Best Mountain Wedding Venues {Colorado | UPDATED 2020}

The moment you step on top of that sweeping view mountain vista it takes your breath away. The air may literally be thinner but the views are one that set your humanity into place. A chill runs up your spine and you know your love story deserves to begin at one of these mountain locations. A place that leaves your jaw dropped and wondering if you’re going to wake up from a dream because the landscape before you is completely unreal. If you’re anything like me and your heart stops a beat as you gaze into the majesty of mountains, then its no surprise that you’ll want your wedding day, the beginning of the rest of your lives together, to begin on a mountain top that takes your breath away as much as your partner does.

I’m so excited to share with you my absolute favorite mountain wedding venues here in Colorado!

Let’s start with all the venues we’ll cover!

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While I haven’t photographed EVERY mountain wedding venue there exists in Colorado, I have been fortunate enough to photograph a handful. So here are some of my favorite or as I’d say best mountain wedding venues in Colorado.

Telluride San Sophia Overlook

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Telluride, Colorado is just one of those areas of the world that you just cannot believe exist, let alone within the United States. Its a magical place full of adventure and wonder. The ski resort offers world class skiing and in the summer time a wedding venue that puts a lot of other wedding venues to shame.

Guests are ushered up the gondolas to mid mountain that has 365 degrees of unreal mountain views. Then walked out 1-2 minutes to a designated area with a wooden platform that gives you this amazing backdrop of the San Sophia Mountains. Exchange your vows at this peak, catch the crazy amazing alpine glow and head down the mountain to a fun rustic lodge where you can party and dance your hearts away!

Telluride is truly a destination wedding venue due to its remoteness but don’t let that deter you from considering this as your wedding day. One of our biggest suggestions to couples is to consider having a wedding that fits their hearts verse what fits their guest list. Yes, family and friends are important but the ones that love you will go to the moon and back with you. 😉 Or to a remote location too.

Want more info about getting married in Telluride and some ideas of how to handle the logistics of the area? Head to this blog post Wedding In Telluride I created just for this!

 

Here are some of favorite reasons why I personally love Telluride as a mountain small wedding photographer.

  • When I got asked to be this couple’s mountain wedding photographer at Telluride I about fell off my chair. Telluride is seriously unreal and well anywhere around the San Juan mountain range will make you wonder if you are really in the USA or if you were transported to Switzerland or New Zeleand.

  • The wedding coordinators at Telluride Ski Resort are some of my favorite to work with.

  • Telluride weddings are definitely a destination wedding as most vendors aren’t local, nor will any of your guest be close but it is worth every single penny!

This mountain wedding was from June , which is actually one of the more affordable times to be in Telluride, right before their blue grass festival and before summer season kicks off.

This  Telluride Wedding At San Sophia Overlook mountain wedding was from June, which is actually one of the more affordable times to be in Telluride, right before their blue grass festival and before summer season kicks off.


Want more info about getting married in Telluride and some ideas of how to handle the logistics of the area? Head to this blog post Wedding In Telluride I created just for this!

 

Mount Princeton Hot Springs

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If you’re looking for a mountain wedding venue closer to Denver but still capturing the majesty of the mountains then Mount Princeton Hot Springs may be your wedding venue. Only two hours from Denver, Colorado just out side of Buena Vista, Colorado its an accessible location for most couples.

Mount Princeton Hot Springs has two beautiful ceremony locations one near the river with luscious green trees and grass near the creek that will set a romantic tone for your wedding day or looking out on to canyons around Mount Princeton. Either ceremony site is just absolutely gorgeous!

Another perk to Mount Princeton Hot Spring’s mountain wedding venue is that it is nestled in a canyon so you won’t be dealing with as high of altitudes and weathers you get when you are literally on TOP of a mountain. Sometimes being in that canyon can protect you some from the crazy and unpredictable weather that happens at a peak.

Their reception hall is absolutely gorgeous too with windows on three sides of the building letting in the spectacular views of the area while also letting in the mountain cool breeze as your reception party heats up!

I cannot forget to mention that this venue is actually a really cool resort that could function as an all inclusive stay for your family and friends in a hotel or cabin setting that is absolutely adorable and truly the heart of Colorado. The summer fun of the hot springs, their slides, spa and wonderful fitness center on site also make this a magical place. I’m a HUGE fan of hot springs myself and even if you don’t get married here I highly recommend just visiting Mount Princeton Hot Springs for the hot springs themselves. You won’t be disappointed. Better yet book a spa appointment and get access to the spa only side. Totally worth it!

See more from this Mount Prince Hot Springs wedding here.

More reasons why I love Mount Princeton Hot Springs as a mountain wedding venue:

  • If I hadn’t ever been to or known about Telluride mountain weddings, Mount Princeton Hot Springs would be my top choice for the best mountain wedding venue.

  • The views around the entire area are absolutely stunning! I adore that you can have your wedding ceremony in a few different locations, one in a meadow by the river, or looking out into the mountains.

  • I also like that this mountain wedding venue has gorgeous access to a stream, a mountain top, and a field. It was like a photographers dream come true…now to know where we took the field photo is one you’ll just have to hire us to find out. 😉

  • Like Telluride, Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort is a destination wedding, but it is a lot more accessible. The resort includes affordable room and board and has lots of fun options for family and friends to really spend time together.

Click below to learn more about hiring us to photograph your mountain wedding or elopement!

Don’t worry you don’t need to have your venue booked yet. 😉

Sapphire Point

Sapphire Point has breath taking views of the Breckenridge and Summit County area. Its a small walk from the trail parking lot, less than a quarter of a mile that is easily accessible by anyone with any hiking skill levels. It has a designated ceremony circle that is perfect for sitting out a small amount of chairs or having your family/friends gather around you. Its near some beautiful places so you can easily have your ceremony there and then drive 15-30 minutes around the area to some different epic locations.

 

Its is a beautiful location no matter the season which is a hard find especially in the winter months of Colorado.

We love this location so much we created a WHOLE guide for you on how to get married here. Check it out: How To Have A  Sapphire Point Wedding

Snow Mountain Ranch

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Snow Mountain Ranch is actually a YMCA, BUT before you get all weirded out and think yuck to a YMCA wedding let me tell you all the amazing perks about this specific YMCA.

First, it has this view (above photo). I mean how freaking KILLER is this for your ceremony spot!? And the built in benches to the ceremony are so stinking adorable, which when it comes to wedding planning makes your lives A LOT easier because you don’t have to figure out an epic location and figure out how to get chairs there – which is a real thing.

Second, it has lodging on site. This is super great especially if you and/or your guests are all coming from out of town and need a place to stay. The YMCA has great actives to keep your guests occupied and different types of stays to match your needs from hotel like lodging to wooden cabins.

Snow Mountain Ranch is only 1.5-2 hours (depending on traffic) from Denver which is super great if you’re looking for a amazing venue that is accessible for people all over.

When its time for your reception you’ll head to one of their many reception sites that can be fully enclosed or more of an open patio feel. Their sites are more rustic looking but the best part of a YMCA as a venue is you get to pick your caterer. Yep, you don’t have to pay for the venues set reception per person prices — you can decide if you want BBQ, Pies or a 5 star caterer to serve you and your guests! I honestly think that in planning your wedding that can be the biggest hinderance is loving the venue but not sure about the catering or wanting to pay THAT much per person for all your guests to attend.

Surrounded by gorgeous mountain passes Snow Mountain Ranch is covered with breath taking areas. Just off to the side of the ceremony site is THE most gorgeous groves of aspen trees that will melt your hearts for all you fall loving couples out there.

Ready to see some real Snow Mountain Ranch weddings we’ve done over the past few years. Here’s some of our favorites:

More Reasons Why I Love Snow Mountain Ranch

  • I ADORE Snow Mountain Ranch YMCA of the Rockies! If I could get married again I’d do it here in the fall.

  • I love that the ceremony site has drop dead gorgeous views, and endless places for beautiful photos. To top the cherry on top, they have super fun activities for family and friends to do at this is a mountain destination wedding. AND its an affordable venue because its a YMCA. It books up super fast, for obvious reasons, so book the moment your engaged, for real.

  • I really like that they let you bring your own catering and aren’t subject to the venue’s catering, which let’s be honest we are food lovers, and bad food can seriously kill a gorgeous view.

Click below to learn more about hiring us to photograph your mountain wedding or elopement!

Don’t worry you don’t need to have your venue booked yet. 😉

Devil's Thumb Ranch

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If you’re looking for a truly high class mountain wedding venue Devil’s Thumb Ranch may be the place for your. Rated as a 5 star hotel themselves you can only guess that the same amount of care goes into their wedding as does for their guests. This is an all inclusive resort with you activities and catering all taken care of with multiple ceremony locations and reception sites, on site lodging and a attentive staff this is one of my favorite mountain wedding venues that attends to everyone of your needs.

Devil’s Thumb Ranch is about 2 hours from Denver and secluded on its own property tucked in between Winter Park and Grand Lake, Colorado setting its own valley tone. While its not at a mountain peak it does have 365 views of the rocky mountains all around. The reception sites for this wedding venue are bar non the most stunning reception sites I’ve seen as a wedding photographer. The halls are absolutely gorgeous and every wedding planners dream to work with I’m sure! Not to mention the surrounding landscape of the area is just breath taking covered in trees and mountains all around it truly is an enchanting mountain wedding venue.

Planning a smaller wedding too? They’ve got you covered with a more private intimate reception site that has windows on all four sides of the building that warm it up quickly the beautiful Colorado sunshine and allow you to stay warm while enjoying the amazing views of this area of Colorado.

Here are some more reasons why I love Devil’s Thumb Ranch

  • Devil’s Thumb Ranch is a more high class mountain get away. I love their outdoor ceremony site as well as their gorgeous indoor reception areas. Out of all the mountain wedding venues Devil’s Thumb Ranch has the best reception area.

  • The catering is outstanding!

  • I’ve had the honor of photographing a wedding here but due to client request did not blog this wedding but here are a few photos I can share from this winter wedding at Devil’s Thumb Ranch.

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More Reasons Why I Love Snow Mountain Ranch

  • I ADORE Snow Mountain Ranch YMCA of the Rockies! If I could get married again I’d do it here in the fall.

  • I love that the ceremony site has drop dead gorgeous views, and endless places for beautiful photos. To top the cherry on top, they have super fun activities for family and friends to do at this is a mountain destination wedding. AND its an affordable venue because its a YMCA. It books up super fast, for obvious reasons, so book the moment your engaged, for real.

  • I really like that they let you bring your own catering and aren’t subject to the venue’s catering, which let’s be honest we are food lovers, and bad food can seriously kill a gorgeous view.

Click below to learn more about hiring us to photograph your mountain wedding or elopement!

Don’t worry you don’t need to have your venue booked yet. 😉

Rocky Mountain National Park

Where do I even begin with Rocky Mountain National Park!? Its an iconic place in Colorado for a reason. Its just endlessly beautiful from the moment you pass through the entrance gates to an turn or twist you take up and around the park. You don’t even need to be a hiker to access some amazing views! Its closer to Denver, so its accessible. In fact, its about 1.5 hours from Denver without any traffic. In there winter some of the passes may slow you down a bit but its worth the drive.

Ok, its gorgeous but what else should you know? Well, there are only a few designated areas for couples to get married and its really a venue for smaller numbers as it has a capacity of 30 guests. You can find the full details on the RMNP page here. So if you’re really battling an epic place to get married with your guest list I’d really encourage you to consider if a small wedding is something both of you truly want.

Check out our guide on how to have a  Sprague Lake Wedding

If that doesn’t fit your vibe here are some of my other favorite venues in Estes Park that would allow you to have a bigger ceremony, reception hall and access to go to Rocky Mountain National Park to take your wedding photos.

Do keep in mind when hiring a photographer or other vendors that you need to account for the amount of time it takes to get from your venue into the park. Some of the more epic places are a good hour into Rocky Mountain National Park due to the tight switch backs and lovely animals crossing the street or uh-hm people stopping to watch them. Haha.

Click below to learn more about hiring us to photograph your mountain wedding or elopement!

Don’t worry you don’t need to have your venue booked yet. 😉

Della Terra

colorado-best-mountain-wedding-venues-colorado_wedding_photographer_Jenni&Kipp_0710_vintage-2.jpgDella Terra Mountain Chateau

Similar to Devil’s Thumb Ranch Della Terra is an all inclusive wedding venue meaning they will provide catering, ceremony and reception set up. Located in the foothills of Estes Park this is truly a wonderful mountain wedding venue with beautiful ceremony and reception spots. They have a lovely outdoor area with a gorgeous mountain backdrop for summer weddings and a beautiful indoor ceremony/reception site for more unpredictable months.

This venue is a bit of a maze to navigate as a guest staying there but a luxury hotel non the less. You’ll fee absolutely pampered as a couple at this mountain wedding venue. Their suits are so gorgeous and stunningly designed. You’ll feel as if you’ve escaped to another country in this romantic wedding venue.

I personally love this venue because of its closeness to Rocky Mountain National Park and also for its beautiful indoor ceremony site.

You can see more of this Della Terra Mountain Wedding here.

 

Black Canyon Inn

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Black Canyon Inn

Black Canyon Inn is another mountain wedding venue with spectacular views and easy access to Rocky Mountain National Park. This venue has a lovely covered ceremony site that is perfect to keep out any weather but doesn’t hinder this amazing backdrop it looks out into.

This venue is more affordable for some brides and a good solution if you don’t need a crazy amount of pomp but want to just be some place absolutely stunning. Black Canyon Inn also has lodging for you and your guests which is great especially if you’re traveling in for your wedding day. Its also nice to be able to enjoy you’re ceremony and reception at the same location.

The site of Black Canyon Inn is wonderfully beautiful. The whole grounds of the inn will set your mountain loving heart on fire!

Click below to learn more about hiring us to photograph your mountain wedding or elopement!

Don’t worry you don’t need to have your venue booked yet. 😉

Chief Hosa Lodge

This is from a VERY old wedding but a mountain venue I still love. You can see more of some bad older photos here haha.

This is from a VERY old wedding but a mountain venue I still love. You can see more of some older photos Chief Hosa Wedding Photos here.

An under used mountain venue just 30 minutes from Denver, Colorado, Chief Hosa Lodge is honestly one of the hidden gems of Colorado. Chief Hosa is literally a castle with amazing mountain views. The stone building is absolutely stunning to hold your reception while the outdoor ceremony site overlooks one of the most beautiful views along I-70 as you drive away from the hustle and bustle of Denver.

This mountain wedding venue is on the smaller side so you would have to limit your guest list. With a max of 125 people, I think most couples could get to that number if they needed to!

It is also owned by the city of Denver (see more on the Denver Parks and Rec Website) so it is one of the most affordable enclosed wedding venues on this list. Since its run by the city you do have to hire catering companies to bring in supplies and everything you’ll need but its non the less an amazing venue. Again, getting to choose your own caterer is sometimes a perk when venue shopping. You get to choose your menu and type of catering you’d like. Food truck, check, your favorite BBQ restaurant, you bet. I love the options these types of venues allow.

I cannot not mention that Chief Hosa Lodge just hits the heart of every girl who dreamed of living in a mountain top castle. Haha.

If you find yourselves more of the adventurous kind who maybe love camping too you can reserve camp sites right across the street from this wedding venue and make a weekend party of it with your family and friends.

More reasons why I love this mountain wedding venue:

  • This little gem is just tucked away less than 30 minutes from Denver but all the stunning views other mountain wedding venues have. Bonus is that this venue looks like a castle, so if you’ve been dreaming of an castle wedding off the coasts of Ireland but couldn’t quite afford it, I’d say this is a good settling option. 😉

  • Chief Hosa Lodge is a Denver, Colorado owned facility so it is a little different to book than your normal venue but it also means it is more affordable and you can bring in any caterers you want. Also, it is a little smaller venue with a max of 125 people so is for smaller weddings.

  • I love that this location is close to Denver so your guests can stay in more affordable denver accommodations.

 

Pro Tip We highly recommend shopping around to find the best bang for your buck between VRBO, Turnkey and Airbnb

Check out these places to stay in the foothills of Denver

Click below to learn more about hiring us to photograph your mountain wedding or elopement!

Don’t worry you don’t need to have your venue booked yet. 😉

Shupe Homestead

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Nestled in the foothills of Longmont, Colorado this adorable homestead isn’t quite in the mountains but it looks out into some of the most beautiful mountain views. I’ve included this on this list because it truly is a lovely venue that has a backyard feel to it with the mountains in the background. Its a beautiful venue too for needing an indoor reception hall while having the fun of being on a homestead too.

F.A.Q. Mountain Wedding Venues

Things to know about Mountain wedding Venues:

WEATHER:

While it may be obvious mountain wedding venues are in the mountains it may not be obvious from all the gorgeous photos you’re browsing through that the weather in the mountains is highly variable.

Stray and afternoon thunder storms are a real reality in the summer time here in Colorado especially when you’re looking at being on a peak at venues like Telluride. If you can or your schedule allows I HIGHLY recommend morning ceremonies to have a greater chance of skipping those thunderstorms. Or have a plan B with your venue.

If you do experience or have a forecast of weather on your wedding day truly try not to fret. The great part of Colorado is that it could down pour for an hour and one hour later be sunshine with not a cloud in sight. We truly get more sunshine days than anything else per year!

ALTITUDE

While the mountain views are specular something you need to truly consider is if you and your guests can adjust to the altitude. Altitude sickness is a very REAL thing. It can cause headaches, dizziness and fatigue, which is not fun when you’re at your own wedding let alone trying to enjoy your besties big day!

If you’re coming from sea level or below sea level give your body time to adjust. Maybe stay a night or two in Denver before heading up to the mountains, even better plan a trip out here before you book a venue to see how you do.

Different venues have different altitudes. Venues like Devils Thumb are at a lower altitude than say at the overlook in Telluride. 1,000 feet or two makes a huge difference for some people. So I highly recommend considering it when you’re looking at your wedding venue options.

Some tips to dealing with it is to stay hydrated. Add a lemon or lime to your water for extra electrolytes or grab some coconut water. Skip binging on the alcohol and remember you get drunk twice as fast. 😉 Also keep in mind physical exertion is different if you’re coming from a lower altitude. You may find a flight of stairs twice as challenging as you did back at home. Take your time and don’t judge yourself, I promise you’re fit your body just isn’t used to so little oxygen.

Other Mountain Wedding Venues

SMALLER WEDDING VENUES

If you have a smaller guest list or are considering a smaller wedding or evening eloping I’d love to share with you my favorite Colorado elopement location list!

If you are still early on in your planning stages I’d love for your to truly consider with your partner your venue needs and if having a bigger wedding is truly what fits you both. Loosing the large guest list can be so freeing to some couples and allow them to have a wedding more about them and less about who’s coming. Then again we totally get making sure your high school girl friends and their crew can be there to have the party of your life. Either way we’ve got you covered, friend!

 

OTHER VENUES

Other Mountain wedding venue’s I haven’t photographed but would love to are below. I don’t know much about these venues since I haven’t photographed here so keep that in mind.

  • Piney River Ranch – This is a very secluded venue but absolutely goregous!
  • Aspen Ski Area
  • Crested Butte Ski Area
  • Vail Ski Area
  • Breckenridge Ski Area
  • Keystone Ski Area
  • YMCA of the Rockies
  • Camp Hale
  • Airbnb wedding or other vacation rentals
  • Anyway where in the middle of the forest. 😉

UNCHARTED VENUES

If you’re looking to have a venue in a beautiful field or off a trail side you found online please make sure to research who owns the property to apply for the proper permits for the area. Some photographers like us actually help couples figure this information out so don’t be afraid to ask your vendors for help!

NEED HELP PLANNING YOUR WEDDING?

DOWNLOAD OUR FREE COLORADO ELOPEMENT PLANNING GUIDE

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COMMENTS

5 Responses

    1. Thanks for the feedback for our readers! I’ve only shared venues we personally have photograph and can share all the juice details with our readers. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Colroado is full of so many beautiful locations! Feel free to share more if you know of any!

    1. Thanks for the feedback for our readers! I’ve only shared venues we personally have photograph and can share all the juice details with our readers. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Colroado is full of so many beautiful locations! Feel free to share more if you know of any!

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Hey, I’m Emmy, the main voice behind Celebrate Again. Here you’ll find ways to live the Celebrate Again lifestyle. I want to help you to embody the joy of life by learning to Celebrate Again in everything from the practice of intentional breath to taking on major life events. I believe your life should be full and be what you make it. Whether you’re joining me to plan your wedding, celebrate an anniversary, adventure around the USA, stay connected to your beloved, practice yoga or whip up a plant-based recipe, I’ve got you covered, friend.
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