This Issue's Featured Articles
From vast lakes and intricate rivers, to deep, lush valleys, to pristine mountain ranges, the British Columbia Interior offers so many locations to choose from. It can be difficult to pick just one! Whether you are looking for a springtime meadow, a warm summer day on the shores of a glacier blue lake, an explosion of autumn leaves falling around you, or a chilling expanse of pure white, the Interior has it all.
A destination wedding is a perfect choice for those that wish to get away from the busy, everyday life of the city. It lets you leave everything else behind and focus solely on your special day and all the special people that are there to celebrate it with you. Tranquil waters, peaceful forests, towering expanses of mountain ranges, all provide an amazing atmosphere to make the day truly all about you.
The Interior has so much to offer when it comes to wedding locations. Lakeside venues near cities and towns, like those in the Okanagan, offer gorgeous views over the water, with plenty of activities to partake in before and after your wedding.
For those that wish to tie the knot surrounded by a gentle fall of snow, or wish to take the plunge after a long day on the slopes, ski resorts offer not only stunning locations for both ceremonies and receptions, but a wide variety of activities to engage in. Instead of having just a special day, these places are perfect for a special weekend, or even a week!
Little gems can be found all over the Interior. Not only are there some of the most unique and splendid locations to host the wedding itself, but many places boast a variety of out of the way locations, or hidden backdrops nearby that make for majestic and beautiful photographs. And even if such spots are not pointed out, a quick self-tour around any area will most definitely result in a number of potential picturesque spots to add to the photo album.
When it comes to the Interior of British Columbia, anything is possible. There is truly no end to the different sorts of locations you can find, and they’re all a lot closer than you might think.
EMERALD LAKE LODGE
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Orange Girl
Emerald Lake Lodge is a gem that can be admired and experienced all year round. While summer is the busiest time with nearly one wedding a day, the lodge also experiences a wedding every week during the winter. The locations offered are truly stunning, with a wide variety of options to make your wedding day absolutely perfect.
The lodge, that was originally built in 1902, has been restored to offer a blend of contemporary comfort amidst hand-hewn stone and timber. Standing on the side of Emerald Lake, the largest of the 61 lakes in Yoho National Park, the setting is truly breathtaking. Surrounded by lush conifers, white with thick snow, and nestled warm inside sturdy cabins, Emerald Lake Lodge is a winter paradise.
The Viewpoint is available for an outdoor standing reception, with up to 20 chairs being available from the lodge. Framed between evergreens, the turquoise waters, or snow covered ice, spread out behind you, and the Rocky Mountains in the background creating the perfect awe-inspiring backdrop to your ceremony.
For internal ceremonies and receptions, the lodge offers five different options, ranging from smaller rooms able to host 24 chair banquet style receptions to the Rent-Your-Own-Island package that allows for 140 chairs. The ceremony and the reception can be hosted in the same room as well, though time must be given between for staff to change over the room accordingly.
Another popular location to exchange vows, or simply indulge in the beauty of the area for more breathtaking photos, is the Natural Bridge, located only about 10 minutes from the lodge. This natural rock formation spans the flow of the Kicking Horse River. For those looking to explore the area even further, Emerald Sports, located at the beginning of the bridge, offers winter and summer activities including snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter, and canoeing in the summer.
BIG WHITE SKI RESORT
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Royce Sihlis Photography
Saying that a location is a winter wonderland may sound cliché, but that is exactly what Big White Ski Resort is. With an incredible array of wedding packages, ranging from small and cozy to big and extravagant, Big White offers every sort of winter wedding you could ever hope for.
Wishing for something quiet, intimate and small, or simply want to run off with the one you love and seal the deal this weekend? The Warming Hut is the perfect location and package for you. Bundled under blankets, you’ll be transported to and from your venue by a Clydesdale drawn sleigh. The environment is rustic and intimate, offering dinner served by candle light and a log fire to keep you warm.
If you are looking for something quite a bit larger, the Black Forest Day Lodge offers a spectacular view from the upper level and boasts space for a 120 person seated or 250 person standing reception. Look out over clear blue skies, pristine snow, and frost dusted evergreens while you celebrate with all your friends and family.
Big White also works with a number of bars and grills to not only provide you with more locations to hold your celebration or independent reception, but also provide catering as well. The Globe Café & Tapas Bar and The Blarney Stone Irish Tavern can hold parties of 10-50 people with tailored menu, party games, and feature cocktails, or tailored wedding dinners up to 75 people. The Gunbarrel Grill at Snowshoe Sam’s can also cater for your special day.
Being a ski resort there is much more to the locale than excellent vistas and lots of choices for holding your reception. You can also look into including lift passes, equipment rental, dog sledding, the ice climbing tower, skating, and more.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Something Blue Photography
If you are looking for a location with uniqueness, beauty and charm, the SS Sicamous is a wonderful choice. The ship is British Columbia’s largest surviving sternwheeler located on the shore of the Okanagan Lake.
For weddings, the entire ship is reserved for your ceremony and reception, with a variety of other aspects of the ship for you and your guests to explore, including the museum displays, pilot house, and model railway on the cargo deck.
On the passenger deck the Ladies Saloon offers a charming and quiet location to relax away from the larger crowds. It can also be converted to a beautiful room for a buffet or desserts. On the other end of the ship, the Gentleman’s Saloon offers a bar and cooler, making it the perfect place to serve beer, wine, or cocktails. The liquor selection is completely up to you, provided you obtain the correct liquor license.
The SS Sicamous offers three locations that make for the perfect ceremony; the grand stair, the bow, and the private beach. The beautiful grand stair begins as two that become one stair at the centre landing, allowing the bride and groom to enter from either side and join together as they descend. The bow ceremony allows for a stunning view of the Okanagan Lake as your backdrop, and is a perfect location for the bouquet and garter toss.
For even more spectacular pictures, the ship is alongside the Penticton Rose Garden, and a rock groyne behind the ship extends out into the water. The old willow on the private beach is another stunning location for pictures. Since the ship is yours for the whole day, if the weather turns bad, you can move inside without any trouble.
And the fun doesn’t have to stop there. Just South of the SS Sicamous is the Loco Landing Adventure Park where you can continue to celebrate with mini-golf, go-karts, a climbing wall, and more.