Everything you need to know about eloping in Breckenridge, Colorado
It’s very, very easy to fall in love with the idea of having a Breckenridge elopement. Breckenridge is a truly magical place after all. I fell in love with this charming little mountain town the moment I laid eyes on it – so much so that I packed my bags and moved out to the mountains not long after! Throughout the years of living in these mountains, one of my very favorite parts about being a mountain town local is being able to give visiting couples a local Breckenridge elopement experience! So, I put together this guide to help couples plan their best day ever saying ‘I Do’ in the great outdoors of Breckenridge, Colorado.
Why do we love Breckenridge Elopements so much?
Breckenridge is unique
What makes this little town of Breckenridge so special is it’s unique and perfect blend of small town charm and big mountain vibes. Breckenridge is as quaint and cute as it is jaw dropping and breathtaking.
Breckenridge is a true mountain paradise for outdoor enthusiasts
Hikers and mountain bikers, Breckenridge is home to over 300 miles of hiking trails. Water lovers, Lake Dillon is perfect for boating, sailing, kayaking, and paddle boarding. Skiers and snowboarders, there are seven different ski mountains all within just an hour of Breckenridge. For off-roading 4×4 adventures, we have multiple mountain passes in the area. There is truly no shortage of outdoor adventure options here!
Breckenridge is a relatively short drive from the airport
If you are coming from out of state and flying into Denver, it won’t take long to get into the mountains! Summit county is within just a one hour of the airport, and Breckenridge specifically is about 1.5 hours.
Breckenridge has something for everyone
Whether you want a big hike to a remote ceremony spot for just the two of you or an easily accessible spot with epic mountain views that your grandparents can drive right up to for your ceremony, Breckenridge has it all!
Breckenridge is a year round destination
Colorado ski towns tend to be known for just their winters and peak summers. Breckenridge, on the other hand, has something for every season! While most other ski resort towns quiet down and close shops/restaurants for their off seasons in the spring and late fall (also known as “mud season”), we are open and ready for visitors all year long! We don’t really have an offseason here in Breckenridge!
When to have your Breckenridge elopement
One of the best parts of choosing Breckenridge for your elopement is that the area is super accessible all year long. As I mentioned before, we don’t have an offseason here in Breckenridge! While there are some locations in the high alpine country that are only accessible in the summertime because of snowfall (unless you’re up for snowshoeing of course!), there are plenty of other beautiful spots that are open year round! There are perfect locations for every month, every season. While mountain weather can be pretty wild and unpredictable at times, here is a breakdown of what you can reasonably expect on an average day through each month of the seasons!
Fall in Breckenridge
Temps start cooling down in September and our aspens begin the transformation to their famous yellow and orange leaves. One thing to keep in mind if you are planning a fall elopement is that our foliage window is very short, only about two weeks or so, and varies slightly year to year. Your best bet for having those glorious colors on your elopement day in the Breckenridge mountains is typically the last week of September and first week of October! After that, we go into what is known as mud season which are those in-between weeks between the foliage of fall and the winter opening of the ski resorts, between late October through November. I’d say it’s about as close to ‘off season’ as we get and a great time for a more quiet experience in the mountains!
Winter in Breckenridge
Breckenridge sits above 9,500ft., so winter lasts quite a while here! The pattern these last few years has been one solid (and seemingly random) snowfall in October, a few in November, and then we are in full on winter mode by mid-December! January through March are typically our snowiest months in the mountains. The best part of winter in Breckenridge is we get lots of beautiful snowfall and lots and lots of sunshine! Nothing quite like looking out at those snowy peaks resting against a bluebird sky on your Breckenridge elopement day! A snowy backdrop adds a special kind of magic!
Spring in Breckenridge
During the months of March and April, the weather is honestly just up in the air. You never quite know what you are going to get! It could be 55 degrees with blue bird sunny skies or a total blizzard. Sometimes you even get both in one day, the best of both worlds! Much like November, April is also considered mud season here in the mountains. It’s the time between the ski resorts closing for the season and full-on summer glory. It tends to be a more quiet month and another great time to have a more quiet and intimate elopement experience! The month of May brings signs of summer with warmer temperatures and the transition of white snow to green meadows begins. Though you can expect at least one or two snowfalls as well! Spring is a beautiful time to be in the mountains.
Summer in Breckenridge
My very favorite season in these mountains! Summers in Breckenridge are truly glorious… in fact, glorious is an understatement. While every now and then we do get a snowfall in June, it typically melts within the same day and we are right back in summer mode! With July comes green mountains and stunning wildflowers. Not to mention the picture perfect weather! Breckenridge tends to hang out at a breezy and sunny 75-77ish degrees Fahrenheit. It’s just the best! Afternoon thunderstorms are pretty common during these months. But, they pass very quickly and make for gorgeous dramatic skies and dreamy portrait light. These are the months that mountain passes and high alpine hikes become fully accessible as the snow has finally melted so all of the location options listed above are fully accessible! There is truly nothing better than summer in these mountains!!!
Weekday vs. Weekend for your Breckenridge elopement
I personally recommend a weekday, specifically Monday-Thursday, for your Breckenridge elopement. A Friday works great too if you are coming a day or more beforehand. Here’s why!
Weekdays are less crowded
While Saturdays and Sundays are, of course, perfectly fine and wonderful days, the mountain towns around here are more crowded with visitors making the trek to the mountains for their weekend adventures. Weekdays are quieter and make it much easier to have a more secluded and private ceremony experience!
Weekdays have less traffic to the mountains
If you are coming from front range cities like Denver and Boulder, or from the airport, the highway to the Breckenridge area during the weekend tends to be very busy. If you’ve ever sat on I-70 trying to get to the mountains on a Friday afternoon after work or a Saturday morning to go snowboarding, you know it can be… well, the worst. In fact, one of the reasons I moved to the mountains myself was so I wouldn’t have to deal with weekend traffic to get to the mountains – I’m just here seven days a week! The highway is typically nice and clear on weekdays, which makes for a much more pleasant and stress free drive!
All in all, I recommend picking a weekday if possible. Even better, pick a few consecutive weekdays so you can explore and adventure even more of the Breckenridge area the day(s) before and/or after your elopement day as well!
Where to stay for your Breckenridge Elopement
AirBnBs, mountain lodges, A-Frame cabins, private homes, ski-in ski-out rentals (yes that’s a real thing!), hotels – Breckenridge has everything!
*A list of favorite rentals with links will be added soon, stay tuned!*
Locations for your Breckenridge Elopement
The best part about these ceremony locations is that they aren’t solely for ceremonies and many of them are very close to one another, so you don’t just have to pick one unless you want to! You can keep it sweet and simple with one location or you can have a full on multiple location adventure! For example, after getting ready in your super cute AirBnB in historic downtown Breckenridge, you can do your first look on Loveland Pass, exchange vows and say ‘I Do’ at Sapphire Point, have a post-ceremony picnic right down the road on the shores of Lake Dillon, and head up Boreas pass for a sunset portrait adventure before going into town or back to your airbnb to celebrate!
Some of Breckenridge’s mountain lakes are accessible by car. My personal favorite spot is nestled at the top of a dirt road that you can drive to and have two alpine lakes to choose from and explore – the perfect place for your elopement ceremony! Other alpine lakes require hiking, so if you are up for an alpine lake hike adventure to your ceremony spot, Breckenridge is your place!
Time of year : May – October (depending on snowfall). Alpine/mountain lakes are also accessible in the winter if you are up for a snowshoe hike in!
Loveland pass sits at nearly 12,000ft and provides absolutely stunning 360 degree views of the mountains. With high alpine terrain and rocky mountain vibes, this is a perfect option for a wild on top of the world mountain experience that is also super accessible!
Time of year : Year round!
Sapphire Point is a very popular spot, and it’s easy to see why! Not only does it display stunning views of the mountains over Lake Dillon, it’s also super accessible – just a super short easy walk right from your car! You reserve the ceremony site through the Dillon Ranger District and it’s a fairly easy process!
Time of year : year round!
Stretching from Dillon to Frisco, Lake Dillon will leave you in awe from the moment you see it from the highway until the moment you walk along its shores. Wether you want to get married along the shoreline on a late summer evening or on the ice during a snowy winter afternoon, Lake Dillon is your place.
Time of year : year round!
Ski Resort Mountaintop
If you love the idea of riding a gondola or chairlift on your elopement day, this would be the perfect option for you! A daylift ticket in the summer or during ski season means a ride to the top of a mountain like Breckenridge Ski Resort or Keystone where you can say your vows or simply go on the scenic ride for portraits at the top!
Time of year : June-early October and December-early April
The summit of Boreas Pass lays between Breckenridge and Como at 11,481 ft above seal level. The dirt road pass is accessible by two wheel vehicles, though I still personally recommend AWD or 4 wheel drive as it gets bumpy! There are multiple trail heads and pulloffs for views along the way up and at the very top of the pass provides even more trailheads and areas to get away from the crowds.
Time of year : The very top of the pass is accessible in the summer and early fall and the bottom portion of the pass is typically accessible all year round!
AirBnB elopements are becoming much more popular and I am here for it! It just doesn’t get more convenient than that! Plus you can always adventure to other locations for portraits before or after your ceremony if you’d like. Always check with your AirBnB host before booking to make sure you are allowed to have your elopement ceremony on site. Once your host gives you the go ahead, book and get ready to say ‘I Do’ in the convenience of a beautiful quaint backyard rental!
Time of year : Year round!
Local Hiking Trails
If you are wanting to hike away from the crowds for a more secluded and intimate ceremony experience, the Breckenridge area is home to over 300 miles of hiking trails. There is no shortage of options around here!
Time of year : May – November (unless you are up for snowshoeing, in which case year round!)
Down by the River
While Lake Dillon is the more well known body of water (it’s impossible to miss after all!) in the Breckenridge area, we have sweet little creeks and streaming rivers too! If saying your vows while listening to the sounds of a river washing by sounds like a dream, this is the place for you!
Time of year : Year round! The water levels are highest in spring and early summer due to the snowmelt and then gradually decrease as the season goes on. But no matter the water levels, the river is always a beautiful and peaceful place to be every month of the year.
Other Mountain Passes
While Boreas Pass and Loveland Pass are the more well known and popular mountain passes, they aren’t the only one in the Breckenridge area! The lesser known passes have less visitors and hidden gems that make for perfect elopement spots!
Time of year : Some mountain passes are accessible year round while others are best in the summertime and early fall!
Fun Activities for your Breckenridge Elopement
The best part of having a Breckenridge elopement is you get to craft a stress free day with a relaxed schedule that is entirely about the two of you. You can do whatever you want! You can go hit the slopes for a few runs after you say I Do, hop in a kayak for a little alone time on the water before you meet up with your closest family/friends at the brewery, or go on a hike and have a sunset picnic next to an alpine lake while watching the last light of alpenglow bounce off the mountain as newlyweds. If you can dream it, we can do it!
Winter & Spring Activities
- Snowboarding and/or skiing
- Gondola or chairlift ride to the top of a snowy mountain
- Dillon Ice Castles
- Romantic horse carriage ride
- Dog sledding
- Snowshoe portrait adventure
- Ice skating
- Snowy picnic
Summer & Fall Activities
- Brewery tasting (but let’s be honest this is a great option year round!)
- Scenic gondola or chairlift ride to the top of one of the ski resort mountains
- Hiking and exploring mountain trails
- Dirt road 4×4 vehicle adventuring to epic portrait locations
- Paddleboarding, boating, or kayaking on Lake Dillon
- Fly fishing
- Charcuterie board picnic by an alpine lake
Choosing your Breckenridge Elopement Florist, HMUA, Cake, and Officiant
If you are looking to keep your vendors local, Breckenridge has many wonderful florists for your bouquets and boutonnieres, hair and makeup artists, bakeries, and officiants for your perfect elopement day!
Breckenridge Hair & Makeup Artists
- Huxley Rose Hair Shop
- Weemala Hair and Makeup
- I Like Pretty Hair
- BCB Salon – Breckenridge Chopping Block
- Breckenridge Hair Company
Breckenridge Cake and/or Desserts
Who says you can’t have a cake on your elopement day! Or maybe cupcakes or cookies sound more like your jam. Either way, we have great local options for all of your dessert desires!
Colorado is one of the few states you can self-solemnize, meaning you aren’t required to have an officiant in your ceremony. However, if you would like to have an officiant to marry you, we have some wonderful locals who do that!
Food & Drink Options for your Breckenridge Elopement Celebration
After you say ‘I Do’ and explore one (or more!) of the elopement locations listed above, it’s time to celebrate as newlyweds! Wether you want to head back to your airbnb for a private meal or go out on the town – whatever your heart desires! From breweries, distilleries, food trucks, restaurants, private chefs – you will surely find the perfect option for you here in Breckenridge! Here are some fun ideas for where to celebrate with delicious food and drinks!
I’m a sucker for a local craft beer. If brewery tasting, having a full meal with your beer (as some breweries also have full meal menus), or simply stopping by for a post ceremony beer on your way to sunset portraits sounds like your style, here is a list of breweries local to the Breckenridge area!
- Broken Compass
- Dillon Dam Brewery
- Breckenridge Brewery
- Angry James
- Highside Brewery
- Outer Range Brewing Company
- Pug Ryans
Private Chef or Catering to your AirBnB
This is a perfect option for a more intimate and private experience, bringing a restaurant quality meal right into the kitchen of your rental!
- The Happy Cuisiniere
- Black Diamond Gourmet
- The Mobile Chef
- Chefs at your Breck and Call
- All Events & Catering
- Take a Chef
- Ridge Street Kitchen
The Breckenridge area has some of the best restaurants around! From pizza and burgers to a full five star cuisine, Breckenridge has something for every craving!
- Rootstalk Breckenridge
- Aurum Food & Wine Breckenridge
- Briar Rose Chophouse & Saloon
- Blue River Bistro
- Hearthstone Restaurant
- The Blue Stag Saloon
- Breckenridge Brewpub
- Dillon Dam
- Red Mountain Grill
- Lake Dillon Tavern & Pizza Company
- Vinny’s Restaurant
- 5th Avenue Grill
- Silverheels Bar & Grill
An intimate and low-key option, the best part of choosing a picnic on your elopement day is you can take it anywhere! On the shores of Lake Dillon, the summit of a mountain, a wildflower meadow, your elopement day picnic can take place wherever you like!
Looking for your Breckenridge Elopement Photographer?
Work with Alex of Roaming Pine
If you are looking for a local Breckenridge elopement photographer for the day you say “I Do” in the beautiful mountains of Breckenridge, I’m your girl. Head on over to my contact page and we will set up a free, no obligation phone consult to get to know each other and start bringing your dream Breckenridge elopement day to life!