You may not have thought of Canada for a destination wedding, but if you're looking for a wedding location with plenty of stunning scenery, crystal clear streams, lakes an incredible bright turquoise blue, with friendly locals and easy wedding legalities then consider the Canadian Rocky Mountains. They're even in a National Park they're so lovely!
The towns of Banff
are located in National Parks, and are very popular ski resorts in the winter, transforming into popular hiking destinations in the summer. They provide a great selection of places to stay, from simple B&Bs to the grand semi-gothic
Banff Springs Hotel
on the edge of Banff where many an opulent wedding has taken place. The Rocky Mountains surround these towns, providing simply incredible views of their snow capped peaks (even in summer), so you'll be spoilt for choice for beautiful wedding photo backdrops.
One place you absolutely must see if you visit here is Lake Louise
, nestled amid the mountain peaks, it is a sight to behold with its water such a bright turquoise blue that you almost can't believe it's natural. The colour comes from the glacier water running off the mountains and if you visit in the spring and summer you get the full glory of this wonder of the natural world. Holding your marriage ceremony on the banks of this lake, with the mountains behind you really does make a unique and spectacular experience.
If an outdoor wedding doesn't appeal then you could always choose to marry at
Chateau Lake Louise
, a large, sumptuous hotel overlooking the lake. It has an excellent choice of wedding venues, some with a great view of the lake below, and of course, excellent cuisine for your reception.
Alternatively, Lake Moraine
, located 14 km from Lake Louise, is another stunning wedding location. Quieter than Lake Louise, it can be cut off in winter, but the view of the lake is just amazing as you look out over the turquoise water. Weddings here are ideal if you'd like to avoid the summer crowds and focus on just the two of you.
The pretty town of Banff with its wooden, multicoloured buildings makes a great spot to stay (if you're not staying in one of the local chateaux), and it even has local hot springs – just perfect to relax in while watching the sun go down behind the mountains.
Weddings in Banff and Jasper National Parks can be as imaginative as you like – how about exchanging vows on horseback as you ride to a secluded lake, or tying the knot beside a fast moving river just before white water rafting down it to your reception? In summer hike the peaks and meet your celebrant at a beautiful spot overlooking a magnificent valley, or perhaps choose a cosy cabin in which to marry and shut the world out.
Winter is an equally beautiful time to marry in the Canadian Rockies, just imagine the lakes covered in ice and deep snow, with enough snow cleared to make an ice skating rink. Chateau Lake Louise creates a winter palace made of ice on the lake in winter which you can skate to, and horse drawn sleighs pull visitors (and bridal couples) around the lake.
Further north, Jasper boasts the Columbia icefield which feeds eight major glaciers. This area is ideal if you'd like to marry on top of a mountain before skiing down to your reception, or how about taking a dog sled to your wedding location, all bundled up in (fake) furs to keep the cold away?
As you can see, the Canadian Rockies are full of amazing scenery and activities which are perfect for outdoorsy couples searching for a really different location in which to get married. Winter or summer, you can't go far wrong with choosing to marry here, and the marriage legalities are easy too, which makes it even better!
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