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Crested Butte Adventure Elopement
Kourtney & Gabriel
There are few feelings that match the sense of awe and gratitude that I feel when I get to be a part of an elopement. It’s such an inspiring and brave thing when a couple decides “We want to have a wedding that truly reflects us. We want a day that is a real and honest representation of who we are, and that celebrates our commitment in a genuine way.”
For Kourtney & Gabriel, that meant deciding to do an epic hiking elopement in one of the most spectacular landscapes in all of Colorado. Their day started driving in the dark — up winding, unmarked, dirt roads, and we met at the trailhead at 3 am to start hiking. As the dark turned to dawn while we hiked, we could start to see the beginnings of the pink glow on the mountaintops. We arrived at the perfect vista right as the sun was about to crest over the horizon. Kourtney & Gabriel quickly changed out of their hiking clothes separately, and got into their fancy attire, and saw each other for the first time in their wedding-day gear right at sunrise. It was the most perfect “first look” I think I’ve ever seen. Filled with emotion, they pulled their vows out of their pockets and promised their lives to each other and were married. We continued hiking exploring the whole area and didn’t see another soul up there for several hours (until we hiked down). They celebrated by popping champagne and cheering at the top of their lungs at the mountains, and having a picnic before we headed down. It was the most perfect wedding day.
Colorado is actually one of only 3 states in the whole U.S. where this type of wedding day is possible — as it’s a “Self-Solemnizing” state. In Colorado, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania (and D.C.) a couple can legally get married without an officiant, or “Self-Solemnize” (it’s also called “self-unification” or “self-officiating”). Colorado doesn’t even require witnesses either. Self-solemnization weddings are 100% legal and valid marriages in the whole U.S. — they can just only be performed in those 4 places. It’s an absolutely perfect way to have a completely intimate wedding day just the 2 of you.
To execute a self-solemnizing wedding in Colorado, all you have to do is obtain a marriage license from any county clerk & recorder office in Colorado, fill it out when you get married (you each sign as the parties getting married, and again on the officiant line), and then return it within 60 days via mail or in-person. You can check out more info about self-solemnization in Colorado here.