Sunrise Amphitheater Wedding and Elopement Guide

Sunrise Amphitheater is one of my favorite elopement locations and intimate wedding venues in the Boulder area for so many reasons. This iconic amphitheater on Flagstaff Mountain overlooks the city of Boulder and is nestled in between pine trees on either side. Even though Flagstaff Mountain is a popular hiking destination, this elopement and wedding ceremony venue still gives you intimate mountain wedding vibes, is a short distance away from Downtown Boulder and is reservable for an affordable cost through the City of Boulder.

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Brooke and Kasey behind Sunrise Amphitheater after their sunset ceremony

The Logistics

Pricing, Availability, Group Size, and Accessibility are all things that couples take into consideration when planning their Colorado elopement or wedding. This information for Sunrise Amphitheater is readily available on their website, but I’ve included it below for easy referencing.

Pricing: $100-$400. Sunrise Amphitheater has both 1-hour and 3-hour reservation windows. The 1-hour windows are 6-7am, 7-8am., and 8-9am. and are reservable to residents for $100 and non-residents for $150. The 3-hour reservation windows are 10am-1pm, 2-5pm and 6-9pm and are reservable to residents for $300 and non-residents for $400.

Availability: You can reserve Sunrise Amphitheater through the City of Boulder website from May 1 – October 31 on a first come first serve basis. The road to Sunrise Amphitheater is closed from November 1 – April 30, but the amphitheater itself is still accessible on foot. (An uphill, usually snowy or icy .3 mile that I don’t recommend if you’re bringing along guests. My favorite reservable facility in the months the Amphitheater is closed is Halfway House).

Group Size: 100

Parking: Yes. There are limited spots directly in front of the amphitheater, but the overflow parking lot is just a short distance away. I still recommend carpooling or using a shuttle service for this wedding location if you are having more than 30 guests because parking is paid and on a first come first serve basis.
From the Boulder OSMP website: “Parking spaces are not included with nor guaranteed as part of facility reservations. Vehicles that are not registered in Boulder County are required to purchase and display a daily or annual parking permit. Daily parking permits are $5.00 each and can be purchased either day of through self-service fee stations or in advance online through the link provided in the reservation confirmation email. Purchasing permits online requires vehicle and plate information for all vehicles. Due to limited parking available and parking areas not exclusive to reservations, carpooling and shuttling is strongly encouraged.”

Alcohol: Yes. (With an additional $25 special use permit)

Accessible: Yes. This location is wheelchair and stroller accessible down to the stone risers and seating area. The City of Boulder is also able to provide additional accommodations to the stage area for wheelchairs upon request.

Harley and Michael incorporated boho decor into their mid-afternoon ceremony at the Amphitheater

The Perks

There are unlimited Boulder elopement locations and wedding venues to choose from, but here are a handful of reasons why Sunrise Amphitheater is a great choice for your nuptials:

  • The ceremony site has epic views of downtown Boulder
  • It can accomodate large groups and has built in seating (stone risers)
  • You can bring decor (arches, seating, florals and more) to the ceremony site
  • A variety of views on-site at the amphitheater (flatirons, pine trees, city views and more!)
  • It is a short (20-30 minutes) driving distance away from Downtown Boulder
  • There are multiple spots along Flagstaff Mountain with more epic views all within 5-20 mins
  • It has multiple parking spots on site and in an overflow lot that is a short distance away
  • One of the most affordable options available if you’re inviting guests
Max and Sarah’s micro-wedding at Sunrise Amphitheater

Time of Day – Sunrise Sunset or Something in Between

There are six timeframes to choose between when reserving Sunrise Amphitheater for your wedding or elopement (see above). My suggestion is to always take into consideration your other plans for the day as well as the best lighting for your portraits. Sunrise Amphitheater definitely got its name for facing East over the city of Boulder and having an epic view of the sunrise, but I think it’s gorgeous at sunset too. The later-morning reservation windows that are in between sunrise and sunset are great if you’re planning for a first look with portraits during sunrise at another area on Flagstaff Mountain, plan on having a slow and easy morning of getting ready for a bigger group, or you aren’t morning people and just want to sleep in! The mid-late afternoon time reservation windows are great if you want to explore other areas of the mountain after your ceremony for additional portraits, or if you have dinner reservations and don’t want to eat at 9pm during the Summer months when the sun sets later.

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Brooke and Kasey’s Boulder elopement at Sunrise Amphitheater took place during sunset in June

JoAnna and Matthew had their ceremony behind Sunrise Amphitheater during sunrise in September

Time of Year – Spring Summer or Fall

Even though Sunrise Amphitheater is accessible by foot and on a first come first serve basis in the Winter (November-April), I don’t recommend it during those months because the weather is finicky and that road closes for a reason. However, you can’t go wrong with choosing Spring, Summer, or Fall for your Colorado wedding or elopement at the Amphitheater. Keep in mind, there is still a possibility of snow through the end of May and during October which can make accessing the amphitheater tricky especially if you’re having a destination wedding or your guests aren’t local.

Lukas and Chanai’s Spring elopement at Sunrise Amphitheater

May 15th at 8am

Kaitlyn and Jacob’s Spring micro-wedding at Sunrise Amphitheater

May 21st at 6pm

Jared and Katie’s elopement with kids behind Sunrise Amphitheater

May 31st at 6pm

Nicolle and Jeromy’s early Summer elopement at Sunrise Amphitheater

June 13th at 11am

Alyssa and Austin’s mid Summer intimate wedding at Sunrise Amphitheater

July 13th at 6pm

Matt and Brianna’s late Summer Wedding at Sunrise Amphitheater

August 5th at 6pm

JoAnna and Matthew’s early Fall elopement behind Sunrise Amphitheater

September 3 at 7am

Casey and Ryan’s mid Fall elopement at Sunrise Amphitheater

September 26 at 6pm

Max and Sarah’s late Fall elopement at Sunrise Amphitheater

October 29th at 4pm

The Views at and surrounding the Amphitheater

Even though Sunrise Amphitheater is known for its iconic views of the City of Boulder, there are several other areas at and surrounding this gorgeous ceremony site that makes for the perfect photo opportunities if you’re looking for a short and sweet elopement experience without changing locations! Here are a just a few of my favorites, but there are so many more angles and areas to choose from!

Photo Locations on Flagstaff Mountain

Since Sunrise Amphitheater is nestled about halfway up Flagstaff Mountain, there are endless options along the mountain that you can go to for portraits either before or after your ceremony. These options are only allowed for additional portraits if your photographer carries the Boulder OSMP commercial photography permit (don’t worry, I do!). I’m going to list a handful of my favorites, but know that there are even more to choose from than what you see here!

Artist Point

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The overlook at Artist Point
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The forest at Artist Point
The Meadow at Artist Point

Realization Point

The forest at Realization Point
Bride and groom first dance after Colorado Mountain elopement
The overlook at Realization Point
The meadow at Realization Point

Lost Gulch Overlook

Disclaimer: Due to over-crowding and parking issues I will no longer photograph elopement ceremonies at Lost Gulch Overlook unless it is at sunrise on a Tuesday-Thursday with no guests. I will take portraits here on your elopement day, but not on weekends, including Friday. Thank you for understanding.

Lost Gulch Overlook outcropping at Sunset
Lost Gulch lower rock at Sunrise
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Lost Gulch at Sunrise (haze due to wildfire season)
Lost Gulch Overlook brand new forest trail in 2021

Wildflower Meadow

Wildflower meadow on Flagstaff Mountain

Chautauqua Trail

Chautauqua Trail in the Summer
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Chautauqua Trail in the Winter
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Chautauqua Trail in the Fall
Chautauqua Trail in the Spring

Halfway House

The patio at Halfway House

…and these bonus little secret spots 😉

Hotels in Downtown Boulder

St. Julien Hotel
This Boulder hotel has gorgeous luxury rooms and a spa on-site that will leave you feeling super relaxed and pampered for your wedding or elopement day.

Hotel Boulderado

This Boulder hotel is just one block away from Pearl St. and has a whole lot of historic charm. My favorite part? The speakeasy bar underneath it!

Places to Eat in Boulder


The Buff (bottomless mimosas)
Lucille’s Creole Cafe
Jill’s Restaurant & Bistro
Walnut Cafe




Flagstaff House
Steak No. 316
Hapa (Sushi)
Black Cat

Things to Do in Boulder

Treat yourself to a spa day at St Julien
Go shopping and check out the street performers on Pearl St. Mall
Hike any of the trails on Flagstaff Mountain
Go tubing in Boulder Creek
Grab some craft beer at Mountain Sun Brewery (Oskar Blues, Avery, Upslope and Sanitas are other great local craft breweries)
Go swing dancing at License No. 1 (located under Hotel Boulderado)
Hit up a dive bar and play some pool or video games at The Sundowner or Press Play

Rembrandt Yard Venues in Boulder

Reception Venues or Reservable Resteraunts in Boulder

Flagstaff House (private room with patio)
Rembrandt Yard (venue)
The Greenbriar Inn (venue)
Gold Hill Inn (venue)
Avanti (restaurant with reservable rooftop)
Dushanbe Tea House / Boulder Tea House

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Dushanbe Tea House
Rembrandt Yard

Best Boulder Elopement and Wedding Photographer and Videographer

That’s me! Don’t worry, I’m not actually that conceited. I know you have unlimited options when it comes to choosing the perfect photographer or videographer for your Boulder elopement or wedding and I’m honored that you found your way to my website and hope you’ll consider me to document your day. If anything, I hope you found this resource on all things Sunrise Amphitheater helpful when it came to planning your Boulder wedding or elopement at Sunrise Amphitheater!

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