National Park for photos after the wedding ceremony.
Timing of ceremonies is always an important discussion to have. The photo above was taken at sunset on top of Trail Ridge Road (the highest continuous road in America!) around 7:30pm in June. Often the best time for lighting is in the late afternoon or evening. Sunrise ceremonies are also really beautiful (and what a great way to start your day…getting married!).
Winter is one of my favorite times in Rocky Mountain National Park. The crowds have lessened and the entire Park is very peaceful and quiet…a perfect time to get married! There is something so unique about snowy wedding photos. Braving the winter elements together is beautiful and adventurous way to start your married life!
Be prepared to be cold, but to also be blown away by the winter white beauty that surrounds you. It just doesn’t get any better than winter weddings in RMNP! If you choose to have a winter wedding in RMNP, you should definitely prepare for some crazy weather! It can be sunny and 50 degrees in Estes Park, and snowing in RMNP. It’s smart to be prepared for cold temperatures – warm leggings, blanket scarves, faux fur wraps, hand warmers – anything you can do to stay warm!
If you are thinking about bringing family with you to your elopement ceremony there are a few locations within RMNP that are ideal because there are parking lots, restrooms and easy walking paths readily available to help make things easier on your guests. Rocky Mountain National Park allows weddings with up to 100 guests, although they do limit the locations you can go to with a large amount of guests.
Hopefully some of this information will allow you to gain insight about locations, ideas and logistics for eloping in RMNP! If you ever have any questions about Rocky Mountain National park, don’t hesitate to reach out, I’m always happy to help! 🙂
If you’d like to learn more about my pricing and photography services, just click here. For a list of other beautiful elopement locations within Colorado, click here. You can also always email me with any questions! Becky@beckyyoungphotography.com