Crested Butte CO is a small town deep in the rocky mountains, many miles from any major metropolitan area. An old mining town now a ski resort, Crested Butte has a historic feel among it’s natural beauty. It is really a wonder and has become a popular wedding destination. If you have visited us you know, things are not the same up here at 9000 feet! Our seasons are a little different then many other locations for many reasons. Travel can be a challenge and with two incredibly busy tourist seasons during the year, you really need to prepare if you are going to plan a wedding here. I have lived in Crested Butte for 10 years and have worked with countless brides…so I have some knowledge to share with you that will make your planning easier and smoother.
Locations: Crested Butte Mountain Resort host over 100 weddings a year and has a large array of locations for both your ceremony and your reception (see above photo). You and your guests can ride a chairlift to your ceremony, but you need to make plans on how to get back down after the chairlifts stop running! (See transportation below for details).
There are many other locations to have a ceremony and/or reception in our quaint little town. The Mountain Wedding Garden is a beautiful location, especially in the height of the flower season. This spot lends itself to amazing views of the mountains as well as a flowery garden for your ceremony and a covered pavilion of your reception.
There are dozens of locations for a ceremony and reception in the town of Crested Butte. These locations may be rented from the Crested Butte Land Trust or the Town of Crested Butte and many are perfect for both your ceremony and a tented reception. Downtown Crested Butte has dozens of restaurants perfect for indoor receptions or small wedding dinners. These locations are also nice for the day-before events such as a rehearsal or welcome dinner. Visit the Gunnison Crested Butte Wedding Guide for a list of these locations.
And if you like the beauty of the mountain ranges and the ease of an all-inclusive indoor locations, the Club at Crested Butte is perfect. Sitting atop a pristine golf course, the Club offers the ease of an indoor wedding with the beauty of the mountain backdrop.
Be sure to book early, these locations are very popular during the wedding season and can book a year in advance!
Seasons: We have 3 seasons here- Winter, Summer and a short Fall. All three can be popular for weddings although there are many more in the Summer and September. And summer here is not the same as most other places. Summer sometimes does not start until July, although during our drier years the end of June can be quite beautiful. And summer can sometime only last until the first week of September, when you might see the first snow fly and the leaves change. Not to say we have not had some beautiful Septembers and even early Octobers, but typically the snow begins to fly when the leaves are in peak color, which is mid-September. And the evenings, all year-round, can be chilly. In June and September it can be quite cold, so I recommend renting heaters for tented-outdoor weddings and reminding guests to bring jackets or sweaters. July and August is beautiful, but the evenings can still have a slight chill and most people wear long pants and light jackets once the sun sets. Also, you will typically not see a variety of flowers until July and the changing colors occur early to mid-Septemeber, so if you are from the East Coast where spring is blooming in May and June and leaves are changing in October and November, you will be surprised!
Tips for your Guests
1. We are at 9000ft. That means the sun rays are harsher, the air is thinner and there is less oxygen. Be sure to let your guests know of these issues and help them prepare properly. Remind them to bring hats and sunscreen, and re-apply regularly during the day. Drink lots of water! And I mean LOTS! Altitude sickness is a real issue at 9000ft and it would be so sad for your guests to have it during your wedding celebration. Driving from a lower altitude can help so guests can fly into Denver CO and stay overnight and drive the beautiful 4-hour drive to Crested Butte the next day. Other close-by airports include Montrose and Grand Junction. Oh, and it rains every day in July, but only for about an hour or two typically in the afternoon.
2. Transportation. There is a local bus that drives around town and up the mountain throughout the summer and the winter. This bus runs every 15 minutes in the summer and 20 minutes in the winter and is a great, free way to get around. There is Crested Butte Speciality Services, which can provide first-class transportation for guests at odd hours or from the airport as well as the Alpine Express, which can accommodate large parties and is typically used to shuttle guests from Crested Butte Mountain Resort locations. You can also rent townie bikes to easily cruise around downtown Crested Butte or venture out on some of the easy bike trails like the Recreation Path.
3. Lodging. There are a variety of lodging options in a variety of price ranges and locations in the Crested Butte valley. Guests tend to enjoy staying on the mountain during the winter and in town during the summer, although both is readily accessible wight he free local bus. You might be able to get a deal on the mountain lodging during the summer or visa versa during the winter. But keep in mind the smaller, more private lodging options will book up fast during our busiest months; December, July and August.
4. Attire. We are “Colorado-casual” here. We are a laid-back town with a high-end edge. On any given summer weekend you can find people in jeans and sweatshirts or heels and dresses. All fashion is acceptable, but many of the locals enjoy a more casual look. Heels, especially in the winter, are hard to manage on the snow-packed sidewalks or dirt roads (although I still wear them occasionally). Heels are also very hard to manage when receptions are in tents and ceremonies outside on grass. At many local weddings guests can be found in jeans, sundresses, flat-shoes or black slacks. Some wear ties and button-up shirts, others will be in jackets. Anything goes, and if you don’t care what your guests wear let them know of the environment they will be in so they can dress accordingly. Like I mentioned earlier, the evenings can be cold. I have seen guests wear down-jackets in September!
For more info on Crested Butte visit the Crested Butte webpage. Stay tuned for next weeks blog: Part 2: Things to Do for Your Wedding Guests in Crested Butte
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Serving Crested Butte, the Gunnison County, Denver and Beyond
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