Planning a Destination Wedding in the Mountains

Dreaming of a destination wedding in the mountains? YAY! Me too. Based in Ouray, Colorado, that #mountainlife is my favorite. And I believe strongly that a destination wedding in the mountains is an amazing option for an adventure-loving couple. Destination weddings aren’t always hosted at the beach… they’re anywhere that isn’t home! Picturesque Colorado is one of nature’s most beautiful backdrops for exchanging your wedding vows and celebrating your nuptials.



Things to consider when planning your destination wedding in the Colorado mountains:


Time of Year

While summer is the most popular wedding season in Colorado, with the right venue choice, you can get married here in any season!


Weather

The biggest unknown in a couple’s (and wedding planner’s) life is the weather. We can’t predict with certainty what mother nature will be dishing out on the wedding day. BUT, we can prepare for all the scenarios. I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with couples that take every circumstance in stride- from snow to rain to extreme wind gusts, weather changes often “pop” up unexpectedly. Being OK with the less than ideal weather scenario is a MUST with a destination wedding in the mountains. Things can change in an instant and we have to work with what we can, especially for the outdoor ceremonies and receptions.


Unique Locations

It may require a trek or some unique transportation, but I love introducing couples to dreamy, unique locations with character. Whether you’re seeking an intimate waterfall, a sprawling landscape filled with wildflowers or a mountain peak, there are logistics involved that I can help you prepare for. As a high-altitude wedding planner, I have no reservations about getting you where you want to go!


Non-Traditional Attire

Outdoor apparel may be required! If you’ve dreamed of wearing boots (hiking or cowboy) on the big day, a mountain wedding is perfect! You may also need to be prepared with long johns or jackets. Maybe a traditional wedding dress and suit aren’t your style. That’s OK too! Many of my brides have worked cocktail-length dresses and grooms have rocked everything from all-white to jeans. ANYTHING goes!



Transportation + Accommodation Logistics

Okay, so this might be the biggest one. I’m not talking just for you two, either. When planning a destination wedding, transportation and accommodation logistics are a major part of the process. Ensuring your guests know where to go, how to get there and where to stay is a huge element of the overall planning.


The best destination wedding experiences for your guests have clear directions, special room rates at a variety of hotels/lodges, AirBnB recommendations, welcome bags for each guest with maps + necessities (think gum, water, snacks, pain relievers, stain removers and first aid basics), and ideally, transportation to and from the festivities (if not at the onsite hotel or within walking distance).


All of this information can be provided in a details card with the invitation, as well as on a wedding website.


Guest Count

Destination weddings usually end up being multi-day celebrations because people make a mini-vacation out of the event. This means more quality time with your guests, but also more focus on creating an amazing experience! If your initial guest count is 150, you can usually plan a 10-20% decline rate (always create your budget around the largest number, not the assumed number will be after RSVPs) when planning a local-to-you wedding. When it comes to destination mountain weddings, the decline rate is usually much higher because of the expense and time commitment from your guests. Side note, you can also assume you’ll have a higher number of guests attending the rehearsal dinner, as more guests will be in town for multiple days!


Distance planning

If you aren’t local or can’t easily access your destination wedding location, you’ll need to place more trust in your vendor team and plan for additional phone and/or virtual meetings. Choose people to support you that are able to provide you with clear, timely communication. Not being able to “pop in” or “check-up” as easily can cause anxiety otherwise!


Planning a destination wedding may mean a few more moving parts, but it’s worth it! Considering a destination wedding in the Colorado Mountains? Let’s chat! Contact me.


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Specializing in outdoor weddings in Colorado for the last several years means that I’ve learned a thing or two about managing wedding days in a variety of seasons and circumstances… If you’re travelin