You know how charming a mountain town can be, and you can’t imagine a more perfect location to get married. What better way to celebrate this new chapter of your life than sharing the magic of the mountains with your closest friends and family?
Chances are, some or most of your guests may not have traveled to your mountain destination before. Providing them with some helpful information before they make the journey will ensure their weekend is an amazing experience they won’t soon forget.
1. Unpredictable Weather
Hopefully you’ll have nothing but perfect weather for your entire wedding weekend, but Mother Nature may have something different in store. Mountain weather can change extremely quickly, so prepare your guests by advising them to pack plenty of layers.
If you’re lucky enough to be exchanging vows on a mountain top, make sure your guests know that it may get chilly when the clouds roll in or after the sun sets. If they’ll be riding a chair lift to your ceremony (or otherwise won’t be able to easily return to their room), suggest that they bring a jacket or wrap so that they’ll be comfortable the whole night.
2. Sun Exposure
While it may be cooler in the mountains than in other parts of the country, the sun can get intense! Mountain destinations are closer to the sun, but travelers are often surprised by how quickly they may burn. Offer travel-sized sunscreen in your welcome bags, and consider offering sunscreen at the bar or in the powder rooms if you’re having your reception outside.
3. Altitude Changes
If your guests are traveling to your mountain wedding from sea level, you’ll want to inform them about the possibility of altitude sickness. Altitude sickness most commonly strikes at elevations of about 7,000 feet or higher, but is possible at altitudes as low as 5,000 feet. The most common symptoms include headaches, shortness of breath, nausea, and trouble sleeping. The onset of altitude sickness usually occurs within 24-48 hours of arrival, but resolves for most people within a couple of days.
Just in case, make sure guests have emergency numbers for local health clinics and/or doctors. Most folks who experience altitude sickness don’t require medical attention, but you’ll feel better knowing your guests will know where to turn should they need it.
The most important thing to remember when traveling to higher altitudes is to drink plenty of water! Consider including a reusable water bottle in your welcome bag to help your guests remember to drink enough. You may also want to advise guests to take it easy on the booze the first night or two they are in town – alcohol has a much stronger effect at high altitude (and most mountain towns have very strict DUI enforcement).
4. Local Activities
Guests love first-hand recommendations, especially if they are coming from you! Share your favorite easy hikes, places to paddle, and must-see vistas. If you and your fiancé are into outdoor adventure, you likely share that passion with some or all of your guests. Tell them about your favorite fun mountain activities via your wedding website, invitation suite, or welcome letter.
If you have a favorite scenic drive, provide your guests with a map or directions. They’ll love snapping photos of the places you recommended to them. If you’re using a social media hashtag for your wedding, share it with your guests ahead of time and encourage them to tag their adventure photos, not just the ones they take of your wedding!
If your wedding destination is brand new to you as well, turn to the local chamber of commerce or your wedding planner for recommendations on fun things to do. Even if you haven’t had the chance to explore everything, your guests will be thankful for your effort.
5. Your Favorite Places to Eat
Have a favorite local watering hole or breakfast restaurant that’s off the beaten path? Did you discover a hidden gem when you and your fiancé were scoping out vendors a few months back? Share it! Guests will love your suggestions – think craft breweries, local wineries, an outdoor patio with a view, or a great place to grab a quick snack.
6. Wildlife Viewing
Most mountain destinations boast an abundance of wildlife, no matter what time of year you are getting married. Get familiar with what your destination has to offer – whether that’s bald eagles soaring over the lake, a pasture filled with buffalo, or an elk preserve.
The local chamber of commerce or forest office should be able to provide details on wildlife viewing. You might even be able to snag some informative brochures for your welcome bags from them. If you decide to make recommendations about viewing wildlife, make sure your guests know how to do so safely and without disrupting animal habitat.
7. Local Lingo
Mountain towns have their own lingo, so teach your guests a few key phrases and terms to help them fit in like locals.
- Après or Après Ski – this French word for “after” refers to any indulgence in food or beverage after finishing a day of mountain adventure. Many mountain bars and restaurants offer an “Après” menu rather than a happy hour menu.
- Bluebird – this term refers to a crystal clear, cloudless blue sky. A highly desirable weather condition in the summer or winter!
- Sick – contrary to what you may think, “sick” is actually used to describe things that are good or awesome. “That trail was sick, man!”
- Socked In – when it’s so cloudy you can’t even see the mountains, usually because of a snow storm.
- Pow – Short for “powder,” the fresh snow that all skiers and snowboarders dream about. The more the better!
- Epic – meaning “amazing,” “unbelievable,” or “really great.” “Epic” is probably one of the most overused words in mountain slang, so use sparingly.
Yes, your guests are attending your wedding because they love you — but the opportunity to experience a relaxing mini-vacation is a major bonus! Your guests will have the time of their lives as they experience the plethora of fun things to do in the area and the breathtaking beauty of the alpine environment.
What other essential info do you plan to pass along to your guests? Sound off in the comments!