Having live in Colorado almost my entire life I tend to take a few things for granted, the effect the altitude can have on people being one of them, and another being that Colorado is a wonderful spot for destination weddings. While the bulk of my wedding photography work is in and around Denver, with places like Estes Park, Winter Park, Vail, Aspen, Steamboat Springs for example just hours outside of town there’s a lot of people coming into the state just for a family or friends wedding. Many of these Colorado wedding destinations are much higher in elevation than Denver as well. If a guest is feeling winded scurry around DIA gather luggage they will need to pace themselves carefully if at the summit of the mountains at the Vail wedding deck. Since I had helped a few brides pull together info this season for their sea level guests I figured this would be an excellent topic for a Tips post, and besides it would save me time looking for the info next time I was asked. Now of course not wanting to re-invent the wheel when asked about what precautions to give their guests the first thing I do is hit the web and quickly found just what I was looking for. Nilufer Soucek, a Colorado Wedding Planner runs Two Doves Wedding Consulting, and has very nice and simple “High Altitude information for Guests” page on her site. I contacted Nil and she was gracious enough to allow me to reprint the document here.
Adjusting to High Altitude
Welcome to Colorado! We’re so happy you could join us as we begin our future together. We want to make sure that your stay in Colorado is as enjoyable as possible. We are currently at a higher elevation than many other parts of the U.S., which can adversely affect some people. Please keep the following in mind during your stay.
Symptoms include fatigue, decreased appetite, shortness of breath with minimal exertion, nausea, headache, and sleep disturbances. Rest and drinking water is the key to treating mild cases. If you feel ill at any time, please treat it seriously.
To avoid altitude sickness:
1. Stay Properly Hydrated: Acclimatization is often accompanied by fluid loss, so drink lots of fluids (at least 3-4 quarts per day). Please don’t wait until your thirsty to drink fluids.
2. Avoid tobacco and alcohol and other depressant drugs during acclimation.
3. Light activity during the day is better than sleeping because respiration decreases during sleep.
Sunburn: Because of the thinner atmosphere, you can sunburn easily. Be sure to protect your skin with sunscreen (at least 15 SPF) and protect your eyes with sunglasses. Proper Clothing: Be prepared for sudden weather changes. It’s best to dress in layers or bring along a jacket – just in case. Just communicate with your out of state guests before hand to pace themselves and it will help make sure your wedding day is memorable for all the amazing moments, and not because Uncle Bob passed out.