Wild Basin Lodge – Allenspark, CO

On our tour of the Estes Park area wedding venues, we took a little jog south of Estes to the Wild Basin Lodge in Allenspark, CO.  When you walk into the lodge, the first thing that will hit you is the huge stone-hearth fireplace decorated with aspen greenery, harvested by the Wild Basin Lodge staff.  From the rough-hewn logs to the polished bar, Wild Basin features a mixture of rustic charm, and classic elegance.

One of the oldest lodges in the area, Wild Basin has been around since the early 1900’s, but has only been in it’s current facility for about 10 years. The tour of the Wild Basin lodge was truly enjoyable. Hillary and Denise really made us feel at home while we were there. The lodging is limited to 6 lodge rooms, but as a wedding or reception venue, Wild Basin can handle 200 guests.

Business Name: Wild Basin Lodge & Event Center

Primary Contact: Hillary Hanson

Title: Marketing Manager

Address: 1130 County Road, 84 West, Allenspark, CO 80510

Phone Number: (303) 747-2274

Contact Email: [email protected]

Wild Basin Brochure | Wild-Basin Elopement Package Options

 

Q: How many guests can you accommodate?

A: 200

Q: How long has your venue been in business?

A: 10 years on 12.21.11!

Q: How long has your venue been hosting weddings?

A: Throughout operation (10 years)

Q: How many weddings do you host a year on average?

A: 150

Q: What is the cost (or range) for your venue?

A: $67-$142 per person for an all inclusive wedding package

Q: Do you host Ceremonies, Receptions, and/or Honeymoons?

A: Yes, we also host day after brunches, rehearsal dinners, elopement weddings, anniversary dinners, vow renewals, and private events.

Q: Do you have different options or packages available for weddings?

A: Yes, we cater our wedding packages to each couple and their unique needs.

Q: What special amenities do you have to accommodate weddings?

A: Our facilities boast 2 outdoor ceremony sites with stunning views, 2 large reception rooms, 6 lodge rooms, and every single wedding package includes the couple’s choice of ceremony and reception site, all tables, linens, silverware, china, chairs, crystal, a complimentary champagne toast, bridal coordination, a bridal captain, a full reception meal including two appetizers, two entrée selections, organic sautéed vegetables, choice of a starch item, and loads of other inclusions!

Q: Do you offer any wedding services?

A: Couples often choose The Wild Basin Lodge for our flexibility, exemplary reputation for customer service, and on-site bridal coordination.

Q: Do you have an on-site coordinator for the day of the wedding?

A: Yes, we include an on-site coordinator, coordination and planning services prior to the big day, and a bridal captain to ensure that things run smoothly throughout the reception.

Q: If so, what services do they provide?

A: Our coordinators and captain ensure that a timeline of the wedding is pre-approved by couples and their families. Coordinators run rehearsals so couples don’t have to spend additional funds hiring officiates or wedding planners for an additional day. Wild Basin brides can rest assured that their coordinator will handle all processional queues, scheduling of decorating time, keeping photographers on schedule, entrances into the reception, serving private appetizers, the first dance, toasts, and cake cutting coordination.

Q: Do you have any restrictions on outside wedding vendors?

A: We welcome any and all outside vendors for weddings at The Wild Basin Lodge. We have a preferred vendor list if couples are looking for the top vendors in our area.

Q: What are the benefits of booking their wedding here?

A: We help couples plan a dream wedding that is as unique as they are, and we help them every step of the way. Our friendly staff will answer questions 7 days a week, our beautiful location wows guests year-round, and our award-winning cuisine is made on site with quality ingredients. We have remained at the top of our industry throughout our ten years in existence, and continue to host some of the best weddings and events in the nation!

Q: What do brides tell you is the reason that they choose your venue?

A: We consistently are told it’s for three reasons: our stunning location, our world-class food, and our outstanding customer service.

Q: What makes your venue unique?

A: Our location with gorgeous mountain views can’t be beat and the value of our all-inclusive wedding packages is excellent. We only host one wedding each day so we can guarantee our couples that their events will be private, personalized, and catered to their exact specifications.

Q: What kinds of things can a Bride expect when she contacts you, and throughout the process?

A: Couples can always expect to be greeted with a friendly and knowledgeable staff member who can cater tours and inquiries to anyone’s specific needs. We are always happy to give an in-depth tour of our stunning facilities, but if a site visit simply isn’t possible, we will assist our clients using photographs, video, and email. We highly encourage engaged couples to contact us any time throughout the planning process to schedule a tasting, a details meeting, or to ask us any questions they may have before the big day.

Q: What advice do you have for a Bride thinking about booking her wedding here?

A: Plan early! We will only host one wedding a day, and our most desired dates in peak season are booking out fast.

Q: Do you have any other general suggestions for the wedding couple?

A: Your wedding is a special day that’s all about you! Including unique aspects that define you as a couple will make the day even more significant, so plan your wedding the way that you want it.

Mary’s Lake Lodge & Resort, Estes Park, CO

Last week, we had the pleasure of visiting some of the fine destination wedding venues in Estes Park, Colorado,  including the historic Mary’s Lake Lodge and Resort. Mary’s Lake lodge is one of the oldest lodges in the area, originally founded in 1913.

They had a tragic fire in the 1970’s which caused it to close for about 20 years while they rebuilt the lodge and built new accommodations, including luxury condominiums. Mary’s Lake Lodge and Resort has been hosting weddings since reopening 1999.

Mary's Lake Lodge Restaurant

 

Business Name:  Mary’s Lake Lodge & Resort

Primary Contact: Ashley Reynolds-Raines

Title: Director of Sales & Marketing

Address: 2625 Marys Lake Road, Estes Park, CO 80517

Phone Number: 970-586-5958

Contact Email: [email protected]

 

Q: How many guests can you accommodate?
A:  We can accommodate up to 150 people for ceremonies and receptions

Q: How long has your venue been in business?
A:  Since 1913.  We are a historic lodge.

Q: How long has your venue been hosting weddings?
A:  Since 1999.

Q: How many weddings do you host a year on average?
A: Between 150 and 175 per year

Q: What is the cost (or range) for your venue?
A: Average weddings cost between $5,000 and $15,000.

Mary's Lake Condo available for Lodging

Q: Do you host Ceremonies, Receptions, and/or Honeymoons?
A: Yes, we have outdoor and indoor ceremony sites, two indoor reception venues, and luxurious hotel suites and condominiums for honeymoons.

Q: Do you have different options or packages available for weddings?

A: Yes, we have plated and buffet-style dinner packages, and hors d’oeuvre reception packages.  Our prices vary and we can accommodate any budget.

Q: What special amenities do you have to accommodate weddings?
A: We have enough lodging on property to accommodate all wedding guests, we have a lovely bridal suite for the bride and bridesmaids to get ready the day of, and we provide a complimentary honeymoon suite for the bride and groom.  Our packages are inclusive so we handle the catering, bar set-up, room set-up and clean-up.

Q: Do you offer any wedding services?
A: Our services include the food, set-up, staff, alcohol, and event coordination for the wedding.  All other services can be provided by outside vendors.

Q: Do you have an on-site coordinator for the day of the wedding?
A: Yes, I am the day of event coordinator for the weddings.

Q: What services do you provide?
A: I make sure that everything is on schedule for the ceremony and reception and contact any outside vendors to organize set up times.

Guest Rooms feature Oversized Jacuzzi Bathtubs

Q: Do you have any restrictions on outside wedding vendors?
A: No restrictions

Q: What are the benefits of booking their wedding here?
A:  The food is outstanding; the service is always wonderful, and I am there every step of the way to make sure the special day is perfect.  The atmosphere is ideal for a mountain wedding with impeccable views all over the property.  The lodge is historic and has a rustic feel coupled with modern amenities.  It is truly a unique and memorable venue.

Amazing Moutain Views from Mary's Lake Lodge

Q: What do brides tell you is the reason that they choose your venue?
A: The most common reason is because of the great views from both the ceremony site and the reception room.  Any bride who is looking for a Colorado wedding in the mountains, we provide an ideal atmosphere for it.  Two other reasons are that we have so much lodging on property that their guests can all stay together, and that we have amazing food, so they know their guests will have a great dining experience.

Q: What makes your venue unique?
A: We are a perfect combination of rustic and elegant.  The historic lodge provides the Colorado casual, getaway in the mountains atmosphere while the condominiums and the reception venues are luxurious, beautiful, and modern.

Q: What kinds of things can a Bride expect when she contacts you, and throughout the process?
A:  Attention to detail, follow-through, great ideas to help make her special day even more special, and a stress-free planning experience.

Q: What advice do you have for a Bride thinking about booking her wedding here?
A: I can guarantee that your wedding will be beautiful, unforgettable, and your guests will have an amazing time celebrating with you and will commend you for choosing a unique venue.  You’ll never need to stress about anything; whatever needs to be done to make your day more enjoyable, I will take care of it.

Q: Do you have any other general suggestions for the wedding couple?
A:  Do not stress about the little things; that is my job J.  This is going to be the most memorable and wonderful day that you two have ever had together, and I assure you I will make it the best it can possibly be.  Make sure you relax and enjoy every moment.

Gallery Images provided by Mary’s Lake Lodge

How to Handle Music Requests at your Wedding Reception

Wedding Reception Dancing - Doing the DipDo you want the DJ to take music requests from the guests at your wedding reception – or not? Some couples do, others prefer not to. There is no right or wrong answer; but please remember, when a guest requests a song, that it’s not possible for a DJ to have every possible song that might be requested – no matter how big a DJ brags his music repertoire is.

Challenges

There are other challenges that requests can present. Sometimes, guests may request songs that simply do not “fit-in” with the music programming, or a requested song may completely alter the mood or environment contrary to what you want. Playing heavy metal or gangsta’ rap, for example, will likely upset or displease some of your guests, especially the older ones. Certainly, songs containing objectionable, foul or sexually graphic language should not be played.

Wedding Reception - Danced So Much My Feet HurtIt’s just tacky to play any song with the “f-bomb” being dropped every fourth word at a wedding. Even though you may like a particular song, you’ll survive if you don’t hear it. Obviously, you don’t want to cause anyone to feel uncomfortable. Your wedding celebration won’t be hampered by a song that isn’t played, but could be significantly and instantly damaged by a song that is played.

An experienced wedding DJ will use their personal experience and professional judgment to know when it is acceptable to honor requests, while amateur DJs may be inclined to play any song that is requested.  (Remember, if inappropriate requests are played, these songs will make you look bad.)

Your Special Songs

You may have specific songs that you want to hear during your reception, dinner or dancing. That’s great, but there’s certainly no need to pick them all. That’s why you are hiring a truly polished professional wedding DJ. That person should know how to properly read a crowd, play the right tune at the right time, maintain music volume and seamlessly enhance the atmosphere.

In fact, outside of your special wedding dances (1st dance, father/bride dance, etc.), all you probably need to do is select a handful of songs you especially like to provide a flavor of what you wish to hear. Maybe it’s the first song you kissed to, or the very first song you danced to. If you would like supply an additional list or specific artists or songs beyond just a few, it’s often best to permit the experienced wedding DJ read the crowd and mix them in where and when appropriate.

Three Critical Facts You Should Know Before Hiring a Professional DJ Entertainer

Fact #1: When Brides are asked what they want to remember about their wedding day five years from now, the typical response is: “that everyone had a great time,” “people danced,” etc. Why? Simple. Because no matter how perfect everything else is, people will always remember if they had a good time – or not.

 Fact #2: Over the last several years, Amore’ DJ Entertainment has specifically asked our brides, “what significance did the professional DJ you hired have in making your reception a total success?” The typical response has been: “Amore DJ Entertainment had at least an 80% responsibility” as to why the reception was a total success above and beyond anything else! (In fact, most of surveys state 100%)

 Fact #3: According to The Knot (2011), the average U.S. bride spent $27,800 for her wedding. At 6 hours for the ceremony and reception, that’s $4,633 per hour! Fortunately, it’s a little less here locally in Colorado, but surprisingly, not by much. The average 2011 bride spends between $19k and $21k for her wedding in Colorado. Most quoted “Wedding Experts” suggest that a practical bride should expect to spend from 5% (as an absolute minimum) to up to 10% of her budget for QUALITY reception entertainment for her wedding. So, broken down based on that methodology, here’s a range to expect for QUALITY entertainment for the reception:

  • 5% of $19,000 = $950
  • 6% = $1,140
  • 7% = $1,330
  • 8% = $1,520
  • 9% = $1,710
  • 10% = $1,800

(*Add in an average of $300 to $500 for QUALITY ceremony music, musicians, and/or ceremony sound support for the ceremony.)

Most importantly, “The amount of money a couple spends on their reception entertainment is in direct proportion to the quality of entertainment they will receive…and ultimately, the sole impact on the total overall success of the wedding reception.”

 Simply put, a mere 5 to 10 percent of the average bride’s total budget is responsible for 80% of the wedding reception’s total success, and…as the old adage states, you get what you pay for.