Getting Married at Bridger Bowl!

I think the Bridger Bowl venue brings in some of the coolest couples! It always has a locals vibe up in the Bridger’s with tons of wonderful ‘laid back’ vibes! It also gives people the most beautiful mountain views without having to hike for it! This place is for the couples wanting to DIY a lot of their wedding decor and have a lot of family and friends pitch in! I have loved photographing at Bridger Bowl, I think it’s also a more affordable option in the valley, but I do have a few notes about how to really make sure that you have the best day ever! 

About Bridger Bowl

Bridger Bowl offers an ideal setting for weddings, not to mention it’s in one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in Montana. It offers seating for 200 guests, and there are full catering services available if you choose to go that route! You will say “I do” at Deer Park Chalet, which is mid- mountain! I’m drooling just thinking about this. Y’all… I cannot explain these views to you, but it is GORGEOUS. There’s also a 3,100 sq.ft. deck which has seating for 200 guests and is perfect for an outdoor ceremony or summer dinner from mid-June to September. They also just installed some new cell phone towers so you will have cell service the whole time! Woo! (But that doesn’t mean I’m telling you to use those phones during the ceremony…haha no no!)

Where is Bridger Bowl?

Bridger Bowl is located 16 miles north of Bozeman, Montana on State Highway 86 (MT-86).

  • Driving Time From Bozeman Downtown: 16 miles
  • Driving Time From Livingston: 64 miles
  • Driving Time From Yellowstone National Park: 90 miles 

Closest Major Airports:

  • Bozeman Airport: 35 minutes
  • Billings Airport: 2 hours 35 minutes

How to Drive to Bridger Bowl

  1. From I-90 take exit 306 onto N 7th Avenue (0.2 miles)
  2. a. From I-90 E: Turn left onto N 7th Avenue (0.3 miles)b. From I-90 W: Turn right onto N 7th Avenue (0.3 miles)
  3. Turn right onto W Griffin Dr (0.7 miles)
  4. Turn left onto MT-86 N/Bridger Canyon Drive (14.3 miles)
  5. Turn left at Bridger Bowl Sign
  6. You’re there!

Planning Your Bridger Bowl Wedding

I have been super lucky to photograph at Bridger Bowl, and I want to share some things that I think that would be helpful advice from past events I’ve worked at. 

Top Venue Features

  • Great views of Bridger Mountains
  • Laid back vibe 
  • Ski bench seating outside for ceremony 
  • Catered Meal by the Bridger Bowl Staff
  • Ski lift to sit on for pictures

Getting Ready at Bridger Bowl 

This is an amazing location for the views and vibe of your wedding, but it is lacking in the spaces they offer you to get ready in. They don’t even have a full-length mirror. We have to remember that this is more of a ski hill rather than a wedding venue. So, they have two spaces where you both can get ready, one up in the loft that is open to your reception space, or a room full of windows off the dance floor. If you really love detail shots and getting ready photos with tons of light, I want to make sure that you get that!

I would highly suggest getting ready at the Airbnb’s below that I’ve linked. At these locations, everyone can sprawl out with all their stuff, and not have to worry about where to put your things once guests show up. No one wants to overhear all the wedding planning and event coordinating, or have bad lighting upstairs while you’re trying to get pictures with your bridesmaids! So, take a look at these other options, and then you can Uber or catch a ride to the venue!

Garibaldi Lodge

Bridger Haus Ski Chalet at Bridger Bowl

Bridger Bowl Luxury Ski Hideaway

Bridger Pines

Bridger Bowl Ski Chalet

Also, Legends Barber Company offers their space up on the weekends to anyone needing the space, so you can get dressed, have a beer, and get your edges cleaned up the morning of the wedding!

But remember, if you hire an amazing photographer they will make your space look magical and super photogenic no matter where you are or no matter the lighting, so if you choose to get ready at Bridger, they will still be great pictures!

Transportation to Bridger Bowl 

The parking lot at the Deer Park Chalet can fit around 30 cars. By the time you get all wedding party, vendors, and employees up to Bridger it can get crowded! It’s also an “off road” drive up with crazy turns so even after one glass of wine I would have a DD for the night. And please encourage your guests to have a night off from driving! Everyone wants to enjoy themselves and not worry about getting home! They can also board a shuttle closest to the hotel they’re staying at. I had a couple even put together little goody bags for all of their guests that a friend handed out while everyone was getting on the bus with snacks, water, and fun party favors! 

For example, this was a previous couple of mine’s bus schedule for a 4:00pm wedding with ceremony music starting at 3:30pm:

2:30-2:45 Shuttles will pick up from both the Kimpton Armory and Hampton Inn

3:30 Shuttles begin arriving at the venue

4:00 Ceremony

8:30 Early shuttle heads to both hotels for early drop off – if needed

10:00-10:15 Shuttles will start shuttling people back to the Hampton Inn and downtown. Both buses will have a stop downtown but only one will stop at the Hampton Inn. Even if you aren’t staying at these hotels, or downtown I would still take the shuttle back and then uber to wherever you are!

First Student Bus Rental 

If you have guests that want to drive to the venue, here is a little blurb to put on your website to let them know what to expect…. “The venue is NOT at the base of the mountain with the two big lodges, bar, and equipment shops. The venue is mid mountain, so just keep driving up the road past the base. The road will lead you to the venue and there will be plenty of parking. Remember, you can’t leave your car after the wedding because the mountain is closed on Sundays.”

What to tell your guests to expect on your wedding website:

It’s crazy when you’re planning a wedding and you have to tell everyone all these little details and all this information about traveling, but I promise if you take the time to answer questions on your wedding website, and you start getting all those texts about “what do I wearrrrrr?” you can just send a link of you website so you don’t have to type it all out each time!

A great note to put on the wedding website for Bridger Bowl is that stiletto heels/any heels are strongly discouraged due to the grated surface of the patio. People will hit the dirt in crazy platforms and stilettos! I have written a blog about how to help your guests know what to wear so check this out as well! 

I have also had couples in the past put together a Pinterest board to help them decide what to wear, and of course you can steal it for your own website!

A Note About Elevation: The wedding venue is at an elevation of approximately 6,700 feet. For those who are not used to being at elevation, you might feel a little light headed or have a head ache. The simplest way to avoid this feeling is to stay hydrated leading up to the wedding. Alcohol can also hit a little harder at elevation. Two glasses of wine can feel like four pretty quickly. So, just take it easy and mix in a water or two. Drink loads of water all day before heading to the ceremony so you’re good to go for the night!

Reception at Bridger Bowl 

Bridger Bowl has set up their weddings the same almost every time I have been there, but that doesn’t always mean it’s the best. With 200 guests it gets TIGHT. They always put the couple up in the corner where their backs will be facing the mountains and the ceremony spot, then they put family there as well. Bridger Bowl offers a buffet style for dinner which means everyone has to get up and down multiple times in very cramped quarters. As a photographer, there have even been times where I physically cannot find a hole in the floor to stand when toasts happen. I suggest having your head table on the small pony wall where the water and lemonade station is. Then have family in that section right in front of you. This will give them more wiggle room and you now have an easier exit to use the bathroom. Put all your young and spry friends in that corner off to the side which then allows your DJ see you and everyone that is giving a toast a lot easier so they can give you the best sound quality. 

Wedding Planner for your Bridger Bowl

I have had a few friends and clients get married at Bridger Bowl and the advice they get from the staff is “Don’t waste your money on a coordinator.” I think the staff is SO stinking helpful and fun on the wedding day by getting everyone drinks and having an amazing meal ready on time. But they are not helping the couple actually move things along or decorate or coordinating anything else (which they shouldn’t have to, that’s not in their job title) but I think having a day of coordinator is a huge help the day of your wedding at Bridger Bowl. Let me break down why! 

  1. Logistics: All your vendors will be driving up to Bridger needing to know where to park, where to set up with very little phone service. So, while you are getting ready you won’t have to direct traffic of everyone or answer 10 phone calls. Give your guests the coordinators number or have everything planned out so that you don’t have to be directing traffic. 
  2. Help at the rehearsal dinner! Bridger Bowl has two sets of doors you can walk down the aisle, and both of them definitely need cues to be given to the DJ and to your bridal party on when to go, because it’s a long walk to the alter. Also, if you choose to walk down the sun deck the DJ cannot see you at all. In both of these cases, it will be helpful having someone give you those cues and let the DJ know as well!
  3. It’s a large property! A coordinator will do all the leg work walking back and forth all day over this large property getting things you need or helping guests. 
  4. Bridger does have a pretty prompt end of night cut off. So, if you need any help loading things into cars and getting them to your Honeymoon suite or hotel they will take care of this so you can jump on the party bus with your friends and head downtown! 

If you decide not to have a day of coordinator, maybe give out and divvy up these jobs to some guests and family that you know and trust to take the stress out of your wedding day. 

The Best Time of Year to Get Married at Bridger Bowl 

They only offer weddings from mid-June to September which is a super small window! June probably won’t have much green grass on the hill, but it is so nice to have a hot summer day, and then a cool summer night for dancing. July is about the same as June, other than we might have fires going on so the smoke might be thicker than you want for the views and pictures. BUT the best part about being so close to the mountains is that it is going to take some pretty crazy smoke to cover them up. September is gorgeous up in the Bridger’s and would be my personal choice! You will want to encourage guests to bring a jacket for the afternoon as it gets a little chilly at night. If you get into late September you might even get a little snow on the mountain!!

When you tour Bridger Bowl, they tell you when the sun will go behind the Bridger’s on your wedding day. I would suggest having all of your pictures done before that time because it is so crazy how much colder and darker it gets as the night goes on! Work with your photographer to set up the perfect timeline for that. If my couples are game for it, I normally take them down the entire canyon road to where the Bridger Bowl sign is for more “sunset” pictures while the sun sets over the ridge and after the ceremony. It takes about 10 minutes to drive both ways so keep that in mind! 

Where to Stay Near Bridger Bowl

I know that when you plan a wedding you are all of a sudden supposed to become a trip planner as well for your guests, so please feel free to copy and paste this list onto your wedding website for all of your guests! These are options for you or your guests to stay if they don’t want a hotel room.


Hard Scrabble Ranch

Bridger Bowl Luxury Ski Hideaway

Bridger Haus Ski Chalet

Chalet in Bozeman

Hotels, Lodges, & Resorts

AC Hotel

The Lark

RSVP Hotel

Lewis and Clark Motel


Middle Cottonwood Farm

Battle Ridge Campground

Bridger Foothills Camp

Battle Ridge Cabin

Additionally, anyone with an RV can park their RV at the base of Bridger near the Jim Bridger Lodge for the wedding weekend (Fri-Sun). If you are planning on doing this, please have a ride planned to make it to the venue itself. The venue is 1.5 miles up a forest service road from the Jim Bridger Lodge, so an additional car is advised. There is no RV parking at the venue. 

My Favorite Bozeman Wedding Vendors:

I love sharing my all-time favorite vendors with you because I have worked so many events with them, and seen time and time again how well they work in crazy situations. 


Rental Companies






Bozeman Wedding Photographer:

Well… I clearly love it here if I am writing a whole blog to try to get you to tie the knot here! But who am I??? I am Leanna Krenik, and I am the proud owner of Leanna Joy Photography! The images in this blog are pictures I took of a wedding at Bridger Bowl in June of 2023! I am based in the mountains of Bozeman, but I love taking this one woman show on the road! My photography style is best described as bright and colorful and full of my client’s personality! When I’m shooting, I am a full-time photographer and part time hype woman. I am happy to crack jokes the whole time, help you pose, and pump you up! Feel free to check out my website to learn more about me and look through some of my work!

I know you have a million options and ideas running through your head right now. I highly suggest taking a deep breath, a swig of your wine, and then contacting Bridger Bowl to see if they are the best fit for you! I always think that walking through the property is the best way to see if you can envision yourself saying “I do” here. I suggest making a date out of everything you do when it comes to wedding planning! Make it fun! So, go see the venue, then head to Pizza Campina or Seven Sushi for dinner and talk about it together! And as always, if you have any questions please never hesitate to email me at YOU GOT THIS!

Fun Activities to Plan for Your Bridger Bowl Wedding

Please feel free to just copy and paste this list on your wedding website so your guests can plan their own Montana trip if they decide to arrive earlier or stay later and make a trip out of it!


Bridger Brewing

MAP Brewing Company

Mountains Walking


Café Fresco


Montana Ale Works

Hooked Sushi


Café M 

Feed Café 

Rise and Shine

Western Café

Main Street Over Easy


If you’re looking for outdoor activities, some easier hikes to do with close proximity to town are the M Trail or Drinking Horse. One of our favorite hikes is Lava Lake (moderate), on the way to Big Sky. Other trails ranging in difficulty can be found on the AllTrails app. Just don’t forget the bear spray (this cannot be flown with but can be rented from various outfitters around town or you can buy it at most stores.)

For a slightly longer day trip, we recommend checking out Hyalite. The reservoir has a nice picnic area and hike around the reservoir and there is a waterfall just south of the reservoir, Palisade falls.

Bozeman is a 2-hour drive from both the North and the West entrances to Yellowstone National Park. The trip can easily be accomplished in a day trip.


We know not everyone is interested in hiking or going to the national parks. Here are some activities that are less outdoor oriented:

Hot Springs: We have several hot springs in the area, some of our favorites are Norris Hot Springs (on the way to Ennis, MT) and Bozeman Hot Springs.

Museums: Museum of the Rockies

Similar Venues You Might Enjoy

The Woodlands

Firelight Farm

Big Sky Resort

I hope this helps you plan and get excited for your wedding day! Please, please, PLEASE feel free to copy and paste any of this information on your wedding website if you are having a wedding in Bozeman and especially if you do decide to go with Bridger Bowl! Happy planning 🙂

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