Wedding at the ranch

Simplify, simplify, said Thoreau, and it’s not bad advice, especially when planning a wedding.   And for prospective brides (and their mums), planning a wedding doesn’t get much simpler than choosing to hold it at a dude ranch.double-d-wedding

I know, it’s thinking waay outside the box. But consider: by choosing a ranch, you instantly simplify your life. No need to book a separate chapel, hire a caterer, or find a baker for that pesky cake. They can cover all of that for you, and lodge your out-of-town guests to boot!

Take the Diamond D Ranch, outside Stanley, Idaho. Weddings have become increasingly popular  here since a chapel (at left) opened its doors here in 1997. “It is a truly unique experience to be married in God’s country, deep in the Frank Church Wilderness,” says rancher Linda Demorest. It took 11 summers to complete the intimate and unique chapel, which they built rock by rock. Demorest is also a minister and performs many weddings inside the structure, which overlooks Loon Creek. Others have chosen to be married out near the lake, in the gazebo, or even the spacious front lawn.

Diamond D Ranch wedding packages include a minister, accommodations (yes, there’s a honeymoon suite), use of all facilities, all activities- including horseback riding-and a fully catered gourmet menu (typically, a variety of appetizers, dinner, and next day’s brunch). Of course, set up and take down of all wedding  decor, flowers, tables, and such is included.  A wedding cake can be provided, and beer and wine can be served (an additional cost).

The chapel has hosted weddings of up to 150 guests. Notes Linda, “While we only have overnight arrangements for 35-40 guests at a time, there are lovely campsites along the river where many wedding guests have pitched a tent in the past.”

Beautiful, unique, and above all simple. What more could any bride want for her wedding?

More ranches with wedding packages: Try Colorado’s Sylvan Dale Ranch, just one hour’s drive from Denver or Rocky Mountain National Park; we’ll write more about Sylvan Dale’s wedding packages next week. And if you’re looking for a southwest setting for the nuptuals, check out Tanque Verde Guest Ranch outside Tucson.


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