Sun Valley Wedding Kiss at galena Lodge

February 8, 2023

10 Tips When Planning Your Sun Valley Wedding by Little Bird Events

  • A Galena Lodge Ketchum Sun Valley Idaho Wedding Mountain ceremony with Lauren Chase
  • Sun Valley Wedding Kiss at galena Lodge
  • Tent at Galena Lodge Wedding Reception during July Summer
  • A tent set up for this Sun Valley Wedding at Galena Lodge in Ketchum
  • Galena Lodge
  • Sun Valley Lodge in snow for a Winter Wedding Getting Ready location
  • Saint Thomas Episcopal Church in January 2022
  • Hotel Ketchum in winter January 2022
  • Sun Valley Wedding Newlyweds

With its iconic mountains hugging the narrow river valley, amazing restaurants, world class skiing and five-star resort, it’s no secret why so many people choose Sun Valley as their wedding destination. It’s the perfect mountain backdrop for a picturesque outdoor wedding or a romantic lodge-inspired winter wedding. If you are planning your Sun Valley wedding from afar or even if you are an Idaho local, here are 10 tips when planning your Sun Valley Wedding for success.

1. Be prepared for the cost

Unless you are an Idaho native or grew up visiting Sun Valley often, you might have some sticker shock when planning your wedding. Don’t let the Idaho location fool you; Sun Valley is a small, but extremely affluent area and the prices you see for goods and services will reflect that.

Galena Lodge Ketchum Wedding Rehearsal with Lauren and Chase Planner Little Bird Events
Planner Sierra from Little Bird Events coordinating a Wedding party of 20 during a rehearsal for a Sun Valley Wedding the next day.

2. Hire a Professional Wedding Planner

Hiring a professional planner with experience in this region can be hugely helpful in navigating this small and competitive wedding market. They can help you source local vendors and also tap
on resources from Boise when necessary. A planner will also fight for your vision and keep you from getting overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of details that come with planning a wedding.

Sun Valley Lodge for Sun Valley Wedding
Sun Valley Lodge during Summer

3. Venues and Vendors book up early so plan ahead

Sun Valley and nearby Ketchum and Hailey are small towns with a limited number of resources to choose from. Wedding venues and vendors book up extremely quickly; sometimes a year or
more in advance.

Hotel Ketchum

4. Don’t forget to include Travel Fees

If you plan to bring in vendors or supplies from Boise, be sure to factor in the cost of travel fees for these vendors or deliveries. Depending on the type of service, some vendors will charge a fee to drive the few hours to get to you and may require lodging for a night as well.

Sun Valley Wedding Ceremony site at Galena Lodge
Galena Lodge in Ketchum

5. Consider Fire Season when selecting your date

Summer months, especially September, can bring bad air quality and smoke obscured mountain views. Selecting a date a bit earlier or later in the wedding season could help ensure you have clear skies and clean air and might also mean less competition for vendors depending on
the month you select.

Wedding Tent Reception at Sun Valley's Galena Lodge in Ketchum
Reception under a tent in Galena Lodge

6. Always have an Indoor option

Nestled in the heart of the Wood River Valley at the base of Mt. Baldy, it’s not uncommon for storms to pass through this region at any time of year. It also tends to be chilly at night due to the higher elevation. If you plan to get married outside, make sure your venue has an indoor option in case of inclement weather. If inside isn’t an option, have a tent on reserve and make sure
the venue knows that is your plan. Nothing kills the joyful atmosphere faster than a
bunch of cold and wet wedding guests.

A wedding guest in Shuttle Sun Valley Wedding
Sun Valley Lodge Shuttle

7. Consider providing Transportation for your Guests

Whether you have chosen to get married at one of Sun Valley’s many beautiful venues or have selected a private location in nearby Ketchum, the mountain roads can be treacherous and the wildlife is abundant. Take the stress off your guests and allow them to relax and truly have a
good time without having to worry about navigating back to their hotel in an
unfamiliar area.

Groomsmen after a few drinks at a reception at Sun Valley's Galena Lodge in Ketchum
Sun Valley Wedding guests having a good time!

8. Make sure your Guests stay Hydrated

Sun Valley has a base elevation of 5945 feet, so one drink will feel more like two for your guests. Make sure everyone stays well fed and well hydrated so they have a fun and memorable time! Liquid IV packets or late night snacks are fun ways to help mitigate this issue for your guests.

Sun Valley Wedding Ba Makeup
BA Makeup helping this Bride with her Bridal Wedding look.

9. Hair and Makeup Artists charge by the hour

Unlike many hair and makeup artists who typically charge by the service, most hair and makeup artists in Sun Valley and the nearby towns of Ketchum and Hailey charge by the hour. Not only
that, but they tend to have time minimums. So it’s actually more economical to have a group of people who want hair and makeup services rather than just the bride.

10. Treat it like a Destination

Sun Valley is a gorgeous destination but it can be a bit tricky to get there. Since your guests will be traveling to get to your remote mountain venue, consider scheduling some other activities before or after your wedding for your guests to enjoy. Golfing, mountaintop yoga or hiking are all fun activities available in the summertime months and skiing or snowshoeing are great
options in the winter months. There are also tons of amazing restaurants for
welcome drinks or farewell brunches.

About the Guest Author | Sierra Saletta of Little Bird Events

Sierra Saletta is owner and planner at Little Bird Events.

Little Bird Events is a boutique destination wedding planning company based in Boise, serving Idaho, California and beyond. They specialize in thoughtfully curated details, artfully presented and flawlessly executed.

Book or Contact Sierra for your wedding here.

Bramble and Vine is a Wedding Photography company that hosts guest authors on their blog from time to time to help serve Brides with Wedding tips. View more of Bramble and Vine’s work here.

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