denver courthouse wedding

how to have a

planning a denver courthouse wedding

Planning a courthouse wedding doesn't mean your day should be any less special or beautiful. For some, having their wedding at a courthouse is a great way to reduce the stress of a traditional large wedding day. Getting married in Downtown Denver is super easy and there are so many locations to still get epic and beautiful wedding day photos. If you're still in the planning process, take a look at the process below for my take on how to plan a Denver courthouse wedding.

Once you have a date and location, it's time to secure the rest of your vendors.

secure your vendors


There are several different courthouses to choose from– pick your spot & fill out the application online.



Your photographer will be able to help you location scout and plan, so it's best to secure them early!

book photographer


Chat about your priorities with your partner– budget, how many guests,  etc.

start planning


Your license must be both signed in CO within 35 days from the date of issue and must be returned for recording within 63 days.

sign & return license


the process


start the planning process

When dreaming up your wedding, no plans are too far fetched– the world is your oyster! Think about what is important to you and your partner and how you want to infuse your personalities into your wedding day. 

Some questions to ask yourselves: 
  • Do you want guests at your wedding?
  • Do you want to get ready together?
  • Do you want to do something after your courthouse ceremony? Dinner? Hiking? Spa day? 
  • Do you want to have a reception after your ceremony?

find your photographer

Even with smaller courthouse weddings your photographer is still a big choice! They will document the day and can suggest different locations for photos pre/post ceremony. You want to choose a photographer whose style you love but also whose personality you really vibe with. 

When choosing your photographer, ask some of these questions: 
  • How long have you been photographing weddings? 
  • What part do you play in helping us plan and scout?
  • Do you have vendor and location recommendations? 
  • How would you describe your photography style?

choose a courthouse

There are a few different courthouses to choose from. 

Byron White: 1823 Stout St 
  • Cool columns and architecture outside 
  • Near 16th street mall
  • Photographs well during the day

Denver County Court: 1437 Bannock St
  • Cool columns and architecture 
  • Across from Civic center which has nice shade and greenery (can sometimes be crowded with people and can be a little sketchy)

Wellington Webb:  201 W. Colfax Avenue
  • Near civic center
  • Glass roof and lots of natural light indoors

Lindsey Flanigan: 520 W Colfax Ave
  • Most modern of all courthouses
  • Neat sculptures and glass windows
  • Near Denver Art Museum

secure your Denver vendors

Just because you are having a courthouse wedding, doesn't mean that you shouldn't have a dream team helping you plan and execute the perfect day! Make sure you reach out to vendors well in advance to ensure they're available for your date. 

Some vendors to consider for your wedding day: 
  • Planner
  • Florist
  • Officiant 
  • Private chef
  • Hair and/or Makeup Artist


sign & return your marriage license

In order to be legally married in Denver, you must obtain a marriage license. 

Here's the detailed breakdown: 
  1. Fill out an application online here. 
  2. Schedule an appointment online at your selected courthouse. Make sure you bring with you: A valid ID (passport, drivers license), Social Security Numbers, and $30. 
  3. Your license is good for 35 days. 
  4. Return in person or by mail to the county clerk who issued it within 63 days. And don't forget to make a few certified copies while there, they cost $1.25!

When is the Best Time for a Denver courthouse wedding?

Colorado temperatures vary greatly from season to season (and even day to day!!) Here are some weather related tips for your Colorado elopement.

Summer is one of my favorite times to photograph in Colorado
 because the weather is so predictable. Temperatures are relatively mild (especially comparing it to Texas, my home state!)

Spring can be colder than you might think!
Especially if you're wanting to go into the mountains. And there might not be as many flowers and fauna since it takes longer for the winter ice to melt. 

Fall has the most gorgeous colors, but it comes and goes quickly!
Fall is my favorite season in Colorado. The orange and yellow leaves are absolutely magical. But Fall can come and go quickly. Sometimes those gorgeous leaves only last a week. But if you plan it right (and with a little luck) your wedding would be stunning. 

Winter can be freezing or mild.
Winter in Colorado is always a toss up. It can be frigid or mild. Always plan for it being cold. (Layers, proper transportation, etc.) 

my take...

When would I plan a Denver wedding? Go with Summer or Fall! If you're wanting those gorgeous fall colors, aim for late September. Luckily though, Colorado is beautiful all year round– you really can't go wrong!

who to invite to your Denver courthouse wedding

Choosing who to invite to their wedding is probably the biggest stressors for couples eloping or having an intimate wedding. But at the end of the day, you are choosing to have a non-traditional, unique and authentic experience with just you and your partner– so you should do whatever feels best to you. 

Some things to consider if you choose to invite friends and family: 

1. Is everyone on your list fully onboard with your decision to marry your partner? Are they fully onboard with your vision to have a small wedding and the way you see your day? 

2. Would it be impactful to you to have some of your guests hear your vows? Or is that something you want to be private and intimate? 

3. Is there anyone on your guest list who you're concerned will hijack your day? Make it about them? Provide any unnecessary stress and anxiety for you?

4. Does your courthouse location have a capacity limit? Will you be able to have the day you've envisioned with X number of people or will you need to adjust your vision to invite more people?

5. How will travel and lodging work? Will you need additional resources to include more people?

Remember, this day is about you and your partner. There is no right or wrong answer! I want you to have the best day ever that fully is the day you've envisioned. You've likely chosen to have a courthouse wedding because you want to break free of the stress and norms of a big wedding. So stick with your guns and choose the day that is right for you! 

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denver county clerk wedding

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coming soon!

recommended Denver courthouse wedding Vendors

With a smaller wedding, your vendor list will likely be smaller than those planning a traditional wedding, but you're still going to want the dream team of wedding vendors! Here are some of my favorite hair and makeup artists, videographers, officiants and florists. 

The proof is in the pudding!

112 five star reviews and counting!

"Leah was simply AMAZING! From the engagement shoot to the bridal portraits and the wedding she went out of her way to make everything perfect! Her kind heart and outstanding professionalism made working with her so easy. Leah isn’t there to just capture pictures, she is there to capture moments and emotions that will last a lifetime. If you are looking for a photographer, your search is over. Don’t pass this girl up!"

- Katie G.

kind words from past clients

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"The kindest soul you'll ever meet."

"She truly puts her clients first and will go through great measures to make sure they are comfortable and happy with their photos. I was on a budget for photos and I do not exaggerate when I say that she is the most talented photographer I know. In my opinion she's the best of the best and for a great price. I could not recommend her enough I'm so happy to of met such a wonderful person!"


"leah is my photographer turned best friend"

"She took the time to plan out a detailed wedding day schedule with us and to get to know our preferences for photos, so she could be sure to capture the moments that were most important to us. On the wedding day, Leah kept to the schedule and made taking photos so fun! Many of our family members commented on how efficient the family portraits were. We were able to get all the photos we wanted and more! We are so happy with all the wonderful photos we received from Leah. We highly recommend Leah Goetzel Photography!"


"you need leah!"

"Leah was incredibly professional and so fun to work with. There are inevitably things in the wedding planning process that can be higher stress and I can say that not only working with Leah with photography was not stressful, her and her team made other aspects easier. And we love the photos! She has a very smooth photography planning workstream and was such a treat to work with. You need Leah!"



"I feel like Leah is my photographer-turned-best-friend! Leah is such a genuine person and actually tries to get to know you and your partner. She wants to learn your personalities so its reflected in the pictures. Leah's now photographed our engagement session, our mini Covid wedding, and will photograph our full wedding next year. I wish we lived closer to each other (I'm now in Seattle, she will be in Denver) because I want her to capture ALL of our moments in the future, too! Book Leah today - you are doing yourself a disservice if you don't!"


"We will cherish your work forever!"

"Leah was absolutely amazing! She captured the story and feeling of our intimate wedding so perfectly in her pictures! She did an amazing job at balancing being a fly on the wall while grabbing those candid moments and also keeping us moving in the right direction and giving cues for those posed picture. She has a great eye for what to capture and her editing was beautiful and very timely! You will not regret booking her, I can't think of anything more I'd want from such wonderful pictures! Thanks again Leah! 


"I highly recommend her"

"Leah is fabulous!! She made us feel like models in front of the camera, when we both don't enjoy getting our photos taken. She was super professional and got the job done when we were in a bit of a time crunch. Leah took time to get to know us as a couple and took that into consideration when photographing us. We are so happy that Leah photographed our engagement and wedding photos. I highly recommend her for your photography needs!"


"leah is the type of person you never forget"

"Leah was such an absolute joy to work with!! Her positive and reassuring attitude throughout the day kept such a calm and fun atmosphere present. We did experience some rain on our day which I thought might ruin some of our special shots we were trying to capture, but Leah delivered beautifully and worked with the elements to create photos that we will cherish for a lifetime. Not only is she great at what she does but she is also a wonderful person and you will leave your session feeling like she is someone you could be best friends with."


"simply, working with leah was a dream"

"Our wedding celebration had to be postponed due to COVID. However, she was able to capture both our original wedding day in March as well as our newly scheduled wedding celebration in July. Leah was always professional while also managing to seem like someone you've known for years. She's a calming force during a hectic & chaotic time. On top of her reassuring demeanor, she captured both days perfectly. Her positivity carried us through the uncertainty of both days and working with her was an absolute joy."


"leah made our day so special"

" Leah helped make the day run smoothly and held our hands through the scheduling process. She also has a great "bride guide" on her website to help her clients know what to expect on their big day as well as tips leading up to it. Leah was respectful and polite but stern and took charge when necessary to keep the day running smoothly and include all of the memories in the photos. I actually cried when we got our sneak peek gallery because of how well they turned out and how they brought me back to the day, all of the emotions and love."


"you'd be crazy not to book leah!"

"From the engagement shoot to the bridal portraits and the wedding she went out of her way to make everything perfect! Her kind heart and outstanding professionalism made working with her so easy. Leah isn’t there to just capture pictures, she is there to capture moments and emotions that will last a lifetime. If you are looking for a photographer, your search is over. Don’t pass this girl up!"


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I'm so excited to hear more about your vision! Send me a message and I'll get back to you within 24-48 hours! 

Denver intimate weddings

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Pricing Guide

Enter your info and instantly receive our pricing guide! You'll get all the important deets such as packages and à la carte items. 

Yes! In fact, my payment structure is already broken up into installments to make my services more accessible. Your payments will be broken up into 5 payments throughout your journey with me. 

To be fair to everyone I can't hold dates without a signed contract and retainer.

Yes! And I offer a 50% discount on them for wedding clients! Engagement shoots are a great way to see how my couples interact on their wedding day. We can chat about which poses you find most flattering and natural. I can see if you are more touchy and intimate or more reserved and traditional, all which will create a more seamless and streamlined wedding day experience.

You'll receive a sneak peek of a few images on social media within 72 hours because I know how eager couples are to see their images! A highlight blog post will go live two weeks after your event. And then your final gallery will be ready in 4-6 weeks. 

There is no cap on images I deliver for a wedding. The amount of images you receives varies from wedding to wedding. But typically you'll receive 60-100 images per hour. 

I am located in Denver, Colorado. But I will travel wherever! Travel and lodging fees do apply outside of a 150 radius of Denver and if your location is more than 3 hours away. I offer discounted rates for certain "bucket list" wedding locations. 

My style is a mix of photojournalistic and traditional. I love capturing candid moments, the authentic smiles, the natural tears, the goofy glances— all the things that make your wedding authentically you. But I also want to make sure that you get the shots you've been waiting for. I want you to have the classic images of you and your partner seeing each other for the first time, or your first dance, or just a big family photo that your mom will display in her home.

Yes! Absolutely! Small intimate weddings (less than 20 guests) and elopements are some of my favorite things to photograph! I typically only book these 3 months in advance or on weekdays. 

I will send over a proposal that allows you to choose your perfect wedding package. A $500 deposit will be due upon booking, this retainer is non-refundable and reserves your date. You'll then sign a contract and be officially booked!

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Denver courthouse wedding Photographer

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Hey there! I’m so glad you found this wedding guide, I hope it was helpful! I’m a wedding photographer based out of Denver and serving locations across Colorado and beyond. I’m originally from Texas but beelined it here as fast as I could. I’ve always loved the Colorado way of life– the mountains, the food, the people, it’s unlike any place I’ve ever been! Being an elopement photographer here is a dream. I love serving fun and in love couples. If you’re wanting candid, authentic imagery with a creative twist and a luxury experience, I’m your girl! I’d love to learn more about you and your special day! Can’t wait to hear from you!