Plan Your Colorado Destination Wedding

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Trinity Sorrells

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March 26, 2024

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Tips from a Wedding Photographer in Colorado

Planning a destination wedding can be a bit of a challenge if you’re not familiar with the area or running into road blocks with finding vendors. That is where I come in to help! I’m Trinity, a Colorado Wedding Photographer that also specializes in destinations. Here are my TOP tips for planning your Colorado Destination Wedding.

A Colorado bride & groom during their wedding ceremony in Winter Park, Colorado.

Pick Your Location for your Colorado Destination Wedding

How do you pick your destination location? Picking your location is probably the hardest decision you’ll make because there’s so many factors to consider when narrowing your search down from Colorado to where exactly in Colorado. First step is to narrow down your venue search with your guest list in mind. Look into lodging and accommodations in the surrounding areas. The perfect quaint little town may not be ideal if the nearest hotel large enough to comfortably fit your guests is 2 hours away. Another important thing to consider is the weather during that time of year. A wedding tucked away into the mountains with lots of snow may be your dream but also consider what road conditions and traveling there may be like during that time. Many mountain roads are closed during heavy snowfall.

Also consider the landscape surrounding your potential location. Even if your ceremony and reception will take place indoors, look for a place that has an ideal landscape surrounding for outdoor photos. I promise your photographer will thank you.

My recommendations to look into: Estes Park, Aspen, Crested Butte, Evergreen, Vail, Telluride, Winter Park, Boulder, and Golden are great starting points to begin your research.

Take a look at the gallery of this Winter Park Wedding. The Bride & Groom were from Austin, TX and planned this gorgeous destination wedding.

A wedding dress hung in the window, the snow and pine trees of Colorado can be seen through the window.
A Texas bride & groom pictured in the snow with mountain peaks in the backrgound.

Hire a Professional to Help Plan your Wedding

Planning is not everyone’s forte and that is OKAY. There a plenty of professionals to choose from to help take the load off. For a destination wedding, a wedding planner will likely be your best friend during the process. As a professional wedding photographer who as seen my share of weddings with and without a planner, I cannot sing their praises enough. If you take one thing from this, it is this: hire a coordinator.

Oftentimes, this step can even be done first to help you narrow down other choices you need to make, such as location and venues. Or even hotels and things to do in the area.

I also want to mention your other vendors can likely help as well in the planning, such as your wedding photographer. I offer my couples a recommended vendor list as well as any help location scouting or planning. I send my couples an 80 page wedding guide book after booking with all my tips and tricks.

If help in the planning process + their expertise is important to you, be sure to mention that in your discovery call when vetting out vendors.

Reception outfit change during the wedding reception at Headwaters Center, Colorado.
A bride and groom leaving their wedding in a jeep surrounded with snow after their Colorado destination wedding.

“Go Local, Save Big”

When doing research for one of my couples planning their Colorado destination wedding from Texas, I read this somewhere and it’s something that has really stuck with me. I say this to all my couples when planning their weddings whether destination or not. Go local to save big.

Let’s be clear on what this does not mean. It does not mean you shouldn’t hire your dream vendor team if they aren’t local. Especially if their photo or video related. Someone’s art cannot be replicated or compared so if you find someone who is a destination photographer or videographer, such as myself, and you can’t imagine your day without them, by all means book them.

However, thinks like decor, flowers, rentals, and details like that bought or rented locally with save you boat loads. Avoiding big chains or overly commercialized companies will also lean in your pocket book’s favor. Most of the time local companies have local prices and sometimes offer specials you probably won’t find at big chains. You’re also supporting a small business, which is always a win.

A outdoor wedding reception with snow in the background.
A bride in the snow of Colorado during her wedding.

Smaller Things To Consider from a Photographer’s Standpoint

  • Collect a view local tokens, such as a postcard, stamps, stickers or even a figurine, from the local area to give your photographer to include in your Flatlay photos. This small detail will bring in some of the local charm as well as give you a few sentimental pieces to remember your destination wedding.
  • Consider doing a ‘Day After’ session of just you + your partner. Your wedding day may likely be one of the only times you’ll have all your people in one place together, you should be present with them & savor every moment of it. Instead of taking you away for a large amount of time during your wedding day, or being rushed through your portraits, save a large part of those photos for a session the day after. Of course still grab some photos of just you two on the wedding day, but this way you can feed two birds with one scone. You get to soak up all the magic of your wedding day and have a stress free shoot with no time crunch. It also gives us the chance to shoot beyond your venue in a beautiful location.
A groom standing at the altar at the headwaters center during this Colorado wedding.

That’s all for now. I truly hope you found this blog helpful in your planning process! Happy planning!! Allow me to introduce myself – I’m Trinity, the girl typing endlessly to serve you all of the details for the tips on planning your Colorado destination wedding! In case you didn’t know, I’m a Colorado wedding and elopement photographer. I would be honored to guide you through planning a day that completely reflects the two of you. I gladly offer my couples planning assistance and expertise you probably won’t find on Google. If you haven’t already, head over to check out what’s included in my wedding packages and experience. You’ll learn what it’s like to work with me, what planning help I offer, read FAQs, see the booking process, starting pricing, and more! If you’re ready to learn more, inquire today and let’s start planning your dream wedding!!

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