Self-Solemnized Elopements in Colorado | What They Mean And How They Work

The Details of Colorado Self-Solemnization: Your Questions Answered | Colorado Elopement Advice and Planning


Personally, we’re big believers that Colorado is one of the best places to have an adventure elopement, and one of the key reasons (aside from the epic mountain views and crazy landscapes) is the fact that you can get married without any witnesses or an officiant present. Colorado is one of a select few states that allows couples to self-solemnize, making it especially appealing for couples looking to have the most intimate adventure wedding possible. Especially with the rise in couples looking to have smaller, more exclusive weddings, the concept of self-solemnization is definitely one to consider. But how does this whole thing work? And what do you need to know to make it happen?

Is The Marriage License The Same For Self-Solemnization As It For A Traditional Wedding?

The quick answer? Yes. When you pick up your marriage license, it will be exactly the same document, whether you have an officiant and witnesses or not. The only thing that varies is the way you fill out the license on your elopement day. You and your significant other will simply sign as your own witnesses. Cool right?!

Is Your Marriage Considered Legitimate In All States If You Self-Solemnize In Colorado?

Yes, just because the majority of states in the U.S. don’t allow for self-solemnization doesn’t mean your marriage is any less legitimate and legal. Whether you are in Colorado or traveling to another destination in the United States, you are still considered to be married.

What Do You Do During Your Elopement Ceremony If You Are Self-Solemnizing?

Just because you’ve chosen to marry yourselves doesn’t mean your elopement ceremony needs to be completely different than it would otherwise be. You can still say your vows to each other. You can still have a first kiss. All of the things that would otherwise happen at a non self-solemnized adventure elopement can happen here.

The only difference is you don’t need an officiant or witnesses. It really is that simple. The nice thing about this type of elopement ceremony? You can get creative with the way things go. You can each take turns telling little parts of the story of your love and how you two met, similarly to what an officiant would do. Or you can come up with your own unique type of unity ceremony. There are so many options when you’re no longer expected to incorporate typical, traditional wedding standards to your self-solemnized elopement ceremony.

What If We Still Want To Have Guests Or An Adventure Elopement Photographer Present?

No problem at all. Self-solemnization simply means that you two are your own witnesses. You just fill out your marriage license differently than you normally would. Self-solemnization is a nice elopement option for couples who don’t want to have a single person in attendance. But there are plenty of couples who know they want to have a small number of guests present at their self-solemnized elopement ceremony, but they just love the idea of being able to marry themselves. For many of these couples, it’s still super important to them to have an elopement photographer there to capture their elopement. It doesn’t matter that they’re marrying themselves; they still want the day documented well.

P.S. As Colorado adventure elopement photographers, we specialize in helping our couples plan their mountain adventure weddings. We love helping our couples sort through the little details of their elopements, like determining whether a self-solemnized ceremony is right for them. So if that sounds like your vibe, we’d love to be a part of your adventure elopement day.


Sheena Shahangian is an adventure elopement and intimate, small wedding photographer based in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. We primarily serve couples looking to elope or marry in the western United States (Colorado, Utah, Washington, Oregon, California, Wyoming, Montana, and beyond), as well as a select few eastern states (North Carolina and Georgia). We love serving couples who’ve chosen to do their own thing on their wedding day, whether that’s eloping in a National Park or having an intimate backyard ceremony in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. We’re here to make your adventure wedding photography dreams come true.

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