Because choosing a venue can be the most daunting choice in planning your wedding. Will it fit all your guests? Will it look good in photographs? Is there a place to get ready? what about cleanup?! Time limits!?? YIKES! The list seems never ending.
Where, oh where, will your wedding be held?
Lets be honest, I’m partial outdoor weddings. If only every couple could wed under big western skies and lofty mountain peaks! BUT, understand that the weather here is insane. Who wants to spend months and even years planning a wedding only to be rained (or snowed) out at the last moment? NO ONE. …unless you love the rain like me and your day would be made if it poured wet sparkly rain down on your vows… But I digress, planning an outdoor wedding and then having an indoor backup plan is a GREAT idea.
You can have the best of both worlds.
There are many gorgeous scenic locations just minutes away from accommodating wedding venues. You might consider having your ceremony (or even just your portrait session) at one of these scenic spots and then hosting your reception at a more convenient and accessible location nearby. Here are some of our favorite scenic locations (and their nearby venues) in Wyoming and Northern Colorado, all within an hour drive of Laramie!
With this list, we’ve totally got your back. So now you can have your cake, and eat it too!
Cache La Poudre River Canyon
Just north of 287 the The Cache La Poudre River pours out of a steep rocky canyon in the Rocky Mountains. Big mountain views and this powerful river makes for stunning scenery. In the center of this canyon, nestled on the banks of the river is the Mishawaka amphitheater. – The perfect place for an outdoor sunset wedding.
Happy Jack Summit
Just a 15 minute drive outside of Laramie and all the wonderful conveniences that come with being so close to town, the Happy Jack summit and Recreation Area provide ample opportunities for all of natures beauty. It’s truly my favorite for quick and B E A U T I F U L elopements.
Horsetooth Mountain and Reservoir are located just minutes away from Fort Collins and offer some seriously stellar views. The high peaks soar over the massive crystal blue waters- WOWZA. It’s proximity to Fort Collins offers all the amenities in the world with beautiful venues nearby, like the Tapestry House, just north in Laporte.
St Albans Chapel – Snowy Range
I’ll be honest and just say it. I REALLY
WANT N E E D TO SHOOT A WEDDING HERE. It’s one of my favorite hidden gems of the Snowy Mountain Range in Medicine Bow National Forest. There’s a quiet reverence that just takes my breath away whenever I go here…. which is far too often for someone who’s never had an official reason to go! The nearby Snowy Range Ski Area offers an amazing indoor and outdoor options for a reception venue. SO worth a look! 😉
Snowy Range Summit
Just around the corner from the chapel is the Snowy Range Summit. G O S H. This is probably one of the prettiest locations I can think of, and also a favorite for ENGAGEMENTS. Mountains scrape the skies and crystal clear lakes lap at their feet. Pines, and year round snow banks. I really cant do this place justice with words. You’ll just have to SEE it for YOURSELF. Again, the nearby Snowy Range Ski Area is a beautiful option for a reception venue. The Snowies are honestly one of my favorite places to shoot, can you tell? 😉
Vedauwoo – Medicine Bow National Forest
If you know South Eastern Wyoming, then most likely you’re familiar with Vedauwoo. It’s rock formations are as iconic as the rugged Wyoming winds… only much more beautiful! Vedauwoo makes a beautiful portrait location AND features campgrounds, pavilions, and even a gazebo rentable for your rustic event. In addition, it’s only ~20 minutes out of Laramie so more reliable and accessible (indoor) locations are right at your fingertips.
Curt Gowdy State Park
The state park offers a wide array of scenic locations. From the lake, to the river, to the beautiful rock formations, and open fields the possibilities are endless! The park is located just 30-40 minutes away from both Laramie and Cheyenne Wyoming so you’d be able to host your reception easily in either location. In the park is the Hynds lodge and amphitheater which can be rented for events. The lodge is ADORABLE, with its log cabin walls and massive wood fireplace, but it is also quite small(perfect for getting ready or for a VERY small reception).
Vee Bar Guest Ranch
The Vee Bar is a scenic location AND venue all rolled into one. Just take a peek at this styled inspirational shoot that was featured in Rocky Mountain Bride, OR this amazing engagement session and you’ll see… it’s truly the best of both worlds.
BONUS – Tetons
I know, I know, this list was supposed to be strictly local to Laramie, WY …BUT I just HAD to sneak in one of my other Wyoming favorites. The Grand Tetons! Really, what could be more picture perfect that a couple stating their love under those lofty peaks. If mountains could speak they would shout your love straight up into the heavens for all the world to hear…. I’m a bit obsessed with these here peaks…. if you couldn’t tell.