Tips for an Aspen Winter WeddingWords by Courtney Kellar
When it comes to winter wedding destinations, Colorado is definitely one of Destination I Do’s top picks! Our editors and contributing writers have explored virtually the entire state and it’s hard to find a bad view or venue. Atop the list of potential wedding hosts is the infamous Aspen, Colorado. We asked our friends over at the Aspen Chamber Resort Association to share some info and local experts’ insight for couple’s considering a wedding away in Aspen.
Aspen Mountain Wedding Venues from The Little Nell
- Aspen Mountain Wedding Deck: At an elevation of 11,212’ atop Aspen Mountain, with sweeping views of the Elk Mountains and Highland Bowl, this lofty setting is perhaps the most romantic in all of Colorado. The manicured terrace is perfect for a cocktail reception for up to 250 guests. The Aspen Mountain Wedding Deck has been coined "Pinterest Famous" by many planners and brides as the ultimate mountain wedding location.
- Aspen Mountain Club: Designed by David Anthony Easton of New York, the Aspen Mountain Club is a 4,400-square foot private club with antique Austrian tables and hand-woven rugs, and features a coveted collection of high-end art, including Any Warhol, etc. It is the most exclusive private club in Colorado, with the look and feel of a private residence, providing room for 250 for a reception or 120 for a seated dinner.
- The Sundeck: Offering 10,000-square feet of indoor & outdoor event space at 11,212’ is a rare and spectacular combination. Sundeck events are staffed by The Little Nell with room for 500 for a reception or 300 for a seated dinner. The open floor plan features a towering rock fireplace, 30’ high ceilings and large windows that offer stunning mountain views.
Expert Tips for Planning a Winter Wedding in Aspen
1. Colorado temperatures can dip in the winter making it difficult to keep tent heaters from freezing. I suggest saving the tented events for the summer and select a venue that is indoor for a reception. You don’t want your heaters to go out or freeze for the big day leaving everyone chilly! The Aspen Mountain Club, Sundeck and Terrace Room all have beautiful and big fireplaces to create a warm and intimate ambiance for any winter wedding.
2. Remember that the sun sets earlier in the winter, leaving you with little daylight to view the snowy white mountain tops you've been dreaming of as you exchange your vows. Early afternoon weddings still give you plenty of daylight, so consider starting your ceremony earlier in the afternoon. Alternatively, think about a springtime mountain wedding and selecting a date after the clock changes in March. It’ll give you an extra hour of daylight and warmer temperatures. Also, nothing beats spring skiing for you and your guests! If you are set on having an evening mid-winter wedding, consider a local church or hotel event space. The Little Nell offers an array of on-mountain indoor ceremony locations that will have you dreaming of a winter wonderland wedding.
3. Consider incorporating Alpine menu items such as fondue, hot toddies, hot chocolate and spiced and/or spiked hot cider.
4. Host an après-ski welcome reception and invite guests to gather to dance, mix and mingle after a day on the mountain as the locals do. The Little Nell’s apres-ski bar, Chair 9, and French bistro, Ajax Tavern, are the “see-and-be-seen” après spots in Aspen.
5. Make sure to tell guests to bring and wear their warm and fuzzy boots if you choose to do an outdoor winter ceremony. The Little Nell offers boot and coat check at all of their events. Past clients have gifted Ugg boots in their welcome bag with personalized and logoed shoe bags for guests to bring their evening reception stilettoes and shoes for the indoor reception. Guests can slip into their heels at the shoe-check at the reception.
6. The Aspen winter calendar is full of different celebrations and festivals. Many of the festivals include fireworks on Aspen Mountain for the community to enjoy. Book your wedding around a wide array of dates where the city of Aspen hosts a fireworks display on Aspen Mountain. World Cup, New Year’s Eve and Winterskol are just a few. Just play it off as something you had been planning for your big day all along and your guests can enjoy the free show.
Tips provided by The Little Nell’s Senior Event Sales Manager, Melina Glavas.
Unique Aspen Offerings from The Little Nell
- Snowcat adventures and First Tracks skiing on Aspen Mountain for your guests over the winter wedding weekend. Chefs and master sommeliers are available to add a specialized Five-Star food & beverage component.
- Our master sommelier is available to create a unique event experience, i.e. tableside cocktails, craft cocktail specialty bar, master somm-paired wine dinner and wine service at your wedding.
- Our world famous hot chocolate prepared with Valrhona Chocolate is available for the gondola ride.
- Tableside, restaurant style menu selections available for up to 300 guests with a last minute preparation in the kitchen.
- Executive Chef Matt Zubrod and the entire kitchen staff use local, seasonal ingredients and personalize the cuisine to each couples’ tastes.
- Complimentary valet with events in the hotel or on-mountain.
- The Nell is located just five miles from the Aspen Airport with complimentary transportation provided to and from the airport and around town for guests of the property.
The Little Nell, Aspen’s only Five-Star, Five-Diamond, ski-in/ski-out hotel, is nestled at the base of Aspen Mountain and offers luxurious wedding venues, award-winning food and beverage, Five-Star service and more. Our events team will personalize any kind of occasion, for as few as two to as many as 500 people. The Wedding Deck, Aspen Mountain Club and Sundeck, a scenic three-mile gondola ride from our door to the top of the mountain, offer the perfect settings for a destination wedding.
Aspen Meadows Resort
Another amazing destination wedding option, Aspen Meadows Resort shares what makes their venue particularly special. “I think our property views give a different perspective on the mountains than people are used to seeing in the winter,” says Rachel Butler, Catering and Conference Services Manager with Aspen Meadows Resort. “Instead of being at the top of the slopes like one might expect, you can really take in the grandeur of all the surrounding mountains that make this place so special.”
For more information on weddings in Aspen or to begin planning your nuptials, reach out to the Aspen Chamber Resort Association’s wedding maven, Liz Cluley at 866-564-8623 or email@example.com.
Photos courtesy of (in order of appearance): Alice Koelle Photography, The Little Nell (2nd, 4th, 5th, 7th & 8th), James + Schulze & Barrie Fisher Photography.
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