by Nicole Birkhold

Aspen has long served as a destination location for weddings for couples from around the world. The stunning backdrops of the snowy Elk Mountains in the winter, the colorful Aspen trees in the fall, and the lush colorful flowers set against crisp blue skies in spring and summer make for some truly memorable wedding days.

Every bride knows that perfect table settings and meticulously planned menus don’t come out of thin air. The nuts and bolts of wedding planning — particularly when planning from afar — can be laborious and time consuming. Luckily, Aspen is well primed for weddings and taking things step-by-step can move the process along ... and result in your dream wedding in the mountains.

Event Planners

Local event planners can be super helpful when planning a wedding from out of town. They have relationships with local vendors from catering companies and make-up artists right down to mason-jar suppliers. And going local can save time and money for your big day. With the advent of Skype and FaceTime, you can have the “face-to-face” meetings that you need to make sure you’re on the same page with all the details.


Working with an outfit like Gold Leaf Events can take some of the stress out of not being intimately familiar with the ins and outs of Aspen. They can be your feet on the ground when it comes to talking to the catering company, the venue and day-of coordination.

“We are an advocate for you and we’re there to make sure your day runs as smoothly as possible,” says Chelsea Dillon, founder of Gold Leaf Events. “We’ve worked with the venues, caterers and other vendors before and can think of all the last-minute details you might not think of that pertain to Aspen, or just to your big day.”


Venues

Venues

The mountains in a ski community are — by necessity — more accessible than those that aren’t. We have the lifts already installed!


So, when your vision calls for mountainous backdrops, Aspen provides multiple options. Three of our four ski mountains have something to offer when it comes to a wedding venue, regardless of season.

Aspen

Aspen Snowmass Weddings
Aspen Snowmass Weddings

The most iconic location is the top of Aspen Mountain. Our Silver Queen Gondola rises 3,200 feet to bring you up to 11,200 feet with views of some of the Rocky Mountains most majestic peaks. The Wedding Deck is outdoors and faces southwest making for perfect late afternoon sun and one-of-a-kind views for your vows. To stay on the mountain for the reception, the Sundeck and the Mountain Club both provide that top-of-the-mountain feel with different options for size and price.


If your guests would be more comfortable coming back down to level ground, The Little Nell hotel at the base of the gondola provides multiple reception options as well.

Snowmass

Aspen Snowmass Weddings
Aspen Snowmass Weddings

Both Elk Camp and the Lynn Britt Cabin provide unique wedding experiences on Snowmass. With a nine-minute scenic gondola ride, Elk Camp is easily accessible from Snowmass Village. Outdoor ceremonies look out on chairlifts and mountain landscapes while the lodge seats up to 300 guests with the additional outdoor patio. Cozy fireplaces and intimate beautiful views make it perfect for winter or summer.

To give your guests a truly unique experience in the winter, try Lynn Britt Cabin. This cozy cabin on the mountain is only accessible via a snowcat when the white stuff covers the ground. In summer, transportation as well as capacity opens up from snowcats and 60 people to shuttles and 200 with the addition of the outdoor patio and meadow. This log cabin will treat your guests to a true cabin in the mountains experience surrounded by Aspen trees.

“The Lynn Britt cabin is very special,” says Jim Butchart, executive chef of Aspen Skiing Company Mountain Division and ASC Catering. “It’s gorgeous in the summer and really provides something unique. And because it only sits 40-50, you can take advantage of the inside and the deck but still be okay if it does rain. It’s a special little cabin and in the summer time it’s just gorgeous.”


Buttermilk

Buttermilk Cliffhouse Weddings
Buttermilk Cliffhouse Weddings

Buttermilk may be the smallest of the four mountains, but it isn’t small in what it has to offer for wedding venues. The Buttermilk Mountain Lodge at the base of Buttermilk is a stunning wooden structure offering an up-scale barn feeling with high lofted beams and wood paneling and dazzling views from the many windows. Large groups will be very comfortable here as it seats up to 300 and the access can’t be beat right off Highway 82.

For a more adventurous Buttermilk occasion, the Cliffhouse at the top of Buttermilk offers some of the most stunning views in the valley. Feast your eyes on Pyramid Peak and the entire Maroon Creek Valley before feasting on a delicious mountain-top meal post vows.

Catering

Catering

ASC Catering is your one-stop-shop for on-mountain catering. Servicing six of the on-mountain venues exclusively as well as providing the option to bring their food to you at an off-mountain location, ASC Catering will make sure your wedding menu matches the stunning surroundings of the Aspen mountains. From cedar-plank salmon to local beef with chimichurri sauce to fresh local cheese plates and sweet lemon tarts, ASC Catering will provide exactly what you want in whatever form suits your event.

“From the beginning, bringing local elements to our catering menus has been a hallmark of what we do,” says Butchard. “Summer weddings are great because produce in the summer is at the height of freshness. We get excited when someone might not know exactly what they want and we can help plan a menu based on the time of year. Or maybe they know what type of salad they want but are willing to let us make the call on whether it will feature green beans or peaches depending on what’s fresh right then.”

And if traditional catering options simply don’t suit your vision, or you’re looking for something unique for the late-night party, ASC also offers a food truck experience to enhance the big day. The Sled mobile kitchen can simply drive up to your chosen venue and serve up hot carne asada tacos of bahn mi sandwiches to make sure people have the sustenance they need to keep dancing through the night.