Monday, February 28, 2005
Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs is more than just a top-notch resort with backcountry experiences galore.
For many couples, it's the perfect spot for a fairytale wedding.
It's not just locals who take advantage of the variety of special spots for their weddings. More and more, couples who have vacationed here or whose families have owned a second home here choose Steamboat Springs to exchange their vows.
"It's got the Steamboat flavor, and people like that," said Jill Waldman, event planner and owner of The Main Event. "It's a special place, it's a beautiful place, and it has a lot to offer."
Waldman said that about 60 percent of her clients do not live in Steamboat year- round. A key attraction of getting married in Steamboat is that the wedding can become a vacation for all of the guests.
"Instead of just a one-day event, it becomes a weekend, and that's so much more memorable and special," Waldman said. "It will set apart the wedding."
Riley Polumbus, spokeswoman for the Steamboat Chamber and Resort Association, thinks there is a trend toward more local residents and out-of-town visitors planning Steamboat weddings each year.
One business owner had two weddings booked by the start of February in 2004, but this year has 15 booked already, Polumbus said.
Steamboat offers a range of special locations for weddings, from casual to formal, and from large to small, and also has the infrastructure needed to put on a top-notch event.
From photographers to hair stylists, wedding planners to entertainers, and from florists to chefs, Steamboat has a wealth of businesses that can make anyone's wedding dreams come true.
Plus, Steamboat, like most of Colorado, offers a good chance of blue skies and mild temperatures that are so important for outdoor weddings and photographs.
Summer seems to be the most popular season for weddings, and people look to nearby ranches and in-town locations with stunning views to get married in the great outdoors. The blankets of snow, fields of wildflowers and groves of yellow aspen trees create gorgeous backdrops throughout the year. Another trend that Polumbus said she sees in Steamboat weddings is that couples are choosing not to spend all of their money on huge weddings, but instead plan a reunion for families and friends in which all guests feel they are getting a vacation.
Couples are not just focusing on ceremonies and receptions, but a series of events that are "more about the entire group sharing in the experience," Polumbus said. "I think more and more people are wanting to give back to the people who are sharing that special day with them by giving them a whole week's worth of things to do."
Activities available for all seasons, from skiing and snowshoeing in the winter, to rafting and biking in the summer, to long hikes in the fall to see the breathtaking gold of aspen trees.
All of those activities also make the area a top choice for honeymooners.
The Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association markets the area as a destination for people who seek to get married or honeymoon in Colorado. The chamber provides lists of everything needed for a special day and for the fun before and after, including information about spas, lodging, restaurants and event planners.