I’m Engaged, Now What?
If you’re preparing for wedded bliss and looking for an unforgettable day in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, then getting married at Redfish Lake Lodge is an excellent option for you. Take it from me, we had our wedding here last September (2014) and it was more than I could have ever hoped for. With 42 units and space for over 200 guests, the Lodge and its premises are large enough to host weddings of all shapes and sizes. The catering team will perfectly prepare whichever meals you choose, while your guests will be wowed by the scenery, the food and the service. When people are married at Redfish Lake, it tends to be a wedding vacation for all – with a variety of services offered any day of the week to accommodate you and your guests. Dependent upon your needs, the Lodge will work with you to develop a customized package and pricing that fits perfectly within your budget.
Here is a list of many of the preparations the lodge can take care of:
In-House Food and Beverage Catering
Tables and Chairs
Linens (Table Cloths, Napkins, etc.)
Space Heaters (if needed/desired)
Lodging and Resort-Based Honeymoon Accommodations
Event Setup & Takedown
The fun stuff is up to you:
Decorations and Centerpieces
Saturday is by far the most popular day to get married at the Lake, while July and August are the most popular months. If this sounds like the time period you’d like, then make your plans early (at least 1 year prior) because these days fill up quickly. We chose a Saturday in September and booked the date over a year in advance to ensure we could marry in our favorite month at our favorite place. After this, we started finalizing plans for our destination wedding. A key to making this day amazing for both, our families and ourselves, was to get the word out early for traveling family and friends. The Lodge will hold accommodations for you and your guests for the first couple of months of the booking season, so this offers a short time to plan without the stress of racing against everyone else, but it’s still very important to plan ahead. This was a huge bonus for us because the Lodge opens for reservations in January and they tend to fill-up quickly for stays during popular months and weekends.
Before The BIG Day
Once our guests started to arrive on Friday afternoon, the gathering on the front lawn began and the “ooo”-ing and “awe”-ing came with it. We were fortunate to have a cloudless, 72 degree day and our guests – many from the Midwest – were blown away by Mt. Heyburn and Grand Mogul towering over the lake. On a side note, it’s important to remember that the scenic and winding mountain roads on the way to Redfish Lake are often a new – even wild – experience for some visitors. This means that travel times may vary widely for some and, with cell phone reception minimal for much of the drive, it’s important to be patient.
For Friday night, we chose to have a Welcome Dinner for all of our guests to enjoy in the large gathering tent outside of the Lodge. There was a Potato Bar with huge Idaho Potatoes and loads of toppings that ranged from crispy candied bacon to fresh cut veggies. For smaller groups or more intimate parties, you can dine in the Lodge Restaurant, where a skillful team of chefs will prepare options such as, crispy buttermilk chicken, freshly sliced prime rib, local Idaho trout, and more – accompanied by traditional, table-side service of up to four courses. The bar manager, Trei, is extraordinarily knowledgeable and will help you choose beers, spirits, and wines that perfectly pair with your chosen meals. If you’d like an even more intimate setting, Sunset Appetizer Cruises may be arranged on our luxurious Pontoon Boats, offering an up-close experience with the serenity of Redfish Lake while enjoying local cheeses, hors d’oeuvres and bottled champagne.
The BIG Day
The most popular locations for hosting a wedding ceremony in the area are North Shore Beach and Picnic Area – which is just East of the Lodge along the walking trail – and the Meditation Chapel – which is in Stanley atop a hill overlooking the mountains. The advantages of getting married at the Lake are obvious; offering proximity to the lake with its amazing water and views, as well as requiring less visitors to drive, park, and search for ceremony/reception locations.
Since my betrothed and I met at Redfish Lake, we chose the beautiful Beach at North Shore our ceremony and it did not disappoint. Weddings here typically start around 3:00pm, with receptions beginning back at the lodge between 3:30 and 4:30pm dependent upon the length of your nuptials. There is no electricity at the beach itself, so we rented a small generator for our DJ to play music as we walked down the aisle and exited the ceremony. We also paid a small (but worthwhile) fee to have the Lodge staff shuttle enough chairs to the shore so that our guests could enjoy the beautiful view while seated. On another note, the beach itself cannot be reserved but there are two sites at North Shore picnic area which can be reserved to avoid conflicts with day-area users. These arrangements can be made by calling 1-877-444-6777 or visiting Recreation.gov.
If you choose to have a more traditional wedding ceremony in the gorgeous Stanley Meditation Chapel, these services are usually held around 2:30pm in order to accommodate the additional travel time to and from the lodge (10 minutes each way). The Chapel offers extraordinary views of the Sawtooth Mountains and the entire Sawtooth Valley, as well as the artistic touch of beautiful stained glass and a peaceful, traditional environment. You can make reservations for the Meditation Chapel by calling 208-774-2952.
When it came time for our reception, we made our way to the tent, where the wall was open with a spectacular view of the lake in the background. The catering team took the best care of us and the food was to die for. There is definitely something for everyone on the catering menu and the Chefs love to focus on bright, unique and regional flavors supported by locally-sourced ingredients. The food can be served buffet style – which we chose because of the cost friendly nature – or it can be served table-side in plated courses, to provide a more refined dining experience, if preferred. We chose to serve local beer and wine, allowing our guests to visit the Redfish Lounge if stiffer drinks were preferred, but a full bar and bartender are options as well. As we ate and drank in celebration, our guests enjoyed mingling, exploring, taking in the scenery, and dancing into the night. It was an experience most of us won’t soon forget.
The Day After
To see the guests off on Sunday morning the lodge offers an amazing brunch buffet (also available Saturday) filled with house-made doughnuts, delicious market potatoes, candied bacon, made-to-order omelets, and so much more. It’s an awesome occasion to meet before departure while recovering from the night before. After eating, a few of our guests decided to hang out for more vacation days and enjoyed pontoon boat rides, hikes along the lake, and gorgeous weather, as they watched the colors of autumn appear along the shoreline. Each and every one of our guests was blown away by this mountain paradise, and it made me very proud to call Idaho home. We were extremely grateful to have our wedding at Redfish Lake Lodge, where we fell in love and we were very happy to share the experience with the awesome team at Redfish Lake Lodge. We’re sure they’ll make your “BIG Day” just as special as ours.
If you have more questions or want to start planning your mountain wedding, contact Audra Clegg by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (208) 774-3536 (May-September) or (208) 644-9096 (October-April). You can also find more information at https://redfishlake.com/weddings-events/.
Good Luck & Best Wishes
– Mikaela Davidek Huston