While outdoor weddings can be breathtakingly gorgeous, mountain weddings can also be extremely difficult due to the erratic summer weather. Following are a few tips and considerations for an outdoor wedding in the Vail area:
1. July is the rainiest month of the year. Plan on beautiful sunny mornings and afternoon showers. If you survive after 1:00 pm without getting wet - the heavens have smiled upon you. June and August are also iffy regarding afternoon showers, but not to the extent of July.
2. Cover your musicians! Unless you can predict the weather and guarantee no sweltering sun, no music whipping wind, afternoon rain, or hail storms, you should provide covering your musicians. Generally an over-sized umbrella or a pop up tent is sufficient. While thousands of dollars are spent in the creation of a perfect wedding, consider that one of the most focal parts of your wedding involves setting the mood with prelude, marching down the aisle, and the celebration of the union as a couple is presented for the first time. These moments beg for perfection. While the musical costs may be insignificant in comparison with the costs of the reception, dinners etc, consider that for such important life events, you want your musicians to be playing at their best, not worrying about a raindrop ruining their expensive instrument.
3. Make back up plans. While summer outdoor weddings are spectacular in the Vail Valley, make sure that you have a back up plan. If the weather threatens, consider that neither you nor your guests will really want to sit outside in freezing wind or rain for 30-60 minutes.
4. Call it early. If the weather does look threatening, make the call early. If moving the ceremony indoors is an option, make the decision early in the day so that your florist and other wedding service providers aren't scrambling at the last minute to make your venue spectacular. With so many other things to think about, a last minute change of venue can throw off timing, and add undue stress to such a momentous occasion.
5. Mountain top. Many of our clients choose to ride the gondola to the top of Vail Mountain to photograph the wedding party prior to the actual ceremony. While in theory a fantastic idea, be aware that summer storms move in quickly. As such, Vail is very pro-active in keeping their guests safe. If there is any chance of lightning, all access to and from the mountaintop will cease until the storm dissipates. In other words, you may get caught on top of the mountain for several hours.
Best wishes as you plan your upcoming wedding, and may all of your skies be blue!