If you’ve been dreaming of an outdoor Rocky Mountain wedding, Banff National Park has plenty of stunning venues to help make your special day picture-perfect. As one of the best spots to capture the full, rugged beauty of the Canadian wilderness, Banff, Canmore, Lake Louise and Moraine Lake treat eloping couples and their guests to unparalleled views and an incredible backdrop all year round.

At Elope in Banff, there’s nothing we love more than helping you celebrate your new chapter together with intimate elopement packages that put your love story at the forefront of your special day without all the stress and planning associated with a large ceremony. 

Whether you’re looking to escape to the mountains and say “I do!” with just the two of you or are looking to bring some of your closest friends and family members along, below, we’ll explore some of the top things to keep in mind when choosing an outdoor ceremony venue. 

Choosing the Perfect Location

Choosing the right location is a key part of planning for any wedding, and despite being smaller in size, elopements are no exception! Outdoor ceremonies offer a unique experience on your wedding day, allowing you to bask in the natural beauty of the great outdoors while exchanging vows and starting a new chapter in life together. 

Banff National Park and the Bow Valley Region offer countless incredible locations for outside nuptials, regardless of the season (more on seasonality in a moment). From the Silvertip Resort in Canmore to multiple areas within Banff and, of course, the infamous Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, it’s easy to find a spot that you connect with and that serves as the perfect venue for your special day!

Guest Needs

When selecting your perfect outdoor venue, it’s important for couples that plan on inviting a small group of guests (Elope in Banff services wedding parties of 10-20 guests, as well as true elopement-style ceremonies with just the eloping couple) to consider the needs of those attending carefully. 

Due to the nature of outdoor terrain, especially in the Rockies, outdoor ceremonies may not be the best fit for wedding parties with significant mobility concerns or with guests that are particularly sensitive to certain weather conditions (more on that below). While there are sites that are easier to access, variables like parking and being safely able to navigate to the venue, as well as standing for the duration of your ceremony, should all be considered. 

This does not mean that you can’t have an outdoor wedding with guests (not by any means!), but it does mean that couples will need to think ahead to help guests overcome any challenges that they may face.

Seasonality/Weather Preparedness

Alberta’s Rocky Mountains are stunning all year round, making outdoor weddings a great choice regardless of what date you have in mind. With that being said, it’s important to remember that Banff experiences distinct seasonal shifts that bring different weather and environmental variables to be aware of. 

Spring, summer, fall, and winter all have their distinct charm- from a lush green landscape during the warmer months to breathtaking explosions of red and gold during the fall, and twinkling snowcapped peaks in the winter. When selecting your date, consider what backdrop you want for your special day, as well as what kinds of temperatures and related necessities you may face. 

Summer, for example, can get extremely hot, making sunscreen and water a must for eloping couples and their guests. Winter, on the other hand, can be extremely cold (in the event of extreme temperatures, your ceremony may even need to be moved indoors), making it crucial for couples and their guests to be able to dress warmly during the ceremony and between photos. 

It’s also important to keep in mind that weather changes on a dime in the Rockies regardless of the season, so having a small “go bag” with a few essentials is a great way to stay prepared in case Mother Nature decides to put on a show!

Park Regulations

One of the most common questions we get in regard to outdoor ceremonies is what is and isn’t allowed for outdoor weddings. When getting married in Banff National Park, it is crucial to remember that your venue is a protected area that is home to countless vulnerable species. To protect the local flora and fauna, the government has staunch rules about what is and isn’t permitted. In most cases, supplementary items and decor like chairs, confetti, and other pieces are prohibited from being brought to your ceremony site. Learn more in our FAQs.

Back-Up Indoor Venue

Finally, as we mentioned above, weather in the Rockies can be unpredictable no matter the season. Rain, snow, and unusually warm temperatures can occur at any time of year, and for the comfort and safety of your wedding party, having a backup indoor venue brings peace of mind on one of the most important days of your life.  Thankfully, for couples bringing guests, Elope in Banff secures a backup indoor location to ensure that, rain, snow, or shine, your special day can proceed as planned!

If you’re looking to elope in Banff National Park, our team is here to help you plan the intimate wedding of your dreams. With countless ceremonies and decades of experience behind us, Elope in Banff is here to help you celebrate with peace of mind and plenty of Rocky Mountain romance. 

Contact us today to learn more!