From north to south, Utah is bursting with breathtaking topography, making it one of the most popular states in the U.S. for destination weddings (even for those who live here.) To celebrate the unique beauty of the beehive state, we are featuring a four-part series poignantly named ‘On Location’. Here, we will share everything you need to know about getting hitched in four of Utah’s distinct landscapes.
Kicking off our series is a locale beloved by to-be-wed couples around the country—ranches. Ranch weddings burst with romance and bucolic charm. This is Utah, after all, and a Western-themed celebration is not only a reflection of the region’s cultural DNA, but also allows your guests a fun opportunity to break out their cowboy boots and brimmed hats in style.
Choosing a Venue
Peoa’s 4U Ranch venue features an immaculate white barn and wide, grassy lawn next to craggy hillsides and the babbling Weber River. Tag Ranch is a working ranch and event venue surrounded by sweeping grasslands and rolling hills in Wanship. A beautiful white gambrel barn and mortise-and-tenon timber pavilion makes up the popular River Bottoms Ranch event venue in Midway. The Lodge at Blue Sky, located just east of Park City, hosts weddings large and small at multiple on-property venues ranging from an 8,000-square-foot converted barn to a refurbished 1800s-era tavern. More intimate and further afield ranchland venues include Mount Carmel’s Zion Mountain Ranch; the Lodge at Red River Ranch, located just 10 miles from Capitol Reef National Park in Torrey; and Knot & Pine Event’s charming Alpine Barn, tucked against the mountains just south of Draper.
Getting married in a ranch setting can be beautiful at any time of the year. Keep in mind, however, that springtime in Utah is often referred to as mud season, which is particularly relevant in the dirt-road and meadow settings where most ranch venues are located. And as with mountain venues, summer is the most popular time for ranch weddings. That means you may need to be flexible with your date if you are planning a ranch wedding in June, July or August.
It’s likely the biggest environmental issues you’ll have to contend with at a ranch venue are sun and bugs. Encourage your guests to wear long sleeves or bring something they can cover up with during the ceremony. Since you are “on the range,” consider giving everyone a wide-brimmed hat as a wedding favor. And have individual tubes of sunscreen and lotion insect repellent (no sprays) available nearby your ceremony seating.
All in the Details
If you’re going to get married in a barn, you want to have a barn dance. A couple of foot-tapping Utah-based bands in the country and bluegrass genres include Jim Fish & the Mountain Country band and The Pickpockets bluegrass band.
You’ll be the belle of your ranch wedding ball with these gorgeously hand-tooled ostrich leather boots ($2,820) from Park City’s Burns Cowboy Shop. Burns carries hundreds of other cowboy boots styles and multiple collections of customizable Western hats, the latter of which could make an ideal gift for the groom, groomsman or father of the bride.
Looking for even more country inspiration? We’ve got you covered!