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Planning a Moraine Lake Elopement

May 6, 2020

I’m excited to share Olivia and Aaron’s Moraine Lake Elopement because it really was a highlight of 2019.  They travelled from the United States for an intimate, lakeside ceremony in the Rockies to be followed by a larger, family celebration at home.  We all got up in the wee hours for their sunrise ceremony and in spite of sleepy eyes and cold fingers, it was 100% worth it.

Bride waits for her groom at her Moraine Lake elopement captured by Tara Whittaker PhotographyBride at her Moraine Lake elopement captured by Tara Whittaker PhotographyFirst look at a Moraine Lake elopement captured by Tara Whittaker PhotographyBride and groom at their Moraine Lake elopement captured by Tara Whittaker PhotographyWedding ceremony at Moraine Lake captured by Tara Whittaker PhotographyWedding ceremony on the shore of Moraine Lake captured by Tara Whittaker Photography Just married at Moraine Lake capture by Calgary wedding photographer Tara WhittakerFirst kiss at Moraine Lake elopement captured by Tara Whittaker PhotographyHappy bride and groom at their Moraine Lake elopement captured by Tara Whittaker Photographybridal portrait at Moraine Lake captured by Tara Whittaker Photography Bridal portrait at Moraine Lake Alberta captured by Tara Whittaker PhotographyClimbing The Rockpile at Moraine Lake captured by Tara Whittaker PhotographyBride with her bouquet from Flowers by Janie at Moraine LakeGroom at Moraine Lake captured by Tara Whittaker Photographybride's veil blowing in the wind at Moraine Lake captured by Tara Whittaker PhotographyNewlyweds on the Rockpile at Moraine Lake captured by Tara Whittaker Photography Views of Moraine Lake captured by Tara Whittaker PhotographyBridal veil shot at Moraine Lake captured by Tara Whittaker Photography

Planning a Moraine Lake Elopement

Thanks to Instagram, Moraine Lake has become a bustling tourist destination.  It really is as breathtaking as it appears in all of the photos but some planning is required to make the most of your wedding experience. 
 
1.  Moraine Lake is usually open from mid-May to mid-October.  Moraine Lake is inside Banff National Park and access to the parks has been limited due to COVID-19.  On 21-May-2020, the Parks Canada website indicates they are opening on a limited basis on 1-Jun-2020.  Moraine Lake Lodge is hoping to open on July 1st.  Check often for updates on closures and restrictions related to COVID-19.  
2.  Parking at the lake is VERY limited (even at sunrise).  I strongly recommend using the shuttle service that runs from the overflow lot on the Trans-Canada highway.  If it’s in your budget, consider making a reservation at Moraine Lake Lodge.  Hotel guests are granted access and parking adjacent to the lake.  
3.  The “Rockpile” is the elevated spot at the end of the lake where you often see photos taken.  It really is an epic spot so we’ll plan to spend some time up there.  Because it is epic, expect to be joined by hundreds of tourists.  Most tourists stick to the one end of the lake near the Rockpile so consider some other spots where you’ll have a little more privacy.  I can recommend options that will give you a lovely mix of lake, mountain peeks, deep forest and a rushing river as backdrops for your wedding photos.  
 
 

Keeping warm during an outdoor ceremony

4.  Depending on what time of year you’re eloping, it can be chilly at Moraine.  Here’s a few recommendations for keeping warm, while still showing off your carefully-chosen wedding attire:
    • Bring warm jackets that you can put on to warm up between shots.  
    • Bring a cozy blanket that fits in with your color scheme that we could wrap around you for some shots.
    • For the bride, consider wearing light-colored leggings under your wedding dress to keep you warm.  If you get too warm, you can always peel them off.
    • Bring mittens and hand-warmers.  If they are cute and fit in with your color scheme, even better.
    • I recommend wearing hiking boots/shoes that you can walk comfortably in.  There are trails but there’s lots of steps, roots and rocks to step over.  You can always carry along dress shoes to wear for certain shots.
    • Some of my couples have brought along a thermos of hot chocolate to toast with.  Water and snacks are also a good idea.  
 
5.  Between mid-June and mid-September, canoes can be rented between 9:00am-5:00pm.  This is dependent on water levels at the lake.  You’ll find more information here.
6.  Lastly, for American couples planning a destination getaway, the math is very much in your favour.  As of 7-May-2020, every US dollar is worth approximately 1.40 Canadian dollars.  Refer to a currency conversion site for the most up-to-date information.
7.  Take it all in and enjoy!
 
Thanks to the great team of vendors who made Olivia and Aaron’s wedding day so magical:
Bouquet & boutonniere:  Flowers by Janie
Bridal make-up:  @canmoremakeupmel
Videographer:  Dream Day Films
Second shooter:  Kristi Sneddon

Here’s more info about my elopement package options, if you’d like to see.

Moraine Lake Elopement captured by Calgary Wedding Photographer – Tara Whittaker

Comments

What a lovely couple. These pictures are exquisite, I am dying over the veil shots they are perfection. You really captured the beauty of a Rocky Mountain Wedding and how special an elopement at Moraine Lake can be.

Aren’t they sweet? I love a couple with a sense of adventure!

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