An Estes Park Wedding FAQ from our favorite guest relations staffer
By Elena Patton
Currently one in four couples opt for a destination wedding, and Estes Park has some of the country’s most stunning mountain backdrops. Word around town, among wedding planners, is that Estes ranked a distant second as America’s top wedding destination, next only to Las Vegas. We could not confirm that stat, but we’ll take it. And we don’t need accolades to know that this place rocks, especially if you’re looking for something laid back yet special and memorable.
Whether it’s a small elopement or an outdoor extravaganza, Estes Park delivers majestic mountain views and a unique and unforgettable experience for you and your guests. Visit Estes Park has several resources to help connect you with the wedding services you need. In fact, when you reach out I’m the one you’ll talk to. I’ve fielded at least 500 phone calls and emails from people planning their special day, and here are my answers to the most commonly asked questions:
Where do I start?
To begin planning your wedding you must first find a companion with whom you share a special bond who will agree to commit to you for the rest of your earthly days. Next, we recommend that you browse the Weddings section on our website. You will find specific information on Cakes & Caterers, Officiants, Ceremony Sites, Weddings in RMNP, Florists, Photographers & Videographers, Reception Sites and Rehearsal Dinner Sites and other great services in Estes Park.
Where should we stay?
Estes Park has everything from rustic cabins to historic luxury retreats and most anything in between. This embarrassment of riches can make it seem difficult to find the perfect spot, but you can begin by visiting the Lodging & Honeymoons page. There you can choose to narrow down your search by preferred amenities or if you scroll down a bit there will be a blue box on the far left where you can check availability. Once you put your dates in and search a list will populate that shows availability and prices.
Can I get married in Rocky Mountain National Park?
RMNP is the perfect place to say “I Do” in the wide-open spaces of the expansive Rocky Mountains. It’d be epic. When planning your wedding keep in mind that most of the Park’s designated wedding sites can accommodate up to 20 people and are available for a maximum of two hours on a first come, first served basis. Additionally, there are a limited number of sites that can accommodate up to 100 people. This is an awesome option for small to medium size ceremonies.
In order to marry in RMNP you must obtain a special use permit along with a payment of a non-refundable administrative fee of $200. And all wedding sites must be scheduled within the time frame of seven days to one year before the big day and require written approval from the Chief Rangers Office or Concessions Management Office. To contact them for availability and reservations you can call 970.586.1482, 970.586.1209 or send them an email. Book as soon as possible, as these stunning locations fill up quick!
For additional regulations and information, please visit the Rocky Mountain National Park website.
What is your availability and pricing?
Visit Estes Park is the Destination Marketing Organization, and we do not have specific pricing or availability information on the businesses operating within our district. However, we do offer a request for proposal service that shares what you are looking for with businesses in town and then we collect responses from those that are interested in serving you and pass that along to you in a request for proposal or service request report, depending on what it is that you are looking for. This would include lodging and catering options, activities, availability dates, pricing and more. This service is complimentary and keeps your personal information confidential. If you are interested in utilizing this remarkable service fill out this form.
Can we bring our own alcohol?
Sure, but your venue might not like it. In truth all venues are different and have different policies regarding outside alcohol or catering. Your best option is to contact the venue directly or you can do an amenity search on Visitestespark.com under Ceremony Facilities & Locations, Reception Facilities or Rehearsal Dinners.
What is there to do in Estes Park?
First things first—please order a copy of the Official Estes Park Visitor Guide here, and take a look at the digital version while you wait for your copy to arrive. The OVG is a great place to get started, as it is full of information including activities, lodging, shopping, and restaurants in Estes Park. Also, check out our Things To Do and Events pages for up-to-date activities. And when you get into town please make sure to stop by the Estes Park Visitor Center to pick up brochures for lodging, services, shopping and things to do, as well as maps and information on Rocky Mountain National Park.
What do you have for transportation?
Estes Park Trolleys is a niche transportation service that is aimed to make your wedding day special with their classic style trolleys. Additionally, the Estes Park Shuttle does trips to and from the Denver International Airport and rides within town. Also, check out our Getting Around page to see other options for transportation within Estes Park, including the Free Estes Park and Rocky Mountain Shuttle.
What are the chances it will rain on my wedding day?
Believe it or not I get this question a lot and it is one that, unfortunately, I cannot answer with any real certainty. I can say that Colorado commonly boasts 300+ days of sunshine per year, so your chances of having a gorgeous wedding day are higher than, let’s say, Seattle. But it does rain here, particularly during summer afternoons. My best advice is that if you are planning an outdoor ceremony or reception to speak with the venue to discuss what type of backups they have in place in case of weather. You will be put at ease to know that they have dealt with all types of weather and most likely have a Plan B ready.
When is the best time of year to get married in Estes Park?
Spring, Summer, Winter and Fall are all brilliant times to get married in Estes Park and regardless of what time of year it is the landscape is always beautiful. Seriously. Summer is the most popular time to get hitched in Estes Park, but don’t discount the benefits of planning your wedding in colorful fall, spring bloom season, or in a quiet winter wonderland.
During the colder months (Nov.-Apr.), many places have value season pricing, giving you access to the best amenities at a fraction of the price. Cooler months can bring on flurries and we do experience blizzards here, but because of the amount of sun, the snow typically melts within a few days of when it falls. And an added bonus is that you are more likely to see elk and deer hanging around town as they prefer cooler temperatures and they often migrate to higher elevations in RMNP during the summer.
The warmer months (May-Oct.), boast sunny days and crisp nights. You can enjoy a wedding ceremony or reception outdoors with the unsurpassable background of the Rocky Mountains. Also, you can venture further up into the Rocky Mountain National Park via Trail Ridge Road, which is typically open by Memorial Day Weekend.
Where do I get my marriage license?
In order to legalize your union in Estes Park you will need to obtain a marriage license. Marriage licenses can be acquired by visiting any Clerk and Recorder's Office in Colorado, including the one located here in Estes Park. Once you have your license it is valid for up to 30 days. Also, be sure to check out full license information for Larimer County.
How do I know if this is true love?
That’s on you. But, if you decide it is, and have any further questions, fill out our Wedding Request for Proposal form—and may you enjoy a lifetime of love, happiness, and adventure.