How to Self Solemnize - Leah Goetzel Photography

How to Self Solemnize in Colorado
How to Have a Self Unifying Wedding

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So you’re asking yourself, how to Self Solemnize in Colorado? Did you know in Colorado you can Self Solemnize or marry yourself legally without an officiant? Colorado is one of two states that allow Self-Uniting marriages without any caveats or restrictions.

Yep! Colorado is one of the few states that allows couples to marry themselves without the presence of a witness, officiant or religious figure. This means you can have a truly private, truly intimate wedding or elopement.

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self solemnize colorado, self unifying marriage, how to self solemnize

What is Self Solemnization?

Self Solemnization or a Self-Uniting Marriage is the act of a couple marrying themselves legally without the presence of any third parties or witnesses.

According to Colorado Revised Statute 14-2-109, a marriage may be solemnized by:

  • A judge of a court.
  • A court magistrate.
  • A retired judge of the court.
  • A public official whose powers include solemnization of marriages.
  • Indian tribe officials.
  • Clergy.
  • The parties to the marriage.

What States Allow a Self Uniting Marriage?

District of Columbia and Colorado – Allow for self-solemnization without witnesses or additional forms/justifications.

Wisconsin – Allows self-solemnization but a judge might ask for your religious affiliation and proof of said belief.

Illinois – Allows self uniting marriages, but must be for religious or indigenous reasons.

NevadaKansas and Maine – Allows self-solemnization but only if you identify as Quakers and uphold those traditions in your marriage ceremony.

Pennsylvania – You can self-solemnize, but must have two witnesses who can stand in for an officiant.

California – You can opt for a “non-clergy” officiant, but still must have two witnesses present.

How do you Self Solemnize?

  1. Visit a Colorado county clerk on a weekday– you might need to schedule an appointment. Make sure you bring with you: A valid ID (passport, drivers license), Social Security Numbers, and $30
  2. Your license is good for 35 days, so make sure you don’t obtain it too early! On wedding day fill out the date and location. Both parties must print and sign their names.
  3. 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!
  4. And that’s it! You’re legally married!

Some helpful links

Marriage License Form

All County Clerks Offices

Why Should You Self Solemnize?

For some couples, they want a completely private wedding day experience. Self Solemnizing allows couples to have a wedding ceremony with just the two of them.

Imagine you and your partner on a beautiful mountain overlook, birds chirping everywhere and the two of you (and maybe your dog) saying your vows to one another. You exchange rings, share a kiss and just like that you’re married! I can’t think of a more relaxing or intimate wedding day.

Frequently Asked Questions about Self Solemnization

Can my dog sign my marriage license in Colorado?

Yes, your dog can sign your marriage license in Colorado! Since witnesses are not necessary for ratifying a wedding, the witness section is more of a sentimental piece.

Do we need any witnesses for our Colorado wedding?

No! In Colorado you do not need any witnesses for your wedding to be legal. It can literally just be the two of you as a couple to get married.

Is my marriage legal in other states if we self solemnize?

Yes! Your marriage is completely legal in all 50 states, regardless if you self solemnize or not.

Where can we marry ourselves?

Pretty much anywhere! But definitely double check for permits and fees before your date. Most locations in Colorado require a permit for special use or if you have a photographer present.

Self Solemnize Colorado
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Tips for a Self Unifying Wedding or Elopement

Have a Plan

I’ve been to several self-solemnized ceremonies where the couple doesn’t have a plan and looks at me for direction. I highly recommend planning out your ceremony and what you’d like to say, even if it’s just you and your partner.

Do a First Look

When doing a non-traditional ceremony or elopement, I encourage couples to still do some sort of First Look. First Looks allow you to still have that “wow!” moment of reveal to your partner.

Write Your Own Vows

Unless you and your partner are spontaneous or speak from the heart people, I encourage you to write your own vows. This way you don’t forget anything you want to say. And yes, I did emphasis write. Not only does it photograph better to not be reading off a phone, but also you can frame or save your written vows for a special memento of your day.

Celebrate

After your ceremony make sure you have something special planned. Just because you are doing a non-traditional elopement or wedding, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate the day! Make it a full day affair! Have a picnic, grab a drink, share a special meal, go on a helicopter ride! This is your day, make it as personal and special as you want!

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Ideas for a Self Solemnizing Wedding or Elopement

Share Private Vows

Since you won’t have an officiant if you choose to self-solemnize– it’s a great idea to write and prepare your own vows. You will be the conductor of your wedding ceremony, so make it whatever you’d like! Your ceremony can be as long or as short as you’d like and as traditional or non-traditional as you feel– make it your own!

Perform a Unity Ceremony

During your ceremony, have a little unity ceremony. For some couples this might be as simple as exchanging rings. Some other ideas? Plant a tree (in a pot so you can take it home and don’t disturb native wildlife), paint a picture, mix some wine, etc. Here are some additional unity ceremony ideas.

Have a Picnic

After your ceremony, have a little picnic together. This is a great way to reflect on the day and take in the scenery.

Have Two Wedding Ceremonies

Some couples choose to have a private, self-solemnized ceremony and then a larger, more traditional gathering with friends and family. In this situation, you get it all!

Invite Family and Friends

Just because you don’t have an officiant, doesn’t mean you can’t invite friends and family! If you envision your wedding day shared with your closest people, don’t hesitate to invite them.

Pop Champagne

Let’s celebrate your marriage with a bottle of champagne! These are some of my favorite photos and truly capture the joy of a just married couple. Just make sure to follow Leave No Trace principles and pick up the cork!

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Meet Leah – Colorado Wedding Photographer

Hey there! I’m so excited about your upcoming wedding, I would absolutely love to photograph it! If you’re interested in learning more about my services or booking me as your wedding or elopement photographer, send me a message! All couples receive access to my exclusive location and outfit guide, permit securing and additional planning and resources. I can’t wait to hear from you!

If you liked this post about How to Self-Solemnize in Colorado, why don’t you check out some of these other posts and resources?

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How to Elope in Colorado

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