Ask the Expert: Spruce Mountain Ranch

{Alberts Lodge: rustic yet elegant} 


This November we’re highlighting an absolutely spectacular venue, Spruce Mountain Ranch. Scary as it sounds, you wouldn’t be crazy to be shopping this gorgeous location for a summer 2014 wedding (I couldn’t believe it either!!) but if you’re more flexible with the dates, there’s still some 2013 dates available.

Where to Find Them: Just south of Castle Rock in Larkspur, Colorado.


Let’s Dive in to the Ask & Tell with Tara (the owner of Spruce Mountain Ranch):

How far in advance do I need to book a wedding?

My advice is as soon as you are engaged, go venue shopping! Spruce Mountain Ranch is currently booking out anywhere from a year to a year-and-a half out.

What do you think is the most important thing to look for in a venue?

An emotional connection. I believe that when you walk into a place, you can feel the energy. Ask yourself, not just is this a beautiful space, but is this the space where you can see yourself on your wedding day.

Shopping for venues, can be time-consuming: how do you make the most of a visit?

Before you look at any venues, pre-qualify the space. Be upfront about your budget (yes, you should have a budget in mind) and educate yourself about the pros and cons of the space. This can really help limit the number of site visits that you have to make which can take a few hours per visit.

What are some questions that I should ask a vendor?

What is the cost? Unfortunately this is not an easy thing to compare from one venue to another as it rarely an apples-to-apples comparison. Some key questions to understanding the true cost are:

  • How many hours does the pricing include, and what are the costs if any for additional time?
  • Is there a per person price or a flat fee?
  • Does the pricing include any service fees, gratuities, or sales tax?
  • Are there any on-site staffing requirements that may be an additional cost {day-of-coordinator etc). ?
  • Are there set vendors that we have to work with?
  • Am I allowed to bring in my own alcohol?
  • And just as important as understanding the true cost, make sure you understand how flexible the venue is going to be with creating your vision.


Any advice for brides?

So many brides are so apologetic and are afraid to ask for what they want. When you are picking a venue, have someone that you can call on with questions, someone that you enjoy working with, and someone who is just going to love on you.

Colorado can be finicky when it comes to weather. Any advice for how to be prepared?

Always, always have a plan B. Don’t let yourself be blindsided. You can check the historic temperatures, but it’s no guarantee. My personal favorite months for the ranch include August and September because not only is the weather mild but the leaves are just starting to change and the colors can be incredibly vibrant.


Noteworthy: The ranch is a family run operation and in addition to hosting events on their property, the Ames family has a complete second business breeding Angus stock. And for all of you brides that love to plan, the wedding website has some amazing software that lets you play around with tables/chairs and space to help you truly determine how your wedding day could look!


And while you can see lots more pictures on their website, here’s a sneak peek of the ranch:

{Meadow: stunning vistas for an outdoor ceremony}


{Colorado Room: awesome cocktail hour space}

{Dancing on the Deck (former anna bé bride, Christine Chang)}