UPDATE: Sapphire Point was closed for reservations due to Covid-19, but it appears they are now accepting reservations again this time for groups of 10 or less! Something is better than nothing. Yay!
Sapphire Point Overlook wedding venue is one of Colorado’s most popular elopement locations in the entire state. I’ve been a Sapphire Point wedding photographer for many years now, and I hope to outline all of my best tips for planning a Sapphire Point Elopement or wedding at this incredible location in Colorado. It’s perfect for small, intimate Colorado mountain weddings because it’s a small circular-shaped, flat pull off area from the main Sapphire Point Trail that overlooks gorgeous rugged mountain peaks from the Ten Mile Range looking toward Breckenridge and the Dillon Reservoir too. It’s one of the best outdoor options for smaller Dillon CO Weddings and my favorite option for Dillon Reservoir Weddings. The reason it works well for small micro weddings is because Sapphire Point reservations only allow 35 people maximum for wedding ceremonies so this is not the place to look if you are hoping to have a large wedding. There are companies that deliver rental chairs to the site for you and then pick them up later saving you the hassle of dragging them down the path yourself on your wedding day. Or for more casual elopements and weddings, you can opt to have your guests stand around you and keep your wedding day more simple and casual.
Sapphire Point Overlook Weddings: Sapphire Point Overlook is Summit County’s most popular outdoor wedding venue site for ceremonies. Part of the reason for this Summit County wedding site’s popularity is that it’s the only designated location for outdoor intimate wedding ceremonies in the entire Dillon Ranger District which spans all of the Summit County boundary. This keeps Sapphire Point elopement permits in high demand so be sure to check with the permitting office early and consider weekdays or the off-season for your Sapphire Point Lookout wedding ceremony if you are hoping to book sooner rather than later.
Windy Point Campground Weddings: Although the Windy Point Campground is less popular for weddings, it’s still a lovely outdoor wedding site in the Lake Dillon area. If you aren’t as flexible with your schedule and find that your preferred wedding date is fully booked for a Sapphire Point elopement, try looking into hosting a Windy Point Campground wedding instead. It’s nearby and is also a good outdoor Summit County wedding location.
Wedding ceremonies at Sapphire Point are booked in 2 hours slots throughout the day and it’s almost guaranteed that there are other wedding ceremonies booked either before or after yours so please be on time and considerate of others who have also reserved a permit for the popular Sapphire Point Overlook. Nothing is more stressful than attempting to share this space during a first look when one couple is running late for their allotted time frame at Sapphire Point. Trust me, I’ve had to be the bad guy and ask the other couple to find a different spot when they wanted to intrude on my couple’s space and time that they paid for and it’s not fun. And, please don’t even try to do a wedding here without reserving a permit. Obviously, right now things are a little up in the air due to Covid-19 and they aren’t currently issuing permits. But, during regular times it’s extremely likely that you would be intruding on another couple’s wedding plans by showing up without a Sapphire Point wedding permit or reservation and that’s just guaranteed to earn you some bad karma.
All that said, it costs $110 plus a $10 reservation fee to reserve the Sapphire Point Overlook for a 2 hour block of time. It costs anywhere from $215-$265 to reserve one of the group camping sites at Windy Point Campground and these are available by reservation only. If you want to have access to use the pavilion for your wedding plans, be sure to reserve the Windy Point Lake Loop Site 2 area.
The following are just a few things to consider before booking a Lake Dillon Wedding at Sapphire Point
Limited Privacy: Although this area is quite beautiful, one issue with Sapphire Point wedding packages may be the level of privacy that is guaranteed (which is to say that it’s not guaranteed to be private). If privacy is important to you and your partner, I would caution you to be careful about reserving a Sapphire Point wedding or elopement. Although you get the overlook area reserved for your two hours, there are no rangers there to direct the tourists and it can sometimes be difficult to get them removed from your wedding area. It’s so pretty there and they’re all trying to get their own pictures while you’re trying to set up for your wedding. Also, technically I guess they are not required to leave the area although most do eventually. During your ceremony, the trail that runs behind the overlook is still open to the public and there is nothing except their own decency (or perhaps a designated friend or family member who won’t mind shooing them away quietly?) to stop them from standing there and becoming “looky-loos” during your ceremony. Most people are respectful and just quietly pass by, but they sometimes don’t realize a wedding is happening until they get close since the view of the ceremony overlook area from the upper section of the path is obscured by trees.
Size: Sapphire Point is a small venue and you’ll only be able to host a limited number of guests at this pretty place.
Tight Timelines: As mentioned above, there is no room for running behind schedule when you book a Sapphire Point wedding. Weddings are notorious for running late, but if that happens on your wedding day, you risk losing not being able to host your ceremony here.
Having mentioned the negatives that those planning a Colorado destination wedding at Sapphire Point may not have realized, I wanted to point out more of the positives of this lovely location. After all, it’s definitely one of my favorite micro wedding venues in Colorado.
Convenient, Accessible, Rustic Location: It’s an extremely convenient Lake Dillon wedding and elopement location in Colorado for those with mobility issues. Yes, it is popular with tourists so there is often a constant stream of traffic on the Sapphire Point Overlook trail. But, for many visitors to Colorado, going on a long, difficult hike just isn’t in the cards for them due to mobility issues, time, weather and more. As a Colorado photographer, I’m always on the hunt for beautiful locations that don’t require too much hiking for my clients so I appreciate that Sapphire Point fits that need extremely well. I have taken countless clients to this location because of its beauty. Many couples forget that their grandparents or other family members who require the use of a wheelchair or a walker of some sort may not be able to attend their wedding if they opt for a more rugged location. Sometimes just the higher altitude alone can be tough for those who normally don’t have mobility issues but are used to sea level elevation. I love that the accessibility of this location allows for everyone to take in some breathtaking mountain views!
Large Parking Lot: Sapphire Point is located right on Swan Mountain Road and has a really large paved parking lot, especially compared to most trailheads in the state of Colorado which can be difficult to find space at and are sometimes made more for off roading style vehicles than your typical rental car. Although this lot does sometimes get crowded, (it has room for up to 22 vehicles) I am usually able to find a place to park at Sapphire Point. I do usually come in the evenings when it is less crowded and they do not reserve parking spaces for your ceremony so just be aware that it’s not guaranteed.
Looks Awesome Year Round: Sapphire Point Colorado elopements are beautiful year round. I’ve been a Sapphire Point photographer for many years and I have experience photographing here during all seasons. Hosting a Sapphire Point Breckenridge wedding during summer seems to be the most popular for reasons relating to the warmer weather, but obviously Colorado gets its fair share of visitors during winter for ski season. Sapphire Point Winter Weddings are becoming just as desirable as summer season elopements. There is nothing quite like the Tenmile Range mountains off in the distance covered in white snow which often lasts well into June! And of course, it is a great Lake Dillon wedding option with the views of Dillon Reservoir. It’s a simple option for those who want to have an outdoor wedding ceremony in Colorado nature and then opt for a reception as simple or elaborate as your style dictates. There are plenty of restaurants and other unique indoor spaces couples can rent to continue their wedding day party plans. If you are looking to host a Sapphire Point wedding reception, be sure to check out one of the restaurants in Frisco or Dillon like the 5th Avenue Grille!
Affordable Mountain Wedding: Once upon a time it was fairly easy to plan an affordable wedding in the mountains of Colorado. But as this state has grown to become a popular destination wedding market and tourist location, the prices have jumped higher too, particularly in the mountains. I dare you to find another site like this that only costs $120! (And please email me to tell me all about it if you do!)
Even if a Sapphire Point Overlook wedding isn’t the right choice for you or maybe it’s too small for your plans, it is still an amazing spot for photos while you are visiting Colorado. If you are planning a Sapphire Point proposal, you can be a little more flexible with the timing since you aren’t tied to the 2 hour rental increments. I like this location best at sunset when the light is nice and soft and there aren’t as many crowds of people there for a quick day hike. Sapphire Point also makes for a beautiful engagement photo location for your Summit County engagement photography.
I would love to be your Sapphire Point Elopement Photographer! I’ve photographed countless couples and families here and I have some “secret” spots nearby that I can take you to as well. Please check out the WEDDINGS page on my site for more information and get in touch to tell me more about your plans.
Address: Co Rd 1, Dillon, CO 80435