Are you planning an elopement or intimate wedding in Colorado Springs? Do you want to be surrounded by beautiful red rock formations on your elopement day? This Garden of the Gods Elopement Guide will help you plan the wedding day of your dreams! As of February 2023 Garden of the Gods does not require a permit for a small wedding. However, permit rules and regulations often change, so please be sure to check with your photographer and look up the current situation when you plan your wedding! Also, when you visit for your wedding, please be sure to know all of the park rules.
Garden of the Gods Elopement Guide to LOGISTICS
Garden of the Gods is an incredible location for a beautiful and scenic elopement. Because it is a public land, there are a few things to note when planning your special day.
- You can not reserve your ceremony spot in advance. This means all ceremony locations are based on a first come, first serve basis.
- There is no guarantee of privacy at any of the ceremony sites. Consider choosing days and times that are less popular (more on this later).
- Garden of the Gods has limited parking in certain areas.
- Dogs are allowed on leash!
- No alcoholic beverages even in the picnic areas.
- No tables, tents, arches, etc. Only bring chairs for the elderly or disabled.
- No rice, confetti, birds, butterflies, etc.
Garden of the Gods Elopement Guide to CEREMONY LOCATIONS
One of the first things to consider when planning your Garden of the Gods elopement is where you will have your ceremony. There are a few designated spots where Garden of the Gods allows ceremonies, especially with guests. Each of these places limits the group size permitted in the area for your Garden of the Gods ceremony. While some of these locations allow up to 50 people, I personally don’t usually recommend more than 30 within the park for ease of getting everyone around and parking.
Jaycee Plaza or the Chuckwagon Pavilion is one of my favorite spots for an intimate wedding. It is perfect for a larger group and holds up to 50 people. Additionally, the views are stunning and you can stand right below the kissing camels! On the possibly negative side, one thing to note about this spot is that it is where people walk through into the main garden, so you will certainly have spectators even on a weekday. However, if you really want a larger group within the park, this is one of the more scenic options that can accommodate that!
Three Graces Plaza
Three Graces Plaza can accommodate up to 25 people for an intimate wedding ceremony. This is a very popular choice among eloping couples and has stunning views into the main garden. One thing to note is that easily accessible parking is limited to get to this location with only short walk. However, there are other ways to access the location if you are up for a little more of a walk!
Another favorite location among couples is Sentinel Plaza. While the location can accommodate up to 25 people, if you want your ceremony in the secluded rock formation in the plaza I would recommend significantly less people than 25. This spot is great for a smaller group that can enjoy your ceremony from the rock wall ledge. Meanwhile, you and your partner can share vows in a more private setting among the tall red rocks!
High Point Overlook
High Point Overlook might be one of the most scenic spots on the list. With views of Pikes Peak to one side, and the rock formations of the main garden on the other, this is my most photographed location within Garden of the Gods! Garden of the Gods allows up to 50 people in the parking area ceremony location, however I would still recommend less because it can feel tight. With a smaller group, you can also explore the rocks and have a more scenic ceremony!
Scotsman Picnic Area
The Scotsman Picnic Area can accommodate up to 25 people and is perfect if you want an outdoor picnic style reception. Keep in mind that the picnic tables, just as any wedding ceremony location, are on a first-come-first serve basis!
South Spring Canyon Area
Just as with the Scotsman Picnic Area, the South Spring Canyon Area also has picnic tables for picnic style receptions. This part of the park has less red rock formations, but gorgeous views of Pikes Peak and can accommodate up to 50 people.
Hidden Gems – only for an elopement with no guests and may require some hiking!
I know some great areas within Garden of the Gods where you can have an intimate and private ceremony as long as you have no other quests. Since you don’t need an officiant to get married legally in Colorado, I can take you to some of these hidden gems for your vows and photos! Some of these locations require a small hike, so if you’re up for some adventure on your wedding day and want to make it a day about just the two of you, then these areas are perfect for you! Feel free to reach out and I would be happy to talk about these spots with you!
Garden of the Gods Elopement Guide to WHEN TO ELOPE
Garden of the Gods is honestly amazing year round! It depends on what you are looking for and if you want cooler or warmer weather. For the most part, even in the winter, the weather is usually pretty mild in Colorado Springs, however there is always a chance of snow from October through April! If you absolutely do not want snow, then I would suggest late spring, summer, or early fall. If you really want snow for a winter wedding, Garden of the Gods may not be the best choice for you because it is so unpredictable. I can certainly help you find locations with guaranteed snow if that is important to you! Summer can get fairly hot in the middle of the day, but I don’t usually recommend mid day elopements at Garden of the Gods.
This leads to the next thing to consider, which is what time of day is best for eloping in Garden of the Gods. For the most privacy, I always recommend sunrise. Especially if you still want a weekend wedding, sunrise will definitely ensure that the park is less busy. While sunset is less busy than the middle of the afternoon, I would still suggest sunset hours, especially in the summertime, only on weekdays. Even a weekday in the summer can get busy at some of the most popular locations with visitors wanting to enjoy a sunset over Pikes Peak, so keep that in mind when choosing your time and day!