Telluride offers a little something for every couple. A former silver mining town, this hamlet exudes historic charm throughout its picture-perfect downtown. But, of course, the real draw of a Telluride wedding is the breathtaking scenery courtesy of the majestic San Juan Mountains. As an adventure wedding photographer, I put Telluride at the top of my list of the best places to tie the knot.
Telluride Wedding Venues
Whether you want an outdoor ceremony or something indoors, Telluride provides plenty of options. If you want small and intimate or large and elegant, you can find it all in Telluride. Keep in mind, if you want to do something completely out of the ordinary, I can plan an extraordinary elopement adventure just for you.
Here are a few options to consider if you want to go the traditional route with your Telluride wedding and reception. Some of these options are not available all year, so you will need to contact the venue and inquire about your preferred wedding dates. Additionally, there may be Covid-related rules or restrictions that limit the number of guests, etc.
The Telluride Ski Resort offers several options. Many couples choose to hold an outdoor ceremony at the San Sophia Overlook, which offers spectacular scenery, followed by an elegant reception at Allred’s, which at more than 10,500 feet elevation is accessible via gondola and provides wonderful vistas for your guests to enjoy. For a smaller wedding, Alpino Vino, a restaurant located at the top of the resort, is a fun option for both your ceremony and reception.
The Mountain Lodge is another option to consider, and I would label this as a rustic, yet elegant wedding venue. You and your guests can enjoy the ceremony and reception on-site, and also enjoy the luxurious accommodations at the lodge.
The Peaks Resort & Spa has options for just about any size wedding. For your ceremony, they have two options, the Mt. Wilson Terrace and the Altezza Deck, both of which provide those spectacular views you expect from a Telluride wedding. This is one of the few options that are available year-round.
Gorrono Ranch is ideal for couples that love rustic Colorado charm. Located about 7 miles from Telluride in Mountain Village, you’ll enjoy views of alpine forests with the San Juan Mountains in the background. Receptions are held in a rustic barn-style building that includes a huge stone fireplace and a horse-drawn wagon that can deliver you to the wedding ceremony.
The Sheridan Opera House can be a fun option if you want something unique and historic for your reception. The opera house, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, can accommodate about 100 guests for a sit-down dinner and the space later can be opened up for dancing.
The New Sheridan Hotel is located in downtown Telluride in a historic building that has welcomed guests for more than a century. It’s one of the few remaining hotels that was in existence during Colorado’s mining heydays. There are three reception options, an intimate room that accommodates about 30 guests as well as a restaurant that accommodates 90 and the historic bar, which can accommodate up to 130 guests.
The Madeline Hotel can be a great spot for a reception. Many couples opt for a ceremony at the San Sophia Overlook or perhaps another scenic spot and then head over to The Madeline or you can tie the knot on the hotel’s Idardo Balcony which can accommodate up to 85 guests.
Small Weddings & Elopements (And a note about Covid)
The pandemic has been difficult for all of us, but it’s been particularly disappointing for many couples who had hoped to enjoy a big wedding. A Telluride adventure elopement can be a fantastic option to consider. I will create an outdoor experience that will surpass your expectations and I promise that you won’t feel cheated out of your “big day.”
Through the years, I’ve found that smaller weddings (and even elopements) tend to be more enjoyable. You spend the day with the people that you truly love, and the occasion is all the more meaningful for it.
If you perused the venue options above and feel as though these options don’t speak to who you are as a couple, don’t let that dissuade you from selecting Telluride as your wedding locale. Telluride’s natural beauty is all you really need to create a magical experience. Even if you’ve shaved your guest list down to you, your partner and your dog, a Telluride elopement can be your every dream come true.
Elopements or tiny weddings are less expensive and less stressful than they typical full-scale wedding. There’s no one to please but the two of you, and there’s no hassling with catering, decorations, seating charts and the myriad of small details the typical wedding requires. All you have to do is book plane tickets and accommodations and I will find a perfect location for your elopement photography.
Telluride Wedding & Elopement Photography
When you flip through your friends and family’s wedding pictures, you probably find many snapshots that showcase the joy of the day, but these pictures usually lack a sense of whimsy and don’t fully capture the essence of the couple. As an adventure wedding photographer, my approach is a bit different than the typical destination wedding photographer.
The couples I work with generally seek something a bit out of the ordinary for their wedding pictures. They want something that captures their love, of course, but also their spirit of adventure. In many cases, this means we trek out into the wilderness to find those unique spots for the perfect wedding portrait.
I don’t simply take photographs; I curate experiences for my clients that they will remember for years to come. We might hike to a waterfall or a hidden lake and use these as our backdrop. Perhaps we will trek up a mountain top to seize that perfect view. Still, others love to use the historic downtown (and the mountains beyond) as their background.
You can book an adventure session for just the two of you, as well as photography for your ceremony and reception. My goal is to find creative ways to showcase your friends and family so that 20 years later, you will look back and remember the joy and fun of that day. Too often, our wedding day passes in a blur, and my goal is to help you stay present in the moment and enjoy every second of your special day.
I don’t want to simply take pictures of a solemn couple exchanging vows, I want to create images that speak to the joy of the day, not just formal shots that show off the pretty clothes and the perfect hair. As Maya Angelou said, “Love recognizes no barriers, it jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination, full of hope.” That’s what I seek to capture with each photograph.
A small Telluride wedding or elopement can be the perfect option for couples that love nature and basking in the great outdoors, and I can create a photography experience beyond your wildest dreams. Contact me at any time and let’s start planning your Telluride wedding adventure.