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Your dog can be your witness in Colorado : How to Elope with a Dog in Colorado

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

Woman in white wedding dress stands in a meadow surrounded by pine trees holding her white dog by the leash.

I've written about the self solemnizing marriage laws in Colorado before but did you know that in Colorado your dog can be your wedding day witness too?? Imagine getting married with amazing mountain views, your fiancé and your pet. In this blog post I'm going to tell you how to elope with a dog in Colorado.

Many of us are already looking for ways to include our pets on our elopement. In Colorado this can be taken a step further - they can actually be your witness! Think of the adorable pictures as they sign the marriage license with their paw print. That's right, a dogs signature on a marriage license is 100% legal and totally acceptable.

Colorado is one of the easiest states to get married in -- there is no waiting period when you pick up your marriage license -- which means you can get married on the same day!

In Colorado couples also don't need an officiant or witness to get married due to the self solemnizing law, and since there is no witness signature required many couples use this an opportunity for their furry family members to serve as either their primary or secondary witness.

Things to consider:

-Make sure your ceremony is in a place that your furry friend is allowed. Many locations, especially National Parks, have specific rules about where you can and can't have your pets. Dogs are unfortunately not allowed on the trails in Rocky Mountain National Park but they are allowed in picnic areas, campgrounds, parking lots and park roads. In most National Forests dogs are not allowed in wildlife reserve areas. Always double check if trails allow for dogs, you don't want any trouble on your elopement day.

-Call the County Clerks office ahead of time to make sure they don't require a witness signature - some judges, county clerks, or clergies may still request a signature.

-Don't forget an ink pad! You'll need something so that your pet can actually sign the marriage certificate (most couples sign the certificate by pressing their pups pay onto the ink pad and then transferring it to the paper).

- Obviously don't forget to bring plenty of water and a water bowl for your furry friend!

- If you're eloping in the winter months consider having paw protection as it gets really cold!

*Be sure to always call the county clerks office in the county you wish to get married in to double check that they are still accepting walk in appointments after COVID. In some places you will need to make an appointment online prior to your arrival *

Planning an elopement or intimate wedding of your own? Hire me to be your elopement photographer! I will love your pet too!

I'm a wedding and elopement photographer in Colorado and I'd love to talk with you more about finding the perfect location for your elopement and wedding package for you and your fiancé.

When searching for an intimate wedding photographer, you deserve more than just timeless photos. You deserve a friend in the wedding industry who can guide you through the planning process and capture every precious moment with expertise and care. That's where I come in. With a passion for storytelling and a genuine desire to connect with couples, I go above and beyond to ensure that your wedding day is not only beautifully documented but also as stress-free of an experience as it can be.

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