When you are far away and planning a destination wedding in Park City, Utah, there are a few things that I wish my clients knew. The first is that you simply can’t go wrong by getting married in this beautiful part of the world. The air is clean, the town is small, the mountains are vast, and whether it’s winter or summer–the pine trees are green. Here are five things to know before booking a wedding here in Park City (or one of the local lodges), especially if you don’t have the luxury of seeing everything in person.
- GET REAL ABOUT THE LODGES & HOTELS : Getting married at a large resort can be wonderful, but all resorts are not created equal in regards to wedding photos. While the Montage might have lovelier rooms, the hotel is very particular about where and when you can have photos taken. Because of the privacy of their hotel guest, you’ll be very limited to spaces in taking photos. If you have your photo session earlier in the morning, before everyone is up and at ‘em, you’ll have a slightly easier time, but it is still suggested that you have another location chosen for the intimate portraits that you’ll want to have. The Stein Eriksen Lodge is a little more lenient in regards to photos taken on the premises, but the lodge is dark with a colored carpet that won’t photograph in the timeless way you want (think Las Vegas). However, their balconies and mountain views definitely make up for it what’s inside, just make sure to take the photos early or at dusk to avoid the harsh sunlight that can make your photos less than perfect at midday. Each of the lodges are unique in what they allow and don’t allow for photos, make sure to talk to someone in charge to get a clear idea of what you can do.
- THE TRUTH ABOUT MAIN STREET: Many couples want their photography session on Main Street. It’s sweet and quintessentially quaint. But the truth is, for photos, it can be a nightmare. The street is narrow and always crowded. UPS trucks, FED EX trucks, and large SUVs are parked along each side of the road, making a photo with a clear, sweet shot of main street practically impossible. Because of the parking situation, it’s difficult to get a shot in front of the colorful store fronts. The best suggestion would be to head down the side alley ways, you can find spaces, colors, and peopleless places to get your portraits. Plus, you’ll get to see the awesome art of Banksy if you do.
- PLANNING YOUR RECEPTION: Receptions in Park City are generally held in restaurants that are rented out for the occasion. Most of these are located on Main Street. However, it’s difficult to gage just how big or small the restaurants are by photos on their websites alone. The best venue that I’ve photographed is the Riverhorse on Main. This restaurant has a classic look inside with exposed brick walls, a grand piano, a wall of windows on the south side for stunning natural light, and the best bonus of all–a balcony that is on the second level of Main Street to give your reception the space and privacy it deserves. This is a rarity! Most venues are located on the ground level and when guest step outside, they’ll be faced with tourists and locals. The food is fantastic as well. Make sure, when booking your reception, that you ask the restaurant the size of the outside space and how easy it is for tourists to access it. Like I said, our town is small.
- BRAVE THE ELEMENTS & TAKE A WALK: There are many natural trails full of pine tress and magnificent birch groves. Be brave. Put the high heels away and take your dress out into the wilderness. The right photographer will be able to point you in the best directions so that you can have the photographs of your dreams–photographs that show the vast beauty of this western and wild state. This is the time to connect to nature, even if it’s snowing.
- HIRE SOMEONE IN THE KNOW: Because Park City is so small, photographers who are not familiar with the area will be left with the same information that the tourists are left with. They won’t know the secret streams, the side roads that take you to unexpected places, or have access (and relationships) to private residences and clubs that will allow those truly epic photographs to be taken. Hiring a photographer who has good relationships with vendors and residents in the city will give you the inside scoop, make your session flawless, and give you photos that only a few people would be able to have.
(Please feel free to email me if you need any more information regarding food, florists, venues, and anything else.)