Elope in Banff
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Eloping can be the most beautiful way to celebrate your nuptials because you are able to concentrate solely on one another and build your day exactly how you have dreamt it. This singular focus on your partner without the stress of a typical wedding can be an incredible, unforgettable experience. The decision to elope in Banff means incorporating its beautiful glacier-fed lakes and rugged peaks into your special day.
Can you get married in Banff National Park?
A micro wedding is typically a wedding with fewer than 50 guests. This event is like a traditional wedding day, just scaled back. It is smaller, more affordable, and usually requires less planning. Despite these differences, micro weddings still often include things like cake cutting, a first dance and a bouquet toss. Micro weddings are not a new phenomenon; they’ve been gaining momentum in Europe for years and are now growing in popularity in North America.
Where can I elope in Banff?
The options are endless. Many couples choose a picturesque backdrop such as Moraine Lake or Lake Louise, both world-famous views. These two lakes can get busy and may not be what you are envisioning when you picture a serene and intimate ceremony location. Fear not! There are infinite possibilities throughout the park, including the opportunity to hike up a mountain for a backdrop seldom (or possibly never) seen in couples’ photos. If you are working with a local officiant or photographer such as myself, we can suggest locations off the beaten path. Many of us spend years exploring the trails in Banff and have intimate knowledge of some incredible, accessible vantage points.
What is best time of year to elope in Banff?
The park can look vastly different across the four seasons. In the fall, the mountains are ablaze with the beautiful golden larches. Winter is stunning with the snow-capped mountains, which seem to be more impressive during these months. Spring and summer are typically best to maximize time spent outdoors and opportunities for adventures like hikes. Spring and summer are also when our waters become that startling glacier blue. An important consideration when choosing what time of year to elope in Banff is determining what other activities you’d like to do while visiting the park. I will address some of those below!
How much does it cost to get married in Banff?
One of the benefits of eloping is the lower costs compared to a traditional wedding day. While traditional wedding days may cost tens of thousands of dollars, a Banff elopement will typically be a fraction of that. Expenses will include your accommodations, marriage licence, officiant, and photographer.
Are there any other locations outside of Banff National Park where I can elope?
The Canadian Rocky Mountains include some beautiful areas outside Banff National Park. Adjacent to Banff is the town of Canmore with some incredible views like the Three Sisters mountains or the Ha Ling Peak behind Quarry Lake. As you head up the Smith Dorrien Trail away from Canmore, you will see beautiful backdrops such as Goat Pond and Spray Lakes. If you venture even further, you will end up in Kananaskis country. In my opinion, Kananaskis is as beautiful as Banff; it just lacks some of the shops, restaurants and amenities that attract tourists. Kananaskis is full of beautiful and secluded hikes for those wishing to trek to a more isolated and epic viewpoint. Another option is Waterton Lakes National Park, approximately three hours south of Calgary. Waterton offers waterfalls, lakes and colourful mountains concentrated in a relatively small area. If you are a fan of rugged terrain but want something different than from Rocky Mountains, you may want to consider an elopement in the Badlands of Drumheller surrounded by dinosaurs.
How do I plan an elopement?
The beauty of planning an elopement is that you can do it however you like! There are no rules or expectations; you can build your day around exactly what you like to do together. Without the structure of a typical wedding you will have far fewer obligations and a lot more time to enjoy the moments with your partner. From a photography perspective, what makes elopements so photogenic is the fact that you can structure the day’s schedule around light. Your photographer will likely give guidance on when the best light will be available, and this is typically at sunrise or sunset. An elopement offers the chance to bask in the best light of the day in an incredible setting on one of the biggest days of your life.
What else can we do in Banff while we are there?
Whether you are coming to Banff to elope from within the province or from the other side of the world, you’ll probably want to take in some of what Banff has to offer. These activities are largely dependent on the season. During the winter, you can go ‘Wild Skating’ on one of Banff’s frozen lakes, go dogsledding, or ski on some of the most impressive mountains in Canada. In summer, there’s mountain biking, horseback riding and paddling on the waterways of the park. A great resource for Banff activities is the Things To Do in Banff site. My favourite activity in the park is hiking. The opportunities are endless but here are some of the more noteworthy hikes.