The Western Hotel in Ouray, CO is a Gorgeous Wedding Venue

The Western Hotel in Ouray, Colorado is an incredible wedding venue choice if you’re looking for a spot that balances the history of this iconic town, with a modern aesthetic. I’m not going to regale you with the specifics of the age of the building and the role that it played in our town in the mining days. That’s not why you’re here. You want to know about how it looks now that it has been freshly renovated and the possibilities it creates for an unforgettable wedding reception. 

As wedding photographer, based in Ouray, I have to be honest. I wasn’t sure to expect from the reopening. My first time stepping into the hotel, after watching years of renovations, show stopping! I could immediately see the possibilities for stunning future weddings in the space! The potential was overwhelming.

I’ll go ahead and say the thing that you expect me to say as a wedding photographer…the lighting is amazing at the Western! You will seriously adore the amount of light in this hotel. There are tons of windows to let natural light spill in throughout the different spaces. 

In general, wedding photographers and wedding venues work in tandem to create the wedding images of your dreams. When you are evaluating your ideal wedding photo inspiration, perhaps on Pinterest…make sure you are considering the type of lighting that appears, along with the background, in the images you are drawn to. It may seem obvious as you are reading about it now, but the wall color and available light in a space will have a huge impact on your final product. For instance, those elements play a major part in how your getting ready photos will actually turn out. If the room is dark, and the walls are brown, It’s going to change the way your photos feel compared to a hotel suite with a lot of natural light and white or lightly colored walls, like those found at the Western.

The spaces in the Western Hotel have just the right balance when it comes to decor and lighting. During the day, there’s incredible natural light spilling throughout. This abundance of lighting gives you the dreamy, and calm backgrounds that make photos look, positive and romantic. In the evening, when it’s time for the reception, the artificial lighting in these spaces, create a mood that inspires people to celebrate and dance. In both scenarios, the lighting experience feels elevated and beautiful.

Naturally, we have to talk about getting ready photos at the Western hotel in Ouray. The layout and decor of the rooms in the Western create a vintage, creamy-white, aesthetic. Of course, I’m usually considering rooms in terms of photography, but after viewing the bathroom spaces as well, I can tell that this would be a luxurious place to wake up, and get ready on your wedding day. 

Picture the day unfolding… 

After getting ready in your gorgeous respective hotel rooms, you and your fiancé meet together, on the balcony adjoining your two rooms, for an intimate first look experience with a gorgeous view of the mountains. 

Once you’ve enjoyed a quiet moment together on the deck, the two of you head into the mountains to meet your guests at a gorgeous ceremony location in the wilderness. (Ps. As a Ouray local, I have an extensive collection of different locations for you to choose from if you need help finding the right scenery for your day.)

After we’ve had an adventure together in nature, we all head back for a cocktail hour in the historical Western Hotel Bar. This space has the most character in the whole building, hands down! There is an unprecedented balance between historical artwork, modern artwork, antiques, and taxidermy. (I know taxidermy doesn’t sound right for a wedding, but when you see the pictures you’ll get it. I don’t think I would love some of these shots as much as I do if there wasn’t a mountain lion in the background. Why? I don’t know!) The combination of these elements somehow come together to create a truly unique area for your guests to mingle in and begin to celebrate your union. 

The dining room space is wonderful for wedding receptions year round, but in the summertime, there is the added benefit of the courtyard area and deck that the dining room opens out into. This space screams artistic luxury more than any other large dining space in our area. It is beautiful, with a “miner’s safari” aesthetic (a description coined by the brilliant local event planner, Krysta Cossitt, with Elevation Weddings and Events). The decor of the space can carry itself for a more minimalistic reception style, but with high ceilings and big windows, it can accommodate a more elaborate floral or design installation as well.

When it is time to transition to the dance party portion of the evening, this area is perfect for a dj, or live band, and dance floor. You, and your guests, can boogie, laugh, and celebrate the two of you. You can dance until your heart is as full as possible and then head upstairs to your luxurious hotel suite once more. With multiple rooms available, and with easy walking distance to many other lodging options in Ouray, you can feel confident that your guests can end their night safely as well. 





Logistically, this space has a layout for a seamless reception, and all of the pre & post-ceremony elements of your wedding day. But, as a wedding photographer here in Ouray, what I think really sells the venue for wedding events is the vibe, personality, and potential of the building in its entirety. 

The building is so unique and beautiful, that I have even had multiple different couples choose to do at least one element of their day at The Western Hotel, even if they aren’t doing the entire event there. 

One couple did their first look in the bar and a pre-wedding cocktail together. Another couple came to the Western for some portraits and dinner after their ceremony before spending the night in one of the suites. Couples,…and I, can’t get enough of this venue! I’m so excited for the wedding possibilities that it creates here in Ouray! If you are looking for a local photographer for your wedding day, I would love to help you have the wedding imagery of your dreams in this magical place!

Vendor Team:

Photographer: Sam Murch Photography

Videography:Black Diamond Productions

Planning & Design: Elevation Weddings and Events

Venue: The Western Hotel 

Makeup: Skin Alchemy

Hair: Jessica Myer Hair at Salon Envy Ouray

Florals: Adela Floral Design Co

Cake: Jacque’s Sweet Treats

Jewelry: The Shaggy Coo

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