Sonnenalp Hotel Wedding

Updated January 6, 2024

Sonnenalp Hotel Vail photo

Where is the Sonnenalp Hotel?

Sonnenalp Hotel,
20 Vail Road Vail, Colorado, 81657
Vail Village

The Sonnenalp Hotel is in the heart of Vail Village. It’s close proximity to the Vail Interfaith Chapel  also makes it a good option for religious based ceremonies, although you can also hold your ceremony on the lawn at the hotel.

What is the overall feel of Sonnenalp Hotel?

The Sonnenalp features cozy European charm (think the Swiss Alps).  And it combines with the Colorado outdoors for a stunning mountain wedding location.

From their site:

When the small bed and breakfast that inspired the Sonnenalp first opened in Germany in the early years of the 20th century, Vail wasn’t even on the map. As that humble German inn transformed into what would become a celebrated hotel and resort, its founders envisioned bringing their legacy of European hospitality and superior guest service to the United States. In the 1960s, the burgeoning village at the base of the Vail Ski Resort became the ideal location.

The modest lodge our founders established 40 years ago led to the hotel and resort that rests at the heart of Vail Valley today.  It’s a renowned, destination intertwined in the fabric of an iconic community. Even though the two hotels are a world apart, they share a welcoming spirit cultivated by a history of family ownership. Staying at the Sonnenalp is an unforgettable resort experience

Vibe: Cozy, European, Elegant

Where will my ceremony be at Sonnenalp?

There are three ceremony options at the Sonnenalp Hotel, one of which is nearby offsite.

Ceremony by the river

My favorite ceremony spot at Sonnenalp is the space by the river. Surrounded by trees and gentle sound of a flowing water, this option puts you in touch with nature. As the space is on the property, it’s an easy transition from ceremony to patio cocktail hour to dinner for your guests.

The only downside to this space is that it’s right by the public pool for the hotel, and the pool doesn’t close to the public. Most guests are respectful during ceremonies, but it has to be a vibe that you’re comfortable.

Ceremony in Ludwig’s reception site

The main reception site features huge floor to ceiling sliding glass windows and a glass ceiling. The ceiling even opens when the weather is good, so it’s a true indoor/outdoor space which feels lovely in the mountain air. While you may not want choose this for your ceremony in the summer (when you could be outdoors instead), it is a good back up plan for rain. It’s also a good option for winter ceremonies.

first dance indoor/ outdoor Sonnenalp Hotel photo
Imagine this glass space set up for a ceremony!

Vail Interfaith Chapel

While this church isn’t on the Sonnenalp Property, it is really close by, so it’s the perfect pair for a more formal, religious ceremony. The Chapel is non-denominational, and in fact hosts a wide variety of religious services on a weekly basis. So, no matter what you practice, you can find a home for your ceremony here.

Vail Interfaith Chapel wedding photo

Wedding reception space at Sonnenalp Hotel

I love this space so much. As I mentioned above, the real star here is the plothora of glass walls and ceiling panels that allows tons of natural light into the space. If you’re having a small reception, you should be able to fit all your guests in the space. If you’re having a large reception, you can use the adjacent indoor spaces for the rest of your tables.

While the whole space can be set up beautifully, the outdoor glass space is by far my favorite.

Elsewhere on the property, you can use the poolside patio for your cocktail hour, and will even have use of a couple of smaller rooms for signing your marriage license, or for escaping for a few minutes post-ceremony.

Best places to take couple’s and wedding party photos at a Sonnenalp wedding

The top of Vail Mountain

If you have time in your timeline for a ride up the Eagle-Bhan Gondola to the top of Vail Mountain, you definitely should do it! I’d recommend at least 1 hour for a trip up the mountain as a couple and 1.5 hours if you take your wedding party up. Don’t forget that the gondola ride itself is about 20 minutes of your time, plus walking to and from the base of the gondola.

bride and groom at top of Vail Mountain summer wildflower photo

By the stream

After your ceremony is over, you can choose to hang out by the stream and enjoy a cocktail. The light here late in the day is lovely and can be a great place to snag a few relaxed couple’s photos.

Under the trees by the pool

There is some beautiful shade by the pool at the hotel with some elegant green stairs. If you don’t have time to go offsite for photos, we can definitely make the most of the landscape and beauty of the building itself.

The backyard of the Vail Interfaith Chapel by the river

This is the perfect spot to visit at sunset, in the 15 minutes or so just before the sun disappears behind the mountains (let me help you time it!).

I travel all over the state of Colorado and across the US to capture connected wedding stories for devoted and courageous couples. I’d love to be your Sonnenalp Hotel wedding photographer!

Same-sex wedding photographer Jennie Crate Photographer

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