Hundreds of couples received alarming news last Thursday regarding the closure of Sapphire Point Overlook, a well-known and popular ceremony site for small intimate weddings and elopements. Though the message indicated that the area may re-open, it is unsettling when planning a wedding. Since we help many couples plan their weddings at Sapphire Point, I took off on Saturday to find equally as beautiful ceremony locations in Summit County to use as “Plan B”. There are other (comparable to a large wedding) affordable places you can officially book a wedding:
In light of Covid19, we wanted to find more private, “rogue” spots on public lands that are beautiful, open, and outdoorsy so as to respect and maintain physical distancing policies.
Disclaimer: my 8-year-old son was the videographer and all the images are from my iPhone. A professional photographer would have done a much better job. But still, the views are pretty darn amazing! Disclaimer #2: I am unsure of permitting at any of these sites and need to research - some may require no permit if under #75 people (of course our weddings are MUCH smaller), others may require a photography and/or special events permit. If anyone knows, please comment!
Finally, if you are planning a wedding as Sapphire Point, I would recommend holding on to the reservation in case it does open. The email states: "If the location remains closed at the start of your reservation, and your reservation falls entirely within the closure period, we will cancel your reservation and provide a full refund.” So, are you reading this the way I am? No harm if you keep the reservation. But, work with your planner to establish a “Plan B”. Here are some of those ideas and sites we scoped out:
Other locations I scoped out, but didn’t like
Their story: "Jason and I were setup by mutual friend. We were both older and had never married, but hoped to find that special person to build a family together. For us, it happened fast! After six months of dating, we found out I was pregnant. We now have a beautiful two-year-old. We love our little family: our motto - "three together!".
Wedding details: Jen and Jason contacted us three months prior to the wedding (yes, we can plan a wedding in as little as 5 days, or 5 months)! Breckenridge has always held a special place for them, having visited on family trips. Their priority was a simple, intimate outdoor setting with a scenic background. Family-focused and small: 6 adults, three kids.
Their story: "Ross and I met through mutual friends. We both have the same sense of humor and hit it off right away. We have a 5 year old golden retriever named Remi who is our pride and joy. In our spare time we enjoy being up at the lake with friends and traveling as much as possible. Ross also loves hunting and fishing; I love interior design and enjoy refinishing old (and cheap!) furniture. We had never really been interested in a large traditional wedding so deciding to do a destination wedding was a no brainer. We got engaged in Grand Lake, CO in 2016 so it just seemed fitting to come back to Colorado for the wedding. We truly love Colorado."
Wedding details: Even though Paula and Ross each had four bridesmaids and four groomsmen, they kept their wedding vibe very much elopement-style: easy with simplicity. They stayed in Breckenridge at a gorgeous vacation home with all their friends and family. For their ceremony overlooking Lake Dillon, instead of having the formalities of choreographed walk-ins, the couple asked us to play music in the background at arrival. Once everybody was situated, Paula entered the ceremony area. They identified the space by laying down a rug. All #20 guests, including the wedding party, stood around encircling the couple - one of the most intimate ceremonies we’ve seen!
Their story: Anthony and Jen traveled from the Midwest to Colorado to get re-married in a private elopement ceremony. Yes, that's right. Re-married.... to each other. Having divorced years prior, their friendship continued. This time around, they wanted to keep things simple, and all about the two of them. They arrived, got married, and stayed in Colorado for several days to travel around for their second honeymoon.
Wedding details: We kept things simple for them with a mountain elopement package which is basically a scaled-back version of our intimate wedding package. We included elements that make it feel more like a wedding, and less of a courthouse license signing: a bouquet & boutonniere, a small tiny cake, the officiant, photography and even some music from our Bluetooth speaker for the ceremony. Liking pale colors but needing some contrast for the fall, we mixed some peaches, purples and blues with her white & cream florals.
NOTES: the couple stayed at a high-end condo in Breckenridge and decided to to cake post ceremony at their condo. They went out to dinner later that evening in Breckenridge.
Their story: "Zack and I both attended Texas A&M and clicked from the beginning. We want a small, destination wedding in Colorado because we want our wedding to be a memorable experience with our families. Zack has been vacationing in Colorado with his family all his life and has always dreamed of getting married there. Colorado is significant to us as a couple as well because we enjoy driving there for vacation with our dogs."
Wedding details: Did, they say dogs? It's no wonder why we clicked with Ann + Zach. Though we can incorporate our fur babies in the ceremonies, their pooches stayed home on their own vacation. Pretty colors of plum, cranberry, fuchsia and wine added richness to their wedding style. The cake: too gorgeous to eat, but with flavors of ganache (the top tier that Ann so considerately cut into) and mocha buttercream.... who can resist!
By Wendee Vezzetti
Mother, student, planner, gardener, mountain biker, entrepreneur, librarian, hiker, snowboarder, reader, dork, chocoholic, trail runner and creative.