Elopement Wedding Tips by Photographers in Durango CO

This is Part 1 of 2

My husband, Ken, and I are photographers in Durango CO and we love to photograph elopements. It’s usually just the couple and us at the location of the ceremony. Sometimes there’s an officiant, but it’s not required in Colorado. You can marry yourself and just sign the Marriage License and you’re all set. We’ve acted as the witnesses many many times.

Elopements are great for both the couple and the photographers. There’s less stress and more time to capture all those great couples portraits that we sometimes don’t have time for during a full day wedding. We photograph a lot of elopements in Durango CO because it’s a beautiful destination wedding location.

Here are some tips that you can apply (or not):

  1. Should you keep it a secret? Well, this is up to you, but make sure you have a good reason ready to tell your loved ones and friends who might feel hurt that they didn’t get to attend your special day. There are also some elopements where the parents and siblings are at the ceremony, and that works out well for some couples. You can always have a reception back home once you’re married. Most of your family and friends will be happy with this. If you’re doing this, let us know because we will definitely have the photos ready for your reception date so you can show everyone a slideshow.

    Bride and Groom with sign, photographers in durango co, durango co photographers, durango photography, durango wedding photographers

    We Eloped!

  2.  I know I’m a bit biased, but the photographer should be the first vendor you contact. I always help my clients who are coming to Durango from somewhere else. They usually need a florist, a hair and makeup artist, and maybe an officiant. I know all the best ones, and will email their contact information so they can get a bouquet, special pampering with hair and makeup, and someone to marry them. If the couple decides to have us at their elopement, we have an on-line Wedding Photography Agreement and a Wedding Information form that we send to them so everything is super easy and stress free. We also know some beautiful spots to have your elopement and can send you photos so you can choose the one you love. This one was during the winter, but it’s also lovely in the summer and fall.
    Bride and Groom having a snowball fight, photographers in durango co, durango co photographers, durango wedding photographers, durango photography, wedding photographers in durango co

    Bride and Groom having a snowball fight

    3. You can go on the tourism site for the city where you are going to elope. The Durango Tourism website (Durango.org) has a wealth of information, including things you can do while you’re visiting here, because obviously you will want to make a vacation out of the elopement. It’s a great place for a destination wedding because there are so many fun things to do while you’re here.

    Married on the Colorado Trail, by Durango CO Photographers, photographers in durango co, durango photography, durango wedding photographers

    Married on the Colorado Trail and then hiked the entire 500 miles


    4. Your budget is totally up to you, of course, but contact different vendors to get an idea of how much everything will cost and then you can make better plans. If you want to get fancy, we know of a company who provides small tables with elegant dishware, glasses, pillows to sit on, candles, and other gorgeous decorations that you can use to serve up some champagne and a couple of cupcakes. These will make for some excellent photographs.


Bride and Groom sitting at table, photographers in durango co, durango photography, durango co photographers, durango wedding photographers

Bride and Groom sitting at beautifully set table

I’ll continue Part 2 soon, so stay tuned, and thank you for reading this post.

Long Live Love

Karen Skelly Photography

Photographers in Durango CO




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