Best Wedding Venues
in the Central Rocky Mountains
Planning a Wedding in the Rocky Mountains?
The Rocky Mountain region of Colorado is one of the most gorgeous and iconic places to tie the knot. It’s no wonder there are so many amazing venues to choose from. But how to you begin to narrow down your search? Below is our list of the best wedding venues in the Rocky Mountains.
Also, be sure to check out our list of the best Colorado wedding vendors!
Planning a Wedding in Beaver Creek
Just west of Vail, off of I-70 at the Avon exit, Beaver Creek is a posh ski resort town nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. It’s one of our favorite places to ski and also one of our favorite places to shoot weddings. Due to its location and absolutely breathtaking vistas, there is an abundance of unique Beaver Creek wedding venues to choose from for your wedding.
Like most ski towns, summer is the down-season at Beaver Creek, so lodging for your guests is generally cheaper during prime wedding season and you will typically find slightly discounted rates for wedding venues and some wedding vendors as well. There are plenty of options for both indoor and outdoor weddings as well as mountaintop or mountain-base weddings. You can’t go wrong whichever Beaver Creek wedding venue you pick because they all have fantastic views of the Gore Range to the north.
Even if you decide not to get married on top of the mountain (the Beaver Creek Wedding Deck being the best place to do this), we still encourage our couples to take a ride up the gondola at some point during the wedding day to take photos. The trick is to make sure you have enough buffer time included in your wedding timeline to do so. About half of our couples these days are doing a “first look,” which simply means that the two of you come together and see each other for the first time before the wedding ceremony. This way, there isn’t as much of a time crunch to shoot your couple’s portraits. That said, if you’re more traditional and want to wait until the ceremony to see each other for the first time, that’s cool too! Either way, you’re going to get some truly epic wedding photos.
Beaver Creek Wedding Venues
Beaver Creek Wedding Deck
The Beaver Creek Wedding Deck is perched midway up the mountain and offers absolutely breathtaking views of Gore Range. This is one of the most picturesque and idyllic mountain locations you could possibly hope for your wedding ceremony. Plus, you get to ride the gondola up and down the mountain with your closest friends and family!
Check out Mo and Trey’s Beaver Creek Wedding Deck wedding to see more!
Beaver Creek Lodge
The Beaver Creek Lodge is just a stone’s throw from the Centennial Express Lift (literally; I threw a stone to test it out), which takes you to the midway point of Beaver Creek Mountain. So not only do you get the cool, riverside Beaver Creek Lodge wedding, you can also jump on the lift and go up the mountain for your couple’s portraits.
Park Hyatt Beaver Creek
Located at the base of the Buckaroo Express Gondola (the bunny hill lift) on Beaver Creek Mountain, The Park Hyatt Beaver Creek is a luxury hotel with all of the creature comforts one could possibly hope for. You can opt for an indoor or an outdoor wedding ceremony or, better yet, tie the knot on top of the mountain at the Beaver Creek Wedding Deck and save the Park Hyatt for your reception!
Check out Mo and Trey’s Park Hyatt Beaver Creek wedding to see more!
Just outside of Beaver Creek Ski Resort, the Sonnenalp Club offers both indoor and outdoor wedding ceremony options as well and one of the most friendly and accommodating weddings staffs we’ve had the pleasure of working with in our 12 years photographing weddings in Colorado.
Check out Jen and Robert’s beautiful winter wedding at the Sonnenalp Club to see more!
Planning a Wedding in Breckenridge
Breckenridge lies in south-central Summit County in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. It’s a popular destination for skiers and outdoors enthusiasts of all types and, due to the booming tourism industry, there are countless unique Breckenridge wedding venues to choose from if you’re looking to get married here.
Breckenridge is a ski resort town that attracts droves of skiers and snowboarders in the winter months. Unlike some of the other ski destinations in Colorado, Breckenridge has an actual downtown area, with tons of bars, restaurants, hotels, art galleries, coffee shops, distilleries (and anything else you could possibly hope for) that will entertain your wedding guests for the entire weekend.
And, of course, the skiing is phenomenal. It does tend to get a bit crowded on the weekends and weekdays around the holidays, but if you plan your day effectively, you can still get some good runs in before the crowds take over.
Pro-tip: Catch the first chair at 8:30 and go directly to Peak 6 or to Peak 10. The mountain is comprised of five separate peaks, laid out in a line north to south. The main gondola drops you off at the base of Peak 8, so you’ll want to traverse two peaks left or right to make it there. These are our two personal favorite areas on the mountain. Thank us later.
Keep in mind throughout your wedding planning process that the elevation is high, so you can expect any of the four seasons to appear on your wedding day, even if you’re getting married in the summer. The last wedding we photographed in Breckenridge, it was the 21st of June (the summer solstice) and it snowed almost an inch. But whatever the weather decides to do, you know one thing for sure: you’ll come away with some amazing wedding photos!
Breckenridge Wedding Venues
Copper Mountain is a beautiful ski resort in Summit County, just west of Breckenridge. Both indoor and outdoor wedding ceremonies are offered here, including the option to have your ceremony on the top of the mountain, overlooking the beautiful Rocky Mountains beyond.
Little known fact about Copper Mountain: this is where the ski scenes from “Dumb and Dumber” were filmed, despite the movie taking place in Aspen, over 130 miles away.
Situated at the base of Peak 10, a little less than halfway up the mountain at Breckenridge Ski Resort, a TenMile Station wedding affords majestic views of the surrounding snow-capped peaks. And with this Breckenridge wedding venue situated at just over 10,000 feet above sea level, you never know which season you’re going to get, which keeps things fresh for your photographer. The last wedding we photographed at TenMile was on June 21st (the summer solstice)… and it snowed.
Check out Kristen and Greg’s snowy summer wedding at TenMile Station to see more!
Planning a Wedding in Steamboat Springs
Steamboat Springs is way off of the beaten path in northern central Colorado. It’s a ski resort town, so its prime tourism season is in the colder months, which makes a summer wedding here both a beautiful and an affordable option. And much like the wedding venues near other ski areas in Colorado, many of the most unique Steamboat wedding venues will offer reduced rates during the “shoulder” seasons, which can be loosely defined as early spring (April) and late fall (November). Tourism typically decreases during these times of the year, so you’re more likely to find good deals of wedding venues and other wedding vendors as well.
There are a bunch of great breweries and restaurants in town and picturesque hikes for people of all ages and skill levels in the surrounding environs. Depending on which time of the year you’re planning to tie the knot, of course! Plus, in the summertime, they construct a small roller coaster at the base of the mountain, which always makes for some cool candid wedding photos. So don’t worry if you’re not a skier or snowboarder! There are plenty of fun activities for everyone in Steamboat Springs.
And for the really dramatic views, a gondola ride to the top of the mountain for your wedding portraits is just what the doctor ordered. Speaking of the top of the mountain, you can also hold your ceremony and/or host your reception at the Thunderhead Lodge, which offers breathtaking views of sunset over the town of Steamboat Springs. Plus, all of your guests get to ride up on the gondola, which makes for a really cool and unique wedding experience. Especially for those guests coming from out of town who aren’t accustomed to being in the mountains.
Steamboat Springs Wedding Venues
The Steamboat Grand sits in the village at the bottom of Steamboat Mountain, which makes it a prime jumping off point for a mountaintop wedding ceremony. This wedding venue offers both indoor and outdoor options for wedding receptions, but we recommend outdoors because the sunsets always seem to be so magical here. Your wedding photographer will thank you!
Check out Jen and Whitney’s Steamboat Grand wedding to see more!
Thunderhead Lodge sits at the top of Steamboat Ski Resort and provides beautiful vistas of the surrounding mountains for wedding ceremonies and equally beautiful sunsets to the west during the cocktail hour and reception. Plus, your guests get to ride up to the wedding venue in a gondola, which is super fun and makes for lots of good candid photography moments.
Check out Jen and Holly’s Thunderhead Lodge wedding to see more!
Planning a Wedding in Vail
Vail is our personal favorite mountain to ski in all of Colorado, which is really saying something because Colorado has so many amazing mountains. And in our opinion, all of the most unique Vail wedding venues incorporate winter sports in one way or another. With over 5,000 skiable acres, Vail is truly an epic place for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels.
Pro tip: Catch the first chair at 8:30 in the morning and head directly back to Blue Sky Basin. It will take at least 20-30 minutes of multiple chair lifts and traversing across the back bowls, but the destination will be well worth the effort. We promise you will absolutely not regret it.
The only downside is that Vail is super expensive and weddings here are priced accordingly. Even so, like all of the ski towns in Colorado, summer is the slow season, so hotel prices tend to go down a bit. That said, we always encourage our couples to incorporate snow sports into their weddings shoots whenever possible because it makes for some really epic mountain wedding photos.
If you want to have your cake and eat it too (i.e. ski or snowboard on your wedding weekend and not pay top dollar), we recommend planning your wedding for April or November. These times are considered the “shoulder” season when the mountain is just starting to close or just starting to open. There won’t be as much terrain open to skiers, but many of the most unique Vail wedding venues will offer reduced rates since it’s outside of peak tourism season.
If you have your heart set on a summer wedding in Vail, that’s cool too! There are plenty of fun outdoor activities available in the Vail valley during the summer months, such as hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and many more.
Vail Wedding Venues
Lion Square Lodge
Lion Square Lodge is located directly next to the Lionshead Village gondola in Vail, which makes it super easy to sneak off and ride the gondola to the top of the mountain for some epic wedding photos. Also, the wedding ceremonies and receptions at Lion Square Lodge take place out in the lawn directly next to Gore Creek, which makes for some really cool riverside weddings.
Check out Andrea and Shawn’s Lion Square Lodge wedding to see more!
The Sonnenalp Hotel is situated on Gore Creek in downtown Vail, which makes it the perfect location a riverside wedding ceremony. The reception area also has a super cool transparent rooftop, so you can stargaze as you dance the night away. Plus, the venue is just a stone’s throw from the main Vail Mountain gondola, which makes for some really cool wedding portraits if you have time during the day to sneak away for a bit.
Located just outside of Vail, between Redcliff and Leadville, Camp Hale was developed during World War II as a training facility for the 10th Mountain Division, a specialized infantry trained for fighting in mountainous and arctic conditions. And now you can have your Vail wedding there. How. Cool. Is. That? It’s extremely isolated and there is no cell reception whatsoever, so instead of looking at their phone, your wedding guests will be present the whole day and actively participating in your wedding.
Check out Kelly and Chris’s Camp Hale wedding to see more!
Planning a Wedding in Winter Park
Note: There are an infinite number of measuring sticks one could use to determine which are the most unique Winter Park wedding venues, but we’ve included our personal favorite (hands down) below. As we continue to venture back to Winter Park to shoot future weddings, we’ll be sure to continue to update this list!
A relatively new area founded in 1978, Winter Park is a ski resort town in central Colorado located just over the Berthoud pass, north of Georgetown. Unlike some of the other ski resort areas, Winter Park is surrounded by expansive open lands of with lots of ranches and ranch-style wedding venues. This part of the state feels like how I imagine Colorado felt for the first settlers as they made their journey west. It’s a great place to get off of the grid and enjoy a bit of solitude. Or to invite 100 of your closest friends and family to join you for one of the most important days of your life.
Pro-tip: If you’re wedding planning on a budget, consider booking your wedding for one of the “shoulder” seasons, which are late spring (April) and late fall (November). These two seasons lie between ski season and summer vacation, so prices will be low and the valley won’t be overrun by tourists. Not only will this save you money when it comes to booking your wedding venue and wedding vendors, but your wedding guests will also appreciate the lower prices for airfare, rental cars and hotel rooms.
But if you have your heart set on a winter wedding weekend during which you can ski with your closest friends and family before and after the wedding, there are a whole lot of worse ways we can think of to spend your money. Either way, you can’t go wrong!
Winter Park Wedding Venues
Devil’s Thumb Ranch
Devil’s Thumb Ranch is a working horse ranch just north of Winter Park, in the small town of Tabernash. It’s an extremely unique wedding venue, in that it’s both simultaneously rustic and also somehow modern and chic. Devil’s Thumb Ranch is as much a posh resort as it is a horse ranch, so it really has something for everyone. Plus, there are tons of great wedding photo opportunities with the horses!
Check out Jess and Robb’s Devil’s Thumb Ranch wedding to see more!