This lovely Garden of the Gods wedding in Colorado will hit you right in the feels. I dare you not to cry! Alonna and Chris opted for an intimate wedding ceremony and reception at a beautiful Airbnb in Colorado Springs, just a few minutes away from the park. Their vision for the day was simple and fun—after all, they didn’t need much more than their sweet family! Their moments with the kiddos stole the show, and their love for one another permeated the entire wedding day. All who had the honor of witnessing it needed a box of tissues.
At first, Alonna and Chris weren’t sure if they wanted a sunrise or sunset wedding. They didn’t want to fight the crowds at the overlook, but it ended up less crowded than we thought, and people were extra courteous and happy to give us privacy during the ceremony. The sunset timing and early setup worked out really well!
Then, the newlyweds and their guests headed back to a modern-furnished and charming Airbnb right near the park for their reception and family-style dinner. The string lights along the fence, colorful vintage glassware, and gorgeous florals were the perfect touch of elegance needed to elevate their wedding day. It was all love, laughter, and lots of hugs (plus hilarious antics from the boys) from start to finish.
Considering a Garden of the Gods wedding? While I photograph elopements and weddings in Colorado often, GOG remains one of my favorite locations for several reasons:
This one is the most obvious. People travel from all over to see these ethereal red rocks rising toward the sky. For a one-of-a-kind adventurous wedding experience, Garden of the Gods delivers! These fascinating formations look like they belong on mars, and the photos here always come out amazing. Plus, if you have a younger crew with you like Alonna and Chris, they can get some energy out climbing and hiking through the rocks. It’s a very family-friendly park.
Sprawling across 1,300 acres, this park really does seem spacious enough for the gods. This popular tourist site rarely seems crowded because the towering formations and winding trails offer extra privacy. And more often than not, fellow tourists are usually mindful and respectful of wedding ceremonies. But, to ensure you have the time and space you need for your ceremony, I recommend selecting a date with fewer people (avoid school holidays or breaks when families are likely to visit). Alonna and Chris chose an off-Sunday in September, and it worked out great! It was perfect because everyone could fly in, relax, and get ready on Friday or Saturday to prepare for the Sunday ceremony.
The history behind the name “Colorado” (meaning tinted, red, scarlet, or colored) comes from the state’s distinct red rocks like you see throughout Garden of the Gods. So, if you want to elope to “Colorful Colorado,” this is the place to do it! The towering rock formations are not just remarkable in design but color as well. The rust-red hues photograph beautifully, especially against a blue sky and surrounded by evergreens. You’ll find wildflowers in the grassy areas in the spring and summer, too! This park is visually stunning, the perfect backdrop for a Colorado elopement!
A mountainside elopement may not work for some guests who cannot navigate challenging hikes. A Garden of the Gods wedding is ideal because it features that wild mountain vibe with easy trails to navigate your way through. You get a great experience and beautiful photos without a tiring five-mile hike.
Surprisingly, Garden of the Gods wedding ceremonies are free and don’t require a permit. They just ask that you stick to their guidelines for small, brief wedding ceremonies on a first-come, first-served basis (no chairs except for elderly, and no large décor, confetti, rice, etc.) Learn more and find ceremony locations here.
Learn more about Garden of the Gods weddings and book your photography with Mariah Treiber here. You can also view recent work and the many places Mariah has shot weddings here (plus, it’s a great source to find wedding planning inspiration!).