John Thew of Aspen Film said it best when asked what makes an Aspen wedding unique: “Weddings here tend to be celebrations, more than just a ceremony. And, it is hard not to recognize the momentous nature of the occasion given the surrounding nature!

If the “Aspen idea,” as coined by founding father Walter Paepke, is about the convergence of mind, body and spirit, then we would like to introduce the “Aspen wedding idea” which is the bringing together of love, nature and community.

We all know that love is love is love, whether you get married at your local Town Hall or in the halls of Versailles. Where you tie the knot does not make your love any different. And, yet, to have Mother Nature bear witness to your nuptials, at the very least, makes you see your love through a different, bigger lens.

Stepping out on to the Aspen Wedding Deck or into the John Denver Sanctuary, you can’t help but sense that something stirs more deeply in your heart when surrounded by Aspen’s natural majesty and tranquillity. Perhaps it is the expansiveness of the views atop Aspen Mountain or the ease of the town’s parks that allows you to experience your love in mind, body, heart and soul.

Building on that list is community, the one that supports you while you’re in Aspen and the one that embraces you as you marry.

“The nice thing about planning events in Aspen is the world class vendors and world-class venues,” said Jason Burns, of Burns & Madsen Events. Robin Proctor, of the Aspen Wedding Guide, goes on to say: “We are a family that works together during the wedding. We are a well-working team in Aspen.” As we’ve written about in other columns, there are particularities about planning a destination wedding, but when it comes to Aspen’s tight knit community of wedding professionals, you truly could not be in better hands.


As Jason goes on: “it is fun to see people bring a group of people to Aspen for the first time. They are blown away by the natural beauty.” Getting married in Aspen truly is “the gift that keeps on giving,” not only because of the experience of being amidst the town’s beauty, but being so when it is also a celebration of love.

Not only are love, nature and community the Aspen Wedding Idea but, perhaps too, the guide for a happy life together.  

As you think about planning a wedding in Aspen, consider the following advice from Jason and Robin, two of Aspen’s leading events producers and photographers, respectively.

Plan Ahead: As Jason points out: “we are a small town and locations and vendors book up quickly.” And, despite Aspen’s 300 days of sunshine, the weather can be temperamental, so work with your planner to make sure you have back-up plans.

Stay Local: “We are surrounded by ranch land and farms, which makes for a great opportunity to use locally-raised produce and meats,” says Jason. Take the local thing one step further and source your bar at the nearby breweries and distilleries and get your flowers from the local farms. It is very easy to make your Aspen wedding all about Aspen.

Don’t break the bank: Despite Aspen’s reputation for being expensive – which it can be especially in winter given airfares and hotel costs – as Robin points out: “It is definitely cheaper than Vail!” But, she goes on to say: “getting married in the summer in a city park or Maroon Bells and having your wedding on a Friday or even during the middle of the week,” saves a lot of money. Given what a dynamic destination Aspen is, inviting your guests for a “wedding-vacation” will be a hard offer for them to turn down.

Keep it casual: Fundamentally, Aspen is more denim than it is diamonds. If you’re after a supremely formal affair, Jason recommends you consider a different locale. “Aspen is not about a grand church and over-the-top ballroom. You have to embrace nature somehow.” And, depending on which season, you’ll be going cozy for the winter and lush for the summer!