By Kayla Schwartz
Boasting more than 300 days of sunshine and breathtaking scenery, Colorado offers brides and wedding planners the best of both worlds for a summer wedding: ideal temperate weather and idyllic Rocky Mountain ambiance.
Nothing short of spectacular—from the scenic backdrops to unique “rustic romance”—is what couples and invited guests can expect from a Colorado summer wedding. Whether it’s an urban setting along the Front Range to one of the award-winning mountain resort destinations, brides, grooms and wedding planners can incorporate outdoor activities such as horseback riding, ziplining, river rafting, biking, hiking and fly fishing.
Colorado’s award-winning resorts and destinations have earned their accolades for seamlessly combining the best of the outdoors and indoors, with eco-luxe accommodations, creative themes, innovative cuisine and high service standards.
Offering a vacation as part of a destination wedding has become one of the most popular trends in summer weddings. It transforms a single-day wedding into a getaway and opportunity for everyone to escape from the hustle and bustle and really enjoy themselves. For example, Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa is just 65 miles away from Denver, making it easy for in-state or out-of-state bridal parties and guests to reach the Ranch and enjoy all the amenities. There are several mountain destinations within easy reach of Denver International Airport and other airports around the state.
In addition to the wonderful settings, themed weddings that play off Colorado’s Western history and culture provided added appeal. We’ve had bridal parties arrive on a wagon, ride down the aisle on a donkey and arrive in a horse-drawn carriage. While our outdoor wedding ceremony site is the most popular and includes a stone walkway that can accommodate heels, we’ve had couples get married barefoot or in cowboy boots in a meadow. Another popular element is pre- and post-spa parties that include wine and cheese, massage and other pampering treatments.
On the indulgent note, there are no shortcomings when it comes to culinary options, including special on-site venues for rehearsal dinners and dining for guests at many Colorado properties. At Devil’s Thumb Ranch, we have more than a dozen indoor and outdoor venues to stage any type of dinner, from more intimate private wine cellar dinners for 14 to 40 to larger outdoor pavilions and reclaimed historic barns with vaulted ceiling windows that seamlessly connect the indoors and outdoors.
Tips for an unforgettable Colorado summer wedding
- 1. Schedule a site tour at least 12 to 18 months out for the best availability.
- 2. Hire a wedding planner before any other vendors. Most planners have relationships with vendors and can get better rates and actually save you money over the long run.
- 3. Use a planner who is familiar with the property/resort/venue and understands the unique features and nuances.
- 4. Go inclusive versus à la carte. A resort or property should be able to give you one price so you know expected costs and can make adjustments to meet your budget.
- 5. Reserve a room block to get the best available group rate and submit a room list for the bridal party and key family members before sending out invitations to guests.
At full-service venues, everything is staged and coordinated in one locale, so the happy couple and all wedding guests have a chance to truly unwind and enjoy the wedding experience, before, during and after a Colorado summer wedding. Happy planning!
Kayla Schwartz is the on-site weddings expert for Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa, an award-winning, eco-friendly and year-round ranch resort and weddings destination, nestled among 6,000 acres of privately owned wilderness.