Post # 1
Is anyone here planning or did an elopement in one of the states where you can just marry yourselves, or do you know someone who did? What was it like? How’d it go?
We live an hour from Colorado, where you can marry yourselves without an officiant or witnesses. We’re both previously divorced, not into doing a big wedding this time around, and we’re planning an intimate wedding ceremony / celebration next summer with immediate family. (Yes, they will know we’re already married – no lying.) But I’m pregnant, which was very much planned and anticipated, and we need to do a good ol fashioned shotgun wedding for logistical reasons… plus we do like the idea of being a legal family. But we don’t really want to do all the hoopla of a wedding ceremony with officiant and photographer and all that jazz, while also moving and preparing for baby and a busy summer.
So now we’re thinking about just going on a hike and deciding that we’re married! You just have to fill out a form and turn it back in with $30.
Anyone do this? What was yours like? I had a friend in grad school who climbed a mountain with his then-fiancee and married themselves at the top, which sounded awesome.
I know this plan sounds terribly unromantic, but honestly, we have so much going on right now AND since we will do a ceremony and celebration with family, we literally both feel like, “I wish we could just be married without having to do the whole wedding thing.” I mean, it will still be special and romantic, but the idea of it being low-fuss and private is really really appealing.
Post # 2
That sounds amazing, kitty!! You’re actually making me think about eloping!! I didn’t even know this was an option! Do you have to live in one of these states to be eligible for this or can we just do it with a marriage license from our home state?
Post # 3
KittyYogi : I’m so glad I saw this post, because this is EXACTLY what my partner and I are planning in Colorado! For work reasons, we are going to need to have our paperwork done to be legally married before there is time to plan anything with our family, but we still want to make it a meaningful milestone. Visiting the courthouse sounded too much like an errand to the DMV for us. Instead, I have a $12 white lace dress from a thrift store that can be thrown in a backpack, and we’re going to exchange our vows on an upcoming camping trip 🙂
Post # 4
PrincessPeach13 : right?! The idea just occurred to me today, after we talked a few weeks ago about how to fit in a wedding this summer between work travel, summer plans, moving, baby prep, etc.
You have to have a Colorado marriage license from any county clerk in Colorado, but you don’t need to be a resident. It costs $30 and there’s no waiting time. Then you “solemnize your marriage” (however you want to do that part of it), fill the form out, and return it to the county clerk. Done and done! This wiki link lists the few states that allow it – Colorado, Wisconsin, Kansas, Pennsylvania, DC – I’m sure the various rules differ a bit from state to state. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-uniting_marriage
I’m excited, this seems like a pretty perfect solution 🙂
Post # 5
jake4401 : Oh that’s awesome! Do you guys live in Colorado? Are you going to bring a camera and just get some selfies / auto-timed photos to document the day? I struggle a little with the idea of having no “real” photos, but since we’re definitely planning an event later, hopefully our own photos would be just fine for this one.
And yes, we both had our divorces finalized in our local courthouse, and he had to do a whole trial with his not-very-nice ex there, so we didn’t love the idea of going back there for round two. Plus, we are really outdoorsy people (as it sounds like you are), and the idea of getting married outside somewhere beautiful is way more appealing!
Post # 6
- Wedding: March 2021 - Kauai, HI
Wow that is so much better than a courthouse full of strangers! Love it!
Post # 7
KittyYogi : I knew about Pennsylvania cause I saw it on tv (apparently due to the large Quaker, Amish population at least that’s what the tv show said) but didn’t know there were other states who did this as well.
Post # 8
KittyYogi : To be quite honest, this is probably the most romantic way to get married that could ever possibly be. I really love it.
Post # 9
PrincessPeach13 : It’s really growing on me! I think SO likes the idea too. We weren’t thrilled about having to hire some random officiant we don’t know, and we wanted it to be private and not have a friend get ordained and marry us. Thanks girl <3
sharkey38 : right? A bunch of grouchy people waiting to do various errands… no thanks.
Post # 10
- Wedding: July 2017 - Eldorado Canyon State Park
My husband and I did this! We are actually from Wisconsin, but while you can get married without an *officiant* here, you still need witnesses, so we flew to Colorado. We made a weekend of it — flew in Thursday night, got the paperwork Friday, and married ourselves in a state park on Saturday! Then we had the rest of the weekend to celebrate before turning in the papers and flying out Monday. I loved how private and intimate it was — we’re both a little shy, but I wanted to exchange really personal and meaningful self-written vows, so with no one listening in, we were able to speak from the heart. We were also able to just spend a lot more time together doing our own things without having to worry about being good hosts — I like to tell people we had a four-day long wedding, during which we visited the zoo, hiked a state park, rode a train through the mountains, dined in a bank vault and a Japanese garden, and flew in a hot air balloon! I love the wedding we chose, it’s definitely not for everyone, but if you like the idea of a wedding being about the two of you, there’s really no better way to do it!
Post # 11
Fiance and I have talked about doing just this! I love Colorado and while I’m happy to have a celebration with close family and friends after the fact, we’ve both been married before and I just don’t need or want all the hoopla or politics that accompany a wedding.
Post # 12
We were married in Colorado! We sort of had an officiant though – my husband’s uncle read the ceremony that we wrote. Where in Colorado are you planning to elope? If you haven’t decided yet, I recommend making the trip to Summit County to get your marriage license. They have each applicant sign this massive old book with your name, wedding date, where you’re from, etc…. And they keep the book in the office if you ever want to come back and find your name. We do this every anniversary. Plus it’s in Breckenridge which is the most adorable little ski town ever.
If you change your mind and decide to hire a photographer for the day I have some amazing recommendations. They might also have great ideas on locations where you’d have an amazing back drop while they take pictures of you from afar so you’d still have your private moment and not overhear your special vows. Something along the lines of the pictures I attached. This is the work of our wedding photographer, Savannah Chandler.
Post # 13
My husband and I did this! We live in New Mexico but travelled to Colorado to get married! We got married on Flagstaff mountain in Boulder, just us and a photographer to capture the day! I honestly wouldn’t have done it any other way and the process was so easy. We applied for the license, picked it up, went to the mountain the next day, said our vows, took the license back to the county clerks and that was it! I’d highly recommend that way to anyone lol.
Post # 15
I dont think it sounds unromantic at all. In fact. It’s one of the most romantic sounding elopements I’ve seen on the bee. Good luck and please let us know how it went!