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Colorado Ski Resort Destination Wedding
I have a great article all about the pros of hosting a Colorado ski resort destination wedding during winter. I’ve photographed nearly 200 beautiful weddings during my wedding photography career here in Colorado and ski resort weddings held during winter are some of my favorites! There are so many lovely places to tie the knot in this huge state that I’ve always known I’m just scratching the surface when it comes to seeing all of the incredible Colorado destination wedding venues out there. I think the views are always one of the most important things to consider, particularly for a destination wedding. Since family and friends are traveling so far, it’s nice to have a place to gather that is really going to wow them. Last Friday I photographed a wedding celebration on top of the mountain at Keystone Resort and boy, did it deliver!
Gondola Rides are one of the best parts of a Colorado ski resort wedding celebration
One of the coolest parts about hosting a destination wedding at a ski resort in Colorado is getting to ride a lift or a gondola up the mountain. It may seem like old hat for the locals, but there is something really special about taking a serene ride up the mountain soaking up the gorgeous views. (Actually, I grew up here and no, it doesn’t seem like old hat. Not even for us!) For a lot of guests, this might be their first time getting to experience this most basic part of mountain culture and they don’t even have to strap on skis to do it. It’s a sure-fire way to impress them from the very start of your wedding day. What I like about getting married at this particular ski resort is that you get to ride not just one gondola, but two! At the base of the mountain you’ll hop onto the first Gondola and once you reach the top of the first mountain, you’ll take a short little walk over to the 2nd gondola for another ride to go even high in elevation!
Your bar tab might go further here!
At the top of a ski resort mountain it can be extremely high in elevation. Some are over 11,000 feet! Guests coming to Colorado from sea level might need a couple days to acclimate but the views will be one of a kind. Plus, that open bar will hit them harder and faster so be sure they’re taking in lots of water with those drinks. The food at ski resort weddings will be delicious so getting enough food in your guests at dinner shouldn’t be a problem.
Colorado winter weddings are even more magical!
I mostly photograph summer weddings at ski resorts, but I find that a winter wedding on top of the mountain has a certain je ne sais quoi. The weather most certainly becomes a key player in the day, but it turns an already special event into something seriously otherworldly. This was the atmosphere we encountered at Chandler and Nick’s wedding on Friday. Their wedding day was the first day of what basically turned into snowpocalypse here in Colorado. (Seriously, I have lived here my whole life and have never seen avalanches like we’ve seen this past week and a half!)
Luckily for them, because it was the first day of tons of snow falling, it didn’t impact the travel conditions too much and everyone arrived safe and sound for their wedding. I admit, when I arrived at their wedding, I was a little disappointed for Chandler and Nick and their families because there were ZERO views when we first started photographing. We made it through all of their pre-ceremony portraits with a gorgeous snowy winter wonderland as their backdrop. But, I know the views are a huge plus when photographing at a ski resort.
Consider hosting your winter wedding ceremony outdoors even if it’s snowing.
Chandler and Nick are total bad-asses and decided they were going to do their ceremony outside despite the chilly weather. After all, they traveled long distances to celebrate and the short amount of minutes of discomfort would be worth the pretty pictures.
They had planned ahead with custom printed fuzzy blankets with their names and wedding date on them as a gift for their guests. So their guests were game to bundle up and marched right outside to where the chairs had been set up by the ski resort staff. They all settled in and snuggled up with each other while they waited for the ceremony to begin.
Earlier, my assistant and I had privately lamented about how sad it was that the views were so obscured. But wouldn’t you know it, as the ceremony went on, the sky miraculously started to clear and the majestic mountain views off in the distance started to show up! I seriously wanted to jump in the air when I saw that (both because I was freezing and needed to keep warm and because I was excited that their wedding pictures would have mountain views in them!) I had three spare camera batteries tucked away in my bra to keep them warm in case of the cold weather sucking all of the power out of my cameras and I am still shocked to report that not a single one of them died on me! That’s just one little anecdote for how wonderful their outdoor wedding ended up being!
Colorado Cozy Mountain Cabin for a Destination Wedding Reception.
I have a theory that the best Colorado destination wedding receptions are those where your guests are a little bit trapped there with you. Ok, maybe “trapped” is a bit of overstatement. But what I mean is, making it a bit of a destination to both arrive and leave your wedding is a good thing. It makes it easy for guests to go all in on a celebration. They’re more prepared to stick it out longer and really party with you. Often times, there is very little cell phone reception on a mountain too. I know this makes some people really antsy, but I personally love that. It provides an even better atmosphere to allow people to let go and truly enjoy the moments they are in rather than burying their noses in their little pocket computers. And they can’t just run off and Uber their way back to the hotel on a whim. As much as I’m a fan of a good “Irish Goodbye”, I don’t love them at weddings. Part of the charm of a wedding on top of a Colorado mountain is that it really becomes a true escape and hopefully becomes a beautiful memory for everyone involved.
Be sure to check out my favorite highlight photos from Chandler & Nick’s beautiful wedding day below!
Be sure to check out the Colorado Mountain Venue section of my site for more Colorado destination wedding venue ideas for your wedding!