Finding your perfect venue is a delicate dance between letting your personality through with your venue choice, and finding something suitable for your guest list and your chosen location. Here are Five Tips for Choosing the Perfect Venue for your Mountain Wedding.
Consider your love story or family history.
Maybe you're one of those brides who grew up going to the mountains with your families. You have a connection to one place. You know it; You love it; You call it your own. I mean, you know it so well, you're practically locals. If this sounds like you, take a cue from the natural culture of your destination and incorporate details and decor that introduces your guests to the place you love so dearly.
Or maybe you and your fiance met in the mountains and have had some of your best ski trips, hiking adventures, romantic dates or camping excursions in the mountains. In that case consider “telling your love story” with your details. Name your table numbers after favorite hikes; have your favorite restaurant cater your reception; or offer little ski ornaments as a favor. Whatever you choose, let your “story” guide your decor decisions.
Check out your closet, living space, and garage
Look in your closet. Do you find big bold beautiful colors, or classic refined neutrals? Look at your living room. Do you prefer contemporary or classic styles? Are you drawn to natural and organic looking design, or something more sleek and modern? And finally, take a look at your garage (or gear closet) Do you see skis, mountain bikes, tennis racquets, hiking boots, backpacks, and/or kayaks? If so, consider incorporating references to your active lifestyle into your theme. It can be as simple as holding your wedding at a ski area and designing a lift ticket invitation suite, or as subtle as incorporating rosemary as an herb of “remembrance” AND because it resembles the pine forests you love to explore together.
Consult your guest list
This may not be what you want to hear, but many charming mountain venues are limited the number of people they can accommodate. I've seen historic houses only able to accommodate thirty people. Most venues accommodate 100 people, but if you have a 150 or 200 person guest list, you'll need to keep that in mind as you hunt for venues. A general rule of thumb is you'll need at least 15 square feet of space per person.
Tap Into Local Mountain History and Culture
Forget the big-name hotel and look for a venue that showcases the unique history or culture of your mountain destination. Mountain towns often have a variety of fun and unique venues, including Arboretums and botanical gardens, barns, historic houses, ranches, museums, castles and ski areas. Ask your planner for ideas about unique venues in the area.
Think outside of the…well, just think outside…
Sometimes the best venue doesn't include a four walls. Look for outdoor areas where you can set up a tent. Parks, golf courses, someone's charming rustic field. Putting up a tent beside a venue, such as a historic house, botanical gardens, national park monument, or museum can be a great way to take advantage of a unique venue without having to trim your guest list. Just bee sure to check with your planner or venue coordinator and caterer to make sure there are adequate facilities to bring in outside catering. And ask your caterer if they have done a wedding at your venue or have experience with outdoor weddings. You don;t want to be at a gorgeous location and have problems with feeding your guests. This is where a wedding planner can help!