How to Have a Garden of the Gods Elopement - Leah Goetzel Photography
Garden of the Gods Elopement

How to Have a Garden of the Gods Elopement

Colorado Venues, Elopement

So you want to elope at Garden of the Gods?

First, congratulations you might be having a Garden of the Gods elopement!! The decision to have an elopement or intimate wedding is a great one! Elopements are some of my favorite types of weddings because the day is truly all about you and your partner. (If you want to read a full post about why you should elope in Colorado, check it out here!)

Eloping at the Garden of the Gods also a fantastic choice. Not only is it absolutely stunning, it’s free! Yeah, you read that right. Eloping at the Garden of the Gods is free.

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Some more reasons I love a Garden of the Gods Elopement

  1. As mentioned already, it’s free. Seriously, there are no reservation fees, no entrance fees, nada.
  2. You can bring your pup! Garden of the Gods is dog friendly, which means if you’ve always dreamed of having your dog at your wedding, now is your chance!
  3. The proximity to Denver and Colorado Springs. Garden of the Gods Park is situated right in Colorado Springs so it’s super accessible to everything this great city has to offer. If you want to see my full guide on Colorado Springs and some suggestions of rad things to do, check it out here! It is also about an hour from Denver, which means if your guests are flying in, it’ll be a breeze. There are tons of hotels and airbnbs in the area, so you don’t have to worry about finding lodging.
  4. The views. The red rock formations at Garden of the Gods are out of this world. Truly, it looks like a martian landscape and is unlike anything I had ever seen before. Plus, you can see the majestic Pikes Peak from lots of areas around the park.
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How to elope at the Garden of the Gods

Choose a date

I highly, highly recommend eloping on a weekday. The biggest downside of a Garden of the Gods elopement is the crowds. On weekends (that includes Friday!) be prepared for massive crowds and difficulty parking. If you are truly set on getting married on a weekday, consider a sunrise session!

Choose a location

There are 6 approved elopement location sites at the Garden of the Gods (more on those later!) When choosing your location, consider the time of day, guest count, and if you want seating.

Reach out to vendors

Once you have your date set, it’s time to reach out to your vendors! It’s totally up to you how elaborate your elopement will be. Most couples choose to have flowers and a photographer. Officiants (and witnesses) are a personal choice and not required in the state of Colorado! If you’d like to see my list of recommend Colorado Springs vendors, send me a message!

Leave no trace

It is super important to respect the land and nature when eloping. I want all my couples to be able to return to their ceremony location years after their wedding, but that will only be possible if we take care of our surroundings! This means, everything you bring into the park, must come out. Confetti, smoke bombs, etc. are not allowed. If you’d like to read more about what Leave no trace is, check out my post here!

Plan something special for the rest of the day!

Just because you’re eloping doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a full day of celebration! Some couples choose to have a reception with family and friends after their elopement, some choose to go on an adventurous hike, some choose have a swanky dinner just the two of them. The options are endless! Need some inspiration for what to do after your elopement? Check out my post here with tons of ideas, big and small!

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Where to have your Garden of the Gods elopement

As mentioned before, there are 6 elopement locations available for you to choose from. Keep in mind, there is no reservation system, all of the locations are first come first served. Yet another reason why I highly recommend a weekday elopement!

South Spring Canyon Area

Maximum Occupancy – 50 people

Seating – Yes, 6 uncovered picnic tables

Parking – Lots of parking options by the site.

Accessibility – Very accessible

This location is further from the park and doesn’t have the iconic views of the red rocks. However, since it’s further off the main path, it can be more private and secluded.

Jaycee Plaza

Maximum Occupancy – 50 people

Seating – Yes, “benches” in the round

Parking – Right off the main parking lot.

Accessibility – Very accessible.

This spot is located right off the main parking lot. It is a great location if you want to have guests witness your vows to one another. It backs up right against the red rocks which creates an incredible vibe. However, since it is just steps away from the parking lot, it can be heavily trafficked and not very private.

High Point

Maximum Occupancy – 50 people

Seating – None

Parking – Lots of parking options by the site.

Accessibility – Close to the parking lot, but rocky terrain.

High point is one of my favorite Garden of the Gods elopement locations. However, you should definitely not have 50 people at an elopement here. I would say 10 people would be more of my recommended maximum. The views from high point are absolutely unbeatable and truly a wonder to witness. I recommend a sunset ceremony if you choose this location.

Scotsman Picnic Area

Maximum Occupancy – 25 people

Seating – 5 uncovered picnic tables

Parking – Lots of parking options by the site, including handicap spots.

Accessibility – Very accessible.

The Scotsman Picnic Area is similar to South Spring Canyon, it is very accessible, has seating but doesn’t have the best views of the Red Rocks. This location has much more greenery and shade than the previous, making it a good option for a midday elopement.

Three Graces Plaza

Maximum Occupancy – 25 people

Seating – None

Parking – Limited parking

Accessibility – A little rocky

If you want a location that is in the center of the park but still relatively accessible, this will probably be the spot for you! It has some of the coolest rock formations and you’re able to climb on the rocks here. Parking can be a little trickier since there’s not a big lot nearby.

Sentinel Plaza

Maximum Occupancy – 25 people

Seating – Yes, rock “wall” in the round.

Parking – Limited

Accessibility – A bit further into the park, but all flat terrain.

Sentinel Plaza is similar to Jaycee Plaza but smaller and further into the park. This is a great location if you want casual seating, epic rock formations, and a little more privacy.

Meet Leah, Colorado elopement photographer

Hi there! I hope you found this post all about eloping at the Garden of the Gods helpful! I am a wedding and elopement photographer based in Denver but serving all of the great state of Colorado! My wedding style is fun, candid and authentic. If you’re looking for candid imagery with a creative twist and a luxury experience, I’m your girl! Send me a message and let’s chat about your vision! I can’t wait to hear from you!

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