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How to plan a Banff Elopement

Top tips for planning your elopement in Banff National Park

Planning a Banff elopement can be a magical experience. The stunning landscapes and natural beauty of Banff National Park provide a breathtaking backdrop for an intimate and romantic ceremony. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you plan your Banff elopement:

  1. Set Your Date: Choose a date that works for you and your partner. Keep in mind that Banff experiences different seasons, each offering a unique atmosphere. Spring, summer, and early fall are popular due to milder weather and vibrant scenery.
  2. Legal Requirements: Research the legal requirements for getting married in Banff, Canada. This might include obtaining a marriage license and fulfilling any necessary paperwork.
  3. Budget: Determine your budget. Elopements can range in cost depending on factors such as accommodations, travel, photography, attire, and any other special arrangements.
  4. Guest List: Decide if you’ll have any guests. Elopements are typically very intimate affairs, often limited to just the couple and a small number of close friends or family members.
  5. Choose Your Location: Banff offers numerous picturesque locations for your elopement. Some popular options include Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Bow Lake, Vermilion Lakes, and the Banff Springs Hotel. Consider the scenery, accessibility, and permits required for the location you choose.
  6. Vendor Selection: I can assist with recommendations if required. 

    • Photographer: Choose a photographer who specializes in outdoor and natural settings. They’ll capture the beauty of the surroundings and your emotions. I would love to discuss all your ideas and help plan your dream elopement. 
    • Officiant: Find an officiant who can perform a personalized and meaningful ceremony.
    • Florist: If you’d like florals, get a local florist to create a bouquet and any additional floral arrangements you’d like. I can help support with local florists, to ensure you get your dream bouquet. 
    • Hair and Makeup: Another option if you prefer, hire professionals to help you look your best on your special day. We can help book appointments for you ready for your day.
  7. Travel and Accommodation: Arrange travel and accommodation for you and your guests, if applicable. Banff has a range of lodging options, from luxury resorts to cozy cabins. There’s something for everyone. 
  8. Attire: Choose your elopement attire based on the season and the setting. Keep in mind the weather and any physical activities you might want to do during the day. Shoes in particular are an important consideration. 
  9. Plan the Day’s Itinerary: Create a rough schedule for the elopement day, including the ceremony time, photography sessions, any activities, and meals.
  10. Permits and Permissions: If your chosen location requires permits or permissions, make sure to obtain them in advance. We can support you with knowing what permits you will require for your ceremony and we have all required permits to photograph within Banff National Park and surrounding areas. Please be aware that all photographers photographing an elopement in Banff must have a permit to shoot in Banff National Park. 
  11. Personal Touches: Consider incorporating personal touches into your elopement. Write your vows, select meaningful music, and plan any rituals or readings that are important to you.
  12. Backup Plan: Outdoor ceremonies can be affected by weather. Have a backup plan in case of rain or other adverse conditions. Umbrellas are great. We recommend embracing the weather unless the conditions are severe. 
  13. Capture Memories: Besides professional photography, consider setting up a camera on a tripod to capture candid moments or even consider hiring a videographer.
  14. Celebrate Afterwards: After the ceremony, celebrate in a way that’s meaningful to you. This could be a private dinner, a picnic, or even a small reception.
  15. Announcements: Share the news with your friends and family, and consider sending out announcements or photos after the elopement. Sneak peeks are available within a maximum of 48 hours from your elopement so you’ll have beautiful photos to share.

Remember, an elopement is all about celebrating your love in a way that feels right for you. Take your time planning and enjoy the process of creating a memorable and meaningful experience, we can assist with all your planning needs and questions.

For more tips and support with your Banff Elopement fill out my contact form to chat. 

I’d love to show you all the best places in the beautiful Canadian Rocky Mountains and capture your incredible elopement. 

Moraine lake engagement / proposal photoshoot | Lauren Hollamby Photography

5 of the most Instagrammable photo spots

  1.  Moraine Lake – a beautiful glacier-fed lake, maybe slightly less well known than Lake Louise just down the road, is one of the most beautiful spots for all your Instagram-worthy photos. No longer accessible by car, you need to book a spot on one of the buses. Top tip: book early to avoid disappointment. This is a real Instagram favourite. The sunrise bus is highly recommended!
  2. Lake Louise – One of, if not the most famous lake in Canada. Home to the Fairmont Lake Louise, this stunning turquoise-blue glacier-fed lake is a must-visit on everyone’s list. The Victoria Glacier sits behind the lake. 
  3. Sulphur Mountain – Take the fabulous Banff Gondola up to the top of Sulphur Mountain. Offering fantastic views of the surrounding Mountains & of the town of Banff below. 
  4. Icefield’s Parkway – spanning from Jasper to Banff National Parks, this is one of the most scenic drives in the world. Full of incredible places to stop along the way, an absolute must do if you have the time. 
  5. Bow Lake – this picturesque lake is along Icefield’s Parkway, visible from the highway, but for the best views of the lake, stop off at the car park and take a short walk down to the shoreline. Bow Lake is easily accessible and offers great reflections of the surrounding mountains.

People also ask

  1. How much does it cost to elope in Banff National Park? It really varies depending on how you envisage your day. It is possible to elope with just the fees for your marriage licence, officiant & photographer. Or you can include hair, makeup, florals. You can elope in an easily accessible location, or you can hike or get a helicopter. Prices start from around $6000 CAD + GST. 
  2.  How do you elope in Banff, Canada? To have a legal ceremony you need to obtain a marriage license within 3 months of your elopement and a permit for national park. You will also need a registered officiant to conduct the ceremony and two witnesses. Most importantly of course you need an amazing photographer. I’m also happy to act as one of your two witnesses. 
  3. What do you need to get married in Banff? For a legal marriage you will need a marriage license, these are valid for 3 months and must be obtained in Alberta. You will require photo identification to get your marriage license. You also need a registered officiant or clergy person to conduct the ceremony & two witnesses. 
  4. Can foreigners get married in Banff, Alberta? Yes, there are no residency or citizenship requirements to get married in Banff. Great news as it means everyone can enjoy the option of eloping in this stunning part of the world. 

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