Dreaming of that picturesque mountain wedding for your big day? Colorado’s beautiful Rocky Mountains make the perfect backdrop for when you and your loved one say “I do”. Your ideal day could consist of a venue with bay windows overlooking the Continental Divide or simply the top of a ski lift at the resort where you first met – Colorado has plenty to offer in both categories. While you plan out your Colorado wedding, here’s are some ideas to take your big celebration to the next level.
Your Colorado Mountain Venue
We’ll start with one of the most stressful but exciting aspects of a wedding – the venue. Whether you envision saying your vows with 360 degree views of the surrounding mountain vistas or at a rustic barn nestled in the valley, Colorado offers a plethora of types of locations.
Ranch-Style Colorado Mountain Weddings
Once you reach Colorado, there’s a great balance between some 14,000+ foot peaks and vast valleys filled with that wild West ranch feel. Ranch weddings in the mountains provide a great balance of enjoying the incredible outdoors the state has to offer and still having a structure for your ceremony, reception, or both.
- Deer Creek Valley Ranch | Bailey, Colorado
- The Winding River Ranch | Grand Lake, Colorado
- Wild Canyon Ranch | Lake George, Colorado
- Keystone Ranch | Keystone, Colorado
- Piney River Ranch | Vail, Colorado
- Gorrono Ranch | Telluride, Colorado
Resort-Style Colorado Mountain Weddings
On the other hand, many love the idea of their big day taking place in one of the jaw-dropping mountain towns in the Colorado Rockies. Maybe you love the idea of a winter wedding with snow falling while you say you I do’s, or a summer wedding as you waltz along the stone paths through Vail’s village. The perks of weddings in Colorado’s mountain towns are the endless accommodations for you and your guests.
- Warren Station | Keystone, Colorado
- Vail Mountain Wedding Deck | Vail, Colorado
- Silverthorne Pavilion | Silverthorne, Colorado
- Donovan Pavilion | Vail, Colorado
- The Little Nell | Aspen, Colorado
- Steamboat Grand | Steamboat Springs, Colorado
- Ten Mile Station | Breckenridge, Colorado
If you’re planning to tie the knot outside, be aware of the weather throughout the year in Colorado. Don’t mind snow? Then October – April should be fine for you. Want a perfectly sunny day? Try May or late August / early September. In the heart of summer, afternoon showers come as no surprise so wed early then have your reception inside if you want a July wedding.
The Best Colorado-Styled Wedding Locations
One of the best ways to wed in the beautiful state of Colorado is with one of many unique twists to a classic ceremony and reception. Colorado is notorious for hosting weddings on mountaintops, at ski lifts, hiking into backcountry cabins, on the river, and much more. What’s your favorite outdoor activity? You can morph practically anything into a celebration of sayings your vows. Here are some of the most one-of-a-kind ways to pledge your love for one another.
A Colorado Mountaintop Wedding
Hike up one of the many popular 14ers in Colorado or just find an incredible overlook spot for your wedding day. Things to consider when planning a wedding like this are as follows:
- How many people will be coming?
If the answer is more than a handful, veering away from longer and more strenuous hikes is a good idea.
- What is the demographic of your wedding party and guests?
Younger and older generations may not be able to hike very far. If it’s just you and a few athletic friends then you’re good to go, but if you want the whole family to attend you should think twice about the location.
- How much décor are you hoping to have during your ceremony?
Hike up a 14er with some flowers and your dress stashed away in your backpack and you’re good to go. Those who envision a wooden archway adorned with floral arrangements should swing towards more of an overlook setting.
- Quandary Peak | South of Breckenridge, Colorado
- Roundtrip is just under 7 miles.
- The trailhead is only 20 minutes from the beautiful town of Breckenridge.
- Though the difficulty rating is a little more strenuous, those with athletic ability with thoroughly enjoy the hike with you.
- Mount Evans | Idaho Springs, Colorado
- You can actually drive to the summit of this 14er, making this a great location for those with lots of attendees or those who aren’t as able-bodied.
- It takes about an hour to get from the town of Idaho Springs to the summit of Mount Evans via car.
- We would suggest carpooling and having experienced mountain drivers behind the wheel.
- Pikes Peak | Colorado Springs, Colorado
- This is another 14er that you can drive to the top of.
- Not keen on driving? Pikes Peak has a Cog Railway that you can jump on to get to the summit.
- Pikes Peak is located in Colorado Springs, making it easily accessible.
- Mount Elbert | Southwest of Leadville, Colorado
- It’s the highest point in the state of Colorado, and actually the highest summit of the North American Rocky Mountains.
- If you’re hiking a 14er for your wedding, Mount Elbert is a bit more strenuous than Quandary Peak and is also 9 miles roundtrip.
- The views on Mount Elbert and the reward after the climb to the top make the perfect setting for a mountaintop wedding.
- Sapphire Point | Summit County, Colorado
- This beautiful overlook sits high above Lake Dillon with breathtaking views of the Tenmile Range in Summit County.
- The hike to the overlook is very short with a mild grade, making this a family-friendly mountaintop venue.
- You’ll want to reserve the spot to be able to wed there, but a con is that you cannot close it off to the public.
- Our advice, if this is your venue of choice, is to have your wedding on a weekday during the spring or fall in hopes that you won’t be disturbed often by others looking for those views.
- San Sophia Overlook | Telluride, Colorado
- Ride the gondola at Telluride’s resort up to this breathtaking overlook.
- A little more structured than the Sapphire Point overlook, at this is located on a resort but can accommodate many more guests.
- Equipped with granite steps and a wooden deck.
- Vista Overlook | Steamboat Springs, Colorado
- The lower elevation of Steamboat Springs means a bit better span of weather every year than Summit County outdoor weddings.
- You can drive right up to the overlook.
- Another spot that isn’t close off to the public entirely, but great for those who don’t want to drop a ton of money on a venue.
Bring lots of water, bring snacks, perhaps bring some oxygen cans that you can buy from pretty much any gas station in the Colorado Rockies. If you’re from lower in elevation, getting up to a 14,000 feet summit is not an easy feat so it’s best to be prepared for some symptoms of altitude sickness if it does happen.
Colorado River Weddings
Maybe you’re thinking of something riverside, but we’re talking about on the river. For those river rats or whitewater lovers, this is one of the most unique and Coloradan ways to wed. Plan an overnight rafting trip on the Colorado River, or say your vows riverside then do a run through Browns Canyon on the Arkansas River. Here are some things to think about:
- How experienced are you on the river?
Even if you plan on doing a scenic float through the Class II rapids on the Upper Colorado River, you should have someone with you who has guided, done the stretch before, or is more than comfortable navigating the river.
- Do you have all the gear and equipment you need?
There are plenty of companies that offer river gear for rent, just make sure everyone who is tagging along his equipped with a PFD, helmet, and maybe even wetsuits or splash jackets depending on the time of year.
- Colorado River – Radium to Rancho del Rio | Bond, Colorado
- These Class II rapids will have the younger kids and Grandma & Grandpa set to attend the full festivities of your wedding.
- 5 river miles will only take a few hours, so you can put in at Radium in the morning and have your ceremony at Rancho del Rio in the afternoon followed by celebration and camping.
- There are fees for camping, but they are minimal compared to large wedding costs.
- Want a longer stretch? Do an overnight trip from Pumphouse to Rancho del Rio and camp along the way.
- Arkansas River – Browns Canyon | Buena Vista, Colorado
- Have a more intimate wedding in the National Monument of Browns Canyon while on your rafting trip, or cruise all the way into the town of Salida and wed at the Creekside Chalets & Cabins after your day on the river.
- Poudre Canyon – the Mishawaka Amphitheater | Bellvue, Colorado
- Weddings here can be a bit more organized with ceremony and reception accommodations by the staff at the Mishawaka Amphitheater.
- You can book the place to yourself for a private event in the beautiful Poudre Canyon.
- Hop on the river before or after your wedding for some great whitewater fun.
If this is your choice of wedding, you shouldn’t care either way if you are getting dirty or wet. You can plan your day either way: start off with your rafting trip followed by a ceremony or vice versa. Just keep in mind where you want to camp or stay that night!
Ski Away Colorado Mountain Wedding
It’s the ultimate winter wedding and you’ll have a blast cruising down the slopes with high spirits after tying the knot. Book some ski in ski out condominiums or lodging at one of the many Colorado resorts and make your way up the gondola for your vows proceeded by some snowy turns.
- Who all do you want to attend your ceremony?
If you choose to wed on top of a gondola or ski lift, there may be option for those not in love with skiing for a ride back down. If it’s just you two and the wedding party, this isn’t as important as long as everyone’s on the same page.
- Fit for the winter-loving newlyweds.
Obviously you can’t ski down from the top of the gondola if there’s not snow on the ground. Perhaps mountain biking enthusiasts can run the dirt trails post-wedding – watch out for that white dress, though.
- You don’t even need to ski or ride down if you don’t want to.
Pick a mountain with an incredible view at the top of the gondola, ride up, getting married, ride down. Simple… not as Coloradan.
- Steamboat Resort | Steamboat Springs, Colorado
- Keystone Resort | Keystone, Colorado
- Aspen Snowmass | Snowmass Village, Colorado
Steamboat’s Ski Resort has an incredible happy hour at the top of the gondola during the summer. If you don’t care about sharing some drinks at a location with public access, make it a late afternoon wedding followed by some sunset beverages.
Wedding Transportation in the Colorado Mountains
An important aspect of your wedding weekend is all of your guests getting there. The windy roads through the Rocky Mountains can be daunting to those not used to this type of driving. You can leave everyone to fend for themselves, or you can organize transportation to your wedding so your guests can have (almost) as good of a day as you will.
Take the weight of traveling off your guests shoulders by providing transportation for them. Shuttles are the perfect way to get everyone to the ceremony and reception without worrying about parking at the venues and attendees getting lost when trying to find those more remote mountain locations. Shuttle companies also provide the comfort of not having anyone drive after they’ve indulged in a few drinks.
Peak 1 Express
You can customize your wedding day and get your guests transported in style in some of our Mercedes Sprinter vans. They are equipped with Wi-Fi so everyone can be uploading their photos with your unique #hashtag as your day goes along, and you can fit up to 14 passengers in each shuttle.
Though taxis aren’t incredible reliable, especially traveling around the mountains of Colorado, they may be an option if you’re sticking around one town or resort for your wedding weekend. However, do your research prior to your big day since many mountain towns in Colorado don’t even offer taxi services.
Uber or Lyft
It’s pretty much the same bet as taxis when you choose to rely on Ubers and Lyfts. Often during holidays or busy weekends, these car services rolling around mountain towns in an abundance. To take the stress off of you, we suggest planning ahead and getting transportation lined up before hand for you and your guests.
You won’t see many stretch limos navigating their way along I-70 in the heart of the Colorado Rockies, but we will say it is possible. If you’re wanting to rent a limo, you’ll most likely have to seek out a Denver-based company and pay the extra fees for them to make their way up to the mountains for your wedding.
Colorado Mountain Wedding Florists
A wedding isn’t complete without an assortment of your favorite flowers to adorn the backs of your guest’s chairs and the arch above the officiant. One good tip is you don’t necessarily need to hunt down a florist to design your wedding arrangements. Colorado is filled with some of the most beautiful flowers and even better views. You can grab a handful on your way up the mountain to say your vows, or you can skip the mess and have a vendor take care of it for you.
Our Florist Suggestions for Your Colorado Wedding
- Petal & Bean | Breckenridge, Colorado
- Rose Petals | Vail, Colorado
- Vintage Magnolia | Edwards, Colorado
- Little Flower Shop | Dillon, Colorado
Trying to save some money? Make use of the beautiful area around you in Colorado. You don’t have to drop a lot of cash on floral arrangements for your big day, but if you do, the above vendors are the people you should call.
The Best Colorado Wedding Cakes
Sweeten up your day with some of the most delectable desserts from the best bakeries in Colorado. If you’re planning a mountaintop wedding, small cupcakes or bite-size treats will make the perfect treat for the newlyweds if you don’t plan on having a reception somewhere.
Our Bakery Suggestions for Your Colorado Wedding
- Blue Moon Bakery | Silverthorne, Colorado
- Mountain Cupcakes | Vail, Colorado
- Butterhorn Bakery & Café | Frisco, Colorado
- Baby Cakes | Edwards, Colorado
Leave it to the professionals to bake the sweets for the wedding. Remember, we’re at almost 10,000 feet in Summit County, so if you’re thinking of doing this alone it could become much more of a headache than anticipated.
Colorado Mountain Wedding Photographers
Capture every special moment from your memorable day with these incredible photographers in the Colorado Rockies. When you book a photographer that is based in the mountains, the likelihood of them being used to doing some hiking, climbing, or bundling up to catch the shot is pretty high. Be sure to check out their portfolios so you can make your vision come to life and have lasting memories of your big day.
Our Suggestions for Colorado Wedding Photographers
- Sarah Roshan Wedding Photographer | Breckenridge, Colorado
- Jeffrey K Wilson Photography | Dillon, Colorado
- Nate & Jenny Weddings | Vail, Colorado
- David Gillette Photography | Vail, Colorado
- Ross Daniels Photography | Aspen, Colorado
Sarah Roshan, who is in her tenth year of wedding photography, says “If you are doing a mountain wedding, I highly encourage a first look in case weather rolls in. It also helps the couples get rid of the jitters pre-wedding. That gives us an extra opportunity to get those outdoor photos because Colorado weather is unpredictable.”
Colorado Mountain Wedding DJs
What’s a party without your favorite tunes bumping through some speakers? Part of what really brings together wedding receptions is a great DJ to play those slow tunes for your first dance together as well as upbeat jams to really get the party going. If you haven’t booked the DJ for your Colorado mountain wedding yet, here are some of our favorites.
Our Suggestions for Colorado Wedding DJs
- DJ Ryo | Breckenridge, Colorado
- Vail-DJs | Vail, Colorado
- Hampton Entertainment | Breckenridge, Colorado
- Kickin Aspen Entertainment | Snowmass Village, Colorado
- Rock the Boat DJ Service | Steamboat Springs, Colorado
You’re probably in the process of building your dream mountain wedding in the heart of Colorado and just have a few loose ends to tie before the actual knot. If you need a helping hand or any more suggestions, call Peak 1 Express today. We can provide customized transportation options for any type of Colorado mountain wedding as well as point you in the right direction for anything else you haven’t sorted out yet.
***Featured image courtesy of Sarah Roshan Photography.