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Inviting out-of-town guests? Don't forget about the altitude

Keep the altitude in mind when planning a mountaintop wedding
Keep the altitude in mind when planning a mountaintop wedding
Jensen Sutta Photography

Colorado is a unique and wonderful place for a wedding. We have spectacular scenery, a fabulous food scene, and some of the best weather in the country year-round. But one drawback that many people who live here tend to forget about is the challenge that the altitude can present to out-of-town guests from lower elevations.

We all know that when we go up to the mountains, we need to drink more water, will feel the effects of alcohol more quickly, and will get tired more easily. But even the lower altitude of Denver can cause problems for unacclimated guests.

Here are some tips on making everything easier for your flatland family and friends:

  • Drinking lots of water and carb-loading are the two biggest things that help people adjust to the altitude. Consider suggesting that people consume lots of water and carbs for a few days before their trip.

  • Include information about altitude and acclimating in your invitation and/or hospitality basket -- especially if you’re going to be asking guests to head to a mountaintop.
  • Suggest that they arrange their travel plans to arrive a day or two before the wedding, so that they can acclimate a little bit before drinking and dancing the night away.

  • Make sure that water is abundant and easily accessible at every event that you host.

  • The altitude may hit older guests harder, so if you’re getting married someplace that requires guests to walk up a lot of stairs or any distance, make sure you have some assistance or an easier route (or a golf cart) to get grandma there without breaking a sweat.

  • Be aware that people will get drunk more easily, and that those who haven’t dealt with altitude might not be aware of this effect. Warn guests who are likely to drink a lot ahead of time, so that they can better monitor their own consumption. (But hey, maybe it’ll keep the bar tab a little lower!)

Your guests’ comfort will be the biggest factor in whether or not they enjoy your wedding and celebration. A little bit of information provided in an invitation or even just an email ahead of time can make a world of difference, so that people can be well rested and enjoy the night.


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