Of course you want a special venue for your wedding, somewhere imaginative and exotic. But not on a beach — that’s been done. To stand out from the crowd, turn your back on the crammed summer wedding season when nuptials come along each weekend like they are on a conveyor belt. A white winter wedding is your answer.
You can say your vows in one of the most spectacular natural settings in the world. Banff, Alb., offers weddings in any one of its three nearby ski resorts, high in one of nature’s own cathedral, Banff National Park.
You and your wedding party are taken up to special scenic locations on the slopes of the resort by chairlift or even a helicopter. There are special flat areas specially reserved for weddings, tucked away from everyday skiers, each with a breathtaking backdrop where a marriage commissioner will conduct a civil ceremony.
They can even provide a bouquet, although there is the possibility that if you throw it too enthusiastically to your bridesmaids after the ceremony it may well sail over a cliff. You can dress formally in bridal gown and suit or if you really can’t wait to hit the pistes, they’ll be happy to marry you in ski gear so you can slide down the mountain to your wedding reception.
If you don’t want to gamble on the weather, several hotels offer more traditional surroundings. Two, the Fairmont Banff Springs and the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, are exquisite and exclusive, but there are other delightful cheaper options too.
If you want to do it all DIY there are several local wedding planners that can tailor your perfect day and take away the pressure of organizing it.
Banff is a quaint and vibrant town so there is really no reason to fly off to a honeymoon – just stay on and enjoy one of the best snow resorts in the world. There are three mountains to choose from: Norquay the nearest to town, Sunshine which boasts superb powder snow and the huge expanse of Lake Louise. If all that still leaves you wanting more, British Colombia has superb heli-skiing.
If any of the wedding party doesn’t ski, there’s lots to keep them active too. Banff’s High Street offers great shopping, dining and nightlife, but there are also husky dog sled rides, health spas and snowmobiling tours.