Are you having a high altitude wedding?

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As a Colorado wedding photographer, I have seen it all when it comes to high altitude weddings! While most Front Range venues are in the comfortable “Mile High” altitude, our state also has stunning mountain venues that get up to 10,000 vertical feet! For family and friends coming from sea level, and even for Front Range locals on a rare trip to the mountains, it can make for a challenging day. I’ve had a bride rushed to the hospital in the middle of the family portrait session due to severe dehydration and a mother-of-the-bride with debilitating stomach troubles due to altitude sickness. While the majority of weddings don’t encounter any of these troubles, it’s always good to be prepared so we can prevent that hospital visit on your wedding day!

Before your wedding day is even here, your best defense against day-of altitude issues is increasing your water intake. At least one month before the wedding, start upping the amount of water you drink to 3 to 4 liters per day. That might sound like a lot, but not only does this help prevent altitude sickness, but it will also help give you gorgeous skin for your big day!

... start upping the amount of water you drink to 3 to 4 liters per day.

As you plan travel arrangements for the wedding, people who may be sensitive to altitude sickness, including elderly relatives or those who live at sea level, should arrive at least two days early. If you’re a Front Range dweller getting married at high altitude, this is also a great tip to take the bridal party up at least a day in advance. This can help your friends and family acclimate. As you acclimate to the altitude, refraining from alcohol consumption is a good idea.

For the day of the wedding, it’s a good idea to have some precautions in place to make sure everyone is able to celebrate safely! I have several family members that swear by canned oxygen if you are feeling slightly lightheaded. Also, most venues around Colorado require a medic on staff that will be ready and available to treat altitude sickness, so double check with your venue about that. Another fun way to combat altitude sickness on the wedding day is to include an oxygen bar at your reception! This is a unique experience for your guests and might just help them enjoy the celebration a little more!

Taking a few precautions, planning for acclimation to altitude, and staying properly hydrated will help you and your guests enjoy your wedding celebration at one of Colorado’s many high altitude venues!