June Mountain is unlike any other ski resort wedding venue.
If you’ve been there, even on a winter ski trip, you know what I mean.
June is a throwback resort—a look at what ski resorts used to be before corporate modernization made things the way we know them today.
But that’s not a slight on the spot at all—in fact it’s why so many visitors and locals love it there. It’s quiet and unpretentious and has perhaps the best views of any site in the Eastern Sierra.
Any discussion about a June Mountain wedding starts with the process. Getting to the ceremony site is an adventure—maybe even a thrill for the non-skiers in the party.
Unlike most other ski resorts in North America, the functional base lodge (and wedding venue) is not at the bottom of the mountain. It’s at the top of an old, rickety, double chair that ascends 1,500 vertical feet in about 12 minutes and doesn’t slow down for you to get on or off.
It might sound terrifying but it’s this part of the experience that makes June Mountain weddings so cool.
Two-by-two all the guests do the aerial ascent to the lodge and file on to a pad overlooking the deep valley below. To the west is Carson Peak, rising 3000 feet above the valley floor, and the steep, waterfall-dotted Sierra Crest that gives June the moniker “The Switzerland of California.” To the north and east are incredible views of June and Gull Lakes, and Mono Lake and desolate northern Nevada beyond that.
Once all the guests are in place, the bridal party ascends and drops straight into the processional in anticipation of the bride’s triumphant entrance. It’s a unique wedding scene that you just don’t get anywhere else.
After the ceremony, most groups shuffle over to the lodge for cocktail hour on the deck before heading inside to the classic 60’s-style ski lodge cafeteria for the rest of the day’s festivities.
Here are a few of the reasons I love June Mountain weddings:
- I’ve said it before but the chair ride to the site is incredible. The 360-degree views get better the higher you go and it creates an experience that just can’t be replicated. Your guests might not remember the ride down, but they’ll never forget the ride up.
- Photos of the guests and bridal party as they ascend the chair are priceless.
- I usually shoot sunset photos there from a hill a short walk above the lodge and there’s nothing like it. We’re right on the edge of a grand precipice, looking down at the June Lake Loop and across at powerful Eastern Sierra peaks. In the spring and early summer, there are often wildflowers lining the ridge and the sunset from that high up is killer in every direction.
- The ride down! Descending that steep chair in the dark is AN EXPERIENCE. Unless the wedding happens around the full moon, your guests will be headed back down in complete darkness with an incredible view of the night sky. I’ve done this several times and it’s still a thrill for me.
Things to think about for your June Mountain wedding:
- Most of your guests are going to love the ride up, but weddings bring together a lot of people who wouldn’t normally find themselves on a chairlift like that. If you’ve got guests who are less-mobile or suffer from any degree of acrophobia or motion sickness, you’ll want to arrange a ride up the access road with the June Mountain wedding crew. They’ll take care of it.
- Unlike some other venues, June doesn’t have a built-in lodging option. Guests will have to decide to stay somewhere in June Lake or in Mammoth. Mammoth has more high-end options and is about 30 minutes south. June has several smaller, mostly older hotels and motels. The Double Eagle Resort, also another wedding venue, is the best bet for a more plush lodging experience. Any of the other local choices will give you a more authentic June experience and you’ll be glad you don’t have to hit Highway 395 in the dark after the wedding.
- The access situation, or lack of, can make setup and clean up more challenging than at other venues. I haven’t dealt with any of that directly and I know the June Mountain crew makes it as simple as they can but there’s no easy way up to the lodge.
- The reception space is really cool and totally retro, but that might not be the vibe everybody is after. If you want to class it up a bit, we’d recommend bringing in a wedding stylist like Rummage Girl or Green Fox Events. I’ve seen them both do amazing things with that space.
- Be careful importing non-local vendors to June. The logistics that go into setting up there take a lot of planning and coordination with the staff. The locals all know the drill but I’ve seen out-of-towners get completely thrown off by the process of shlepping all the gear up to the lodge.
- If most guests are staying in Mammoth, you’ll probably want to organize transportation through Mammoth All Weather Shuttle or Mammoth Mountain. Mammoth and June operate under the same umbrella so the crew there should be able to help out if you decide to go through the resort.
Keep scrolling for a gallery of June Mountain wedding photography from the last few years.