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The Seven Best Estes Park Wedding Venues | Estes Park Wedding Photography Team | Taylor Nicole Photography

January 22, 2023

Wedding Tips

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Welcome to this long overdue blog post about our favorite wedding venues in Estes Park, Colorado. I am Taylor and I own and run Taylor Nicole Photography, which is a wedding photography team based in the Denver Front Range. We photograph weddings all over the state from Colorado Springs to Denver to Breckenridge and of course Estes Park. We see a lot of mountain town weddings and Estes Park is by far our favorite Colorado mountain town to photograph in.

Wedding Ceremony image from the Boulders at Black Canyon Inn in Estes Park
Wedding Ceremony image from the Boulders at Black Canyon Inn by Taylor Nicole Photography

Why Get Married in Estes Park?

There is something really special about Estes Park. It has a small town feel, slow pace of the quiet town, an emphasis on family run and local businesses instead of huge resorts and chain restaurants and the absolutely epic mountain views of Rocky Mountain National Park make Estes Park stand out among all of the Colorado mountain towns. This cute little mountain town is one of the most popular wedding destinations in Colorado and is full of some of the best wedding venues that I and my team have had the honor of photographing countless weddings at.

The following list will contain wedding venues in Estes Park (and the surrounding area) that myself and my team have photographed weddings at. These are not necessarily listed out in a particular order. I believe that each of these Estes Park wedding venues has unique attributes and for different reasons could be the perfect fit for your Colorado mountain wedding plans.

Here is a quick list with links to each of these Estes Park Wedding Venues. Then below I will give a more in depth description of each venue. Click on the title to go to that section of the blog post and then click on the word ‘website’ below to open the venue website in a new tab.

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  1. The Boulders at Black Canyon Inn
  2. Della Terra Mountain Chateau
  3. Camp St. Malo Chapel on the Rocks
  4. The Homestead at Black Canyon Inn
  5. Skyview at Fall River Village
  6. Taharaa Mountain Lodge
  7. YMCA of the Rockies

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1. The Boulders at Black Canyon Inn

Where do we begin with The Boulders at Black Canyon Inn? I, Taylor, was lucky enough to photograph the third ever wedding to happen at this venue when they officially opened in the Fall of 2020. Now my team and I have photographed 8 weddings at this venue and it is an absolutely magical place to work as an Estes Park wedding photographer.

The Design

The design has both modern and simple elements. The medium/dark wood finishes, large windows, and unique and modern light fixtures in each space throughout the venue make this the perfect blank slate venue for any wedding vision you might bring.

The Getting Ready Suites

The bridal getting ready suite is white and full of windows which makes for clean and stunning getting ready images on the wedding day. The groom’s suite is downstairs and we have often brought the groom and groomsmen outside to the deck off of the reception space to photograph them with the mountain setting all around.

The Ceremony Space

The ceremony space has large sliding floor to ceiling windows that open up and center around the view of the Lumpy Ridge in Estes Park. So whether it is sunny, cloudy, windy, rainy, snowy or a mix of all of the above (yes that’s possible!) you can center your ceremony on the view and stay comfortable with the windows opened or closed. Family portraits are most often taken in the ceremony space, whether out on the deck or inside with the windows closed for less wind or poor weather conditions. It’s a great option to include your family portraits with the epic views of your venue.

The Reception Space

The reception space is downstairs, but not to worry there is an elevator to make this a very accessible venue option too. The reception room has windows that stretch along the length of two walls and continue to show off those gorgeous mountain views to your guests as they can enjoy cocktail hour out on the deck or from inside the reception space. There is also a fun and modern light wall above and around the bar area of the reception which makes for a great blurry light background of first dance photos. The reception room is large and there are many table arrangement possibilities to accommodate you and your guests.

The Portrait Locations

Lastly, as the photographer the portrait locations are my favorite win for this venue. The portrait location options at Black Canyon Inn are endless. I have photographed here in the Winter, Summer, Spring and Fall and different locations around the venue stand out for different seasons. Fall colors at the pond in September and the snowy mountain pines along the road in the Winter are some of my favorite areas for portraits, as well as the epic deck views in the ceremony and reception spaces. Not to mention that if you left enough wiggle room in your photo timeline you might have time to go down the road to RMNP and get the most epic mountain views in your portraits!

Bride getting ready at bridal suite at The Boulders at Black Canyon Inn wedding venue in Estes Park
The bridal getting ready suite at the Boulders
First look during a Winter wedding at The Boulders at Black Canyon Inn
A Winter First look along the snowy road near the Boulders at Black Canyon Inn
Couple portrait outside of the Boulders at Black Canyon Inn Wedding Venue in Estes Park
Portraits in front of the Boulders building
The Boulders at Black Canyon Inn Wedding Venue
The Boulders at Black Canyon Inn Wedding Venue
Bride standing in ceremony space at the Boulders at Black Canyon Inn
Bride standing in ceremony space at the Boulders at Black Canyon Inn
Picture of the Reception space at Black Canyon Inn
Reception Space at the Boulders

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2. Della Terra Mountain Chateau

My team and I have photographed almost 10 weddings at this venue and our very own associate Alysha got married here herself. So our love for this venue runs deep.

The Design

I would say that the design of Della Terra is like a romantic, elegant and cozy mountain getaway. The indoor ceremony and reception spaces have beautiful stone work, tall ceilings and so many windows to enjoy the mountain trees and view all around.

The Getting Ready Suites

There is a salon with a gorgeous deck space for the bridal getting ready suite. The groom and groomsmen have access to the theatre room for a morning of getting ready fun. I will say from a wedding photographer’s perspective we do love to take the bride and groom outside of those spaces for some of the getting ready photo moments.

The Ceremony & Reception Spaces

Della Terra has both indoor and outdoor ceremony options. We do have to admit that the indoor ceremony option is one of our favorites. The lines and windows inside add a very elegant nature for ceremony photos. This especially is a great option for Winter or early Spring weddings. However, the outdoor ceremony location also has built in heaters for a quick outdoor ceremony even in cold weather. I do love the path and bridge that is in the walk to and from the outdoor ceremony space. It makes for some beautiful exit photos.

The Portrait Locations

Della Terra has a beautiful pathway from the building to the ceremony location that makes for a great wedding party portrait area. There are fields and trees and rocky views on site. Della Terra really fills with Fall color late September and early October. One of my favorite parts of Della Terra is its proximity to RMNP. It is less than a quarter mile from the Fall River Visitor Center entrance into RMNP. This makes it very easy to sneak away into RMNP for couple’s portraits. This can be done before or after the ceremony depending on first look and timelines. If you’re getting married at Della Terra I highly recommend going into RMNP for off site wedding portraits.

Bride getting ready at Della Terra
The patio outside of the bridal getting ready salon at Della Terra
Indoor Ceremony Space at Della Terra
Indoor Ceremony Space at Della Terra
Bride and groom portraits near gazebo at Della Terra
Portraits near gazebo at Della Terra
Bride and groom portrait outside of Della Terra
Road portrait location
Photo of first dance at Della Terra wedding reception
Reception Space at Della Terra

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3. Camp St Malo Weddings, Saint Catherines Chapel on the Rock

This is a venue that is technically in Allenspark. Just a few minute drive over to Estes Park and it is right next to Mary’s Lake for a gorgeous portrait location option. The Chapel on the Rock is a Catholic Church where you can host your wedding ceremony. You would need to select a separate wedding reception venue. I have seen couples use Taharaa Mountain Lodge for the reception and it has worked very well before. There are also many restaurants and smaller venues in Estes that you could use to host a reception.

The Design & Ceremony Space

This 100 year old Catholic Church is an epic venue to host your catholic wedding ceremony. It is a stand apart stone chapel with Longs Peak directly behind. Your guests will be treated to the epic view as they arrive. Then they will walk into an adorable historic chapel with pew/bench seating. The wedding photographer can capture the ceremony from the back of the chapel, or from the upper loft. It is a small ceremony space but the windows, stone walls and light fixtures make for incredible photographs.

The Portrait Locations

There are many portrait locations at the Camp St. Malo Chapel on the Rock. I did mention that it is just down the road from Mary’s Lake, which is part of RMNP. At the chapel grounds there is the road that goes past the chapel, in the Summer months there is greenery on both sides and the mountain view behind. There is also a lake as you take the back road behind. The dock on the lake is perfectly lit for portraits in the later afternoon and early evening.

The Getting Ready Suites

Getting ready is available for a short time frame before ceremonies. Usually one hour prior to the ceremony is when a room is accessible. So it might make sense to get ready off site in a hotel or cabin and then just leave the last steps for the venue itself. The getting ready areas are a little dark for photos but do have windows so they can work for those photos. From this photographer’s perspective I’d recommend getting ready in a more bright and natural light filled space for the best possible pictures.

Wedding ceremony pictures from Camp St Malo Chapel on the Rocks
Camp St Malo Chapel wedding ceremony
wedding party portraits outside of Camp St Malo Chapel on the Rocks
Outdoor portrait location of Camp St Malo Chapel on the Rocks
Outdoor wedding portrait of couple at Camp St Malo Chapel on the Rocks
Outdoor portrait location of Camp St Malo Chapel on the Rocks
Outdoor wedding portrait of bride at Camp St Malo Chapel on the Rocks
Outdoor portrait location of Camp St Malo Chapel on the Rocks
Bride and groom getting ready before wedding at Camp St Malo
Getting Ready Space at Camp St Malo
Bride and groom wedding portraits at Camp St Malo Chapel on the Rocks in Estes Park
Indoor Ceremony Space Portraits

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4. The Homestead at Black Canyon Inn

This is actually the other side of the Black Canyon Inn venue. Yes they can actually host multiple weddings here each day. This is why they assign certain pond portrait time frames when you sign your venue contract with them. So the description will be a little shorter in this section as we already talked about half of this venue before.

The Ceremony Space

The ceremony space at the Homestead has the same mountain view of Lumpy Ridge. It is a covered outdoor location. So the lighting of this ceremony space is also very back lit and complicated to light from a photographer’s perspective. I will have to write more about back lit ceremony spaces another time in another blog post.

The Getting Ready Locations

The getting ready locations on site are great. Easy and bright styled rooms. I’ve also seen couples use their rented cabins for getting ready locations on site too.

Portrait Locations

The portrait locations are very similar to the Boulders side of the venue, the pond is a shared space that each wedding is allotted different time slots for. The homestead side of the venue also has large Boulders that work well for portraits too.

The Reception Space

The last time we had a reception at the Homestead was in 2019. So back then the reception was held inside of the restaurant. I believe this is still the case. We have a full Homestead wedding day scheduled for this September and I can come back and update the post with reception space photos then.

Homestead at Black Canyon Inn Wedding Ceremony site
Homestead at Black Canyon Inn Wedding Ceremony site
Bride getting ready at Estes Park airbnb
Bride getting ready at airbnb before Homestead ceremony
Groom getting ready at the Homestead at Black Canyon Inn
Groom getting ready space at the Homestead
Wedding couple Portraits at the pond at Black Canyon Inn
Wedding Portraits at the pond at Black Canyon Inn early Fall
RMNP Wedding couple portraits
Wedding portraits taken off site in RMNP

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5. Skyview at Fall River Village

Skyview is a beautiful modern mountain Estes Park wedding venue. Its main and unique design feature is the wedding deck. This view perfectly frames the Rocky Mountain range behind the ceremony location at the deck corner. This deck is also the perfect cocktail hour location on warm days and cold. They have heat lamp stands even for Winter weddings.

The Getting Ready Suites

The bridal suite for Skyview is upstairs across from the ceremony wedding deck. It is a pretty white and bright room with plenty of mirrors. My favorite feature of this room is the doors that open to the patio space. They let in beautiful light and have a great view.

I have seen groom and groomsmen getting ready in a cabin at Fall River Village. These are also filled with great windows and make for a great close getting ready space.

The Ceremony Space

The ceremony space like I mentioned above is the wedding deck. It has a modern feel with the fencing around the deck. There is also a covered portion that could be used if it were to rain. The epic mountain views are definitely highlighted in this ceremony location.

The Reception Space

The reception space is the main room when entering the venue. It is a floor to ceiling window filled room that opens up onto the deck in the warmer months. Also framing the stunning mountain views for you and your guests. It is a very warm and inviting space with lighter wood tones and shades that can be pulled down to block some of the direct sunlight. It photographs very well which is a bonus!

Portrait Locations

Here are some great close by off site and on site location options for Skyview!

The Wedding Deck

This might be a good portrait option if your ceremony chairs and decor doesn’t need to be set up early.

The River Walk

This could be a fun location for a couple or a smaller bridal party. No mountain views from this area but beautiful greenery or fall foliage depending on the time of year.

Knolls Willows Trailhead

This is my personal favorite location to use for weddings at Skyview. It is a 3 minute drive down the road from the wedding venue. It is an easy parking lot location to find and if you take a short walk up the first hill you will come to a view of the Rocky Mountain ridges, the lumpy ridge mountains and the Stanley hotel.

Groom getting ready before wedding at Skyview in Estes Park
Groom getting ready in cabin at Skyview
Wedding Ceremony at Skyview at Fall River Village
Ceremony Wedding deck at Skyview
Wedding Ceremony at Skyview at Fall River Village
Wedding Ceremony on a rainy day in the Fall
Bride and groom kissing under umbrellas on rainy wedding day at Skyview at Fall River Village in Estes Park, Colorado
Riverwalk portraits at Skyview
Wedding Party portrait in Estes Park with mountain views
Wedding party portraits at Knoll Willows Trailhead
Wedding Reception at Skyview
Wedding reception room at Skyview

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6. Taharaa Mountain Lodge

Taharaa Mountain Lodge is a beautiful Estes Park wedding venue. The term mountain lodge is very fitting to the overall feel of this venue. This would be the perfect location to bring out of state family and friends to come enjoy the mountain views.

The Design

Taharaa is a very well designed mountain venue. It has elegant yet rustic elements and windows that feature the mountain ranges all around. The antler light fixtures stand out in the reception space. The ceremony location is very nature centered and a beautiful element of the wedding venue.

The Getting Ready Suites

The bridal getting ready suite is down the hall from the entrance and reception space. It has a spa like feel and photographed well. The groom getting ready area was upstairs and had quite a few windows which made for great getting ready portraits.

The Ceremony Space

The ceremony space has a large pergola and is in a pretty field setting. I photographed there in June and there were gorgeous wild flowers in the grass.

The Reception Space

As I mentioned before the reception space has an elegant yet rustic feel. The windows showcase the gorgeous mountain views around. There is also a deck for an outdoor cocktail hour. The reception space also features a large stone fireplace and hanging lights strung throughout the room.

Portrait Locations

There are so many portrait options for this venue. The hillside right outside of the reception room was my favorite in the evening golden light. The field showcases the lumpy ridge mountain range. The road and driveway can be a stunning paved setting. The ceremony location and field area is a very lush and nature filled portrait location too. If a couple did want to go off site for portraits then Mary’s Lake is not too far down the road from this venue.

Photo of bride and groom outside of Taharaa Mountain Lodge in Estes Park
Portrait in field outside of reception space
Photo of bride and groom outside of Taharaa Mountain Lodge in front of mountain peaks of Estes Park
Portrait taken outside of reception building in field around golden hour/sunset
Wedding reception dancing photos at Taharaa mountain lodge
Reception room at Taharaa Mountain Lodge
Wedding reception dancing photos at Taharaa mountain lodge
Reception room at Taharaa Mountain Lodge

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7. YMCA of the Rockies

The YMCA of the Rockies is a rustic and fun filled venue to host a wedding in Estes Park. They have a mix of cabins for guests and getting ready. Several unique ceremony locations and large conference/ball room style reception rooms.

Getting Ready Locations

Usually couples will get ready in rented cabins at the YMCA. Generally these have good window light available and porches or decks also make for a good getting ready photo spot.

The Ceremony Spaces

There are several distinct ceremony locations for YMCA ceremonies. The Overlook Chapel is one of their more epic view locations. There are other outdoor and indoor ceremony options. Sara Smith Chapel is an outdoor location and we have photographed indoor ceremonies at Hyde and Ponder chapels as well.

The Reception Space

The main reception space is in the Assembly Hall. It is a dividable conference style room. The ceilings are very tall and there is a fun mountain decal decoration on the walls that fits the setting well. There are fireplaces around the entrance room which makes for a very inviting cocktail hour for guests.

The Portrait locations

YMCA is commonly paired with an off site ceremony location in Estes. If that is the case I’d recommend going over to RMNP or Knolls Willows for portraits. Also, if you have access to the Overlook Chapel on your wedding day that area has many beautiful portrait locations nearby.

Bride and groom getting ready at cabins of the YMCA in Estes Park
Getting ready outside on cabin decks
Wedding Reception at Assembly Hall YMCA of the Rockies
Reception room at YMCA Assemebly Hall
Photos of couple in field at RMNP
Film portraits in the fields of RMNP
Golden hour portraits of bride and groom at YMCA of the Rockies
Golden hour portraits near overlook chapel of the YMCA

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Estes Park Wedding Venues We Would Love To Photograph

Also, here are three additional Estes Park wedding venues that we would love to add to our list someday. I have heard wonderful reports and seen beautiful images from these wedding venues. My team and I would love to photograph weddings at these venues someday!

  1. The Landing at Estes Park
    • This is a beautiful riverside venue in Estes Park
  2. The Stanley Hotel
    • I have photographed a wedding reception in the Library room at the Stanley Hotel. And I believe this would be a beautiful wedding venue. This would have a lot of unique portrait locations for a full day wedding.
  3. Venue On The Rocks
    • This is a brand new wedding venue opening in 2023. This is a part of one of our favorite Estes Park coffee shops- Coffee on the Rocks. It is an adorable pond location with trees and views. Would be perfect for a smaller event.

Honorable Mentions in and near Estes Park

Lastly, here are a few honorable mentions. When it comes to wedding venues in Estes Park. We have photographed ceremonies or receptions in these locations but these might not be quite the full service wedding venues like those listed above.

  1. The gazebo at the Estes Park Resort has gorgeous views for a smaller ceremony. Also there is a reception room we have photographed back in 2018. The Estes Lake would be the main location and you wouldn’t be far from other portrait locations.
  2. Lionscrest Manor, The Lyons Farmette, Planet Bluegrass and Riverbend venues. These are all wedding venues in Lyons, Colorado. Lyons is just down highway 36 and canyon from Estes. These venues have beautiful river and rocky overlook view options.

Well, I hope this article about Estes Park wedding venues has been helpful. If you are planning your wedding in Estes Park and are looking for a wedding photographer you can contact us here!

Thanks for visiting the blog!

xo, Taylor

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