how to elope in great sand dunes natiOnal park
A Photographer’s Guide
Planning a great sand dunes national park elopement?
When people think about eloping in Colorado, Great Sand Dunes National Park is typically not on their radar. But it SHOULD be!
I’ve been planning and photographing elopements and intimate weddings in this beautiful state since 2016 and I can tell you that the Sand Dunes are my FAVORITE of all of Colorado’s National Parks for an awesome and truly unique elopement.
Here’s how to plan your Great Sand Dunes National Park elopement!
what makes great sand dunes national park the best national park for your colorado elopement?
A truly Unique Elopement Experience
The Sand Dunes on the other hand are a hidden gem that sees far fewer visitors and has an equally stunning landscape. Being out in the Dunes feels like being on the moon (while only being a 4 hour drive from Denver!).
Compared to other National Parks in Colorado, getting married in the Sand Dunes is also relatively easy – we’ll talk about that later!
best time of year to elope at great sand dunes national park
The Sand Dunes are beautiful year round so how do you choose when to get married there?!
summer elopements at great sand dunes national park
Summer is a beautiful time of year at the Dunes. If you are bringing your dog to your elopement (yes, GSDNP is dog friendly!), keep in mind that the sand can get warm and hurt their feet. You may want to plan your elopement for sunrise (for a lot of reasons which we’ll get to later!)
Fall elopements at great sand dunes national park
Fall is absolutely beautiful everyhwere in Colorado and GSDNP is no exception! In the fall the temperatures are mild and the tourists have mostly gone home. It’s perfect.
winter elopements at great sand dunes national park
Winter in the Dunes can be quite chilly but it can be worth it to see this area blanketed in snow (and with very few other people!). When the rest of the mountains are socked in with snow and epic spots can be hard to access, the Dunes are a great option.
Spring elopements at great sand dunes national park
How to elope in great sand dunes national park
1. Hire your Great sand dunes National park elopement photographer and Planner
Your photographer will help you with all the rest of this stuff so it’s always best to bring them on early! (psst … if you’re looking for a photographer, I’d love to chat!)
2. Apply for your permit
Make sure you do this as soon as you have you know your date so you make sure you don’t miss your chance!
3. bOOK LODGING AND ANY OTHER VENDORS
Once you have your date nailed down, it’s time to book everything else! If you want someone to do your hair and makeup, flowers, a catered meal, etc., now is the time to book them! Your photographer will help you by making suggestions of awesome, elopement-friendly local vendors
4. do the thing! Celebrate your love in one of the coolest places in colorado
Make sure you slow down and enjoy every minute of it!
Are dogs allowed at Great Sand Dunes National Park?
Great Sand Dunes National Park is dog-friendly!
great sand dunes national park wedding permits
A permit is required to elope at Great Sand Dunes National Park (yes, even if it’s just the two of you). The good news is that, compared to some other parks, getting one is fairly easy. The permit costs $200 and covers a two hour window for your ceremony. You can apply for a permit beginning January 1st of the year that you wish to get married. Because the park limits permits to two per day, it’s best to do this as soon as possible!