I don’t ski. I gave it a pretty solid effort because when you live in the mountains it’s just kind of assumed that that’s how you spend your free time. But I hate being cold…loathe it. Funny thing is, I spend more time at the ski resorts than most. That’s because so many of Colorado’s premiere wedding destinations are located at the resorts. The slope-side restaurants that skiers and riders enjoy all winter long are transformed in to dreamy wedding venues come summer. The thing that puts these venues in a category all their own, aside from their dramatic scenery, is the fact that many of them are accessed by gondola or chairlift. (Fact, it is pretty hard to have a bad day at work when you have to take a gondola to get there.)
Colorado offers an awesome selection of wedding venues that are on-mountain and accessed by gondola (or chairlift) and since I’ve photographed weddings at most of them, I thought I’d put together a comprehensive list of these one-of-a-kind locations. If you’re looking to get married in the mountains and want to give your guests an experience they’ll never forget, look no further than these Colorado’s wedding venues accessed by chairlift or gondola…
Timber Ridge is a ceremony and reception venue located at 11,444′ above sea level on North Peak. It takes not just one, but two gondola rides to get to Timber Ridge, making it one of the most unique wedding venues in the state. You have the option of having your ceremony on the deck right outside the lodge or on Anticipation ski run, a short walk from the lodge with stunning views of Mt Guyot and Bald Mountain.
Schoolmarm Ski Run:
Schoolmarm Ski run is a ceremony location on Dercum Mountain and is reached by gondola from River Run Village in Keystone. Sprawling views of Lake Dillon and the Gore Range make this one of Summit County’s best ceremony sites. Since this is a ceremony-site only, three awesome reception venue options in Keystone are Alpenglow Stube (take a second gondola to the next mountain over) or Ski Tip Lodge or Keystone Ranch (both located at the base of the mountain in Keystone).
Vail Wedding Deck (Holy Cross Event Deck):
The Vail Wedding Deck is located at the top of Vail Mountain and is accessed via the Eagle Bahn Gondola from Lionshead Village. This ceremony site offers unobstructed views of the Sawatch Range and Holy Cross Wilderness. Return to the base of the mountain for tons of great reception options around Vail. A couple of favorites are The Arrabelle at Vail Square (walking distance from the gondola) and Donovan Pavilion (a short drive).
The 10th is a ceremony and reception venue located on Vail Mountain and is accessed via Gondola One from Vail Village. This on-mountain lodge offers gorgeous views of the Gore Range and Vail Valley below.
Beaver Creek Wedding Deck:
The Beaver Creek Wedding Deck is a ceremony venue located on top of Beaver Creek Mountain and is accessed via the Centennial Gondola from Beaver Creek Village. Views of the rugged Gore Range make for a perfectly situated backdrop. Follow your ceremony with a reception at one of Beaver Creek Resort’s many remarkable venues. Two of my favorites are Saddle Ridge and Beano’s Cabin, both accessed by a short gondola and shuttle ride. Spruce Saddle is the nearest reception venue, located walking distance from the Wedding Deck.
Thunderhead Lawn & Champagne Powder Room
The Lodge @ Sunspot
The Lodge @ Sunspot is a ceremony and reception venue located on Winter Park Mountain. At 10,700′ Sunspot is accessed by the Zephyr Express chairlift and offers expansive views of the Fraser Valley.
Lunch Rock is a ceremony and reception venue located at 11,200′ on Mary Jane Mountain. This venue is accessed by first taking the Zephyr Express chairlift to the top of Winter Park Mountain then riding a shuttle further up the mountain to Lunch Rock. You’ll arrive to find some of the best unobstructed views of the Rockies.
Black Mountain Lodge
Black Mountain Lodge is a ceremony and reception venue located at 11,550′ above sea level. Accessed by the Black Mountain Express chairlift, this on-mountain venue has some of the most magnificent views in the state.
San Sophia Overlook & Alred’s Restaurant
There’s a lot to love about Telluride, one of the many is the free gondola that connects downtown Telluride to the Mountain Village. San Sophia Overlook is an on-mountain ceremony site surrounded by panoramic views of the San Juan mountains. Allred’s restaurant is located walking distance from San Sophia Overlook. Both are located at 10,551′ above sea level and are accessed via the free gondola. The views you’ll experience from both San Sophia and Allred’s are unlike anywhere else in Colorado.
Aspen Wedding Deck
The Aspen Wedding Deck is a ceremony site located at 11,212′ above sea level and is accessed via the Silver Queen Gondola from downtown Aspen. Sweeping views of the Elk Range will leave your guests in awe of the grandeur of the Rockies.