Top 5 Things to Consider for a Destination Wedding

Guest blog from DFW Events who planned a destination wedding at The Nell for a New York couple last summer. They share their top tips from their recipe for success below:

After falling head over heels for The Little Nell during a site visit in 2014, we were thrilled to return to the property one year later to coordinate a lovely summer ceremony on the top of Aspen Mountain followed by a reception at the Aspen Mountain Club. Our New York-based bride and groom knew that they wanted to pursue a destination wedding, but didn’t have a preference when it came to the exact location. Based on our knowledge of their personalities, elevated expectations in regard to service, and desire for an amazing culinary experience, we were quick to identify The Little Nell as a perfect fit. The fact that Aspen is easily accessed via major hubs across the country was an added bonus for their guests!

Whether you’ve been visiting Aspen since childhood, or—like our bride and groom—you’re open to any locale that you can trust to provide an unforgettable experience for you and your guests, we believe you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for in a wedding venue at The Little Nell. After securing your date, here are the top five things to consider when planning your destination “I do!”

All images from John Cain Photography.

1) Experience Aspen Like a Guest: If you’ve been hitting the slopes in Aspen for years, then we’re betting you’ve already compiled a list of your favorite local spots and pastimes. For brides-to-be who are less familiar with the destination, however, we recommend tacking on an extra day or two to your initial site visit. Experiencing Aspen as a guest will give you the “insider knowledge” needed to confidently recommend restaurants, excursions, and sightseeing trips via your welcome booklets. As your wedding guests will receive their welcome booklets upon arrival, the information you provide is sure to serve as their definitive guide to the area! Booking an extended stay will also give you the chance to enjoy Aspen at all hours of the day, which could inform important decisions about the details of your wedding. For example, notice that you’re feeling chilly after the sun goes down while on your site visit? Simply make plans for an attendant to hand out Pashmina scarves to ensure that your wedding guests stay warm and comfortable for the duration of your outdoor ceremony.

2) Source Local Welcome Gifts: We recently worked with Bundles Colorado to compile Aspen-themed welcome gifts and were so impressed by the turn-key service their team provided. Bundles sourced fabulous items that truly spoke to the destination and the bride and groom’s personalities—all our planning team had to do was sort and deliver the finished product, a huge time-saver that will benefit any destination bride.

3) Bookend Your Wedding Weekend With a Welcome Party and Farewell Brunch: While the highlight of your wedding weekend will undoubtedly be your ceremony and reception, a destination wedding gives you the chance to treat guests to a celebratory experience that extends beyond a single day. Hosting a spring or summer ceremony? Invite guests to mix and mingle at a “Popsicles + Prosecco” themed welcome party by the pool. Bundling up for a fall or winter wedding? End your weekend on the sweetest of notes by including The Little Nell’s world famous hot chocolate on your farewell brunch menu. From their intimate ballroom, to the Aspen Mountain Club, to the out-of-this-world restaurant element 47 and more, The Little Nell has multiple venues on-site that are suited to a wide array of events and themes. Why not take advantage of them all while you’re surrounded by family and friends?

4) Create a Destination Emergency Kit: A couple of facts for you—the closest Walmart and Target are about 45 minutes by car from Aspen, and The Little Nell’s mountaintop ceremony venue is a three mile-gondola ride from the hotel. With that said, we suggest compiling a wedding day emergency kit for your Aspen wedding. While The Little Nell’s team always arrives at the ceremony with a few necessities on hand, it’s up to you and your wedding planner to create a checklist of must-have items (think bridesmaids’ jewelry and phone chargers), as well as a kit stocked with static guard, lint rollers, tissues, double-sided tape, bobby pins, and other essentials.

5) Develop a Decorative Concept That Complements, Rather Than Competes With, the Beauty of Your Surroundings: It goes without saying that the top of Aspen Mountain is naturally breathtaking. This is fantastic news for any destination bride, as you don’t have to dedicate the bulk of your budget to floral and decor in order to produce a fabulous, memorable event your guests won’t be able to stop talking about well after the weekend.

“It was so wonderful working with The Nell’s staff who was always one step ahead of the clients’ needs. Because of our seamless partnership, as a team we were able to create an unforgettable weekend for our bride and groom.” Alison Baker, Partner and Director of Event Planning, DFW Events

About DFW Events: Led by founder Mary-Frances Hurt and Alison Baker, the Dallas-based DFW Events team excels in the areas of service, creativity, and communication. Whether you’re dreaming of a country club soirée, a destination “I do,” or an event on a private estate, we have the experience, energy, and international design connections needed to convert your vision into an extraordinary celebration. Our trusted team takes care of every last detail on your behalf, allowing you to be a guest at your own event.