Destination Taos

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Taos has no shortage of natural beauty, historic churches and unique venues in which to exchange vows and celebrate with family and friends. The hardest part may not be the planning of your ceremony, but the choosing of which place it will be held.

For church listings, look in the local Names and Numbers phone book yellow pages under "churches," or see the Spiritual Directory found weekly in the C Section of The Taos News.

If your heart's desire is a backyard ceremony, in some other outdoor space or any place in which you will need tables, chairs, tent, dance floor and more (even a bounce house, if that's your thing), contact Liz Walsh Gilroy at Celebrations Event Rentals by calling (575) 758-8463 or go online to taoscelebrates.com.

Some venues have on-site event planners. If your perfect place doesn't, no worries — there are experts out there who can take over on your big day. As Walsh Gilroy recommends, "You can plan your wedding, but it's not a good idea for you to execute it. You need to be enjoying the moment with family and friends instead of worrying about where the lights go." A resource of independent, local event planners can be found at the end of the venue list.

Larger venues

El Monte Sagrado

This "living resort and spa" has a variety of customized and regular wedding packages and a "wedding team" to help make your planning and your special day seamless. In the heart of Taos, the lushness of El Monte Sagrado offers a dream destination for couples who envision a wedding, commitment ceremony or reception surrounded by views of mountains, waterfalls, ponds and towering 80-year-old cottonwoods. El Monte Sagrado was built around The Sacred Circle — revered by Native Americans for hundreds of years. Today, the Sacred Circle serves as a meditation spot, contemplative promenade and a location in which to perform the sacred rite of marriage. Brides and grooms can choose to affirm their commitment in an intimate ceremony in The Sacred Circle or, for larger wedding parties, indulge in the Río Grande Ballroom, which can accommodate 400 guests. There is an array of rooms and settings from which to choose, from the intimacy of the Library to the Grand Bohemian Gallery overlooking aspen trees and waterfalls. El Monte's Romance Suite is the icing on your big day. Pricing details, amenities and packages are detailed online in El Monte's Wedding Packet.

Call 1-855-846-8267, (575) 758-3502 or go online to elmontesagrado.com.

KTAOS Solar Center

The home of two solar-powered radio stations, a concert pavilion and a dance floor offers a full bar, food service and plenty of parking space. The indoor capacity is 400 people for a reception, and 125 seated for dinner. The outdoor lawn, which provides beautiful views of Taos Mountain, can accommodate approximately 600 people. On-site officiate: Rev. Paddy Mac.

Call (575) 758-5826 or go online to ktao.com.

Taos Ski Valley

Can you see your wedding party riding a chairlift on their way to your nuptials held outside in the arms of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains? Or are you looking for a more quaint Alpine ambience? In either case, Taos Ski Valley — just 18 miles north of Taos — is an idyllic place to hold your ceremony. The Bavarian Lodge & Restaurant provides unique old-world German charm and opulence. The Bavarian also offers catering. With a number of lodging options to boot, such as the new hotel The Blake at Taos Ski Valley, you may not want to venture very far. The events experts at the village or resort can help your Alpine indoor or outdoor wedding dreams come to life.

To contact the Village of Taos Ski Valley, call 1-800-517-9816 or go online to taosskivalley.com. To contact the Taos Ski Valley resort, call 1-866-968-7386 or visit skitaos.com.

Red River

Another outdoor spot ready to take your breath away are the thousands of acres of Carson National Forest that surround this picturesque Old West ski town. Whether you're looking solely for a reception venue or searching for a full-service option from rehearsal dinner to morning-after brunch, the Red River Conference Center is available to suit your every wedding need. The Red River Conference Center is located in the center of Red River behind Brandenburg Park, at the base of the Red River Ski Area along the river for which the town is named. You and your guests will enjoy amazing scenery and wildlife along with the convenience of being within walking distance of everything in town.

Call the Conference Center at (575) 754-1708, visit redriver.org or contact event planners Dally Up at (575) 754-1757 or online at dallyupevents.com.

Sagebrush Inn & Suites

The historic Taos landmark's scenic grounds offer graceful portals, patios and traditional brick walkways connecting courtyards ideal for gathering, all with stunning views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Sagebrush Inn & Suites offers multiple indoor and outdoor spaces and in-house catering accommodating celebrations ranging from an intimate group of 12 up to 800 guests. The inn also provides professional event planners.

Call 1-800-428-3626 or go online to sagebrushinn.com for more information.

Taos Country Club

The Taos Country Club (TCC) is a 12,500-square foot facility with full-service catering and full bar. There are multiple indoor and outdoor ceremony, reception and rehearsal dinner locations on the property. TCC can accommodate up to 500 guests. More than just a golf course with spectacular 360-degree views and breathtaking sunsets, TCC also offers on-site catering and an experienced "day-of" wedding planner. Taos Country Club is located at 54 Golf Course Dr., Ranchos de Taos.

Call (575) 758-7300 or visit taoscountryclub.com.

Taos Mesa Brewing

Taos Mesa Brewing is a microbrewery, restaurant and indoor/outdoor "brewclub" on the spectacular Taos Mesa, providing incredible sunset views. The venue has one indoor stage and two outdoor stages. Since its inception four years ago, Taos Mesa Brewing has hosted 13 weddings and numerous special events. The capacity is 500 standing, 130 seated at tables.

Call (575) 758-1900 or go online to taosmesabrewing.com.

Smaller venues

ACEQ

The capacity at this outstanding farm-to-table restaurant is about 60. As a bonus, owner and sommelier Michael "Red" Wagener is ordained with the Universal Life Church. ACEQ is located in charming Arroyo Seco — just a hop, skip and a jump from Taos.

For more information, call (575) 776-0900 or visit aceqrestaurant.com.

Adobe & Pines Inn

This charming bed & breakfast is a luxurious, romantic and beautiful 1832 adobe hacienda nestled in a country setting. The inn features two intimate courtyards along with a grassy meadow for a larger reception and a grove of trees perfect for party lights. Plus, there is a large labyrinth with a small waterfall in the center that symbolizes the journey of life — a spot where many couples chose to say "I do." The inn is located in Ranchos de Taos, just four miles south of Taos Plaza. Weddings up to 100 guests.

Call 1-800-828-0947, 575) 751-0947 or go online to adobepines.com.

Alpine Village Suites

Conveniently located just steps from Taos Ski Valley's lifts, restaurants, nightlife and shopping, the conference room is perfect for receptions, rehearsal dinners or bachelor/bachelorette parties.

Call 1-800-576-2666 or visit alpine-suites.com.

Blue Sky Retreat at San Geronimo

Blue Sky Retreat has been the site of many a romantic wedding moment with events ranging from elegant and intimate to whimsical and fun. The venue offers large common rooms with kiva-style fireplaces a 51-square foot dining room, a 38-square foot living room and a 22-square foot siting room. Capacity in the dining room is up to 100 guests seated. No self-catering. The center is located at 110 Witt Road.

Call (575) 751-3776 or visit blueskyretreatcenter.com.

Casa Benavides Inn

This art-infused bed and breakfast is located in the heart of Taos and is within easy walking distance of Historic Taos Plaza on Kit Carson Road.

Call (575) 758-1772 or visit casabenavides.com.

Casa Gallina

A Taos Artisan Inn

Casa Gallina is located just five minutes from historic Taos Plaza at 609/613 Callejon in a quiet, pastoral, farmland setting. The peaceful inn is home to more than 40 happy hens who reside in their own mudded adobe hen house. Ceremonies can be held with up to 30 guests.

Call (575) 758-2306 or go online to casagallina.net.

Columbine Inn

This locally owned inn at Taos Ski Valley boasts stunning mountain views galore. Columbine Inn specializes in outdoor ceremonies of up to 75 people. Lodging, meals and transportation can be provided.

Call 1-888-884-5723, (575) 776-5723 or visit online at columbineinn.com.

Edelweiss Lodge and Spa

For 40 years, the original Edelweiss Lodge was a fixture in Taos Ski Valley. The Edelweiss is a luxury vacation condominium resort that was built in the same central location next to Strawberry Hill. The Club Room is an ideal location for small events, such as a rehearsal dinner, with seating up to 30 people, an integrated sound system, wireless and ethernet internet, and audio-visual facilities.

Call 1-800-458-8754, (575) 737-6900 or go online to edelweisslodgeandspa.com.

Ghost Ranch

Ancient cottonwoods and apple trees cradled by unique, ancient cliff formations, this beautiful area in Abiquiú about 2 hours west from Taos that inspired celebrated artist Georgia O'Keeffe is an otherworldly spot for nuptials. The accommodations are on the rustic side (no telephones or TVs), but the casitas offer spectacular views.

Call 1-800-804-4678, (505) 685-1000 or go online to ghostranch.org.

Hacienda del Sol

USA Today rated Hacienda del Sol as "one of the most romantic inns in the U.S." Spectacular courtyard garden venue with the majestic Taos Mountain as the backdrop, indoor/outdoor reception/dining area, with menus prepared by professional owner/master chef, plus luxurious accommodations for the bridal party and their families. This bed & breakfast has a full-service wedding package. Weddings for up to 100 guests.

Call 1-866-333-4459, (575) 758-0287 or go online to taoshaciendadelsol.com.

Old Martina's Hall

A landmark on 4140 State Highway 68, Ranchos de Taos, across from the famous adobe church, San Francisco de Asís. Old Martina's Hall features a large dance floor and state-of-the-art equipment. With a rich musical history, Old Martina's Hall has long been at the center of life in the Taos community. Before Martina replaced the old wooden floor with a new oak dance floor, locals would know how good the band was by how much the floor got to bouncing. There is a restaurant, but no on-site catering due to kitchen capacity. Weddings up to 150 guests in the Hall.

Call (575) 758-3003, email booking@oldmartinashall.com or visit oldmartinashall.com.

Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort and Spa

About 1 hour southwest from Taos, historic Ojo Caliente offers the only surviving round barn in New Mexico, not to mention breathtaking views, legendary mineral pools and a variety of accommodations from suites to cottages.

Call 1-800-222-9162 or visit ojospa.com.

Palacio de Marquesa

Located in a quiet, tree-lined residential Taos neighborhood, this luxury-minded property is a great place for smaller, more intimate weddings and bridal showers. It's eight rooms are themed from the inspiration of some of Northern New Mexico's most notable women artists such as Georgia O'Keeffe, Millicent Rogers and Mabel Dodge Luhan. Packages and specials are available.

Call 1-855-846-8267, (575) 758-4777 or go online to marquesataos.com.

River Paradise Weddings

River Paradise Weddings on the banks of the Río Grande in nearby Embudo is the perfect venue for an outdoor wedding of 80 to 100 guests. Caterers will find it easy to access the lawn along the river and serve dinner under the shade trees. There are outdoor electrical outlets with an area for a dance floor and band.

Call (617) 947-9016 or go online to riverparadiseweddings.com.

Sabroso Restaurant & Bar

This restaurant is housed in a historic 150-year-old adobe hacienda in the tiny village of Arroyo Seco and is halfway between Taos Plaza and Taos Ski Valley. Customized menus can be created to meet your culinary needs and desires — Chef Timothy has catered more than 400 weddings in his career. Sabroso's accommodating staff will provide everything for your special event, from flowers to cakes to custom menus. Choose the setting of your dreams — fireside, on the patio or in the plum grove under the stars.

Call (575) 776-3333 or go online to sabrosotaos.com.

Taos Art Museum at Fechin House

The grounds are comprised of the Fechin house, studio and gardens. The setting includes 3 acres of exquisite landscaping, a beautiful artists’ studio and expansive flagstone patio. Living history and vibrant creative energy abounds. This historic property is a stunning jewel of architecture built by Russian master woodworker and artist Nicolai Fechin. This venue can accommodate up to 150 people.

Call (575) 758-2690 or visit taosartmuseum.org.

Taos Convention Center

Coronado Hall offers the El Alcade, Los Angelitos and El Taoseño rooms available for rent providing a variety of options for wedding parties of up to 75 people each. In addition, two patios supply more than 5,400 square feet of open-air space.

Call (575) 737-2617 or visit taosconventioncenter.com.

Taos Goji Eco Lodge and Farm

Approximately 30 miles north of Taos in San Cristobal, the Taos Goji Eco Lodge and Farm offers 40 gorgeous acres of land, a 1,600-square-foot open, rustic barn, cabins and a 500-square-foot dining area in the old San Cristobal Trading Post.

Call (575) 776-3971 or go online to taosgoji.com.

Taos Tennis at Quail Ridge

Located just minutes north of Taos in El Prado, Taos Tennis at Quail Ridge has 6,000 square feet of building space and 7.5 acres at its disposal for which to hold a wedding reception. This includes a large and a small conference room, a large and a small patio and a .3-acre park.

Call 1-800-624-4448, (575) 776-2211 or go online to taostennis.com.

Touchstone Inn

This is a secluded inn (circa 1800) close to everything Taos. Choose among many special sites in gardens bordering Taos Pueblo lands. Touchstone Inn is located on Mabel Dodge Lane.

Call (575) 758-0192 or go online to touchstone inn.com.

Carson National Forest

Spanning 1.5 million acres within the Enchanted Circle, Carson National Forest provides some of the most stunning vistas and secluded pockets in the Southern Rockies. Whether asking your wedding party to hike to Williams Lake or you find the perfect clearing near a road, if there are more than 15 people in your party, you'll need to get a special-use permit for a nominal fee. The CNF office in Taos is located at 208 Cruz Alta Road.

For more information, call (575) 758-6200.

Hot Air Balloon Weddings

Exchanging vows in a hot air balloon is the ultimate wedding for those that love the free feeling of the great outdoors and wide open spaces while peacefully floating somewhere in between the tree tops and heaven.

Eske's Paradise Balloons

taosballooning.com

(575) 751-6098

Pueblo Balloon

(575) 751-9877

puebloballoon.com

Taos Balloon Rides

(575) 224-6022

taosballoonrides.com

Independent event planners

Celebrations Event Rentals

(575) 758-8463

taoscelebrates.com

Zia Event Design (full-service coordination)

(575) 779-9008

ziaeventdesign.com

For more recommendations, ask at your venue or caterer.

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