By Christine Benedetti | January 17, 2017 | Lifestyle
Picture-perfect Aspen amps up winter weddings with five-star amenities and memorable heights.
Love among the aspens: A bride walks down Meadows Road on the way to Aspen Meadows Resort, a favorite location for winter weddings in town.
Aspen weddings hold a lot of love. First, there’s the couple bonding in marriage; second, the adoration they have for this high-altitude haven. The goal, with guests, is to celebrate both. “The bride and groom are excited, and they want to share Aspen with their friends and family,” says Melina Glavas, senior events manager for the five-star hotel The Little Nell (675 E. Durant Ave., 970-920-4600). When couples choose the Roaring Fork Valley for their destination wedding, they often add local touches and only-in-Aspen experiences to show off town.
For weddings at the Nell, that could mean rides up Aspen Mountain’s Silver Queen Gondola (just steps from the hotel); caviar-and- Champagne parties at the Nell’s on-mountain pop-up bar, Oasis; or private wine tastings or cocktail classes with the property’s master sommeliers. Whether couples opt for a simple, more traditional affair or something more elaborate, there are now high-tech ways to ensure the event goes smoothly, according to Elizabeth Slossberg, owner of the event-planning company EKS Events (100 Obermeyer Pl., Stes. 106 & 107, 970-429-4187).
“We’re developing apps for all of our weddings,” she says. “It’s moving away from websites and more towards interactive [platforms].” That way guests can get real-time updates— and carry the event schedule right in their pockets. Although photos are the standard way to preserve wedding memories, both Slossberg and Glavas say many couples now prefer to give their guests souvenirs—but not just any old tchotchkes.
They’re branding everything with the wedding’s signature or hashtag, then sending guests home with items they can use: water bottles, tote bags, even spirits, like a branded bottle of whiskey from the valley’s Woody Creek Distillers. (The hangovers, sadly, come unbranded.) Of course, one of the most memorable parts of a wedding in Aspen is the setting itself, and some couples are taking full advantage of the scenery by holding their ceremonies atop 11,212-foot Aspen Mountain.
Both the Nell and EKS Events orchestrate weddings on the summit, transporting guests by gondola to an unforgettable event amidst the breathtaking views of the Elk Mountains. Closer to sea level, the sprawling Aspen Meadows Resort (845 Meadows Road, 970-925-4240) opens for weddings starting in the fall, and organizers say the emphasis here is definitely on the scenery, with the Aspen Highlands and beyond providing an unbeatable backdrop for ceremonies.
But the property is also home to exquisite Herbert Bayer-designed buildings and guest rooms, giving couples the flexibility to shift between the great outdoors and the Bauhaus-inspired interiors. It practically guarantees a plethora of social media-worthy moments— before and after the focus shifts to the event’s true purpose: marriage!
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROBIN PROCTOR PHOTOGRAPHY; PHOTOGRAPHY BY RICCARDO SAVI (SKIS); ROBIN PROCTOR PHOTOGRAPHY (ASPEN MEADOWS COUPLE); LANE DITTOE (INTERIOR);
JAMES + SCHULZE (LITTLE NELL COUPLE, SUNDECK); ALICE KOELLE PHOTOGRAPHY (MOUNTAIN CEREMONY)