Planning a fun Sun Valley Wedding
Photography: Rachel Robertson
• Sun Valley has become a year-round wedding destination location, so make your reservations as early as possible.
• Reserve a wedding and reception site ten to twelve months in advance, especially if you’re hoping for a date between May and October. For location options visit Hitched.
• Place a deposit for rentals (chairs, tables, linens, china, tent, etc.), reserve a block of hotel rooms, and book a band, photographer, officiant, caterer, and florist at least nine months before the event.
• Reserve a site for your rehearsal party and order your wedding cake at least six months in advance.
• Send your save-the-date cards, along with information about travel, lodging, and activities, at least four to five months beforehand.
• Schedule group activities, such as golfing, river rafting, and fly fishing, well in advance—preferably before guests make their travel arrangements.
• Because Sun Valley is such a popular destination, expect more guests to attend than might otherwise be anticipated.
WEDDING COORDINATORS . . .
• Find someone with a lot of experience in the Wood River Valley.
• Ask whether he or she works for an hourly fee or offers a package rate.
• If you’re on a tight budget, request a four-hour consultation to get you pointed in the right direction.
• Be sure you feel comfortable with the coordinator’s personality and that he or she seems in tune with your wants and needs.
• Check references. Ask former clients whether the wedding coordinator was friendly, professional, attentive, organized, and detail-oriented.
PICK A RECEPTION SITE . . .
• For larger parties: The Sun Valley Company has several indoor venues, including Trail Creek Cabin, River Run Lodge, Sun Valley Inn, and the Sun Valley Lodge, for groups of 128 to 392 people.
• For smaller parties: A local inn, restaurant, or private rental home (check the classifieds and local property management companies for details) may be able to accommodate you if your guest list is under 100.
• A private rental property can be the perfect place to host an outdoor event under a big tent.
• Located next to Trail Creek Cabin, Sun Valley’s Trail Creek Grounds offer a scenic setting for up to 400 guests.
• If a wilderness setting interests you, the Sawtooth National Recreation Area has several easily accessible sites. (A special day-use permit is required.)
IF YOU’RE HAVING AN OUTDOOR WEDDING . . .
• Reserve a tent, just in case.
• Rent propane heaters for use after sundown.
• Provide umbrellas or parasols to shield guests from rain or sun.
• Adhere seating cards to the tables, so they don’t blow away.
• Use glass-enclosed candles to protect against the wind.
• Stop watering the lawn a few days before the wedding, so the grass isn’t too soft or wet.
• Don’t wear white shoes or spike heels.
• Provide insect repellant wipes and/or use citronella oil torches or candles.
• Follow fire department rules in regards to fire danger.
MAKE IT FUN FOR OUT-OF-TOWN GUESTS . . .
• Encourage guests to stay a minimum of three to four days, so they can get a real taste of the Valley.
• Organize group activities that can be attended by guests of all ages, such as an ice-skating party, a river rafting excursion, or a picnic at the top of Baldy.
• Warn out-of-towners about possible temperature fluctuations; remind them to bring warm clothing for cool nights.
• Provide a “Sun Valley” welcome pack that includes local information and maps as well as locally made products such as Sun Valley Mustard and bottles of Trinity water.
• Share all of the places you love, from favorite hiking trails to lunch spots to coffeehouses.
HELP WITH CHILD CARE . . .
• Provide guests with a list of local childcare agencies and babysitters.
• Coordinate fun activities, such as fishing, biking, or swimming, for older kids.
• If children aren’t invited to the reception, throw them a separate party, complete with games and goody bags.
BRIDAL PARTY BONDING . . .
• Rent a yurt for the night.
• Plan a day of beauty at a local day spa.
• Attend a yoga class.
• Go hiking or mountain biking.
• Organize a round of golf.
• Hire a fly-fishing guide.
• Go skeet shooting at the Gun Club.
GIVE SPECIAL GIFTS . . .
• Shawls to match their bridesmaid dresses, so they stay warm after the sun goes down.
• A necklace or bracelet made by a local jewelry designer.
• Lightweight, waterproof windbreakers they can wear when they’re river rafting, fly fishing, or playing golf.
• A pair of Smith sunglasses.