colorado wedding couple portrait and beautiful bouquet


Arapahoe Basin Wedding Photos | Summit County, Colorado

Arapahoe Basin Wedding Photos

Melissa and John Celebrate their Love at the Black Mountain Lodge

Enjoy these Arapahoe Basin wedding photos!

As I share these Arapahoe Basin wedding photos, I am also going to talk about different parts of Melissa and John’s wedding day timeline. Since the wedding couple had a first look, any couple considering having a first look may find the text helpful/inspirational. This info may also be helpful to couples planning their own Arapahoe Basin/Black Mountain Lodge weddings.

colorado wedding couple portrait and beautiful bouquet
a pet dog watches his owner, the bride, walk


Melissa and John got ready off-site in Keystone.
When I first arrived, I met up with John at the bottom of the mountain and drove up behind him. (How cool to have “insider access” to one of my favorite ski resorts. At least I feel like a bad ass driving up Arapahoe Basin’s rugged mountain road.)

At the top, we took portraits of him and his family on the deck of the Black Mountain Lodge, which would also become the ceremony site. I pushed to start photos right away because it seemed as if we were in a small window of good weather.

two images of a laughing groom

John also did finishing touches on the deck of the Black Mountain Lodge. In the photos below, his mom helps him pin his boutonniere and groomsmen boutonnieres.

By the way, Melissa relaxed and did a final touch up in a building at the bottom of the ski hill. (Off topic–I love to use the term “ski hill” to describe all mountain resorts. It makes me giggle.) (And, let’s just take a moment to acknowledge how gorgeous she looks! The clothing, the flowers, the make up and hair…but really just HER! She is glowing and has the best smile!)

mother of groom helps her son get ready for his colorado mountain wedding

groomsmen get ready

reflection of groomsmen getting ready for a mountain wedding

guests stand in front of a building by mountains

First Look and Wedding Couple Portraits

While photographing John and his family on the deck, I was very aware that Melissa would arrive (via car) at any moment. Family helped ensure that the couple remained separated.

And, as I mentioned, Melissa and John opted to do a first look for their Arapahoe Basin wedding photos. The area just off the deck of the Black Mountain Lodge wedding venue is perfect for first looks…green hills, rugged mountains, pine trees…an outdoor lover’s dream backdrop!

two images of a first look

wedding first look

groom looks at his twirling bride

a couple look at each other by rugged mountain peaks
two images of a couple's first look
After the first look, we walked around the mountain taking more wedding couple portraits. The couple’s dog met up with us and took turns modeling as well–isn’t he a handsome fella’?

two images of a wedding couple walking through grass in the mountains
two images of a bride and groom in front of rugged mountains
two photos of a wedding couple walking their dog in the mountains
bride, groom, and husband dog portrait


Bridal Party and Chair Lift Portraits

The sky grew darker and the temperature started to drop. It looked like we were in for storms based on radar weather patterns, so I pushed for the bridal party to take their formal portraits. Ladies first so they could warm up and head inside before any rain hit.

bridesmaids photos in front of colorado mountains

portraits of the groom and groomsmen

bridal party stands in front of colorado mountains

bride and groom hold hands and walk in front of wedding party

When we finished bridal party portraits and Melissa’s family portraits, the couple took a chairlift ride to capture even more portraits (Man, I love it when I have THIS MUCH TIME and FABULOUS SCENERY to take photos!)

wedding couple about to step off a chairlift

wedding couple ride a chairlift
a wedding couple ride a chairlift

And then the weather arrived. Everyone decided to hang out at the base of the mountain. Melissa and John took a rainy/windy down on the chairlift. I love them for that!

Waiting Out the Weather at the 6th Alley Bar & Grill

bride and groom hunkered down on chairlift
two images of a bride and groom on a chairlift
At the base, Melissa headed into a special waiting room area with the ladies, while the guys mingled with guests at the bar at the base of the mountain.

The wedding venue coordinators for Arapahoe Basin were tracking the weather, looking for a break that would work for an outdoor wedding cermeony (and allow them to run the chairlift again).

images of guests mingling during a wedding
guests mingle before a wedding

Wedding Ceremony

As soon as the weather cleared, it was time to transport everyone up the mountain. The staff at A-basin are so efficient with this task–they hustled so that the couple could have the outdoor wedding ceremony that so wanted.

And the sun did come out! In fact, the ceremony was SO sunny!!! (If you are getting married here, be sure to remind guests of the variable weather–layers, sunscreens, and sunglasses for all.)

reflections on glass of a colorado mountain wedding venue

a groom looks at his bride during his mountain wedding ceremony

mountain wedding ceremony kiss

images of a mountain wedding ceremony
images of a colorado mountain wedding

Cocktail Hour and Wedding Reception

After the wedding ceremony, Melissa and John had cocktail hour and the wedding reception started. Some couple who get married at Arapahoe Basin choose to do chairlift ride photos right after their ceremony, but this couple did them earlier because of uncertainty with the weather.

three images of a wedding reception in the mountains of colorado
bride signing her marriage license

At the start of the reception, the couple wanted documentation of everyone signing the marriage license. I love that they had a great table with good lighting to do this, and that loved ones could gather near. I also love who the table is a high top table–no awkward bending over in the photos.

A lot of couples leave marriage license signing photos as an afterthought. This is totally fine, of course, unless they are very important to the wedding couple. If so, do some planning around it.

Below are some of the wedding reception details–how to couple helped make the Black Mountain Lodge look even prettier (as if the mountain views alone weren’t enough!).

More Things I Love and Wedding Inspiration

I love the wood burning art pieces that acted as table cards. I love the less expensive greenery from Costco to make the tables more festive. I love the interesting grasses on some of the tables to create a difference in height and texture (best seen in the reflection photograph below). I also like the white chairs (it is amazing how different types of chairs can help elevate a ceremony or reception space). And, of course I love the mountain skiing wedding couple.

photos of the black mountain lodge at arapahoe basin ski resort

images from decor at a ski resort wedding
details of a colorado wedding reception
images of tables at a colorado mountain ski resort wedding venue
photo of appetizers at a wedding reception

images of a mountain-themed wedding cake(All images © Susannah Allen 2019)

All in all, I love how Melissa and John incorporated a mix of price points to create a wedding that reflected who they are while celebrating love and what they love. The attention to detail and care came through, and everyone was lucky enough to enjoy an afternoon of love on a mountain top.
Thanks for including me you two!

Arapahoe Basin Wedding Vendors

Venue – Arapahoe Basin Ski & Snowboard Area
Reception Venue (within the ski resort) – Black Mountain Lodge
Ceremony Site – Gorgeous Deck of the the Black Mountain Lodge
Bridal Shop – a&be
Wedding Gown – Rue de Seine
Accessories – Twigs and Honey, Sarah O
Hair/Make-up – Chelsea Garcia
Florals – The Perfect Petal
Entertainment – Great Time DJ
Videographer – David Blumer
Additional Photographer / Groom Wrangler – Dori with Evoke Images in Alaska

Arapahoe Basin WeddingArapahoe Basin WeddingColorado Mountain Wedding | Arapahoe Basin Ski Resort

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