Vail Mountain Wedding Deck sits at the top of Vail Mountain Ski Resort. You truly feel like you’re on top of the world. You take a gondola to the top of the mountain, hang a quick right and you’re there. It’s also extremely accessible for people who are from sea-level (honestly, super important because altitude sickness is VERY REAL)! You don’t have to spend more than 5 minutes at the top before realizing that this is one of the most perfect choices for a wedding ceremony. Like it’s one and done, baby. One look at that view of mountains EVERYWHERE and you know that’s where you should exchange your vows.
I recently photographed a wedding at Vail Mountain Wedding Deck and, as a Colorado wedding photographer, I instantly knew that this will forever be on my list of venue recommendations. Buckle up because I’m going to explain why:
Okay, let’s look at the facts here. If you’re getting married in Colorado, you want the views. Sure there are some indoor venues scattered across the state but the views are the priority here. Other than the obvious ones, like you marrying the love or your life and having the day that you want! When I tell you that you see mountains everywhere you look on Vail Mountain Wedding Deck, I mean it. They’re everywhere. It’s magnificent. AND if you decide to have a fall wedding because you’re obsessed with glowing aspen like meeee, then this is the perfect place. Because you and your guests will see every single aspen grove on these mountains. There’s gold everywhere.
One Word: Gondola
The Gondola is amazing because it can take you to very high places with little-to-no-effort from you or your guests. You just hop on and enjoy the views while you continue to sip your water to fight off that altitude sickness. I do a lot of hiking across the state and, let me tell ya, a gondola is a real treat. It allows easy access to views that would otherwise be inaccessible. Because not everyone is used to this elevation OR is physically equipped to hike 3000+ feet up a mountain in formal attire lol.
Minimal Décor Needed
Now don’t read that heading and get discouraged! If you have always dreams of candles and an arch made of hundreds of wildflowers, please make it happen. But! If you’re on a budget because Vail is expensive and a floral arch and 100 tiny candles just don’t fit within your budget of “must haves”, you’re in luck. Why do I say this? Because let’s be honest, your guests aren’t going to be preoccupied with the arch. They will be watching YOU while occasionally – okay, fine, FREQUENTLY—checking out world-class views. All I’m saying is that the mountain backdrop pretty much eliminates your need for anything on the deck besides you, your honey, and any other people you choose to join you up there. Notice I say need not want because if your heart is set on a floral arch, YOU GET THAT FLORAL ARCH!
Beautiful Options for Photos Following the Ceremony
I mean couples photos and not family photos because hopefully an employee will take us to this location on the back of their golf cart. This can only happen as long as you have time remaining in your scheduled slot…and if he/she feels like it, so we must be kind! It’s in the opposite direction of the gondola towards privacy. Like I said before, you’re flying/driving all the way to Vail for the views. The actual wedding deck is obviously amazing for photos. In fact, I 100% recommend it for family photos, and a handful of you and your honey, but variety is the spice of life. We should try to capture as much as the 360 views possible, yeah?
Let’s schmooze whoever has the keys to the golf cart so we can explore areas otherwise off limits to us and gain a little privacy! Because, if Vail Mountain Wedding Deck is open for your ceremony, it’s also open for people who aren’t your guests. All day there are going to be people riding the gondola to enjoy the views. And, don’t worry! If we take up the entire time or we can’t find the golf cart, there are tons of other places we can walk to.
Vail Village is Convenient
As you probably know, Vail Mountain is a very popular ski resort, and at the base of it, there is Vail Village. Vail Village provides a lot of convenience to someone planning to have their wedding there because there is a lot of food and LOADS of Air BnBs. This is excellent news for the couple, their wedding party, parents, any close family/friends that are involved in the success of the wedding. At the wedding I photographed here, the ladies were on one side of the village and the guys were on the other. They never accidentally ran into each other prior to the wedding and it was perfect. Their lodging was a 5 minute walk from town and it was a breeze. Doesn’t get much easier than that without getting ready on top of the mountain ha.
Does is get more “Colorado” than being on top of a ski resort with panoramic views of jagged peaks? OR does it get more “Colorado” than seeing groves of aspen, whether they’re still green or starting to change, spread across the mountains? Does is get more “Colorado” than exchanging vows in front of a 14er (a 14er is a mountain that 14000+ ft above sea level and there are only 53 in the state, they’re special)? DOES IT GET MORE “COLORADO” THAN TAKING A GONDOLA TO THE PLACE YOU’RE GOING TO GET MARRIED?! No?! That’s what I thought. If you want the “Colorado experience”, you’ll 1000000% get it at Vail Mountain Wedding Deck.
Some other really awesome perks:
- There are suites at the top of the mountain that you can hang out in while waiting for the ceremony to start. Vail Mountain has air conditioned rooms to hang out in (with water to fight of that pesky altitude sickness) while waiting for guests to arrive.
- Tons of nearby hikes to do with your guests! Not too far from Breckenridge, another mountain town people love to explore.
- Vail Village has tons of options to host receptions/dinners/whatever you guys have in mind. Again, very accessible.
- Weather and wind. Anyone who has spent more than two weeks in Colorado knows that the weather can be unpredictable. Summer rainstorms aren’t uncommon (although they normally pass through quickly). Being at the very top of the mountain can cause for some safety issues, the main one being lightening. There’s no coverage and gondolas and lifts shut down when there is lightening within a certain mile radius.
- Not a ton of privacy. Now, the wedding deck itself will be roped off to those wandering up the mountain chasing spectacular views. So, no, no one will crash your wedding. BUT! Prepare for a ton of people being at the top of the mountain with you. You can’t rent the wedding deck out for the entire day like you could other wedding venues. In fact, you will most likely see brides/grooms who just got married before you or are waiting for your wedding to end so they can get married next.