It’s possible you haven’t considered this yet amidst your planning journey, but what happens if you have bad weather during your Colorado Elopement? No couple crosses their fingers for bad weather on their wedding day. Sure it might be good luck but let’s be honest; getting soaked, snowed on, or windburned is not ideal. When eloping in Colorado, there are far fewer hassles and concerns than when planning big traditional wedding but one concern that remains the same is the weather.
However, with some proper planning and forethought, even the wildest of weather patterns won’t stand a chance of putting a damper on your special day. As an experienced team of Colorado elopement photographers, we highly recommend that you follow these tips to ensure Mother Nature doesn’t steal your thunder.
What To Expect From Colorado’s Weather by Season
As you would imagine, the Winter months in Colorado have the chance of being cold and snowy, but can actually warm up a great deal during the day from all of our sunshine. (Did you know Colorado has 300 days of annual sunshine on average?) If you want to try and avoid snow altogether, you may want to aim for a lower altitude venue like Garden Of The Gods in Colorado Springs or Chautauqua Park in Boulder. Even though we love sunrise elopements, eloping in the afternoon during the Winter is also a great idea, so any snow or ice will have a higher chance to melt before your nuptials.
The temperatures swing from Winter to Summer in the Spring and can be unpredictable. There are weeks during Spring when temperatures reach the high 80ºs and then a blizzard rolls in less than 24 hours later (we call this ‘fake spring’ and it happens most often during March and April). Snow should be starting to melt in the foothills but you stand an equal chance of a blizzard as you do a 90-degree day in June at higher altitude locations in the mountains and should plan your attire accordingly. (Here are a few tips on How to Dress for your Winter or Spring elopement in Colorado)
In the cities like Denver, the summer months can be anywhere from comfortably warm to scorching hot, but you can make your way into the mountains and the temps have a higher chance of being milder. Thunderstorms and hail storms are common in the afternoons during July and August but usually pass by quickly. Clear umbrellas and trench coats are great weather gear for a summer elopement in Colorado, and they look great in your photographs! If you’re inviting guests we highly recommend grabbing a handful of ponchos to pass out in case of any unexpected precipitation.
Colorado experiences some of its best weather during the autumn months when the air turns the aspens to gold. There are a few weeks from September to October where the changing colors spread over Colorado in a beautiful wash of gold, orange, and red. However, in 2020 it snowed on Labor Day in early September and then again in late October and in 2021 the first heavy snowfall was in late September. The key is to be prepared for snow to be possible!
Are you brave enough to brave the Colorado weather?
Depending on the type of weather, having something other than sunshine can actually add a bit of an extra adventurous and photogenic element to your elopement. For example, a light snowstorm could make both your ceremony and your photographs appear more magical as if you are in a winter wonderland – or as we like to call it ‘getting married in a snowglobe’.
Wind can also add beautiful drama to your photos by lifting your dress, hair, and veil. Anything that adds an element of movement to even the still moments can be beautiful!
The question is, how much weather and what types you’re willing to put up with on your special day. Wind can get cold quickly up in the high-altitude areas of Colorado, but the thrill of the experience can make it worth it.
If you know that cold weather isn’t your vibe then we highly recommend having a Plan B with either an indoor option or a covered area to keep you out of the crazy Colorado elements at least for part of your day.
What Is Your Plan B, Plan C, Plan D?
When it comes to eloping outdoors in Colorado, you need to have multiple contingency plans in place. Not only should you plan a backup elopement location, but you may even want backups for your backups. For example, if you choose a location like Loveland Pass Lake, you will want to have a couple of spots in the lower elevation areas of Summit County (i.e. Keystone, Dillon, or Breckenridge) for your Plan B that won’t be as exposed to the elements and consider reserving an Airbnb with a view or a nice indoor area with big windows for your Plan C. When photographing elopements, we always help you to ensure we have at least one or two contingency plans in place, just in case.
Share Your Contingency Plans With Vendors
As a team of photographers that specialize in photographing weddings and elopements in Colorado, we are always full of suggestions for contingency plans. However, it is important that you communicate all of these backup plans with each of your vendors and ensure that they are willing to be as flexible as you are on your special day. The last thing you want to deal with is a vendor that is unwilling to go with the flow if the weather gets in the way of your original plan. Communication is key!
Plan Your Hair, Makeup, and Attire Accordingly
One of the easiest things that you can do to prepare yourself for any type of weather, is to select hair and makeup looks that will be able to hold up in various weather patterns. This means waterproofing everything and a hairstyle that will also be able to survive wind and water.
Make sure that you consult with your hair and makeup artist or schedule a trial to ensure that your overall look will be safe should there be a sudden change in the weather. Of course, you will also want to have contingency and touch-up hair and makeup supplies to freshen up if the weather does take its toll.
Wearing a wool baselayer under a suit or fleece-lined leggings under a wedding dress can keep you warm without affecting your overall ‘look’! Depending on the weather forecast it’s always a great idea to have things like warm jackets, hand warmers, gloves, and earmuffs on standby!
(Check out this article for tips on staying fresh during your adventurous, outdoor elopement.)
Go With The Flow
Choosing to elope outdoors in Colorado means embracing unpredictability! The most important element to the success of the day is your intention. If you go into the day committed to just enjoying this wild ride called life with your life partner, you’re guaranteed to have a special day no matter what the weather has in store.
Ready To Elope In Colorado?
The climate in Colorado is not only unique from many other states but has many individual areas of the state which experience dramatic weather patterns. These weather patterns help to make our gorgeous state the beauty that it is but there’s no denying that our weather patterns can play a role in your wedding day. Follow each of these steps and you will have peace of mind that the weather won’t be able to unravel your big day.
We hope you found these tips helpful and that you consider reaching out about a member of our team photographing your Colorado elopement!