If you want to get married in Chaffee County, consider yourself very lucky! Thanks to the Heart of the Rockies Wedding Association we have the best wedding vendors in the state! If you are planning to get married in the area, you should absolutely start your wedding planning on the HRWA website.
One of Salida's best wedding vendors: Luna Libations
I am not sure how many counties have an association like this, but it’s a HUGE asset to all of us local businesses as well as the brides and grooms getting married in the area. Here are a few reasons to love HRWA:
1. The members are LEGIT
First off, as of 2023 the association has started to require business insurance and a web presence for all members. This might seem a little nit-picky at first glance, but it’s actually a huge asset to know that the vendor you are hiring is insured. Yes, it probably seems unlikely that a catastrophic event will befall your wedding, but to me the key with these requirements is that you are hiring professionals who are committed to their business.
As someone who has run a few small businesses and worked with many more, people who take their business seriously are going to have insurance and a website. This protects them, of course, but it’s also not cheap. So, to me, having these two things means that you are truly invested in your company and you’re not likely to just bail two months before someone’s wedding, which is scarily a thing that happens sometimes! This is one of the many reasons you can trust the wedding vendors on the site.
All businesses in the HRWA are professionals committed to their business.
2. It’s a small town thing
While Chaffee County is pretty large, it feels small to those of us that live here. We all live in small towns within the county and we all love being a part of this community. So basically - we all know each other! While I am a new member, I have already found that the other vendors help me out whenever they can. What this means for you, brides and grooms, is that if sh*t hits the fan you have a whole network of people who can help you out!
Everyone in the association also seems to lean in to the concept that “a rising tide raises all ships” and we love to promote other members who are doing good work. That being said, if one of our members does something to hurt someone’s wedding experience, we all feel that as a small hit to the overall wedding vendor community in Chaffee County. So, we aren’t likely to recommend anyone we aren’t pretty darn confident in because a bad experience is bad for all of us.
Image from Ivy Bencheck, one of the many local vendors I love
3. Momentum and critical mass
Okay, I have no data to back this up but I just can feel it! The existence of the wedding association in and of itself creates more wedding vendors. Why? Well, when you are a small business just getting going, marketing is one of the biggest challenges.
Generally, a small and new business doesn’t have a ton of cash to throw at advertising and probably the person who started it has no idea how to market their product (don’t worry new owners, you will figure it out!). The wedding association has an insane ROI for new businesses – for a relatively small fee a new business is suddenly being marketed to EXACTLY the people who might need their product or service. Not only that, but they benefit from the SEO power of a content-rich site, something that would take the average small business years to build up.
This type of marketing could literally be the difference between a business making it through its first year or not, which means overall we most likely have a more diverse vendor community than other counties.
4. Better Vendors
What #3 means for YOU, engaged person, is more competition among vendors (ie better pricing, better quality) and more options. When the wedding association started there was only one rental company in town. But now we have vendors who specialize in tablescapes, light up letters, stylized mobile bars, and engraving! So, thanks to the wedding association, your dream wedding and the best wedding vendors are now just a few clicks away!