This guest post was written for us by Kara from Love This Day Events. Kara plans beautiful weddings in the Denver area, so she knows all about how to plan a mountain wedding. Thanks Kara!
Mountain weddings are spectacular. Mountain weddings are iconic. Mountain weddings offer venue, food and design opportunities that are hard to match in an urban environment. Mountain weddings also offer unique challenges in terms of logistics. And mountain weddings should simply be more fun! Here are a few steps to get your mountain wedding planning process started and make your mountain wedding day spectacular! Plan, prepare and enjoy your wedding day.
Hire a planner.
It should be fun to plan your wedding. After the champagne and the congratulations phone calls, you and your fiance should take a week or two and really talk about what you would like your wedding to look and feel like. Ask for wedding planner recommendations from friends and do some online research (WeddingPlannerLove) and have a very honest discussion about your wedding plan during the interview. A good planner will save you time, money and hours of stress.
Set a budget.
Once you have decided what planner to work with start sketching out a budget. Your planner will be able to guide your plan and show you where to save and where to spend. Setting a budget is vital before you select your venue.
Start your Pinterest Board.
Pinterest is a great tool for design. It allows you to save your photos (instead of trying to remember which wedding blog your dream bouquet was in) and share inspirations with your vendors. Seeing 20-25 inspirational photos enables your wedding vendors to see what you love. With that information – you are setting everyone up for success.
Create a top three list.
Every couple is unique and each wedding has different priorities. Sit down with your betrothed and write down the top three most important elements for your wedding. Compare lists and compromise. If your fiance chooses bar, band and food and you have chosen band, food and decor – it only makes sense to find a venue known for their chef and menu with a reception space ready for a band. Put these lists somewhere you can both see them and revisit them from time to time. Remember what matters to the two of you.
Find the Venue.
Now you can find your dream mountain wedding location. With the budget, vision and priorities in mind, your wedding planner will be able to easily guide to a spectacular mountain venue. This will save you hundreds of driving miles and several weekend scouting trips!
Local Versus Imported Vendors.
Hire local or import your vendors from your city? Every couple has different needs. I recommend asking your venue for local vendor recommendations and planning a trip to interview a few. Plan your trip for a non-event day! Your florist will be able to spend much more time with you on a Tuesday than on a Saturday morning in August. See whose work you admire and who you feel comfortable with. Ask for references from past clients. The most important part of building your mountain wedding vendor team is that you hire people who you trust. If it is easier for you to work with someone from home – bring them with you. And you can always mix and match (some local and some imported) to create your dream team.
Always always always have a back up weather plan. Here in the Colorado Mountains, I have seen it snow on the 4th of July and I have seen 60 degrees and sunny days in February. Work with your wedding planner to create a weather plan and establish exactly how it will be communicated to your wedding party, vendors and guests. Make sure that you have allowed adequate time for reception rooms to be reset by the catering staff and for the florists to move any outdoor decor to your indoor location. Explore and plan for the worst case scenarios . . . and hope for sunshine.
Consider your guests and altitude.
Although you and your honey may have no problem hiking above timberline or taking a chairlift – consider your guests. Have alternate transportation, consider having oxygen available for older guests and encourage everyone to enjoy the mountains. At their own pace.
Be Prepared. The Emergency Kit.
Mountain weddings are usually a little bit removed from services and stores that we rely on in the city. The emergency kit should be stocked with everything from bandaids to superglue. Talk to your wedding planner about what she has in hers – there are always great stories behind some of the more unusual items in the kit.
Consider the elements when buying your dress.
If you are planning to get married outside consider what the ground will do to your train. If you are getting married on grass, consider a shoe with a wedge heel (or cowboy boots – what can I say – they are functional) and always have a wrap or coat that compliments your dress. It gets chilly when the sun goes down!
Outdoor Mountain Ceremonies
There are 3 must haves for Colorado Mountain outdoor ceremonies. Have water available for your guests. Have sunscreen available for your guests (even 30 minutes at 9,000 can do a number on you!) and consider offering the ladies parasols (there are several options for renting). If it’s early season, have bug spray available (mosquitos can be quite persistent early season).
Mountain Weddings and Your Dog.
Why not? Just remember 2 important things. If your dog is your ring bearer – please do not put your real rings on his collar (mountains + wildlife + dogs + expensive jewelry = stress). Have a plan for Fido for after the ceremony. Make sure someone is assigned to take him to the room, for a walk and feed him.
There may be a little more wind than you planned for. You may have forgotten your veil at home. No matter what hiccups may occur, your mountain wedding should be fun. Remember what is important to you and your new husband and trust in your planner, venue and the rest of your wedding team to make your day spectacular.
Thank you Kara! What a wonderful post!