Aspen is a beautiful place to get married. If you are planning an Aspen wedding there are many wonderful venues to choose from and vendors to help you put your dreams into reality. One of these amazing Aspen venues is Gwyn’s High Alpine. While this local restaurant has been known as one of the best on-mountain restaurants for 30+ years, this year is the first they are involved in wedding planning.
Gwyn’s boasts high quality cuisine and stunning mountain views. Located at 10,461 ft. on the mountain in Snowmass, it is an intimate and unique wedding venue in the Roaring Fork Valley. It would truly be a perfect spot for your wedding day! We spoke to Whitney and Gwyn about what makes their venue special.
Q: How long have you been in business?
A: We have been in business for 38 years but have just moved into the summer Wedding and party planning business since our remodel this year.
Q: What makes your venue unique?
A: Our venue is very unique because it is mid-mountain on the ski area in Snowmass and was not accessible for summer events until this last year when the road was improved for remodel construction. We are one of the only family owned on- mountain operations in the Aspen area and the United States. We have a beautiful facility that is completely off the beaten path and yet complete with everything for any wedding or event.
Q: How many people can the venue accommodate?
A:Gwyn’s dining room seats 100 people but our famous Sailplane level will accommodate 150 people which is our max via the Forest Service.
Q: What does it include? (I.e. chairs, tables, linens, etc.)
A:Our venue pricing includes ceremony site fees and Food and Beverage costs. We are happy to accommodate any additional planning to make the event all-inclusive and worry-free for the couple.
Q: How many hours are included in the rental?
A:There are no hourly limits to the wedding venue. Transportation to and from the venue is the only hourly cost that is incurred.
Q: What are catering options?
A:Our executive chef will work with Bride and Groom to provide the ultimate wedding culinary experience.
Q: What is a typical wedding day like?
A:The day for the wedding couple begins with a scenic ride up the ski area with the wedding party. We have multiple levels and areas for the couple and their parties to get prepared for the wedding. Guests will be escorted in Luxury Vans up the mountain and welcomed to our amazing venue at 10,461ft. Post ceremony, overlooking the Cirque, appetizers and cocktails will be served on our spacious upper deck as Wedding party and family take photos over an incredible vista of the Snowmass Valley Below. Dinner will be served in Gwyn’s Dining Room or on our Sail Plane Level. Conclude the reception dinner with a custom cake from one of our classically trained Pastry Chef’s. After toasts, dancing will commence in our grand entry. Gwyn’s is an incredibly unique and private venue with the most beautiful views.
Q: What are special touches you love?
A:We are very proud of our family restaurant and venue and will do everything to make the experience as perfect and personal as possible. We can provide just the venue and the catering or we can organize the entire event with wedding planning included to ensure that your wedding is perfect and stress free. We are known for our world class food and service and will make your wedding the most unique, spectacular and memorable day of your lives.
Thank you so much Whitney and Gwyn for your contribution to this post. Gwyn’s High Alpine is a beautiful venue with many options to personalize and make your wedding special.
If you’re interested in learning more about Gwyn’s High Alpine…
Wedding Date: 6/30/2017 Bride and Groom: Alanna Hodsman and Andy Trautner From the Bride:
Andy and I wanted an intimate mountain wedding in his home town. We decided on having the ceremony at Maroon Bells, followed by pictures at the top of Aspen Mountain. I couldn’t have dreamt of a better day, it was perfect.
Where did you have your ceremony? Maroon Bells
How did you decide on this location?
Andy is from Aspen and couldn’t imagine getting married in any other place. After two winter trips to Aspen and riding up to the Bells on fat tire bikes and cross country skis, I fell in love with the location. Maroon Bells takes your breath away.
Where was your reception?
How would you describe your wedding day?
What is your best memory?
Views from the top of Aspen Mountain!
Meet Tara Marolda, a talented Aspen wedding photographer. Her story is inspiring and fascinating. She captures the emotion and personality in each shot, telling a story with her images. We are thrilled to share a little about her. Read on, get to know her and her stunning wedding photographs!
Tell us how you got into wedding photography? How long have you been doing this?
I got into photography working as a camera assistant for my mother (documentary filmmaker) and two of my favorite National Geographic photographers, Angela Fisher and Carol Beckwith in Kenya shooting tribal ceremonies over a decade ago. I picked all of their brains so much and l learned as much as I could about photography on those expeditions. When I moved back to the states in my early 20’s, the most natural thing for me was to pick up the camera and continue shooting portraiture. Eventually I became confident enough to offer photography services for a couple of good friends getting married in Aspen, and from there, word of mouth did the rest of the work for me. I quickly started picking up weddings and enjoyed capturing the most intimate and special day in a couple’s lives.
What type of photos do you like taking best? I love portraiture. Specifically, documentary style, lifestyle photography – capturing real moments, real emotion. You can be 90 or 9 months old – I enjoy it all the same. There is something magical about freezing a moment in time, a real belly laugh or a moment so wrought with emotion there are real tears… that to me, is beautiful and human and I really fight to catch those shots.
What moment during the wedding do you most enjoy photographing?
I think my favorite moment during a wedding is the “getting ready” shots, when the bride is a ball of nerves and excitement is everywhere. I love these moments in black and white. When I capture the mother or father of the bride, looking at their daughter with so much emotion and tears in their eyes, seeing exactly what they are seeing: their baby girl becoming a woman, a gorgeous bride. It’s a beautiful moment.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I love to scour instagram for other fine art photographers and their work. I am constantly searching amazing photographers and feeling jealous and even more inspired by their work. I am always learning, always researching, always practicing the art of photography and becoming a better photographer. I am hungry for it.
Tips for the bride and groom on choosing a photographer?
Splurge and save. I got married in Aspen in 2010, and I wish I had the knowledge I do now of getting married in this beautiful mountain town.
Find what is most important to you, and spend the money on it. For example, don’t try and find a cheap photographer – that is the one and only way you are going to remember your wedding… spend the money on the best photographer you can afford. It will make ALL the difference. Make sure you hire a qualified photographer/s… grill that photographer on whether they give print release rights, and how high the resolution of the digitals are. You don’t want to pay someone an arm and a leg, only to find out that you don’t even have the rights to your own images. This is something that is changing in modern times… more and more photographers understand how important it is to give the digitals as part of their package and it only behooves them in the long run. Brides posting their wedding photos on social media? That’s advertisement and its a win-win for both sides.
Anything else to share?
When looking for a photographer, go with someone who has a similar sense in style. If you like pictures where everyone is posed perfectly and smiling at the camera, choose a photographer who obviously has this style. If you want some thing a little more natural, a little more candid and not so conventional, find a photographer who has that eye (and that style in their portfolio).
Thank you to Tara Marolda for sharing with us! Check out Tara Marola and other Aspen wedding photographers here.
A wedding in Aspen is one of the most breathtaking and picturesque places to tie the knot. It’s no wonder that we work with an array of talented, hardworking vendors that help transform wedding visions into reality.
To kick off the 2017 wedding season in the beautiful state of Colorado, we decided to get to know our vendors on a more personal level. Our first vendor spotlight highlights the work of Premier Party Rental. We spent some time talking with them to get an inside scoop on what it takes to be a successful vendor.
A: We have been in business for 7 years and were established in 2010.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about working in the wedding industry?
A: We love meeting with all the different brides and grooms that come to the valley and helping contribute to making their dream wedding come together!
Q: Do you have any favorite venues? What makes them unique?
A: Anywhere in the Roaring Fork Valley is our favorite! We get to work in one of the most beautiful locations in the country, so wherever you choose to have your event, you’ll surely have the best views!
Q: How far in advance do people need to be planning and securing their rentals?
A: We recommend starting the process a minimum of 6 months prior to your event, not only does this help guarantee that your items will be reserved but ensure you have time to find the best style that fits your event!
Q: What’s your number one tip when it comes to wedding rentals?
A: Plan early and estimate costs a little on the high side to be sure you’ll have enough of the items you want.
Q: What’s your preferred wedding trend: rustic or modern? Why?
A: The rustic is definitely the most popular trend we see here in the mountains and works great with our Rustic Farm Style tables and chairs, but we never shy away from a beautiful modern look or even a nice mix of the two!
Q: What’s the hottest wedding-rental splurge people will be going for this summer?
A: Farm tables! We have them in two styles: both banquet and round. They are definitely a big hit for the summer!
Q: Fill in the blank: “One thing most people don’t know about wedding rentals is ____.”
A: They often times get forgotten or put off until last minute, but please don’t wait. It is very important to get rentals secured early on and ensure you have the items you desire for your event!
Whether you’re working with Premier Party Rental yourself or attending an event adorned by them, you can’t ignore their quality and passion for creating a one-of-a-kind experience accompanied by memories that will last a lifetime.
If you’re interested in using Premier Party Rental for your wedding…
We love this family fun filled wedding. To start, the location is very unique. They chose the Aspen Recreation Center (first time a wedding has ever been held at this venue), it has gorgeous views, and lots of family fun activities like rock climbing wall, batting cages, swimming and ice skating.
Congratulations Lisa and Scott! Thank you for sharing your story and wedding tips.
Wedding Story: Engaged in October 2015 at the top of Independence Pass. Married in Aspen in front of more than 100 friends and family. Dated on/off for 7+ years. Have a daughter together. Lisa LOVES Aspen/Snowmass and couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else. First wedding ever to be held at the Aspen Recreation Center. Our brothers officiated and married us- very personal and warm! We also read our own vows! Farm-to-cocktail drinks, exquisite food, climbing, batting and skating for all ages. A weekend of activities pre and post wedding event.
How did you decide on your ceremony location? We definitely wanted to be outside and Iselin Field provided us with a stunning outdoor location- perched between Aspen Highlands and Tiehack looking directly at Pyramid Peak. The grass was green, the trees were in their peak leaf changing phase and a dusting of snow recently hit the high peaks.
How did you decide on your reception location? We knew we were going to invite and welcome kids with our family/friends so we were looking for an untraditional site where there would be an overabundance of activities for the kids of all ages.
What was the mood at the wedding? Unique and different? We wanted to have a very relaxed and comfortable setting that felt like us and allowed everyone to have a good time getting to know each other and with the food, drink and rock climbing/ice skating/batting cages as entertainment.
Best memory from the wedding day? How can I pick just one? Loved the final moments of getting my dress on with our daughter, my soon-to-be husband and our babysitter all working to zip me into my dress. We had a few minutes of unexpected calm before we headed over to the ceremony site which was quite lovely. My husbands personal vows were amazing- and us climbing the rock wall together- racing actually- made us smile (with all of our guests watching).
Any advice for a bride planning a destination wedding? Be prepared to take many trips to that destination beforehand if you are eager to get all the pieces right. Luckily, the Roaring Fork Valley is my favorite place in the world so I had no problem heading there regularly sometimes with and sometimes without my now husband.
The absolutely breathtaking Brandon wedding was a destination wedding that highlighted the beauty of the mountains. Their intimate ceremony involved personalized vows. This wedding was a romantic and calm affair with incredible cuisine and non-stop dancing and celebrating. Wedding Date: 09/04/2016 Bride and Groom: Adrianne Brandon and Grant Brandon
Where did you have your ceremony? The Little Nell Wedding Deck
How did you decide on this location? We knew we wanted a destination wedding, and we both LOVE the mountains and visit Colorado every year, so when I came across the Little Nell wedding deck in Aspen I immediately knew it was where I wanted to get married.
Where did you have your reception? Aspen Mountain Club
How did you decide on Aspen Mountain Club for your reception? It is just steps away from the wedding deck where our ceremony was, and with all of our guests travelling so far to Colorado, we wanted the guests to stay on top of the mountain and enjoy the beautiful views from 11,000 ft.
Where did you have book your accommodations? The Limelight & The Little Nell
What was the mood at your wedding? There was so much joy, happiness and love all around us at the wedding. Our ceremony was very intimate and we each wrote our own vows to share in front of our closest family and friends. The ceremony was very calm and romantic, while the reception was an incredible seated dinner followed by non-stop dancing and celebrating! The whole weekend was a big celebration!
What is your best memory? Walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing Grant standing there with tears as we walked towards him was the happiest moment of my life. The sun was shining on the mountains behind him and it was truly the most beautiful day and view I’ve ever seen.
Adrianne Brandon, Do you have any advice for a bride planning a destination wedding? My advice would be to hire an experienced wedding planner who is familiar with the destination of your wedding. My planner was very familiar with Aspen and all of the vendors there, which made the process very easy, exciting and fun for me!
Do you have any additional thoughts you would like to share with us?
What many do not know, is the night before our wedding, a freak accident happened that landed me in the ER until 6 am on our wedding day and left me with 8 staples in my head. Grant stayed by me the whole time until we separated for the wedding day to catch 2 hours of sleep before the festivities began. I woke up to a perfect BRIGHT sunny day, which was a surprise because the weather was cloudy and rainy everyday previous. I couldn’t believe how perfect it was, we could not have picked a more beautiful day if we tried.
The sun continued to shine bright the entire day and throughout our ceremony. After the ceremony, Grant and I walked to a secluded spot to watch the sunset over the mountains on our perfect day.
Tea parties are very “spring”- pastel colors, feminine tea cups, and pretty flowers. How about giving tea for your favors, you can make your own loose leaf tea combinations or flavors.
Put a crown on it
How ethereal does a flower crown look!? Instead of a veil, wear a flower crown that compliments your bouquet and wedding colors.
Pretty in pastel Perfect shades of blush, pale blue, and other pastel colors give a soft, romantic vibe to your wedding. Your bridesmaids will look gorgeous in one pastel tone, or have a few different colors in a complimentary style.
Seasonal Sips Add two seasonal cocktails to a “his/hers” signature cocktail menu! We love the lavender lemon drop for her and the whiskey smash for him.
Simple decor Springtime blossoms are out, making your venue already gorgeous with little need for dramatic decor. Use pretty flowers, and spring time details like little watering cans. How fun is this arrangement?!
Prepare for weather Springtime weather can really vary. You may have a warm, sunny and perfect day, or you could have wind and rain, or here in Aspen there could even be snow. Make sure you have a weather backup plan so on your wedding day you aren’t scrambling to avoid inclement weather. Offering your guest items specific to the weather is a fun idea as well. Have umbrellas on hand for a rainy day, a sunscreen/bug spray stand for “like summer” heat and blankets for an day that is unusually chilly.
Springtime is an absolutely beautiful time of the year to tie the knot. With gorgeous flowers and the weather beginning to warm up, it is a romantic setting. As you continue planning your Aspen spring wedding, we hope these ideas can help make your day as special as possible.
Writing your own vows isn’t for everyone, but if you want to speak from the heart for your Aspen wedding vows, that is a great way to make your ceremony more personalized. It also will be very meaningful to both you and your future spouse. Sharing your promises to each other in front of those you love is definitely romantic! Not all of us have a way with words though. Where do you even start? Here are some tips for finding motivation to write your vows, and ways to make them personalized to you as a couple.
Pick a structure that you can both follow.
Even though you will likely be writing your wedding vows separately, and hearing them for the first time on your special day, it is a good idea to decide a structure to make them similar. You can specify how long you want the vows to be, and choose specific phrases to base them on. I.e. Sharing four promises with the starting phrase “I promise to.”
Choosing a length is key as well. You don’t want one of your vows to be 10 pages long and the other only three sentences. Choosing a word count can help you make them balanced and flow better.
Write your vows for you and your partner! If you are not a romantic person don’t feel like you need to be in your vows. If you are funny, humor is ok! They should sound like you. Think of symbolic moments and important pieces of your relationship. What are things your partner would love to here you promise? What do you love about your relationship?
Don’t be afraid to research.
Pulling your entire vows out of thin air isn’t necessary! Research other people’s wedding vows, romantic poetry, books, movies, etc. Take notes on things that connect with you. You can “borrow” other people’s words, it isn’t plagiarism when you are using their words for wedding vows.
Practice reading them.
Your wedding ceremony should not be your first time reading them through. read them aloud and think about how they sound. Do they flow well? Are your words easy to understand? Does the tone fit what you are hoping for? You may not want to share them with anyone else but if you do it could help to get feedback from a close friend or family member. You don’t have to memorize them, but you definitely can. However, keep a copy nearby. Wedding day jitters could have you forgetting them. It is also a good idea to send a copy to your officiant. They can have a backup copy on hand in case you misplace yours.
We hope these tips will help you begin to write your own personalized wedding vows. Don’t stress out, have fun and take the time to think about what you want to say. Don’t be afraid to have many drafts and edit them over time. Happy Writing!
Happy New Year! For those of you tying the knot in 2017, it is probably an exciting milestone to get to your special year! Although we are all for planning a wedding based on your taste and unique personalities as a couple and not only going off of what is “hot” in the wedding world, we thought it would be fun to highlight a few wedding trends you should expect this year.
The Dress: Many 2017 brides are saying yes to off the shoulder gowns. Both long sleeved and short sleeved looks are popular. Lace and tulle are still big, with lace becoming bolder and tulle being mixed with other fabrics. Blush gowns are also still a popular choice.
For bridesmaids dresses, bold colors and brighter shades are popping up. Pinks, purples, greens and yellows are favorites.
The Food: For cocktails, bartenders are seeing a move to serving more classic cocktails including moscow mules, Pimm’s cup, and the sidecar. Having passed appetizers with a complimentary drink is also a popular choice. Such as mini tacos with a mini margarita. The nostalgic tiered wedding cake is coming back after years of cupcakes, pies and assorted desserts being favored. Having a nighttime passed dessert “hour” similar to cocktail hour is also seen as a great way to keep the party energy flowing. Local flavors are also a main event. Serving special local area foods and drinks is fun for the guests.
The Photos: Social media integration is definitely key for many 2017 couples. Photo booths that share directly to social media, instagram videos, drone photography, and custom Snapchat filters are popular.
The Flowers:Romantic, soft blooms are still big. Peonies are still popular along with garden roses, ranunculus and dahlias. Loose petals mixed with greenery as a type of garland runner down farm type long tables is a huge trend for table decor.
The Palettes: Soft colored neutrals like charcoal, blue-greys and browns are creating a sophisticated trendy feel. Strategically places metallics are also big. Brides are still loving copper, rose gold, pewter but using them to create shine in certain special areas.
What do you think about these 2017 wedding trends? Will you be incorporating any of these things into your own special day? What details are you most excited about for your own wedding? Source:Huffington Post
How did you decide on this location?
We were in Aspen for New Years Eve and fell in love with the view from the top of Aspen Mountain so we did some research, found the gorgeous wedding deck and inquired about dates. They had two available dates left in the summer, one of which happened to be the day we got engaged so it was an easy decision!
How did you decide on Viceroy Snowmass Village for your reception?
We wanted to go a less traditional route and have a small, intimate dinner party following our wedding ceremony. We went to visit the Viceroy Snowmass and saw Eight K and knew that was what we wanted. The private area of the restaurants had the exact look and feel we wanted. It could only only accommodate 54 people so that kept us in line when it was time to make the guest list.
Where did you have book your accommodations?
Viceroy Snowmass Village, The Westin and The Stonebridge Inn
What was the mood at your wedding?
Happy, celebratory, fun and intimate!
What is your best memory?
The ceremony. It was raining that morning and I was so worried people wouldn’t be able to appreciate the beautiful view from the mountain top but luckily the clouds parted for the ceremony and gave us the most beautiful backdrop. Walking down the aisle with my Dad and seeing Adam’s face for the first time that day was the best moment of my life.
Jennifer Hassett, Do you have any advice for a bride planning a destination wedding?
Do what makes you happy. It’s impossible to pick a location that will please everyone and at the end of the day it’s about you and your partner – make it exactly what you want and enjoy every second of it! The best part about having a destination wedding is that most people stay a couple of days so you get bonus time with all of your favorite people.
Do you have any additional thoughts to share with us on having a destination wedding?
I’m from New York and Adam is from the San Francisco Bay area so choosing a location while keeping our friends and families in mind was not the easiest task. After much back and forth on which coast we should get married on, we decided to have it in the state we now call home. Once we decided on Colorado we know we wanted it to be in Aspen. Most of our friends and family had never been and it’s such a special place we knew everyone would love it.