In Denver, the wedding industry is doing exceptionally well.
According to KDVR, the number of issued marriage licenses has increased by more than 10%.
“Really, June through October is when we see the most weddings. I’ve had hundreds of inquiries this year from couples wanting to get married, way more than I can handle,” said wedding planner Sara Brown with Sara Brown Weddings.
According to the Denver Clerk and Recorder’s Office, June very nearly broke records, with 890 marriage licenses issued — the highest number in just one month so far this year. Because so many couples are trying to tie the knot in Denver, the most popular wedding venues in the city are booking up to 1.5 years in advance.
While the average number of wedding guests is still 165, Brown says modern couples are quick to stray away from traditional wedding norms and opt for more unusual and memorable mountainside destinations.
As a result, Brown has seen a lot of new clients from Texas and the Midwest in recent years. In addition, she says that young couples are particularly likely to choose Denver as their wedding destination.
That’s also good news for the local Denver economy, as destination wedding guests tend to stay longer and spend more money during their trip.
“We’re doing a lot of planning of wedding weekends instead of just wedding days where couples can treat their guests to hikes and bike rides and brewery tours in advance of the wedding day.”
In a study by the Institute of Education at Plymouth University, 98% of parents said camping makes their kids appreciate and connect with nature. But clearly weddings that include hiking and biking offer the same exact benefits.
As popular as Denver weddings are becoming, the city says that it fully anticipates this year’s number of licenses issued to exceed last year’s number. About 52% of respondents to a survey worldwide expected to vacation at the beach in the next 12 months, many times due to weddings, but it’s clear that mountainside destinations are quickly becoming the location of choice for couples tying the knot.
With so many mountainous cities to choose from, why has Denver specifically seen so much romance tourism lately?
“Denver is accessible, it’s easy for people to travel to and you know we’ve got the mountains and the city so its kind of the best of both worlds,” Brown said.
To cope with the increasing demand from couples, the Denver Clerk and Recorder’s office is accommodating couples in planning their weddings. Couples can now make appointments after applying online for a marriage license.
At Denvergov.org, couples can search through marriage applications and records, choose an officiant, and find anything and everything they need to know about marriage licenses and certifications in Colorado.
As far as destination weddings outside of the U.S., they have mostly tropical climates, according to Special Events Blog.
“Mexico and the Dominican Republic remain at the top of the list of chosen destinations, but we have seen an increase in couples who opt to go off the beaten path and try somewhere new,” writes Megan Velez of Destination Wedding Travel Group.
For couples planning a foreign destination wedding, tropical locales are still the destination of choice. In particular, Costa Rica and the islands of Curacao and Grenada are experiencing a romance tourism boom this year, too.
But for couples who prefer sweeping mountain vistas to palm trees and sand, Denver and the Rocky Mountains are the place to say “I do.”