Christie and Elaina are soulmates who achieved something amazing. Not only did they commit to one another on the deepest of levels, but they brought friends and families together with incredible memories, through a Banff wedding week of Bucket List activities. And they didn’t let distance, snow or Elaina’s injured ankle get in the way!
They flew up from the States to Christie’s long-dreamed of destination, Banff. They landed in our gateway city of Calgary (1hr 15mins away) in the midst of Calgary’s Gay Pride Festival – a fitting surprise! And the joy continued as they drove into the towering Canadian Rockies mountains.
They stopped in Canmore for a hug and chat with Callandra, their Chief Wedding Planner, before their eight-day vacation took them sightseeing at Emerald Lake, canoeing on Lake Louise, meeting chipmunks at Moraine Lake, indulging in beaver-sized BeaverTails in Banff, horseback riding with the family, summiting Sulphur Mountain on a gondola, walking on Athabasca Glacier (another Bucket List item), and, of course, meeting some of the local deer.
Their ceremony was to be at Lake Minnewanka, a glacial lake named in the Nakoda language as “Water of the Spirits,” on the last day of their trip. Now, we often tell our couples to expect any weather at any time of year. True to form, a September snow blizzard descended on Banff. As the snowflakes fell larger and faster, our brave ladies headed out into the forest surrounding Lake Minnewanka for their First Look. Christie described it beautifully:
“Everything you envision about how the first look would be can’t compare to the emotions you feel the first time you see the love of your life standing in front of you. It is a rush, an energy, a breath-taking moment, sensory overload and overwhelming love! In that split second it reaffirms that feeling you have in your soul that this is the person I want to spend my days with. My soulmate!”
While the soulmates spent some treasured time together, Callandra and Krista (the managing team from Postcard Weddings) contacted everyone involved and worked with the amazing vendors to re-construct the wedding indoors. They rallied the guests and hid all the commotion from the brides, who arrived at their private room at the Rimrock Resort Hotel and were led through their ceremony by the remarkable celebrant Barbra Parker.
The reception was held at one of our favourite foodie venues, Canmore’s Sage Bistro & Wine Lounge. Their cheese and charcuterie selections are divine! If you like a tipple, they have over 250 wine labels available. We decorated Christie and Elaine’s private reception room overlooking the Three Sisters Mountains, where their parents gave heartfelt, beautiful speeches. After it all, they headed back in to Banff to stay at the famous Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.
Christie and Elaina’s Banff wedding week was the perfect example of the beauty of an intimate wedding. They enjoyed so much of this amazing area, made their lives’ biggest commitment, and bonded with their loved ones in a totally unique, unforgettable way. See more of their wedding day below, told in images by the fantastic Julie Williams Photography.
Intimate Wedding Management: Postcard Weddings & Events
Celebrant: Barbara Parker
Photographer: Julie Williams Photography
Ceremony guitarist: Andrew Ibanez
Hair: JK Hair Designs
Makeup: Canmore & Banff Makeup Artistry
Baker: Mountain Mercato
Florals: Willow Flower Co.
Rentals: Special Event Rentals
Stationary: Pink Umbrella Designs
Ceremony location: The Rimrock Resort Hotel
Reception location: Sage Bistro & Wine Lounge