I'm so glad you are here to check out some recent work. I'm a Colorado wedding photographer that shoots all around the country. The blog is filled with full wedding and portrait sessions, and includes weddings planning tips and inspiration.
I'm so glad you are here to check out some recent work! The blog is filled with full sessions, and includes weddings and portraits from all over!
Shelly is Colorado Mountain Wedding Photographer that shoots all around the country!
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February 9, 2021
The trend of having a small and intimate wedding has really risen since mid-2020, and so has the search for small wedding venues in Colorado. I guess a global-pandemic could be to blame. But after talking to a lot of couples planning their nuptials, Covid-19 wasn’t always the reason. There is definitely an appeal to having a smaller wedding. Less money. Less stress. More freedom to have it their way.
While searching for wedding venues in Colorado, you can be overwhelmed with all of the amazing options. If you are specifically searching for small wedding venues, whether in the mountains or in downtown Denver, I have pulled together the ultimate Top 10 list for you. These picks come from a photographer’s eye; all of these intimate wedding venues photograph GORGEOUSLY.
Intimate or micro weddings, not to be confused with elopements, have on average anywhere between 10-60 guests. While eloping is more of just the couple heading off by themselves to say I do, intimate weddings still have some attendees. A lot of couples still want close friends and family in attendance as they exchange vows, and they also want to host them to a nice dinner and wining and dining. These venues will be the perfect fit for those options.
(Also, don’t forget to check out my Ultimate Guide for the Best Colorado Mountain Wedding Venues with epic view and scenery!!)
Some insider tips for considering a small or intimate wedding;
Consider getting married on a Monday-Thursday! This will not only open up your options for availability with most venues (and vendors!), but will also cost much less.
Also, be aware of altitude in Colorado! Most guests that are coming in from out of state will NOT be used to the 10,000 ft elevation. While the views are always better at the top, don’t forget about altitude sickness for guests.
Weather can also be a determining factor for when and where you choose to get married. While ‘off seasons’ (usually Nov-April) will have better pricing and availability, you must also be aware of blizzards, road or trail conditions, and ski traffic.
With that being said, check out this list I put together for you of the best small wedding venues in Colorado!
This tiny green building, nestled amongst trees and retaining wall gardens, is technically a small solarium. Its glass panes make it a fun environment to be inside, while still feeling connected to the romantic garden like feeling of outside.
The vibe is romantic and classic. Think an affordable black tie option! It almost seems vintage and art deco with the structure, but major garden-party vibes. It is a perfect option for a 40 person or less wedding! Another great feature of this venue is its central location within Denver. It is also very close to the Cherry Creek neighborhood, where there are a lot of beautiful and upscale hotel and lodging options, as well as shopping and restaurants. They also do not have their liquor license, so couples are allowed to purchase their own alcohol and have it served by one of their approved caterers! (Which is a huge money saver!!)
A seated ceremony indoors can fit 50 guests. A seated indoor reception can fit 40.
The closest area for lodging would be in Cherry Creek, which is an upscale shopping district! Filled with lots of boutiques and restaurants, some great options for hotels here would be Halcyon Hotel, the Moxy Hotel, or the Jacquard Hotel.
Service dogs are allowed. You can bring in your own alcohol, but it must be served by one of the allowed catering staff.
One hour site fee will cost $1,800. If you’d like to rent it for a half day usage, the price is $2,000, and a full day usage is $3,000. There is also a $300 service set-up fee.
Realm stands out from other small indoor wedding venues in Colorado because of its natural aesthetic! Located just north of downtown Denver, in the RiNo arts district, this cute spot is a great venue all year round.
The first think you will notice when you walk into the space is the white cyc wall in the corner, which makes for a perfect wedding ceremony backdrop. The lounge furniture that comes with the venue is modern yet vintage, with light pastel colors. The building itself is pretty industrial, but painted all white. The large windows on the side make for perfect natural light to come in to flood the space.
After your ceremony, guests can be ushered into the cocktail hour area attached to the main room. During normal business hours, this space is used as a cafe, but for weddings is converted into a fun modern bar! If the weather is nice outside, the windows and doors to the cocktail hour can open up! Once it is time for the reception to start, guests come back into the main room (which will now have been converted into a beautiful dinner party space).
It is a great venue for couples choosing to have a city wedding that is fun, playful, easy, and beautiful. It’s location is just north of the RiNo arts district, so guests can enjoy exploring the fun bars and nightlife there while in town too!
Realm can fit 130 guest for a seated dinner and 250 guests cocktail style. They are continuing to offer micro wedding and elopement packages now until end of May and then Nov-Dec of 2021. These micro/elopement packages range from $750-4000. The packages have great included goodies like bartenders and glassware!
Since Realm is located not too far from the RiNo district, the Source Hotel, the Ramble Hotel, and quite a few airbnb listings would be great options for guests! Since Realm is located in the city of Denver, Ubers are very accessible so hotels anywhere in the city would be a great fit too. There are many options near Union Station downtown, which is a direct train ride from the airport!
Realm has a list a preferred caterers to choose from, but they do allow you to choose anyone off of their list for an extra fee of $300.
For 9 hours of rental time (2 hours for set-up, 6 for event time, and 1 hour for cleanup) the prices will vary depending on the day of the week. Monday-Thursday is $2500, Friday/Sunday is $3500, and Saturday is $4500.
Just a 10 minute drive up the mountain from downtown Boulder sits Flagstaff House, a cute restaurant that sits on a deck overlooking the Rocky Mountains in the distance. They are open for small events and weddings!
The beauty of the Flagstaff House is going to 100% be the view from the ceremony deck. You can see the snowy peaks of Longs Peak and just layers of layers of mountains with a golden sunset in the background. The view isn’t the only selling point. The location is pretty great too! Located on Flagstaff Mountain, the Flagstaff house is nestled up near the famous Boulder Flatirons. It is also only a 10 minute drive to downtown Pearl Street!
The last selling factor to this beautiful venue, and maybe the EASIEST sell, is the FOOD! They are recognized for our award-winning wine list, cuisine, and attentive staff. They will be celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2021 and have been a family-owned restaurant since 1971! Flagstaff House offers New American cuisine and their Executive Chef/Part-Owner, Chris Royster, is a Food Network Chopped Champion as well as a past Zagat 30 under 30 recipient!
Depending on which area you decide to reserve, the Flagstaff house can hold anywhere from 6-100 people. There is a mixture of options from teh ceremony deck to small private dining rooms. Larger wedding and ceremonies at the venue do ask to reserve private use of the venue.
The most famous and luxury nearby would be right off of Pearl Street in downtown Boulder, and that is Hotel Boulderado. Other great options would be Basecamp Boulder and the Bradley Boulder Inn, which are all about a 10 min drive from the venue! There are always great airbnb options in town too!
The really only restriction is that as a restaurant they cannot permit any outside food or alcohol. (Understandable. Plus- you book this venue FOR their food! So delicious). They also do not provide options for different linens, etc. but couples/planners can provide these items. A private wedding dinner for a singular dining area does not include the option to host a ceremony, music or dancing but includes food and drinks. Ceremony seating is NOT provided.
Pricing will vary depending on size of wedding, spaces reserved, and seasons. Smaller private dinners could be as low as $2,000, and more extensive weddings could go up to $50,000.
Annie Davis. https://flagstaffhouse.com/private-events
Maroon Bells is the most photographed view in Colorado, and is a perfect spot for a small wedding ceremony venue. Located just outside of Aspen, Colorado, Maroon Bells offers views of the Elk Mountain range.
If you are looking for the most picturesque and instagram worthy wedding photos for your small and intimate wedding, then I’d highly recommend looking into reserving the Maroon Bells amphitheater. The amphitheater is a bit more private and secluded than the rest of the park. There are ceremony benches and a platform for the vows. In the fall season, the area is surrounded by beautiful yellow and orange aspens!
The amphitheater is very accessible (even wheel chair friendly) and dogs are also allowed! Note of caution though, this spot is a VERY popular tourist location. Reservations get booked months and months in advance, and the parking lot is always full. It’s wise to book the shuttle (which can also be booked far in advance) or carpool. Also do not get your hopes up on reserving a popular weekend date in the summer. Saturdays are not available for reservations, and Sundays get booked up fast.
The amphitheater is only available for ceremonies. If you are looking to host a small reception later in the day, restaurants in Aspen or Snowmass would be your best bet!
If reserving the amphitheater (which I highly recommend), then the capacity is 50.
Aspen is a short 15min drive away from Maroon Bells. Luxury hotels can be found downtown, as well as beautiful airbnbs. If the prices of Aspen intimidate you a little, there are some other beautiful lodging options about 30-40 mins north in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs.
Dogs ARE allowed. Everyone must also stay on paths and trails at all times. Pit toilets are at the parking lot, but there is no electricity or running water (so bring your own water!). Parking is extremely limited, so it is advised to take the shuttle. If reserving the amphitheater, 5 parking passes are given to you. Ceremony only, there is no reception space for events here, and they are not allowed. Reservations are only open on Sundays-Thursday in during June, July, and August. In September, only Mondays-Thursday can be reserved. Please keep an open mind when choosing your wedding date, as Sunday dates get booked up very quickly.
The cost to rent the Maroon Bells amphitheater for a wedding is only $200! Be aware that reservations go fast.
Sapphire Point is one of the most sought after small wedding venues in Colorado. Located about 15 mins from Breckenridge and Frisco, Sapphire Point sits on top of a mountain overlooking the Dillon Reservoir.
Sapphire Point is open all year round, but reservations must be made 6 months in advance. The location is heavily sought after, especially in the summer and fall months, so be prepared to have a backup plan. (Check out Blue Lakes outside of Breckenridge or Loveland Pass!!) Sapphire Point is popular because it is easily accessible (just a 2 min walk down a dirt trail from the parking lot!) and nearby cute skit towns such as Breckenridge and Keystone.
Be advised that this spot is still a public trail! Strangers may be present while you are saying your vows! It is also a ceremony-only option, which can be reserved for up to 2 hours.
Sapphire Point can hold up to 35 guests, but gets crowded fast. It may be best for elopements and intimate weddings of 10-20 people. Chairs may be brought in by outside vendors.
Sapphire Point sits between the towns of Dillon, Frisco, and Keystone, and Breckenridge. My advice would be to find cute lodging options in Breckenridge, where the downtown main strip has a bit more activities and restaurants. Breckenridge is also known for having very large cabin rentals that can accommodate large families and crowds!
Reservations must be booked 6 months in advance. Time slots are highly competitive so it is wise to have a backup plan! Parking is VERY limited and can not be reserved. It is best to carpool or take an Uber. Couples may bring in chair, but no permanent structures may be erected. Catering or Delivery cars require a special permit from the U.S. Forest Service Department to operate in the Dillon Ranger District. Decor must not block trail, as the trail will still be a public trail accessible to others during your reservations.
Based on 2 hour permit windows, a reservation for a wedding at Sapphire Point costs $120.
Reservations must be made online through Recreation.gov! http://www.dillonrangerdistrict.com/wedding.htm
Treehaus is a new Colorado wedding venue that is nestled in a forest of Black Hawk, about 35 miles from Denver.
And yes, it is an actual treehouse! The beauty and charm of this space makes it such a unique wedding venue! There is a stream that runs under the treehouse until mid July. The forest is filled with ponderosa pines and aspens! Foxes and moose frequently visit the area, making the surroundings extra special.
A fun perk of renting Treehaus is that couples can actually stay in the treehaus or glamping tent that is on site! Guests can find lodging nearby with a lot of options for fun activities to do, such as hike Brainard Lake (about 30 minutes away), order Crosscut Pizza from Nederland, and hike a gorgeous waterfall not far that leads to Gross Reservoir– which you can paddle board in!
Treehaus hosts about 20-30 weddings a year, mostly during the summer months. They are not open from May 1- Oct 31.
18 indoors, 50 total including outdoors. Tent rental is recommended for outdoor events due to rain.
Boulder Creek Lodge in Nederland, 10 mins away
Dogs only allowed outside. No sparklers or smoking due to being located in a dense forest. No food trucks. Noise ordinance 10pm weekdays, 11pm weekends.
Base price for a Thursday wedding is $2,000 and includes access to the entire property, venue coordinator, and dinner and cake for the couple. Each additional guest is $175-200, depending on menu choice. Base price is $3,000 on Saturdays and same per head price.
Audrey Gebhardt. https://www.treehauscolorado.com/
Along with the hotel, it also holds intimate weddings! Couples can book the hotel for their wedding, which can lodge up to 11 guests. (And there is plenty of other lodging in nearby Evergreen!). Couples can also choose to get married in the beautiful Meadow Ceremony site, or for even smaller events, on the Mountain View Deck. There is even a fire-pit and hot tub for guests to enjoy!
Bonus!; the venue will be adding on a TREEHOUSE to the venue space in late 2021!!!
The inside of the Juniper Mountain House is so inviting. Styled by hosts Ashley and Alea! The wedding packages also come with multiple add-ons if you so choose to do so.
For the full wedding experience, the reception space can hold up to 50 guests. If couples choose to do a ‘ceremony only’ option, then the Meadow Ceremony site can hold up to 60.
While the hotel can host 11 guests itself, nearby lodging is also very accessible. Comfort Suites is 3 mins away, while Origin Red Rocks is 14mins away. There is also Dove Inn (20 mins away) as well as Highland Heaven (17mins away).
Couples can add on to their package the following for an extra fee;
Linens, serving ware, zoom video feed, and an acoustic ceremony musician.
Dogs ARE allowed. Wheel chair accessible, but there is a short walk to the Meadow ceremony spot in the woods. Food and alcoholic beverages must be provided by Juniper Mountain House at all times. Alcohol and bartending services must also be provided by Juniper Mountain House. Caterers must bring their own standalone kitchen set up.
Intimate weddings (11 people)- $3,800. Micro weddings (21-30 people) $5,700. Juniper Wedding (31-60 people) $6,500.
Ashley and Alea. https://junipermountainhouse.com/weddings/
High up on the top of the mountains of Aspen, Colorado sits the cutest wedding venue deck with view at 11,212 ft elevation; The Little Nell.
The Little Nell is actually a 5 star ski-in and ski-out luxury hotel at the base of Aspen mountain. The wedding deck at the top is accessible by gondola in the summer and fall months. As Aspen in itself is famous for being a luxury and upscale ski town, the wedding venue is no exception. (Hint; you get what you pay for!). The all star service you’ll receive with your wedding is worth it. If you have the budget for it, this spot is ideal!
While the venue can actually accommodate up to 250 guests, they also offer ceremony-only options Monday-Thursday, at a much more affordable price! Just a heads up that the spot is seasonal (summer and fall) and must be booked at least 3 months in advance for a ceremony-only option.
Up to 200, but perfect for a smaller/intimate wedding if reserving the wedding deck for ceremony-only.
Only white flowers are allowed on the wedding deck. It is also reminded that guests should be prepared for cold weather at the top of the gondola, and gondola attendants may not allow guests to ride the gondola if they are not prepared and appropriately dressed for the weather. The gondola takes 20mins each way. Ceremonies will be 1 hour long, with an additional 30mins for set up and 30mins for tear down.
For ceremony only, the wedding may be booked 3 months in advance at $5,000, with an additional required food and beverage minimum of $2,500. Gondola fees may apply for your guests, and prices may range depending on time of ceremony.
Bigsby’s Folly is the perfect choice for an intimate yet classy smaller wedding for downtown Denver. Guests can take the metro right to the front door! The venue, which was originally built in 1886, has been restored to fit in to the “hip” and hot arts district neighborhood of RiNo. It’s aesthetic is somewhere between Gatsby art deco and new-age industrial.
The venue has a few options for weddings. The best fit for a 50 person event would be an indoor ceremony, followed by cocktail hour on the outdoor patio, and then an indoor reception near the barrel viewing. The venue provides their own alcohol (obviously- there ARE a winery!) as well as catering.
For a full buyout of the venue, Bigsby’s Folley can actually accommodate quite a large crowd. But for a comfortable fit (with ceremony and a seated dinner), I’d suggest anywhere from 50-90 guests.
Located in the RiNo district are the Source Hotel, the Ramble Hotel, and quite a few airbnb listings. But with the metro being literally steps away, any lodging near other metro stops would be perfect as well. The closest metro stop is actually Union Station, where there are plethora of hotel options for guests.
A day of coordinator is required by the venue. Live music is allowed, but noise ordinance restrictions may apply. No glitter or confetti allowed.
Venue site rentals for Sunday-Tuesdays are $4,000, Wednesday-Thursday is $5,000, and Friday and Saturdays are $6,000. Beverage packages can range anywhere from $33-45 per person. Catering services can range between $55-150 per person, depending on any add ons you may like!
Cassie Moskowitz. https://www.bigsbysfolly.com/
If you’re going to elope or have a micro wedding in Colorado, the San Sophia Overlook at the top of Telluride mountain is going to be an instagramable option!
The overlook is accessed by a gondola, where you will be met with sweeping views of the San Juans and a grassy amphitheater. A wooden deck is where couples say their “I do’s” while taking in the fresh mountain air and such a high elevation.
The overlook is owned by the Telluride Ski Resort, and bookings would go through them. They also have great options to add on for reception spaces! Telluride is a remote historical mining town located in Southwest Colorado. It’s a perfect getaway for guests!
The wedding deck can actually accommodate up to 250 guests, but would be a great option for smaller events as well. If wanting to also rent out a reception space with Telluride Ski Resort, they have intimate reception options to choose from!
Telluride Ski Resort will be your best bet, as the Wedding deck is a part of the resort. There are also a lot of airbnb options within the town! Other hotel options include the Inn at Lost Creek, New Sheridan Hotel, and the Ice House Lodge.
Ceremony only options are only available Mon, Tues, and Wed. If you’d like a Thurs-Sun date, you will need to also buyout a reception venue with Telluride Ski Resort. Venue must approve of all decorations. Only bio-degradable objects may be thrown, except for rice.
For the Overlook itself, ceremony-only options are only available Monday-Wednesday, and would cost $5,000. If you did want a Thursday-Sunday wedding, you would also need to purchase a Telluride Ski Resort Reception Venue buyout. But they still have great options for you! One of their reception venues is called Allred’s Restaurant, and their private dining room can host 30 people for a fee of $2,500 and a food and beverage minimum of $5,000. There is also the Alpino Vino, a quaint chalet dressed as a chateau that can host up to 28 guests with a $10,000 food and beverage minimum.
And that’s it! My ultimate list of wedding venues in Colorado for small weddings, including intimate and micro weddings. Keep checking back in as I update the list constantly!
Looking for more Colorado venue ideas!? I have some great lists for you to browse! Check out the following;
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