Soaring snow topped peaks, clear rushing rivers, quiet alpine meadows, tumbling waterfalls, I could go on for days describing the beauty of Banff National Park, and the surrounding Rocky Mountain destinations. I have been living in the area for 15 years, and I’m still taken aback by the stunning scenery. The Rockies are an exceptionally romantic locale. The abundance of glorious nature combined with a wealth of world class resorts, unique wedding venues, modern restaurants, and a huge menu of both summer and winter activities make it an ideal place to have your destination wedding. For those of you that aren’t familiar with the area, Alberta’s Rocky Mountains can be separated into five wedding destinations; Banff, Canmore, Lake Louise, Kananaskis, and Emerald Lake. Consider this ‘Canadian Rockies Destination Wedding 101’. In part one of two I’ll explore Banff Weddings and Kananaskis Weddings.
Banff is a bustling townsite located right in the heart of a National Park. Brides and Grooms can choose from a list of fantastic venues. Just to give you a little taste, Banff boasts a huge historic hotel we locals call ‘the Castle of the Rockies’, a quaint rustic-luxe mountain retreat with an alpine meadow ceremony venue, and an art-deco resort hotel perching on the side of a mountain. If you’re looking for an outdoor ceremony Banff won’t disappoint. There are several lookouts, meadows, and lakesides that work perfectly for smaller weddings, and for larger affairs, look to some of our unique venues for exclusive use of their lookout patios. Banff is also filled with fantastic restaurants ideal for hosting a hip (and tasty) rehearsal dinner. How does a fire under the stars sound? Believe it or not, there’s a unique western style ‘donut tent’ with a hole in the roof! If you want to really treat your guests and create a weekend affair Banff can’t be beat. I could go on and on with the activity options! Some of my favorite activities include hiking in Sunshine Meadows, taking a ride up the gondola, or relaxing in one of the fabulous spa’s.
Kananaskis Weddings & Weddings in the Foothills
The next time you have a lazy night head out to the movie store and rent “Legends of the Falls”. Pay particular attention to the scenery, because the majority of this movie was filmed on location in Kananaskis (or K-country). Set right at the doorstep of the Canadian Rockies, K-country combines the best of both worlds, fantastic Rocky Mountain views and expansive big sky Alberta. Venues include yet another world class resort (the location of the G8 summit), some very authentic western ranches, and the cutest little historical chapel with the stunning rockies as a natural backdrop. Not lacking in fun Kananakis has tons of fantastic hiking, a golf course, horseback riding, white water rafting, and heli-tours! If you’re looking to really get away from it all, Kananaskis is the place to have your destination wedding.