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wedding - moraine lake, lake louise or banff?

New Brunswick
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wedding - moraine lake, lake louise or banff?

We are planning a wedding in the Banff area for late July or early August 2007. There will only be 8-10 people max , including us. We plan to have an outdoor ceremony with an intimate wedding dinner to follow.

Does anyone have suggestions about which area would be the preferred option? If we stay in Banff, it seems the best option would be to have the ceremony somewhere nearby so we aren't travelling an hour to get to the dinner.

Another option would be to be to stay in Lake Louise and travel to Moraine Lake for the ceremony but have the dinner back in the Lake Louise area. Is the "Rockpile" at Moraine Lake easily accessible for the senior citizens and me in a wedding gown? It looks like a great scenic view.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Calgary, Alberta...
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1. Re: wedding - moraine lake, lake louise or banff?

Hi Rufus-7,

Congratulations on your forthcoming marriage.

The weather in the mountains is extremely variable. It could be bright and sunny during your wedding ceremony, but it just as easily could be raining.

I feel you need to have an indoor venue as a back up in case it's raining during your ceremony.

The view from the top of the rockpile at Moraine Lake is stupendous. However, it's a rough path to the top. I don't think it's a suitable path to walk in a wedding gown. Besides that, it's a very popular viewing point, and there will be ten gazillion people sharing your wedding ceremony with you. It's a public spot, so you can hardly tell them to buzz off.

A nice place for a small wedding is the Post Hotel at the edge of Lake Louise village. You could have a ceremony on the riverbank if weather permits. If it's raining, you could get married next to the fireplace in the library. Many people regard the Post Hotel's restaurant as the finest in the Canadian Rockies. It's not cheap, but they certainly would serve a delicious meal in their private dining room.

A place that also might fit the bill is Emerald Lake Lodge. It's a 35-minute drive west of Lake Louise. You could have an outdoor ceremony there, but again ELL could provide a room for a back up indoor ceremony. In addition to that, they have an excellent on-site restaurant, and they can cater a wedding reception in a private room.

Another place to consider is Buffalo Mountain Lodge on the outskirts of Banff townsite. Like the Post Hotel in Lake Louise, it has a log cabin ambience (mind you it's a very elegant log cabin ambience).

What I don't like about Emerald Lake Lodge and Buffalo Mountain Lodge is that you and your guests would have to vacate the room between the end of the wedding ceremony and the beginning of the reception. They would give you the same room for both parts of the wedding, and hotel staff would need to change the layout of the room between the ceremony and the reception. At the Post Hotel, you would be given different rooms for the ceremony and the reception.

The ultimate hotel for a wedding, in my opinion, is the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. They can accommodate large and small weddings. You can have different rooms for the ceremony and the reception. When it comes to a wedding, the ambience just does not get any better than the Banff Springs Hotel -- at least to my taste. But the other properties that I've mentioned to you are charming too.

You have no time to lose. Wedding venues in Banff get booked up well in advance.

Hope that helps.

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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2. Re: wedding - moraine lake, lake louise or banff?

Have you found someone to officiate at your wedding yet? I would suggest you talk to him/her about your requirements for a venue; they may have helpful suggestions.

The following is a page on the Parks Canada JASPER National Park website regarding holding weddings in JNP. I searched, but could not find a comparable page of information on the Banff NP site. However, I think much of the information on this page applies also to Banff, so have included a link here for your perusal.

pc.gc.ca/pn-np/ab/jasper/activ/activ13z_e.asp

Hope this helps - and congratulations on your upcoming marriage!

New Brunswick
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3. Re: wedding - moraine lake, lake louise or banff?

Thank you for the advice/information.

An outdoor wedding is always a bit risky no matter where you are so we will definitely have a back-up plan. A mist wouldn't ruin the ceremony outdoors but a downpour certainly could.

I like the character of the Banff Springs Hotel but I have heard that it can be over-run with tourists in the summer months (probably the case for most places in Banff, I suspect). Has anyone been in the Strathcona Room there? It seems to be a good size for our small wedding dinner (+/- ceremony) and is surprisingly affordable.

Banff, Canada
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for Banff, Banff National Park
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4. Re: wedding - moraine lake, lake louise or banff?

I haven't been in the Strathcona Room - I just looked on the hotel's website to try to figure out where it is, but their online floorplans are pretty sketchy.

The main thing would be to make sure that it's in the old part of the hotel, and not in "the Manor" or the Convention Centre, both of which are beautifully done but fairly soul-less in my opinion. Most rooms in the old part of the hotel have lots of character.

If you were to consider Buffalo Mountain Lodge, a possible outdoor venue would be on the adjacent meadow that is overtop the town's water reservoir -- sounds pretty utilitarian, but the views from that field are stupendous, it gets lovely sunshine for most of the day, and I see lots of parties there, getting married or just having their pictures taken.

Calgary, Alberta...
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5. Re: wedding - moraine lake, lake louise or banff?

Lots of tourists go to the Banff Springs Hotel to see the views from its front terrace. However, once you get inside the hotel itself, it is not over run with tourists. Sorry, I am not familiar with the Strathcona Room, but I concur with banff's advice about aiming for a room that is in the older part of the hotel.

Ottawa
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6. Re: wedding - moraine lake, lake louise or banff?

I can suggest Pyramid Lake, in Jasper, as a stunning setting for your wedding. There is a small island on the lake with a footbridge, and a gazebo from the 1930s, as well as a series of benches facing the lake where you could hold your small ceremony. The views are just plain drop-dead gorgeous. This is where I proposed to my now-wife in 2005 and she still can't get over the place. If it had been a matter of a small wedding, this would have been our hands down choice to tie the knot. Google Pyramid Lake/Pyramid Island it for more information and pictures.

Jasper is much less "commercial" than Banff -- no outlet malls, no Gap, no busloads of tourists, and a bit off the beaten path. There are amazing activities for your guests to do, such as hiking, boating on Maligne Lake... The sights are stunning! If you're looking for a place to stay, I can recommend the Park Place Inn in Jasper, it's absolutely beautiful. The Fiddle River restaurant is also pretty good. Look up the reviews on this site.

7. Re: wedding - moraine lake, lake louise or banff?

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