February 19, 2018
Destination weddings. It’s the hot new thing and frankly, they are freakin’ amazing. As a wedding photographer in a destination, ski resort town, I’ve learned all the ins and outs to destination weddings.
Here we go..
1. Hire local vendors!
Or at least someone who knows the area very well. Locals will be able to point you in the right direction for anything and everything about your wedding day. From favorite vendors they’ve worked with, the best areas for photos and lets be real — we want a personal locals tour guide for hikes, favorite restaurants (hello South Ridge Seafood) and the best drinks in town. Sometimes Google isn’t as personable as we want it to be.
2. Having your timing right
One thing most couples don’t realize is that Colorado is SUPER seasonal. At least in the mountains. May is known for ‘mud season.’ A good portion of the town shuts down and the weather is all over the place. Holidays are also super busy and hotels book up fast. For summer weddings look into July, August or September. For winter destination weddings January, early February and April are great times that aren’t as busy. If your destination wedding is on the beach, make sure it’s not hurricane season. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
3. Take a trip!
Take a trip, but do your research before! Set up coffee dates with your vendors to pick their brain, schedule your engagement session with your photographer and set up a trial for your hair and makeup. Get to know the town and enjoy why it’s so special to you.
4. Check out the local marriage laws
In Colorado, no need for an officiant! You can self-solemnize meaning you can marry yourself! If hiking to the top of a mountain just the two of you is you’re thing. DO IT. Just don’t forget me. 😉
5. Hire a wedding planner!
DO. IT. They. will. save. your. life. and. mine. Even a day of coordinator helps so much. Being across the country, world or state you won’t regret having someone there to help piece together the day.
6. Do your research
Most likely, guests won’t be familiar with the area either. Have some things mapped out for them. Airport shuttles, hotels, top things to do in Breckenridge. Make sure your guests know about the elevation if they’re coming from sea level.
7. Get there early
You’re officially on vacation and you’re getting married. Time to celebrate! Experience the town you choose to start your life in. Hike a 14er, learn to fly fish on the Colorado River, sit on the patio at Angels Hollow and drink a margarita. ALSO. Elevation. Ya never know who it’s going to hit. Give yourself a few days to get your body adjusted to the elevation gain. Stay a night or two in Denver. Drink lots of water! Most importantly, RELAX. Chances are the hard part is over and now it’s time to take it all in.
8. Plan something low key with your friends and family
You’re already paying for the wedding so no need to plan something extravagant, but a majority of my couples LOVE destination weddings for this reason. You’re on vacation with your closest friends and family. Doesn’t get better than that. Meet everyone in the hotel lobby bar, have your parents host a brunch at an Airbnb or invite everyone over for a potluck.
9. Look into a day after session
You’ve had your wedding pictures done, engagement pictures done and you’re either over the camera or an expert model now. Why stop now?! You’re in the coolest location, now for some fun. Love hiking? Grab your photographer and have them follow you on an adventure. Biking? Yup. Bring em. Fishing. I’m bringing a pole too. Rent a boat. You betta’ believe I’m there.