Wedding Day Tips

Canadian Rocky Mountain Wedding Venues

So lucky that the Canadian Rockies are in my backyard, I shoot 80% of my weddings here and I get to meet lovely couples from all over the world. From a meadow to a castle ballroom, there is not one location or venue that disappoints. Here are my top 3 favourite wedding venues in Canmore, Banff and Lake Louse.

Silvertip in Canmore

Located in the same area as the Grande Rockies Resort, the Silvertip is also a great option for Calgary residents. The property, which is perched on the side of the Bow Valley, boasts 600 sunny acres of grasslands, waters, mountain peaks and valleys. If you’d rather say your “i dos” indoors, there’s a banquet room with a capacity of 250 guests available.

Click here to see more Silvertip Weddings

The Fairmont Banff Springs

The Fairmont Banff Springs offers beautiful event spaces. Be it a small gathering of 10 or a grand reception of 900, the venue can accommodate events of any size and style. Event spaces include:

  • The Cascade Ballroom: Located at the north end of the castle, the Cascade Ballroom offers a stunning panoramic view of the Bow Valley from the adjacent conservatory. Eight breathtaking chandeliers, hardwood floors, and decorations of blue, burgundy, and gold make this ballroom perfect for a wedding celebration.

  • The Alhambra Ballroom: Your guests will be awestruck as they step through the custom cast bronze door and into the Spanish Renaissance-styled Alhambra Ballroom. It boasts large windows, high ceilings, and the four chandeliers that cast the perfect radiance as your guests dance the night away. It is perfect for ceremonies and receptions and can accommodate up to 220 guests.

  • Ivor Petrak Room: This intimate space is perfect for hosting beautiful ceremonies and receptions with up to 60 guests. Dance the night away under the central chandelier, and experience the charming view of the sweeping Bow Valley.

  • The Outdoor Terrace: The Outdoor Terrace is an amazing ceremony venue with extensive views of the Bow Valley enclosed by mountains. It has the capacity for 180 guests. Along with its natural beauty and charm, it is close to the wedding reception spaces and hotel amenities. Additionally, there are the Angus & Strathcona Rooms and Mount Stephen Hall that are available for use.
    For more details check out this venue on

Design by Lynn Fletcher Weddings

Click here to see more Banff Springs Weddings

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louse

This hotel venue offers couples fantastic facilities to host their ceremony and/or reception. It offers 7 event spaces with varying capacities which include:

  • Lakeview Terrace: An outdoor space with views of the Victoria Glacier. It has a capacity for up to 300 guests.

  • Victoria Terrace: Another outdoor space overlooking Lake Louise with a capacity for 150 guests.

  • Victoria Ballroom: A European-style ballroom with stone fireplaces and a capacity for up to 350 guests.

  • Mount Temple Ballroom: An indoor space that can include a raised head table and wooden dance floor.

    For more details check out this venue on

Click here to see more from this Chateau Lake Louse Wedding

Calgary Wedding Venues

There are so many factors to consider when choosing a wedding venue, like budges, capacity, parking, food, location, lighting….

Many of my clients ask me what my favourite Calgary wedding venues to shoot at are, well here are just a few of my favs.

The Lake House

The Lake House reflects rustic elegance and features large glass windows overlooking the beautiful lake. Ceremonies and receptions can be hosted inside the recently renovated restaurant with its 130-square-foot, glass-encased wine cellar and refurbished 21-foot bar from the 1800s. It has the capacity for 250 guests. Guests can also enjoy the breathtaking views from the lovely outdoor patio. For more details check out this venue on

Lake House wedding on the BLOG

The Nash

The Nash’s dining room features a clean, open space, plenty of windows and natural light, white walls, wood tables, and hardwood floors. Its modern look and layout has a view of an open kitchen, which allows you to see the chefs at work. The bar, with darker walls and dimmer lighting options, complements the dining room’s airy design. Up to 120 seated or 200 standing guests can be accommodated in the restaurant’s dining room, while the bar has a capacity of 75 people. For more details check out this venue on

Design by Mountain Bride

The Commons

The Commons, has over 5,000 square feet of exceptional and convertible event space. The event spaces accommodate both intimate weddings as well as larger parties with up to 175 guests. The Parlour Room, The Commodore Room and The Hemingway Room are all perfect for weddings. The Parlour Room, The Commodore Room and The Hemingway Room are all perfect for weddings. The Parlour room accommodates up to 100 guests, the Hemingway can hold 155 guests and the Commodore Room can accommodate 25 guests. For more details check out this venue on

The Commons Wedding on the BLOG

Design by Kismet & Clover

Bridgette Bar

Bridget Bar is a gorgeous space with a mid-century modern decor vibe! It’s perfect for either a cocktails style wedding for 225 guest or 100 guest seated dinner. And seriously the food and cocktails are to die for!

Bridgette Bar wedding on the BLOG

Design by Jacqueline Rae

Bonterra Trattoria

The facilities found at this restaurant venue include two separate areas, the Main Room which can accommodate up to 80 seated guests and the Wine Room has a capacity for 30 guests. If you are having a standing reception, both areas can hold up to 160 guests. Additional seating is provided between June and September for 60 more guests in their outdoor heated Terrace. For more details check out this venue on

Bonterra wedding on the BLOG

Bow Valley Ranche

The venue offers event spaces for both indoor and outdoor wedding celebrations. A spacious bridal suite in the main ranch house is offered for use on your special day. There is also a groom’s room that features a lovely fireplace. Surrounded by two and a half acres of artisan gardens, the park features a wonderful gazebo where ceremonies can be held. For more details check out this venue on

Other Great Calgary Wedding Venues

Deane House | Teatro | Royale | Reader’s Rock Garden 

Wedding Day Time-Line

So many of my clients ask me about how their wedding day should flow and how much time they should allocate to each portion of their day. If your not working with a wedding planner the next best person to help with this is your photographer. I am always happy to work with my clients to help make the best time-line that works with them and all vendors.

The time-line is a guideline to help keep the day on track, however this will not alway go as planned and thats okay. The main thing is keeping the start and end times on time so that all the vendors can provide the best service as possible.

When I work on a time-line with clients I build the day around the ceremony time, next is when would be the best time for portraits. If the client is having an early ceremony then I would suggest portraits after the ceremony, if they are having a later ceremony then doing a first look and portraits before the ceremony. You can check out more about first looks here. First Look

These are based on my 9 hour packages, you can all ways add extra hours to your day. And keeping in mind these are just suggestions that don’t take into consideration travel time between venues or of other traditions that might be a part of your day.

If you can afford a wedding planner I highly recommend using one, there are many other time-line that need to be made as well coordinating all the other vendors, helping make the day run smoothly. For more on why to hire a wedding planner check out our friends at Julianne Young Weddings.

Here are some of my favourite Calgary Wedding Planners to work with:

Julianne Young Weddings / Mountain Bride / Lynn Fletcher Weddings

The First Look

The first look is when the couple sees each other for the first time before the ceremony. I get some people have dreamt of that first look to be as the bride walks down the the aisle and I respect that. But here are a few reasons why I personally love the first look!

It works best with your time-line

If you are having a later ceremony then having a first look might make more sense for the flow of your day. If your ceremony leads into your cocktail hour then having your portraits done before the ceremony allows for candids with your guests during cocktails and detail photos of your reception. It’s also nice for your guest so that they don’t have a break in the day, especially for weddings where the ceremony and reception are at the same venue. For more details on time-line click here!

A personal and intimate moment

If you are the type who don’t like attention, seeing each other might give you a moment to relax and get some of the emotions out. It also give you your own personal moment to cry, laugh or hear how great each other looks. I’ve even had couple read their vows at this time. This might as well be your only alone time together the whole day. Seeing each other when walking down the aisle is still a very emotional moment, but it might make you feel more relaxed and present in that moment.

Spend more time together and with your guest

Instead of avoiding each other till the ceremony you get to spend more of the day together. As well enjoy cocktails with your guest instead of racing off to go have photos.

No matter what you choose the first time you see each other the moment will be special!

To see more of this gorgeous wedding day click here!