North Star Gatherings is a wedding venue in Idaho Springs, Colorado—and one of my favorite places to shoot as a wedding photographer. Under an hour outside of Denver, North Star Gatherings is the perfect venue for couples who want epic mountain views without mountain town pricing and traffic.
Where is North Star Gatherings?
North Star Gatherings is located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, right outside Idaho Springs. It’s under an hour from Denver, and the perfect place to get mountain views without making your guests drive for hours. The address is 3354 Little Bear Creek Road, Idaho Springs, CO, 80452, and you can find it on Google Maps.
The 35-acre property feels secluded and private, and is surrounded by Forest Service land. When you’re up here for a wedding, you are the only people around!
What makes North Star Gatherings unique?
North Star Gatherings has a ceremony deck that overlooks the Continental Divide, directly outside the main reception hall. Unlike many venues in Colorado, they include ceremony chairs in the rental fee, and you can also get reception tables and chairs included for an upgrade. It’s so much easier than coordinating rental furniture!
The cocktail deck is one of my favorite parts of this venue. After your ceremony, guests can hang out on the deck and take in the mountain views (and take all the selfies). And with propane heaters included, it stays comfortable long after the evening mountain chill sets in.
There are two separate getting ready spaces at the property: a loft space inside the main hall, and the geodome outside. I so appreciate that they call it the “getting ready loft” and not “bride’s room” vs “groom’s room” — North Star Gatherings is an inclusive venue for all couples.
North Star Gatherings is also committed to reducing the environmental footprint of hosting weddings—and the venue is 100% solar powered. They also donate a portion of all wedding proceeds to the Navajo Water Project to help bring clean water to Navajo households.
It’s incredibly refreshing to see a venue with transparent pricing listed directly on their website, and that’s exactly what North Star Gatherings has done. Their pricing ranges from $8,500-$9,800 depending on the season and day of the week, and you can see their full pricing here.
North Star Gatherings can host weddings of up to 170 people, but also works beautifully for smaller weddings. I shot a wedding there that only had around 50 people (because covid), and it still felt cozy and right for the group.
What’s the best time to get married at North Star Gatherings?
June through September is prime wedding season in Colorado, and North Star Gatherings is no exception. Saturdays fill up first, but Fridays and Sundays are also popular as they’re a bit cheaper. The venue is closed for Thanksgiving, and from mid-December through March every year because of snow.
North Star Gatherings is already fully booked for the 2022 season, and over half full for 2023. 2024 wedding dates will be available on June 1, 2022, so contact them early if you’re interested in booking a Saturday during summer and fall.
Where can we do photos near North Star Gatherings?
You can get incredible photos right outside the venue, as the whole property has mountain views. Photos at the venue are especially great during golden hour and toward sunset.
If you want to adventure off the property for your couples portraits, there are some incredible hikes and views within a 30-60 minute drive. In an hour, you can reach the top of Mount Evans—one of the two fourteeners in Colorado that you can drive up! Your photographer can help with recommendations based on the kinds of views you want, and how much time you want to spend away from the venue.
Should we get married at North Star Gatherings?
Having shot almost 200 weddings and elopements across Colorado, North Star Gatherings is one of my favorite venues around. The secluded location, the beautiful mountain views, and the welcoming (and photo-friendly) reception hall all make this venue a hidden gem that won’t stay hidden for long.
About Nina Larsen Reed
Nina Larsen Reed is an elopement photographer based in Boulder, Colorado. She plans and captures adventure elopements and intimate weddings, and has photographed over 200 couples across the Rocky Mountains since 2017.