What Most Mountain Bride’s Don’t Know About High Altitude

Make Sure Your Wedding Guests Don’t Fry!

wedding guests use umbrellas to shade them from the sunImage from Frenzel Photography via Valley & Co Blog

Most destination mountain brides don’t realize how much stronger the sun is at altitude. Mountain summers tend to be mild, with temperatures ranging in the 70s and 80s. With such relatively cool weather, it’s difficult to feel the affects of the high altitude sun until it’s too late.

A simple way to ensure guests stay comfortable, and don’t get burned to a crisp — or worse, get sun poisoning — offer shade during your outdoor ceremony.

You can offer personal umbrellas (like the image above), plan to get married in a shaded area (like a forest) or arrange for some sort of tent. If your venue allows it, you can even set up wooden beams hang pretty fabric between them and across the seating area. (Note that this will work best with smaller weddings.)

Other Mountain Wedding Safety Considerations

You may also want to provide small travel-sized portions of sunscreen, and sun blocking lip-balm. And while we’re at it, don’t forget to provide plenty of water, or refreshing, rehydrating, non-alcoholic options. People dehydrate quickly at altitude, leading to headaches and lethargy.

Lastly, educate your wedding guests about high altitude safety beforehand. Mention it in your Save the Date cards or in an insert in your invitation suite. Also include high altitude safety tips in out-of-town bags.

Make sure wedding guests know to:

  • always wear sun block
  • drink less than they normally do (you get drunk faster at altitude)
  • drink plenty of water

Finally, include information on dehydration and altitude sickness. Make sure your wedding planner or close friend can keep an eye on your guests. Have them offer sunblock every couple of hours. If someone seems to be getting tipsy too quickly, have your go-to person offer them water or a refreshing, non-alcoholic beverage. If someone displays signs of altitude sickness, have a plan to transport them to a lower elevation immediately.

Need more information? Consult your wedding planner, or the local hospital (or ski patrol) of your mountain destination.