The Rocky Mountains are one of the most desired wedding destinations in the world. The striking landscape with tall snowcapped peaks and lush pine forests can provide a surreal backdrop for your celebration. However, the mountains can possess their own set of unique challenges. The isolation, weather, & complicated logistics can seem overwhelming for couples just starting the planning process. So, let’s discuss a few easy tips that can make a world of difference in your mountain wedding.
1. Hire Local Vendors
Most mountain destinations tend to have one way in and out. Roads into the mountains are notorious for long road closures and slow-moving traffic. By hiring a local vs. commuting vendor, you can avoid wedding day disaster in the case of a road closure.
In addition, a lot of mountain venues tend to have their own set of difficulties. Venues can have strict rules and can be difficult to access. A local vendor will have more experience and insight on these particular requirements and might just be able to give you that little bit of advice that helps you avoid unnecessary stress on your wedding day.
2. Consider the Altitude
If you have out-of-town guests attending your wedding, they may not be familiar with the effects of altitude. Altitude sickness can cause dizziness, nausea, and fatigue. While it may not be avoidable, the side effects can be mitigated.
Make sure to keep easy access to water at both your ceremony and reception. A water station enhanced with fruit will encourage guests to stay hydrated. Adding an oxygen bar to your reception can not only help guests with the altitude, but it adds another fun photo opportunity.
Altitude can also magnify the effects of alcohol. So, slow your intake of champagne on your big day and make sure to drink lots of water. Having your DJ or emcee make a couple quick announcements encouraging your guests to drink water will help keep the dance party going a lot longer.
3. Have a weather backup
Weather in the mountains can change in the blink of an eye. It can be clear skies one minute and hailing the next. If you are having an outdoor ceremony, have a covered area available as a weather backup. Having white umbrellas on standby can also come in handy in the case of passing showers. For those who are also having an outdoor reception, a tent is a must-have item. The last thing you or your guests will want to do is sit down on a table with wet linen. Simply planning ahead can keep your celebration going regardless of the weather and will keep you and your guests happy!
4. Dress for the environment
For those getting married in the mountains, part of the appeal is dramatic wedding portraits. However, many of those special shots will require a bit of hiking! Ladies should consider getting a dress that will allow for lots of movement. Stilletos are also a big no-no for those walking in grass. A wedge heel will be a lot easier to walk in, and don’t forget to pack an extra pair of boots if hiking is required for those magical views!
The mountains are also known for large temperature swings so make sure to have a shawl ready for the evening. Consider having blankets and shawls available for guests if the reception is outside – your guests will be thanking you once the sun hides behind the mountains!
5. Hire a Planner to assist with the logistics
Even with proper planning, the mountains are unpredictable. Having a planner who knows the area can help calm your nerves. A local planner will know the ins and outs of particular venues and help save you hours of stress. A good planner will bring a lot to the table including vendor relationships, valuable experience, and will always come prepared with an emergency kit. On the day of your wedding, a planner will be able to make a quick call in the case of inclement weather or another wedding related emergency.
The mountains can provide an amazing experience for your wedding day. So, don’t get bogged down by the logistics and rely on amazing local vendors to make your dream a reality.
Amy and Doug hosted their magical Vail Winter Wedding at the Donovan Pavilion and Vail Interfaith Chapel. Click to see the video from Benjamin Saheed.
Twinkle lights, cotton candy skies, and... a giraffe? Click to see some of Zia & Nick's gorgeous Saddlerock Ranch Wedding in Malibu.
I'm not crying, you're crying! Check out this beautiful and moving highlight reel from Andrew + Jose's wedding. Film by Forget Me Not Media. Venue is Timber Ridge in Keystone, Colorado.
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