The Ultimate Banff Wedding Guide

Congratulations on your engagement! We are so excited for you and your future spouse. As you begin to plan your Banff wedding or elopement, there is some important information for you to know. Luckily, we’ve been living and working in the mountains for years, and we know all of the tips and tricks to planning the Banff wedding of your dreams. Read on for our ultimate Banff wedding guide!

Planning Your Wedding or Elopement in Banff

The first step to planning a wedding and getting married in Banff is deciding if you want to elope in Banff or get married at a venue. If you decide you want to tie the knot at a venue, we highly recommend hiring a local Banff wedding planner. The next step is to book your Banff wedding photographer. If you’re not sure where in Banff you’d like to get married, your planner and your Banff wedding photographer will be more than happy to send you sample galleries of some of the best Banff ceremony and elopement spots.

Best Local Wedding Vendors in the Canadian Rockies

We are so proud to be part of a local network of amazing like-minded wedding vendors. We would love to connect you to all the best wedding vendors in the Canadian Rockies. We have worked with and vetted many local vendors to ensure that you receive nothing but the best of service on your big day. Like you, each vendor we work with has a passion for the mountains and for being a part of amazing wedding experiences. What are you waiting for? An elevated Banff mountain wedding experience is waiting.

How to Get Married in Banff National Park

The world-class scenery of Banff National Park makes it an outstanding location for your wedding ceremony. However, when you’re within the national park boundaries there are special conditions associated with having a wedding ceremony. You or your Banff wedding planner must complete a registration form to ensure your awareness of these special conditions.

You must limit the number of participants attending an elopement or outdoor standing ceremony to a maximum of 20 people. You also cannot reserve or get exclusive use of a designated area for your ceremony.

If you plan to have more guests and want to reserve a designated area, you must book one of these 3 sites in the Town of Banff:

  • Tunnel Mountain Reservoir: A stunning view of Mount Rundle is the backdrop to this popular wedding ceremony location. Bordering the national park, this unserviced area offers more of a wilderness experience and is suitable for smaller ceremonies. The stupendous views make up for no power or shelter and limited parking. Capacity is 150 guests.
  • Central Park Gazebo: Located alongside the Bow River, Central Park Gazebo is situated centrally in downtown Banff and is a picturesque venue for outdoor ceremonies. Capacity is 200.
  • The Fenlands Meadow: Surrounded by forest and fenland, The Fenlands Meadow offers a secluded ceremony nook, with ample parking for guests. Perfect for an intimate outdoor ceremony—just a few steps from the Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre. An indoor weather alternative can be provided to you at extra cost. Capacity is 300.

How to Legally Get Married in Banff

To make your marriage legal, you will need to apply for a marriage license within 3 months of your wedding date. You can pick up your marriage license from the Banff Registry office upon your arrival in Banff. You will be required to show a valid, government licensed photo identification. We recommend going 1 or 2 days before your actual wedding date to ensure you have the proper documentation.

On the day of your elopement or wedding, you will need to bring the marriage license with you and provide it to your wedding officiant. 

A person must be legally authorized by Vital Statistics to perform a marriage in Alberta.

There are two options in the province of Alberta: Marriage Commissioner or Religious Clergy. You will need to decide if you want to have a religious or a civil ceremony.

We can recommend some our favourite Banff officiants we have worked with, but if they are booked, you can also look for a wedding officiant here.

As Banff wedding photographers, we would love to offer our insight into officiants we have worked with and loved!

The Best Banff Wedding Venues

There are tons of gorgeous Banff wedding venues to choose from. Need some inspiration? Here are a few of our faves:

Sky Bistro/Banff Gondola Wedding

Nestled at the top of Sulphur Mountain in Banff, the Banff Gondola is an incredible spot for an intimate wedding with amazing views and service. Who wouldn’t want to have their ceremony out on the observation deck, surrounded by blue skies and endless mountain peaks? For a reception with jaw-dropping views, look no further than the gondola’s Sky Bistro. With floor-to-ceiling windows, enjoy a panorama of Banff’s iconic mountain ranges as you dine and dance with your new spouse and all of your loved ones. 

Rimrock Hotel

For some of the best wedding views in Banff, look no further than the Rimrock Resort. The space is elegant and modern, with your choice of gorgeous outdoor balconies and terraces for the ceremony, as well as ballrooms and restaurants for a reception. The resort offers incredible food and wine pairings, discounts on room blocks for your guests, and complimentary access to the hotel and hotel grounds during your big day. You can also choose to have an intimate first-look in the romantic forest on hotel grounds.

Buffalo Mountain Lodge

For the perfect rustic-chic wedding venue, check out the stunning Buffalo Mountain Lodge. The hand-hewn timber lodge sits on top of Tunnel Mountain, overlooking the town of Banff. The lodge has an impressive stone fireplace and beautiful open beam ceilings, as well as panoramic balconies. Exchange vows in the gorgeous Tunnel Mountain Reservoir next door, or at one of your favourite outdoor locations and Buffalo Mountain Lodge will cater to all of your reception and after-party needs.

Fairmont Banff Springs

Rising up out of the trees, this “Castle in the Mountains” is straight out of a fairytale. The historic and luxurious Fairmont Banff Springs is the perfect venue for everything from big ballroom weddings to intimate elopements. Dance the night away in the same ballroom that once hosted Marilyn Monroe and Fred Astaire, or say your vows during a cozy gathering out on the Garden Terrace. This is the perfect venue if you’re after sophisticated and romantic wedding vibes.

Mt. Norquay

Situated just 10 minutes outside Banff’s downtown, Mt. Norquay is one of our favourite Rocky Mountain wedding venues for stunning alpine ambiance. In the summer, hold your ceremony on the spectacular Lone Pine Lawn or on one of the resort’s large outdoor patios. Party with all of your loved ones in the picturesque timber-frame Cascade Lodge during your truly spectacular celebration. The resort offers catering, alcohol, and even transportation back into town after a long night of festivities.

Where to Get Married in Banff National Park

Lake Louise

One of the most popular Banff wedding venues, Lake Louise is the perfect spot for a glamorous wedding with a dash of adventure. Situated next to the iconic turquoise lake and with a backdrop of glittering glaciers, the Chateau Lake Louise offers a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces for all seasons and all wedding sizes.

Lake Louise is a great Banff elopement venue as well. You can hold an intimate and unforgettable elopement ceremony next to the lake, without the cost of booking a big venue like the Fairmont. 

Moraine Lake

Even if you’ve never been to Banff before, chances are you’re already familiar with this gorgeous lake. Beloved by tourists and locals alike, Moraine Lake is a perfect Rocky Mountain elopement location. Head to the lake early in the day or later in the evening to exchange vows in an intimate ceremony next to one of Canada’s most beautiful lakes. You’ll have a beautiful backdrop of endless mountain peaks and water so blue it seems hardly real. Moraine Lake is only open between the months of May to October, so be sure to plan your elopement for when the road is open.

Lake Minnewanka

Another gorgeous Banff elopement location is Lake Minnewanka, just outside of the town of Banff. The lakeshore has plenty of cozy nooks and crannies for your ceremony, with stunning mountain scenery and sparkling blue waters. In the winter, methane bubbles freeze, creating beautiful bubbles in the ice. Lake Minnewanka is a perfect Banff elopement location for any season. 

Hiking, Camping, and Adventuring

Banff National Park is one of Canada’s largest national parks. That means that there are endless beautiful Banff wedding venues to choose from, both indoors and outdoors. Couples love getting married in Banff because there are endless opportunities to have the mountain wedding of your dreams.

We know you have a love for adventure. You wouldn’t be getting married in Banff if you didn’t! You can book one of our Banff heli-elopement packages if you want your wedding to be a true mountaintop experience, or you can opt for a rustic hiking elopement. Like you, we love to adventure all over Banff, and we’ve shot weddings all over the park. Trust your Banff wedding photographer to lead the way to the most epic Banff wedding venues and Banff elopement venues that the park has to offer.

The Best Time of Year to Get Married in Banff

Every season is unique in the Rockies and there is really no “best time” to get married. The seasons are all beautiful in their own ways and come with their own lists of benefits. Want to know more? Check out this handy guide to the best time of year to get married in Banff.

Choosing to get married in Banff means you and your new spouse will start your life of adventure in one of the most beautiful places in the world. We’ve added the most important details here, but if you still have questions, feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns.

With love,

Your local Banff wedding photographer

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