Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work at some of the best wedding venues in Banff, Calgary and the Canadian Rockies. From the East Village to the Rocky Mountains, here are a few of my favourites.
Located in the heart of Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the world famous Fairmont Banff Springs hotel stands as a landmark in the picturesque alpine town of Banff, Alberta. Understandably, Canada's "Castle in the Rockies" has been one of the best Banff wedding venues for more than 130 years.
The Banff Springs offers so many options for weddings of all sizes, from the grand Mt. Stephen Hall to the intimate and cozy Angus Room. Part of the charm and mystique of the hotel are the balconies, stairwells, bookcases and hidden passages, all provide potential photo opportunities.
Outside the hotel the mountains tower above and the Spray Valley below. One dramatic vista you won’t want to miss is “Surprise Corner”, a beautiful glimpse of the castle tucked into Sulfur Mountain.
High above the town of Canmore, you’ll find one of the most spectacular mountain wedding locations, Silvertip Resort. Take it from me, the views of the Canadian Rockies are second to none.
In addition to the views, they offer banquet rooms, customizable menus and availability during all four seasons. As a result, every couple can find what they are looking for at Silvertip.
Perched on a mountainside in the Banff, the Rimrock Hotel offers wedding couples both stunning mountain vistas and superb service. Although it’s just short walk to the Sulfur Mountain Gondola and the Upper Hot Springs, you feel like you’re a world away from the bustling town. Enjoy the awe-inspiring views from your suite while getting ready. Their terrace is the perfect place to say your “I Dos” with the Canadian Rockies as your witness. Photographer’s tip: If you appreciate an “Old Hollywood” vibe, Divas Lounge is a unique and glamorous spot for photos.
A short drive yet a world away from the bustling city of Calgary, sits Azuridge Hotel. Formerly a private estate, the hotel is nestled among rolling foothills in Priddis, Alberta. The sweeping stone buildings set against the nearby Rocky Mountains are a majestic backdrop for a wedding celebration. Based on personal experience, what sets Azuridge apart is their wedding team, including a personal butler at your disposal throughout the day.
Canmore ticks a lot of boxes for couples planning mountain I Do’s. Think Sky-high mountains, adventure around every corner and uniquely Canadian cuisine. Cornerstone has all of the rustic charm that couples fall in love with. Finally, they offer wedding coordinator service for all aspects of the day, both at the theatre and for outdoor ceremonies.
A note from the staff at Cornerstone:
"Our couples love that we provide set-up and tear down services including linens, centrepieces and the little extras. We also offer memorable extras including a photo booth, candy buffet, s’mores station, fairytale lights and more."
Creekside Villa is a charming boutique hotel tucked away in the town of Canmore. In addition, they’re uniquely equipped for cozy, family celebrations.
Creekside Villa has everything you need right on property to create your perfect event, complete with the majestic Rocky Mountains as your backdrop.
Nestled on Tunnel Mountain in Banff, Buffalo Mountain Lodge (BML) is warm, inviting and provides a true log cabin experience with spectacular views. It’s more than that though. It’s also an idyllic locale for a Banff alpine wedding.
BML is known for their Rocky Mountain Cuisine…bison, caribou, elk and venison, but the beef tenderloin is a wedding favourite. Couples planning a Buffalo Mountain Lodge wedding have the option of buffet-style meals, plated dinners or a Chef-attended BBQ.
In the heart of downtown, sits Calgary’s most iconic hotel and wedding venue, the Fairmont Palliser. In 2023 they completed an impressive renovation, preserving the historic features of the hotel’s railway past while adding a contemporary refresh. Whether it’s wedding celebration in the Crystal Ballroom or a celebratory cocktail at the Hawthorne Bar, the hotel staff take care of your every need. Insider tip…as you kick off your dancing shoes in your suite at the end of your day, don’t forget to try their chocolate smashing ball.
You'll find The Nash in the vibrant and historic community of Inglewood. Housed in the recently restored National Hotel, The Nash writes a new chapter in the hotel’s long history.
Their food concept is based on high quality natural ingredients sourced from as many sustainable local growers and producers as possible, with a dash of urban grit.
The Nash is perfect for couples who love sharing special moments, surrounded by great food and exceptional service.
Celebrate your special day surrounded by friends and family in the romantic and rustic elegance of River Café. Experience the natural beauty of Prince’s Island Park in Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall.
Prince’s Island offers a breathtaking backdrop to your perfect day and magnificent photo opportunities abound both inside and out. River Cafe's team will make the planning process easy and worry free, ensuring that your guests are treated to an unforgettable event.
The Lake House is situated on the shore of Lake Bonavista and banks of windows overlook the water. During the day, the dining room is flooded with beautiful natural light, making it the perfect setting for a wedding ceremony.
CRMR took over the former Inn at Lake Bonavista in September of 2013. As the only lakeside restaurant in Calgary, they were drawn to the expansive open space and of course the spectacular views. They’ve created a rustic and elegant atmosphere with ornate elk antler chandeliers and a grand stone fireplace.
At The Lake House the focus is the food. CRMR is known for their creative Canadian cuisine and couples can expect restaurant-quality food at their weddings. The Lake House is perfect for couples that are passionate about a great culinary experience and appreciate the warm, inviting space and beautiful views.
Chef Thomas Neukom provides a unique dining experience using sustainable and Alberta-raised game. In fact, CRMR raises their own game, including elk and bison, at a ranch south of Calgary. Couples can choose two entrée selections for their guests as well as a vegetarian option.
The Lake House now bakes wedding cakes in house and offers a dessert buffet filled with bite-sized treats like macarons, truffles and lemon meringue pie, to name a few.
The Lake House is a full-service venue, meaning you can host a wedding ceremony, cocktail hour and reception in the space for up to 140 people. They can accommodate up to 190 people for reception-only celebrations. Rather than a charge for space rental, there’s a minimum food and beverage commitment.
Because of the open concept, there are multiple possibilities for ceremony set-up and table arrangements. The space is also equipped with a full automated audio-visual system. Kirsten Davies is the dedicated event coordinator at The Lake House. She’s knowledgeable, enthusiastic and available to guide you through the planning process.
Bow Valley Ranche is one of Calgary's best wedding venues, nestled in the heart of Fish Creek Park. If you’re looking for a Calgary wedding venue (with a past) look no further.
Couples who choose a Bow Valley Ranche wedding typically appreciate the classic, rustic elegance of the property. It doesn’t require much embellishment as the house is filled with antiques and décor in the style of the home.
Just where the Bow and Elbow Rivers meet, you’ll find The Deane House, an historic home and wedding venue that’s been thoughtfully modernized for today’s couple. Between the bountiful gardens, the picturesque sidewalks of Inglewood and the proximity to the water, it’s a wedding photographer’s dream. And then there’s the food…
At Hudson, we always envisioned creating a modern yet versatile and customizable space that could lend itself to anything from corporate breakfast meetings to product launch parties to elegant weddings.
Hudson is a modern, state-of-the-art space housed inside of a historic building. Other features like the large windows and natural light, stunning views of downtown Calgary, and urban accents add a lot of charm to Hudson. On top of all of that, the food and service from O&B is second-to-none.
There is no other space in Calgary that possesses as much beauty and elegance as Teatro. Every detail of this historical downtown location has been considered with care. They are a fine-dining venue housed in the historic Dominion Bank Building built in 1911. The venue is complete with towering pillars, beautiful wrought-iron gates imported from France and a classic bar. Take your guest’s breath away with beauty and charm with historical opulence that has lasted a century.
From the same family that operates Venue 308, the Brownstone is a chic venue with a modern industrial vibe. Also located in Victoria Park, the Brownstone is a multi-use space and blank canvas for couples who want to put their own personal stamp on their celebration. The Ruby and Gary lounges provide unique spaces for getting ready (and for photos). The centrepiece of the space is lively bar, complete with tigers, pennies and neon. See for yourself.
Venue 308 is a former warehouse turned multi-use venue in the historic Louise Block Building in Victoria Park. Couples love the original brick walls, industrial feel and accented by art deco touches. Photographers love the light that streams through the south-facing windows and creative styling of the Bridal Suite and Walter Lounge.
In 2023, Venue 308 opened an adjoining studio space, Studios at Vic Park YYC. It’s ideal for wedding formals, photo shoots or intimate celebrations.
I'm including Alforno in my list of best wedding venues because it offers simplistic style, home-made everything, a casual dining space and warm, inviting atmosphere.
The couples that get married at Alforno are usually regulars who dine there often and have created memories at Alforno. A lot of first-daters end up getting married in the cafe.
Located in the historic Simmons factory, Charbar is the perfect combination of Alberta charm and delicious cuisine.
The building was retrofitted with modern amenities that blend into the backdrop of the historic elements.
Every aspect of your wedding can be customized to your specifications. In addition, their experienced event team will ensure a seamless event from custom menu planning to décor.
There really is nothing like an al fresco wedding. I love the image of a couple toasting their future under a canopy of trees and twinkly lights. But between our unpredictable Alberta weather and the complicated logistics involved, planning a flawless outdoor celebration can be tricky.
Great Events has created the perfect alternative in Meadow Muse Pavilion. It’s a tent nestled in the middle of Fish Creek Park, yet fully equipped with the conveniences you expect. Recently I met with the staff to learn about planning a Meadow Muse wedding.
Alloy is one of my particular favorite locations because of it's light-filled reception space and modern decor. For instance, their "bubble light fixture" is the perfect spot to capture a bride and groom celebrating with their guests.
Alloy restaurant in Calgary hosts special events for up to 120 seated guests (150 Cocktail) in their airy and comfortable dining room and secluded oasis patio setting.
Imagine your wedding day – the day you’ve dreamed of for a lifetime - being celebrated in the elegance of Spruce Meadows. The Grand Staircase at Spruce Meadows is one of Calgary’s most regal outdoor wedding ceremony sites. With it’s stone-washed walls and steps, the Grand Staircase is a beautiful locale for any couple to say “I Do”.
Annex Ale Project is perfect for couples who are laid-back and want an atypical wedding, where connection and intimacy are key. Liking beer is not mandatory!
Annex's venue space is tastefully designed so that it feels cozy and welcoming. The oak barrels within the soda shop pay homage to their dedication to forward-thinking beers while offering an organic backdrop for any table setting.
"She takes the stress out of worrying about what our photographs will look like because I know they will be amazing!"