A Complete Guide to Lake Dillon Weddings & Elopements
With it’s gorgeous waterfront mountain views, Lake Dillon is an awesome place to get married! Learn everything you need to know with this complete guide to Lake Dillon Weddings & Elopements!
Lake Dillon Weddings & Elopements
Lake Dillon is a huge freshwater reservoir, spanning through the towns of Frisco, Dillon, and Silverthorne, which are all located just outside of Breckenridge, Colorado. In the summertime, this lake is popular for kayakers, paddle boarders, and boaters, but in the wintertime is a beautiful frozen sight to see.
From all around the lake there are excellent mountain views, which makes it a very popular place to get married! This guide has all the info you need to know to get married on Lake Dillon.
Where can I elope around Lake Dillon?
There are many different options for couples looking to get married on Lake Dillon, but what options you have are generally determined by how many guests will be present at your wedding.
If you’re planning on a Lake Dillon elopement, which is usually about 10 guests or less, there are some gorgeous spots along the shoreline that don’t need to be reserved and are perfect for a short, casual ceremony.
On the other hand if you have more guests than this, you’ll want to reserve a site or book a venue. Sapphire Point is an awesome, affordable option on Lake Dillon for up to 35 people. Windy Point Campground is another affordable option on Lake Dillon for up to 100 people.
For larger events, there are more traditional wedding venues such as Silverthorne Pavilion and 10 Mile Music Hall.
Dillon Marina is where many recreationists go for boating on the lake, and there are long stretches of shoreline with mountain views. This is a great location for small elopements and quick vow reading ceremonies.
Silverthorne Pavilion is an affordable wedding venue run by the town of Silverthorne. There are both outdoor and indoor ceremony options. The outdoor ceremony site holds approximately 175 guests but seating is not provided outdoors, while their indoor seated ceremonies can hold up to 300 guests.
Dogs are only allowed outdoors at the pavilion. There is also a kitchen prep area you can use if you’d like to.
Sapphire Point is a very popular tourist and wedding site and can accommodate up to 35 people. A reservation is required and blocks off a two hour time slot at this location. This cost is only $110, so it is very affordable.
You can read more about Sapphire Point Weddings & Elopements in this guide.
Windy Point Campground
Windy Point Campground is another great affordable option that can accommodate up to 100 people. Keep in mind that this is a rustic group campground site, and not a venue, so you’ll need to arrange your own vendors and accommodations.
Also, this campground is only open seasonally, from late May to early October. The cost to reserve the campsite varies between $215 and $265 per day depending on the site.
More hidden gems
Even though this list has tons of great options around Lake Dillon, there are actually even more areas to explore for small elopements!
Finding a location is usually the first thing couples want to do when planning their elopement or microwedding, but I’ll let you in on a little wedding industry secret…
Choosing a photographer first is actually the best thing you can do, especially if you’re planning an elopement or small wedding.
Why? Because local photographers know all the best spots! Also, most elopement photographers, including myself, include location help with their photography packages.
Colorado is a beautiful place, and there are literally hundreds of location options. If you hire your photographer first, you don’t have to take on the daunting task of finding a place to get married by yourself.
How to get there
To get to Lake Dillon, you can use this Google Maps link here
If you’re coming from Denver, Colorado, just take Interstate 70 West for about one and a half hours. You’ll take either exit 205 or 203, depending on which area of the lake you want to visit.
What you need to know about getting married at Lake Dillon
There are definitely pros and cons when it comes to Lake Dillon weddings and elopements, and I’ve tried to list the main ones here.
- The stunning mountain and lake views! I’d say that the vast majority of the couples I work with for Colorado weddings and elopements want a mountain view on a lake, and Lake Dillon fits that description perfectly. If you’re one of these couples, this is definitely a small wedding location that you’ll want to consider.
- Overall it is accessible. Most of the locations on this list are very accessible and require either a short walk or no walk at all to access. If you’ve got guests that need an accessible location, this makes Lake Dillon a great choice to consider.
- Proximity to mountain towns near Breckenridge, Colorado. One of the great things about Lake Dillon is that it is a well developed area comprising Silverthorne, Dillon, Frisco, and Breckenridge is nearby as well. This means you have lots of options for you and your guests when it comes to lodging, restaurants, breweries, and other wedding vendors.
- Affordable Options. One of the great things about Lake Dillon is that there are several affordable options, no matter when you have 0 guests or up to 100 guests.
- Crowds and non-exclusive use on public lands. Lake Dillon is an extremely popular place to visit and recreate. Certain locations, and especially Sapphire Point, can feel very touristy at times. Even with a reservation, Sapphire Point does not offer exclusive use of the location, so there’s no guarantee of privacy. This can be a dealbreaker for some couples.
- Parking. Parking is limited at many of these locations, which means you’ll want your guests to carpool as much as possible. It also helps to pick less crowded times of day, which I talk about more in the next section.
- Reservation requirements. Depending on which location you choose, you may need a reservation. Basically, if you’re having anything more than about 10 guests, you’ll need to pick one of the locations that requires a reservation or one of the wedding venues around Lake Dillon.
- Limited Guests. Certain locations have guest limits, such as Sapphire Point which is limited to 35 people, and Windy Point Campground which is limited to 100 people.
Different seasons at Lake Dillon
Lake Dillon is truly beautiful at any time of year, so it’s just a matter of deciding which season fits you and your partner best! Of course, you’ll also want to take into account whether your guests will be comfortable at that time of year as well.
Lake Dillon in the summer can get quite warm, and there is not much shade during the middle of the day, so you’ll want to keep this in mind. There are also very frequent afternoon storms at this time of year.
In the fall, the temperatures can vary significantly, and there is always a chance of snow. Lake Dillon itself doesn’t have much fall foliage, but a lot of the trails around Lake Dillon have plenty of foliage to see. Spring also sees quite a bit of temperature variation, with a decent amount of snow as well.
In the wintertime, the lake gets covered in snow and there is a frequent chance of snowy days. Expect cold temperatures and be prepared for windy conditions as well. Also keep in mind that certain locations, such as Windy Point Campground, are closed during the winter months.
Weekdays vs. Weekends
Because of the popularity of many Lake Dillon locations, I always recommend a weekday elopement or wedding if at all possible. It will offer you significantly less crowds and more privacy than the weekend.
Time of day
Equally as important as choosing which day to have your elopement or wedding, is choosing a time of day that will offer you the best chance of privacy.
Early mornings are by far the best time of day if seclusion is important to you. If you can’t make a morning work, evenings are generally the next best time.
Activities for your Lake Dillon Elopement
If you’re planning an adventure elopement, Lake Dillon is a great option for you. Here are just a few of the activities you can plan for you and your partner, or even a larger group!
Here are some of my favorite hiking trails in the area:
Ptarmigan Trail (approx. 4.6 miles; 1,141 feet elevation gain)
Mount Royal Trail (approx. 4.9 miles; 1,374 feet elevation gain)
Lily Pad Lake via Meadow Creek Trail (approx. 3.1 miles, 757 feet elevation gain)
Tenderfoot and Oro Trail Loop (approx. 3.0 miles, 649 feet elevation gain)
Kayaking or Canoeing
You can bring your own kayaks or canoes, and launch them from the shoreline of Lake Dillon, or you can rent kayaks from some local companies along the lake.
Here are a few options:
From sailboating to party barges, there are lots of boating options on Lake Dillon. Here are some rental companies in the area:
Fishing is another popular activity on Lake Dillon, and there are some companies that offer guided tours, including the following:
Are you planning a Lake Dillon elopement or microwedding?
I’m more than just a photographer. Helping couples create their dream day is what I do best!
Get in touch and let’s chat about your vision!
Or check out more elopement planning resources…
Hi I’m Kim, a Denver, Colorado based photographer specializing in Adventure Elopements in Colorado and worldwide! Photographing couples on the most special day of their lives is a true honor for me. But I’ve made it my mission to take it one step further than that. When you work with me, you’re getting more than just a photographer. I’m here to help you with all of the planning resources you need to have the most amazing elopement day ever! That includes everything from assistance with location ideas, timeline planning, and lots more free resources. So you can forget the work, and focus on having fun!