How to Plan a Destination Wedding in Aspen, Colorado

How to Plan a Destination Wedding in Aspen, Colorado

A mountain town with a penchant for luxury, Aspen is at once scenically stunning, charming, rustic, and refined. At an elevation of 7,890 feet, against a backdrop of mountain peaks rising even higher, Aspen always dresses to impress: Summer is marked by lush green foliage and an abundance of wildflowers; each fall the Aspen trees put on a spectacular color show; and Aspen decked out in winter whites is truly the epitome of a "winter wonderland."

For brides-to-be dreaming of a destination wedding surrounded by some of Mother Nature's finest work, the good news is that Aspen's venues accommodate a range of budgets. Perhaps an Aspen wedding is more attainable than you might think.

On one end of the spectrum is the Hotel Jerome's "Licensed to Wed" package, which is inclusive of every last detail down to wedding rings from Aspen's Meridian Jewelers, and then some. But even this elegant Victorian-era hotel, one of Aspen's most sought-after wedding venues, offers a package many brides could justify. Priced at $5,000, the "Elope to Aspen" package attends to every detail for an intimate wedding ceremony, including photographer, officiant, flowers, a wedding cake, and Champagne toast.

For an outdoors ceremony, nothing bests the majesty of The Little Nell's Aspen Mountain Wedding Deck. At an elevation of 11,212 feet, the venue offers sweeping views of the surrounding mountain peaks. Two possible reception sites - the Sundeck and the Aspen Mountain Club are adjacent. The Little Nell adds special touches, such as providing guests with hot chocolate for the three-mile gondola ride up the mountain, and yoga on the mountain for the wedding party.

For venues with a cultural flair, Theatre Aspen's Hurst Theatre is available for weddings and receptions between late spring and fall; large garage doors roll up to create an indoor-outdoor atmosphere between the lobby and the grounds, which feature tranquil paths dotted with wildflowers during the warmer months. The rooftop at the Aspen Art Museum is an elegant space with dramatic, architectural elements. Panoramic views of Aspen and mountains beyond can be seen in almost every direction.

The Aspen Chapel, an intimate stone church tucked in the mountains as you enter Aspen's city limits, will facilitate weddings on-site in the sanctuary or garden, or off-site at venues throughout Aspen, for a reasonably-priced "requested donations" (the chapel is a non-profit). The interfaith chapel is also a great rain back up plan for outdoor ceremonies elsewhere - $500 covers an inclement weather contingency plan.

And for the bohemian bride dreaming of getting married barefoot in the grass, any of Aspen's beautiful public parks can be reserved for a wedding ceremony - all you need is a written Parks Use Permit, granted by the City of Aspen. This kind of DIY wedding requires a whole lot more logistical planning, but when the Big Day arrives, no doubt it will be magical.