Everything You Need to Know
Mountain weddings combine the beauty and grandeur of the great outdoors with the romantic and personal relationship between you and your partner. Your journey to the perfect wedding ceremony and reception begins with the choice of a venue and a wedding planner. At Carats & Cake, we can help you select the right vendors and venues to create the mountain wedding of your dreams.
If you are planning a mountain wedding this year, you may have questions about the planning process:
- Can you get married on top of a mountain?
- How do you plan a mountain wedding?
- What are some unique mountain wedding ideas?
- How much do mountain weddings cost?
- How can I find mountain wedding venues near me?
Our directory of real-life mountain weddings can help you come up with the most brilliant ideas for your big day. We can help you to find mountain wedding venues that suit your preferences and your budget too. Whether you are planning a mountain wedding in Italy, a picturesque waterfall wedding or looking at mountain wedding venues located closer to home, we can help you find the right mountain wedding ideas for your special day.
The right vendors are also essential for creating a magical mountain wedding. We have near-countless recommendations for outstanding catering options, the people who can provide the best mountain wedding flowers, and the other vendors you will need to create a memorable event for your friends and family.
This guide will give you some insights into the popularity of mountain weddings and ideas for wedding décor for these venues. Below, we’ve found all the information you’ll need, including details about the ideal venue for a waterfall wedding, tips on what to wear to a wedding in the mountains, and an array of options for mountain weddings in Tennessee (among other locations!). Whatever your plans, we can provide you with the answers to all of your most pressing questions. We can help you to answer the perennial question, "Where can I find the perfect mountain wedding venues near me?" Whatever concerns you have, we hope to alleviate all of them as you plan your dream mountain wedding.
Why are mountain weddings so popular?
Mountain weddings are a popular choice for couples who want a unique wedding destination and an unforgettable ceremony and reception. From Hudson Valley mountain weddings to the locations for mountain weddings Colorado couples want most, these breathtaking venues can be found in many parts of the United States and in scenic destinations around the world.
Mountain weddings offer the chance for you and your partner to exchange vows in a beautiful and majestic outdoor environment. Many mountain wedding venues have spectacular views that can serve as an ideal backdrop for wedding photography. The natural splendor of mountain ranges and waterfall wedding ceremonies can make your photos truly memorable.
Finding the best venues for Rocky Mountain weddings, Loon Mountain weddings, and the mountain weddings Tennessee couples—to name just a few—want for their special day can present a few challenges. The time of year will often be an important consideration. In particular, mountain weddings in winter, while incredibly beautiful, may lead to difficulties when it comes to transportation and overall comfort for outdoor ceremonies. Indoor-outdoor weddings are available at some mountain wedding venues to reduce the time spent outdoors in brrr-inducing weather. By planning in advance for weather considerations that could affect your outdoor wedding, you can ensure that your guests enjoy the experience to the fullest.
How much do mountain weddings cost?
Planning your mountain wedding can be challenging, especially if you and your partner are operating on a limited budget. The average cost of a wedding in 2020 was just over $20,000, a figure that has been on the rise since that time. As a result, budgeting for your wedding is an important part of the planning process.
Your choice of mountain wedding venues will have a significant impact on the overall cost of your wedding. In general, venues account for about 30 percent of the budget for most weddings. For example, planning a mountain wedding in Utah at a smaller resort may be far less expensive than a comparable Aspen mountain wedding because of differences in the price of the venue. As the wedding industry continues to gear up after the recent interruptions in public events, competition for popular venues is also on the rise. Because of this jump in demand, it could potentially increase the amount you and your partner will pay for a mountain wedding venue this year and next. In general, however, mountain wedding venues may be less expensive than comparable venues in high-population areas.
For remote outdoor locations, wedding rentals will typically be required to provide lighting, seating, and décor for these mountain wedding venues. The cost of rentals and transportation can sometimes be an unexpected added cost of a mountain wedding too. Making sure you understand your options when planning mountain weddings can help you to manage your available budget more effectively.
For couples looking to cut their costs for a mountain wedding even further, micro weddings are an option that can significantly reduce the cost of catering, transportation, and mountain wedding venues. By reducing the number of guests at your ceremony and reception, you can lower the cost of the entire wedding significantly.
Finding the Perfect Mountain Wedding Dress
Deciding on what to wear to a wedding in the mountains is a big part of the planning process for guests and members of the wedding party alike. And brides need to consider perhaps the most important part of the wedding’s overall aesthetic: the wedding dress. Keeping the climate and likely weather in mind when choosing your mountain wedding dress will help you to avoid discomfort during the ceremony and reception. Your mountain wedding dress should reflect your personal aesthetic while accounting for terrain and potential issues with muddy or dirty pathways.
Long or elaborate trains for your mountain wedding dress don’t typically mix well with the great outdoors. If it’s a particularly muddy day, just make sure to remember that, or go with it and enjoy the natural elements that present themselves on your special day. That being said, choosing a mountain wedding dress that is ankle-length or shorter can reduce the chance of damaging your gown (and make it easier to walk through uneven terrain).
One of the most important wedding tips for mountain weddings is to consider your footwear carefully. Making sure your shoes are ready to take on mountain trails is essential for both you and your partner. When deciding on what to wear to a wedding in the mountains, the right shoes can make a real difference in comfort levels for you, your partner, and your guests. We recommend making this note to your guests and including it on your invitation and wedding website. Just remember: Stilettos and the mountains don’t mix!
Whether you are planning a formal wedding with black tie attire or a more rustic and informal mountain wedding, tailoring your clothing to your mountain wedding venues will make your day more comfortable and fun for everyone involved.
Where are the best areas for mountain weddings?
Finding the best mountain wedding venues will depend on your and your partner’s preferences. If you prefer to stay closer to home, then looking locally for mountain wedding venues and lodges can often save you money on transportation costs and other expenses associated with destination weddings. Some of the most popular options for mountain wedding locations include the following:
- The Pacific Northwest and the western states: There are so many options for venues out west, and mountain weddings Colorado couples would love are particularly popular. Rocky Mountain weddings can provide the perfect background for stunning photographs of you, your partner, your wedding party, and other loved ones. Colorado mountain weddings may be inspired by more western or rustic themes, while mountain weddings in California could focus on a more coastal-chic look and feel. This area also has a selection of gorgeous waterfalls, particularly in the Olympic National Forest and Olympic National Park in Washington.
- Eastern mountain ranges: Some of the most popular destinations in the eastern United States include the Adirondacks Mountains and the White Mountains — not to mention, Loon Mountain weddings in New Hampshire are particularly spectacular. Loon Mountain weddings are especially popular and can allow you and your partner to get married on the summit of a soaring mountain to create the most memorable ceremony for you and your guests. Blue Mountain weddings in Pennsylvania, for example, offer a variety of options for mountain wedding venues that can suit just about any taste. Whether you are looking for a gorgeous ski resort for Blue Mountain weddings or a more elegant venue for your ceremony and reception, there are near-countless mountain wedding venues that will create the perfect atmosphere for your special day.
- Southern mountain wedding venues: Finding the venues for mountain weddings Tennessee couples will love typically involves checking out the Smoky Mountains or Blue Ridge Mountains (a range that spans from Georgia to Pennsylvania). These scenic areas can provide a stunning backdrop to your mountain wedding and can create a memorable day for you and your partner, as well as your family and friends. And closer to the Midwest, the Ozark Mountains of Missouri can also deliver scenic views and a rustic atmosphere that can be the starting point for dreamy mountain weddings Tennessee couples might plan.
- Canadian mountain wedding venues: Lydia Mountain weddings in British Columbia are a popular choice for mountain weddings in Canada. Venues for Lydia Mountain weddings can fill up quickly, so plan accordingly. It is generally a good idea to book these venues early to ensure availability for Lydia Mountain weddings on the dates you choose.
- International mountain wedding venues: From Blue Mountain weddings in New South Wales to mountain wedding venues in the Swiss Alps, there’s no shortage of international options for mountain weddings. We’re also partial to New Zealand mountain weddings, though it’s important to stress the cost and efficiency of having your big day at an international locale. The cost of travel and the expense involved in having an event at these mountain wedding venues should be considered carefully before deciding on a destination wedding at one of the majestic mountain ranges of the world.
In some cases, the choice for your mountain wedding location may be obvious. For example, Rocky Mountain weddings are typically among the most popular mountain weddings Colorado couples decide on. If you are planning a waterfall wedding, your choices may be limited in a comparable way. Our directory of mountain wedding venues can help you decide on the absolute best location for you and yours on your special day.
What decor will you need for your mountain wedding?
Choosing the décor for mountain weddings will generally require you and your partner to take a look at the venue firsthand to decide on what additions are required for your wedding style. Some mountain wedding options are located in remote areas with little to no infrastructure. Others include indoor lodges, cabins and other amenities to keep guests and family members comfortable. Some of the most common mountain wedding themes include the following:
- Bohemian mountain wedding themes are typically more relaxed and floral than other styles of weddings. Rugs and carpets can be used to make the wedding aisle more festive and to shield delicate dresses from contact with potentially-muddy ground.
- Intimate weddings are well-suited to mountain wedding locations and are one of the hottest trends for 2022. Inviting only a few of your closest friends and family members can allow you to spend a little more on luxuries and catering for these selected guests.
- Rustic mountain wedding options are popular across the country and are especially common in the South. These informal wedding styles feature handmade items and natural woods to create a cozy atmosphere for you and your guests. For outdoor mountain wedding décor, you will also need to invest in rentals for lighting, seating, and other decorations to set the stage for your ceremony and reception.
- Classic wedding themes typically require additional décor to set the stage for traditional ceremonies and receptions. Formal lighting and seating will set the right tone for your ceremony and reception. If you have chosen a mountain wedding location with a lodge or other indoor venue, you can often arrange for sit-down meals indoors if the weather does not permit outdoor dining during the reception.
- Modern wedding styles generally pair nicely with the spectacular beauty of mountain ranges. By using flowers and neutral colors to decorate the site for your ceremony and reception, you can often create a modern look without extensive decoration of the outdoor venue.
Venues that do not include furnishings, bathrooms, kitchens, lighting, or climate controls will require that these things be transported to the location before or on the day of your wedding. By contrast, lodges, cabins, and venues for your mountain wedding typically already have these things in place, which could save you time and money on the cost of transportation and installation. In many cases, using the items available at the venue and incorporating your own mountain wedding ideas can create the personalized look you want for your wedding, with much less stress for you and your partner.
You can often allow the natural beauty and splendor of the mountains to do a great deal of the heavy lifting in terms of décor. Keeping it simple with clean lines and plenty of flowers can create the perfect atmosphere for your upcoming wedding ceremony and reception in the great outdoors. For example, we know of all the best vendors for mountain weddings Colorado couples are planning, and they can help brides and grooms bring the most perfect Rocky Mountain weddings to life. Wherever couples decide to host their mountain weddings, there are plenty of vendors and venues we can recommend.
Are there logistical challenges to be aware of for mountain weddings?
When you’ve come up with all of your mountain wedding ideas, it’s possible that you may run into some unexpected challenges. Some of the most common issues that arise when planning a mountain wedding may include transportation problems, the need for permits, inclement weather, altitude sensitivities, restrictions on photography and drone use, and overall mobility for your invited guests. You will also need to consider the effect on the environment before planning your mountain wedding ceremony and reception.
- Transportation: Some mountain venues are difficult to reach by car and may have only trail roads leading to the location you have chosen. This can make it difficult to deliver rental items and people to the venue. Making sure that the mountain wedding venue you have selected is easily accessible can help your guests and vendors to navigate the area more efficiently and effectively. This can also ensure that your caterer, wedding cake baker, and other vendors can reach your location more easily and quickly on the day of your ceremony and reception.
- Permits: The National Park Service requires permits for mountain weddings that are held in these areas. You will pay an entrance fee for admission to the park and, in some cases, additional fees that are based on the environmental impact of your wedding and reception, the amount of traffic control required, and the overall extent of help you and your party will need to manage your wedding. Make sure to review the approved venue list on the National Park Service website to confirm availability and learn more information about the specific area.
- Weather: Creating a backup plan for severe weather is essential for outdoor weddings of all types. Choosing a venue that has an indoor option or that offers tents and other solutions for rain or snow can help you make your mountain wedding a success and can reduce the impact of inclement weather on you and your wedding party on your special day.
- Altitude: Some people may be sensitive to altitude changes, especially at higher elevations. Taking this into consideration can help you to choose a venue that is suitable not only for you and your partner but also for the guests who plan to attend your wedding and reception.
- Restrictions: Some venues may have restrictions associated with weddings and other events. For instance, the National Park Service prohibits drones and drone photography on park grounds. Letting your wedding videographer know about any restrictions can help you to avoid problems and stay within the rules of the venue you have chosen.
- Mobility: If your guest list includes a number of older people or individuals with mobility issues, you may need to consider alternative methods for getting these guests to the venue successfully. Mountain trails are often uneven and may not provide the safest surfaces for people who are planning to attend your wedding. Making arrangements for a temporary walkway can also help people with mobility issues make it to your wedding more easily.
- Environmental responsibility: As with any outdoor venue, it is important to clean up after your event and to make sure that your wedding has the smallest impact on the local environment as possible. By taking special care to avoid damage to the environment, you can ensure that your wedding is a positive experience not only for you and your guests but for the animals and plants that call mountain areas their home.
By keeping these considerations in mind when planning your mountain wedding, you can navigate these logistical issues much more successfully. This can help you to make your mountain wedding the most seamless, fun day and allow you to create memories that will last a lifetime.
How do you start to plan a mountain wedding?
Your wedding day is a once-in-a-lifetime event that requires careful planning and forethought by you and your partner. We recommend browsing through our directories of real-life weddings, the perfect mountain wedding venues and vendors. From there, you can start brainstorming the most unique mountain wedding ideas to make your big day as special as your love story.