A couple is seen saying their vows during an adventure elopement

A Helpful Guide On Self-Solemnization In Colorado

Filed in elopements — April 20, 2023

Colorado is one of the most beautiful places to elope in the world. One of my favorite things about eloping in Colorado is couples’ options to legally marry one another without witnesses or an officiant present! Only a handful of other states in the U.S. legally permit self-solemnization, but Colorado’s process is by far the easiest! In this blog, we will cover everything you need to know about the smooth process of self-solemnization in Colorado.

What Is Self-Solemnization? 

Self-solemnization is a long, fancy word, but it just means that you and your partner can legally marry and sign your marriage certificate after your elopement or intimate wedding ceremony. No witnesses and no officiant needed! Yes, it’s that easy!


How To Self-Solemnize In Colorado

Decide On A Ceremony Date

First, it’s important you sit down with your partner and discuss the time of year you’d like to get married. Next, schedule a meeting with your photographer and discuss date availability during that season. Once you decide on the perfect month and date, you can begin the marriage application process!


The Marriage Application Process

  • Complete the online marriage or civil union application.
  • Schedule a marriage license appointment online for an in-person or virtual visit. 
  • Attend your marriage license appointment in person or virtually and pay the $30.00 license fee. 

In-Person: Arrive at your scheduled appointment time with your partner with valid forms of identification (ID, passport, birth certificate) and form of payment (cash, check, credit/debit card).

Virtually: Log into Microsoft Teams via the link sent by the County Clerk’s office 10 minutes before your appointment. Be sure to have valid IDs and a debit or credit card for payment. You and your partner must be within the State of Colorado for your virtual appointment, and both parties must be present on the same screen and in the same room. 

  • Sign And Return Your Marriage License 

Once your ceremony is complete, you and your partner need to sign your license and either drop it off at a County Clerk’s office or send it back via mail. 


Tips For Self-Solemnization In Colorado

  • Your license certificate is valid upon the date issued and must be signed in Colorado within 35 days from the date of issue.
  • The license must be returned for recording within 63 days of marriage to avoid late fees.
  • The ceremony/solemnization must happen in Colorado and be performed by you and your partner. Anyone 18+ from any state can self-solemnize in Colorado! 

Why You Should Consider Self-Solemnization In Colorado

If you’re on the fence about self-solemnizing in Colorado, here’s a list of some of the best reasons you and your partner should consider self-solemnizing in Colorado!


Your Dog Can Sign Your Marriage License

In Colorado, your dog can sign your marriage license as a witness with a paw print! It’s an adorable and unique way to include your furry friend in your elopement ceremony. 


You Don’t Have To Stress About Coordinating Witnesses And An Officiant 

With self-solemnization, you won’t have to worry about coordinating around and conforming to multiple vendors’ schedules, abilities, and processes. You and your partner are free to run away with your elopement photographer to an epic location in Colorado! You’ll be able to say “I Do” legally without any stress or limitations to the elopement location of your dreams.


Any Friend Or Family Member Can Conduct Your Ceremony

If you have a friend or family member in mind you’d like to conduct your wedding ceremony, they don’t need to go through the process of becoming an officiant! As long as you and your partner sign the marriage license, any friend or family member can help you celebrate your elopement or intimate wedding ceremony. 


You And Your Partner Have The Freedom To Be Yourselves

Self-solemnization in Colorado gives you and your partner the freedom to hold any type of vow ceremony that aligns with your beliefs. You won’t have to feel pressured to conform to an officiant’s beliefs or ceremony script. 

You both also won’t feel like you have to hold back your feelings while writing and reciting your vows. Often, couples rush over or skip writing and reciting their vows because it’s the most vulnerable and intimate part of any wedding ceremony. With self-solemnization, you and your partner won’t have a large audience listening to your vows, so you’re free to express your thoughts and feelings deeply and authentically!

Are You Ready To Self-Solemnize In Colorado?

If self-solemnization in Colorado seems like the perfect way to celebrate your elopement or an intimate wedding ceremony, you’ve come to the right place! I’m an elopement and small wedding photographer that captures and delivers authentic and emotional photos, all while knowing how to give you and your partner the space to celebrate your vows in an intimate and meaningful way. I love connecting with adventurous souls and can’t wait to hear all about your dream wedding day! You can contact me here and learn more about eloping in Colorado by reading my Colorado Elopement Guide!