With its glittering hotels, cobblestone villages, boundless terrain and perfect powder, Vail has long been known as a chic skier’s paradise. But did you know that it’s also an amazing wedding destination? Nestled high up in the Rockies beneath the Gore Range, Vail has just about everything you could want from a mountain resort, including some of the best wedding and event venues in Colorado. Summer or winter, the views are stunning, the accommodations are world class, and there’s loads for guests to do. Here’s what you need to know to plan a magical destination wedding in Vail.
The easiest way to get to Vail is by flying directly into Eagle County Regional Airport. Itineraries are limited, but it serves several major US cities. Otherwise, guests can fly into Denver and take a beautiful two hour drive in a rental car or via the Colorado Mountain Express shuttle.
There’s no bad time to visit Vail, so your wedding date depends on whether you want a summer wildflower wedding or snowy mountain nuptials. Winter is peak season, and snow is plentiful from November to March. It is cold, however, with average lows in the single digits from December until February. In summer, expect dry, comfortable days and slightly cooler nights, with highs reaching a maximum of 76°F in July. Mud season (or shoulder season) is when you’ll find your best prices but check availability as some places will close briefly.
For mountain views… For a memorable wedding ceremony, the 360-degree views from the Event Deck at the top of Vail Mountain can’t be beat. (And what could be more fun than taking the gondola up to say your “I do”s?)
For European flair… We’ve planned some spectacular luxury destination weddings at the Four Seasons Vail (including one where the bride walked down the aisle over the hotel pool!). There are several beautiful spaces at this five-star property for all sizes of weddings, including the glamorous, expansive Bighorn Ballroom.
For romantic, rustic elegance… Piney River Ranch is tucked away beneath the Gore Range, north of Vail. It’s a gorgeously rustic venue with plenty of mountain charm, and a variety of outdoor activities for guests to enjoy. Open June through September only, the venue also has a panoramic ceremony deck and two custom log pavilions.
For foodie couples… The 10th is an on-mountain dining experience second to none. It’s situated at the top of Gondola One in Vail, and has wonderful views of the Gore Range through its floor to ceiling windows. The food is an exquisite fusion of European and modern alpine cuisine that will truly wow your guests. It’s also a great option for a rehearsal dinner!
One advantage of a destination wedding in Vail is that there’s plenty to do, whatever the season! The town is built around skiing, but in winter there’s also snowboarding, snowmobiling, dog sledding and ice skating beneath the stars at the Alderhof Ice Rink. In summer, there’s hiking, golf, whitewater rafting and the Epic Discovery, which has a mountain roller coaster, tubing, and an adrenaline-pumping zip line canopy tour. Of course, you’ll find lots of prime shopping, fine dining and luxurious spa options too.
Vail Wedding Tips and Ideas
- Vail sits at 8,000 feet above sea level so the altitude can take some adjustment. Be sure to include mountain essentials like Acli-Mate, mini oxygen canisters, and bottled water in your destination wedding gift bags.
- The Vail vistas are unreal! However, if you’re planning an outdoor ceremony or reception, be sure to work with your wedding planner to secure a backup plan in case of bad weather.
- Give a nod to your wedding location by weaving one or two ski-themed details into your décor. For example, name tables after your favorite ski spots or runs, incorporate ski poles into a modern monogram or base your stationery on vintage ski resort posters.
Top image by Dreamtime Images