Colorado Ski Wedding Guide | Colorado Ski Wedding Photographer

As a Colorado snowboarder turned wedding photographer, the fact that ski weddings are a thing now just makes me giddy. Snow riders everywhere have realized they can get married and do their favorite pastime on the same day. From eloping the slopes to getting married somewhere off-slope and just taking a “first run” as married. There is no wrong way to infuse your love for skiing or snowboarding into your wedding day. But getting to shred on your day is the best way.

That’s why I wrote this Colorado Ski Wedding guide. I want to help couples celebrate their love and wedding day on the snow. Winter is a magical time to get married in the Rockies. And when you add your love for shredding snow to your wedding day it just doesn’t get any more magical and fun than that.

If you’re here, you and your partner love skiing or snowboarding and you are trying to figure out a way to incorporate that love into your wedding day.

Best Time To Have an In-Bounds Ski Wedding

Colorado is a major tourist destination in the winter. On the weekends, everyone from Denver drives up for the day to get their laps in. So you can expect morning traffic up the hill and evening traffic back down the hill every weekend. Avoiding holidays and holiday weekends is always best. To have the least amount of additional guests I always suggest weekday elopements. And riding closer to first chair or last chair is best. But I do suggest riding later in the day that way any photos of you not riding are done before you get all sweaty and disheveled.

December is the start of the season usually and can range anywhere from not much snow at all to randomly decent conditions. But resorts are only partially open generally in December. The base depth is usually still pretty minimal. If you like riding trees, high alpine terrain, or just more than a few open runs December isn’t the month I would recommend. Plus the holidays are always packed and with less terrain open it can be a lot of folks packed into the minimal open terrain.

January is when Colorado usually starts seeing some significant snowfall in the mountains. There can be bad years. But for the most part by mid-late January the base depth is rising and we’re getting some epic powder days. Resorts start to be able to open more terrain and we start seeing 75-100% open terrain by the end of the month. Tree sharks can still pop up and get ya from time to time but as the month progresses the base depth really starts to rise.

February is usually a great snow month in the Rocky Mountains. We get some great storms that will give you free refills all day. The snow is still light and fluffy as the temps are still in the winter range.

March is one of Colorado’s snowiest months usually. It’s a great month for catching some good powder. March is also when all the spring breakers come for their visit to ride snow.

Pick a ski resort

Choosing a mountain you’re already familiar with helps with logistics for the day. It means you’ve run those runs before and will feel more comfortable rather than on a new hill for the first time. Plus the more you’re on a mountain the more cool spots you know of. If you pick your favorite mountain or a bucket list ski resort, the mountain already means something to you.

If you choose a mountain you’re unfamiliar with that is always fun and exciting, too! But it just helps to check out a ski map first. Hopefully, your photographer has done some reconnaissance. Construct a game plan and make sure everyone is on board with the level runs you plan to take. It’s never fun getting caught in something that just feels too hard. Don’t really want to do that in wedding attire on the best day of your life. Save the lessons for next time and keep it fun.
I can’t think of a better time to go all out and visit your bucket list ski resort than when you are celebrating your wedding day. For me, it’d be between somewhere in Japan, Norway, Switzerland or Whistler. And I’d definitely be considering being dropped off by helicopter somewhere. But that’s me, now is the time for you to really dream up what your most epic ski day would be and maybe incorporate that into your wedding day.

Book Lodging

Once you have chosen a location I suggest booking lodging next. Colorado is full of amazing lodging options. If you want epic ski lodging vibes I’d go for a ski in ski out option. You can find condos, hotels, and chalets that are ski in ski out. Colorado is also known for some amazing & cozy mountain cabins. There is nothing wrong with the quintessential Colorado rustic mountain cabin but I usually recommend the more modern accomodations to make for a better backdrop during the off-mountain parts of the day. Your lodging options will vary from town to town.

Plan part of your day off the mountain

a snowboarding couple walks out of their snowy elopement ceremony spot at Breck

You can spend half your session somewhere off your board or skis, either on or off the slopes. I don’t know about you but sometimes my favorite part of a shred day is that stop in the trees or grabbing a sandwich at the top. Planning a little bit of both will give you the best of the day. It’s not an all-day photoshoot but a documentary of what a real shred day is. So do the normal things you’d do. By planning some time not riding you can allow yourselves to snuggle up somewhere. Skiing and snowboarding elopements aren’t straight shredding the entire time either. It’s all about balance baby.

What to Wear to Your Ski Wedding

a couple snowboards at their elopement at Breckenridge

Choosing the right layers is key for your skiing or snowboarding wedding. You want it to fit layers underneath so it needs to have a little room. If you can do a squat in it then you’re pretty much good. You can wear your base layers when you take your measurements or go shopping for better fittings.

My favorite layers are wool socks & base layers, my Burton jacket & Spyder Snow Pants. off-white or non-white wedding wear does better in photos against the snow.

Prepare for All Winter Conditions

Being prepared for the unexpected and mountain weather is crucial to having the best experience no matter what happens. If you have the right gear to stay dry, warm, hydrated and fed then you not many forms of weather can hold you down. Mountain weather and travel can be unexpected and crazy at times.

Other Winter Activities for Your Elopement

  • rent a nearby cabin to get ready together – this can include making breakfast, writing vows, getting ready, or anything else you’d like to do to start celebrating your wedding day.
  • hot tub or hot springs after – you can do a rental with a hot tub and a view
  • dog sledding
  • explore the mountain town
  • snow tubing
  • backcountry hut trip
  • guided backcountry trip
  • sleigh ride
  • walk through the village & gondola ride
  • drinks in the village or nearby bar

Hey, I’m Nat. I’ve been snowboarding for over 20 years. I’m a former snowboarding instructor at Loveland Ski Area. I moved to Colorado to chase snowboarding and go to college for art & business. So I guess you can say I’ve come full circle with this business. It’s been a dream of mine since I was an instructor the same year I started documenting & co creating-adventure elopements.

I’m writing this Colorado Skiing & Elopement Guide to help anyone thinking about having their elopement or wedding day involve skiing or riding. I want more stoked people to know that skiing or snowboarding on your wedding day is a thing and it isn’t as hard as it seems when you have the right help!

Get My Colorado Winter Travel Guide

Visiting Colorado for the first time in the winter? Check out this guide to help you prepare for winter in the Rockies along i70 and elsewhere in the state.

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