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Planning a Rocky Mountain Wedding in Any Season

We've broken down the year to help you plan your Rocky Mountain wedding no matter when it is.


Weather: Though the temperatures stay fairly mild during springtime, it's not unusual to get the occasional thunderstorm or light snow, so be prepared for anything.
Best time of day to take photos: In order to take advantage of the best natural light, it's important to schedule photo shoots well before the sun starts to set. In late March, that's usually shortly after 7 p.m.
Look out for: The Rockies draw lots of spring breakers in March, and while finding a venue may be a cinch, it may not be so easy for your guests to find a hotel. Venues and lodging are usually wide open during "mud season" (April-May), but that may not be the case with many restaurants and businesses. They sometimes shut down during those months. And while they provide a fantastic backdrop for photos, remember that resorts will shut down the gondolas during thunderstorms.
Must-have: Remind guests to dress in layers, or have jackets and blankets handy. Also, if planning an outdoor event, always have a backup shelter ready just in case you need to move the party indoors. It's also not a bad idea to have a few large umbrellas on hand.


Weather: June through September is the most popular time for Rocky Mountain weddings, but they're also the brightest and hottest months. And remember, Colorado weather can change on a dime. "I had a wedding in August in Breckenridge where it rained, snowed and hailed!" says Paige Eden of Paige Eden Photography.
Best time of day to take photos: In the early summer months, the sun is out until after 8 p.m. "However, if the venue is in a valley, the sun will generally set about a half hour prior to the normal time, which is crucial to take into consideration," says Eden. "If sunset happens later in the evening, we always like to be able to take our clients outside and do a small 15 minute session with them during that time."
Look out for: A lot of events are planned during summer months, like the Telluride Bluegrass Festival or the Longs Peak Scottish Irish Highland Festival Parade, when they shut down Main Street in Estes Park. Check ahead for local events. They can be fun for your guests, but can also cause lodging and travel problems.
Must-have: Make sure you have plenty of shade and provide lots of liquids. Often, your d├ęcor can have a dual-purpose. Hand out colorful parasols or ceremony programs that double as fans.


Weather: As if the bright blue sky and majestic mountains aren't enough of a perk, the Aspen Gold Rush makes autumns in the Rockies breathtaking. The weather is generally crisp and dry, but the occasional snow is not unheard of.
Best time of day to take photos: In October, the sun starts going down closer to 6 p.m. Get an early start, because autumn provides some of the best photo ops.
Look out for: If you're counting on capturing the changing leaves in your photos, remember that the Aspens start changing in August at higher elevations and then work their way down the mountains through October. Peak color is usually in late September.
Must-have: The Department of Transportation's road condition number (303-639-1111 for roads outside of Denver). "Don't assume the Denver weather report is same as in the mountains," says Jessica Horvath of Weddings by Design. Not only can snow shut down roadways, but sometimes the park will close certain roads to protect the elk during fall mating season.


Weather: Most of Colorado's high country is covered in powder during the winter months. Sudden blizzards and high winds are common as are very chilly temperatures.
Best time of day to take photos: The sun sets much earlier in the winter. Your light source starts to dim around 5 p.m., so plan ahead.
Look out for: Slick or closed roads. Sometimes, getting up the mountains on a Friday afternoon or a Saturday morning can take a long time because of traffic and snow. Getting back down on Sundays can also be tedious.
Must-have: Winter weddings in Colorado can be magical! Even if you're celebrating indoors, be sure to get a few photos in your snow-covered surroundings.

Special thanks to Paige Eden of Paige Eden Photography (Denver) and Jessica Horvath of Weddings by Design (Longmont).,

-- Carrie Chambers