The hunt for wedding inspiration can be an all-consuming endeavor, particularly when you’re considering a less traditional route that requires some extra creativity. Alpine weddings and elopements have grown in popularity over the years, but have reached an all-time high (pun intended) during the pandemic, as smaller ceremonies and social distancing take precedence over large, elaborate wedding day gatherings.
Whether you’re planning a mini-mony in the North Cascades or an epic elopement by the Grand Canyon, it’s easy to get lost in all the ideas for mountain-inspired weddings that are circulating around Pinterest. So, where should you begin? And what, exactly, should you be looking for?
Real weddings are not only a great place for early mountain wedding ideas and inspiration, but they also give you an idea of what’s possible when it comes to rustic mountain wedding ceremonies. For example, you might be picturing an elaborate floral display for your wedding decor, but haven’t considered who’s carrying all those blooms to the summit. Or, maybe you’re thinking of eloping, but aren’t sure what a mountain elopement actually looks like. That’s where real weddings come in.
Zola’s inspiration tab features real weddings in various categories, including outdoor, rustic, and boho—all of which include mountain weddings and elopements. From this Colorado mountain wedding romantic wedding in Breckenridge to this stunning elopement at Ravens Roost in Virginia, there are plenty of featured mountain destination wedding ceremony celebrations to get your head spinning. You can even narrow down your search by wedding style, including mountain weddings.
In addition to the usual suspects (hello, Brides and Martha Stewart Weddings), there are many blogs and niche magazines where you can find mountain-specific outdoor wedding inspiration. Luxe Mountain Weddings, Rustic Wedding Chic, and We Adventure Magazine are a few good places to start. Popular blogs such as Junebug Weddings, Ruffled and Green Wedding Shoes are also home to a wealth of inspiration.
One of the primary perks to reading wedding publications is that you’ll hear from a variety of experts and vendors, many of which have probably worked on mountain-themed weddings in the past. They also give you an idea of what’s trending, so that you know what to include (and what to avoid) on your big day.
With photography being a main source of inspiration for many, it only makes sense to follow some wedding photographer profiles on Instagram, Pinterest, and other social media channels. Honeybee Weddings, Henry Tieu, and Adventure Instead are just a few that often feature mountain weddings and elopements on their Instagram accounts. You can also use hashtags like #mountainwedding and #elopementphotography to find these types of accounts or region-specific vendors.
The websites for local ski resorts, lodges, and other mountain wedding venues are another great place to dig in, as they’re likely to have an array of stunning photography and clever ideas that not only fit with your theme, but also haven’t graced the pages of most wedding publications. Whether you’re looking to get married at a lakeside lodge or prefer to keep it casual by eloping at a national park, local venues are going to give you a realistic idea of the details and costs involved. Kudos if you just happen to find your dream wedding venue while you’re browsing.
Let’s be clear: Pinterest fatigue is real, as it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the boundless themed wedding inspiration that exists across pins. However, if you can sort through the noise, there are few places that have the sheer volume of wedding content that Pinterest maintains. It’s also one of the best places to organize the pieces of inspiration you’ve gathered or even create a mood board for your big day. Consider using specific search terms, such as “mountain wedding arbor” or “mountain inspired sweetheart table” to hone down your options.
Below are just a few mountain-themed real weddings that we’ve featured at Zola to get the creativity flowing: