Two Day Elopement Adventure in Banff, Alberta
Hayley and Justin ditched their traditional wedding plans and opted to elope in the mountains of Banff, Alberta instead. These two are avid travelers and hikers, and they had always dreamed of eloping, but family traditions made it difficult to decide to elope from the start. Despite their love for their family, these two decided to do what their hearts desired and plan an adventure elopement in the mountains. Follow along with this 2-day elopement adventure and learn everything you need to know about eloping in Banff, Alberta together.
“This adventure elopement truly reflects a couple ditching all wedding plans to elope without telling anyone outside of their immediate family or friends. It captures the essence of planning a down-to-earth elopement allowing the couple to plan amazing adventures, spending time connecting with nature and with each other.” [Cassie, the elopement planner]
Are you ready to start planning your elopement? Check out our featured vendors for your elopement package in Alberta.
How to Elope in Alberta
Deciding to elope in Alberta means you probably want to elope somewhere near the Canadian Rockies. The best way to start planning your elopement adventure in Alberta together is to team up with elopement professionals, including an epic photographer and planner. Cassie O’Connor, the elopement planner from Love Spell Co, gives us all the details about this elopement and how couples can prepare for their own wedding day in the area.
“Eloping in the Canadian Rocky Mountains can be such a special experience! There are so many locations to choose from, so it definitely depends on what the couple is looking for. I recommend starting the elopement day with the first look or the ceremony at a more intimate location, and then heading to more popular locations for photos in order to have more time to feel present for the most important moments. Always ensure you’re doing your research to consider the time of year and time of day. Find your vendor team to bring your dreams to life. Always be aware of wildlife within any National Park, and be sure to be respectful and leave no trace behind.
Andrew and Bec from Willow and Wolf were the most amazing to collaborate with for this adventure. Always ensure to invest in the right photographers for your adventure, especially ones who will go above and beyond to help you plan your adventure day, scout several locations and customize ideas based on your vision and suggestion epic mountain top locations. They were the most pivotal vendors to make this 2 day adventure elopement dream come to life for Hayley and Justin.” [Cassie]
Here are some more tips when planning to elope in Alberta:
- Think about what type of adventure you both want to do.
- Team up with your vendors to double-check permits, rules, and marriage license requirements in the area.
- Double-check the distance from your accommodation to your elopement destination.
- Don’t be afraid to book a multi-day adventure to give yourself more time to explore together.
Tips From The Bride When Elopement Planning
The biggest challenge when planning your elopement, according to Hayley, is planning in an area that is not local to you. Luckily for her, she has been good friends with Cassie since grade school. Cassie helped her get everything together.
“When you plan a local wedding, you can visit and meet with local vendors. You’re also able to make your decisions on who to hire and work with based on your own personal experience with them. Being so far away and not able to do this, I had to rely on reading every single review, viewing every social media post, and sending hundreds of emails to the vendors I was interested in working with over the course of the few months leading up to our wedding. Working full time as a nurse during this pandemic combined with the time difference between the two provinces made this a bit difficult, but I was fortunate enough to have some great help.” [Hayley]
Her top tip: Splurge on a good photographer and videographer. She tells us if couples are trying to cut costs, cut costs on food, your wedding cake, your transportation, and even where you stayed. The photos and videos are something you’ll always look back on.
What to Pack For Your Elopement Adventure
When it comes to planning epic adventures in the mountains, like this Alberta mountain elopement, then you’ll want to sit down and plan what you’ll need to pack.
Cassie tells us it depends on the style of the elopement and the season you’re eloping when it comes to thinking about what to pack.
“First and foremost, always bring the marriage license (unless you’re planning a commitment ceremony)! Other things you’ll want to pack: rings and ring box, pens, vows, touch-up make-up kit, small mirror, change of clothes. For an adventure elopement like this several items are needed from hiking boots, water, bug spray, bear spray, clothes for layering, pack wedding dress and suit separately, backpack, flashlights, snacks, first aid kit, etc.” [Cassie]
If you’re still not sure, we suggest making a list of all the things you need and then showing that list to your vendors to get their suggestions.
Picking Your Elopement Destination
Hayley tells us their love for travel made it difficult at first to choose a location for their elopement. When it’s just the two of you eloping, there really are not many limitations. She tells us they thought about the Sahara Desert or eloping on a white sandy beach in the Bahamas. Deciding to elope means you can pick from the best places to elope!
“Ultimately, we decided that we wanted to explore the beauty that our own country has to offer. Once we decided to stay within Canada, Banff, Alberta seemed like a no-brainer. Visiting Banff has always been on my husband’s bucket list. I have previously lived in Edmonton for quite a few years, so I felt comfortable planning the elopement remotely from Ontario. After we narrowed the location down to Banff, we knew that we didn’t want to stay in a traditional hotel. We usually like to take the path less traveled in all of our adventures. We found this cute log cabin with a wood-burning stove, tucked away between Banff and Lake Louise with panoramic views of the Canadian Rockies. A few days later, we had a mini honeymoon in B.C. where we stayed at Sparkling Hill Resort in Vernon, BC.” [Hayley]
Memorable Moments During This Elopement Mountain Adventure in Canada.
Hayley and Justin stayed at Storm Mountain Lodge, where they got ready in separate cabins. After their first look and ceremony, the couple came back to the lodging area where Cassie set up a picnic for them. Hiring a team allows you to plan your adventure and also leaves plenty of opportunities to relax together.
They ended the night back at the cabin stargazing and enjoying each other’s company. The following day, they spent time exploring the town of Banff and had an early night to prepare for their sunrise hiking session, which was an 8-hour return hike!
“The first look was so special. Seeing Hayley walk through a field of flowers and Justin’s instant reaction, radiating so much love and happiness. Throughout the entire elopement day, they just kept smiling and having fun together.” [Cassie]
For Hayley and Justin, the views they saw at the top of the summit made eloping in Banff, completely worth it.
“The hike itself was probably one, if not the hardest, hikes either of us had done in our life, but it was well worth it. The hike was about a 19km roundtrip at almost 9000 ft to the top of the summit. Watching the sunrise over the peaks of the mountains, warming the sky with its yellow light, was breathtaking. In a way, it was kind of a neat and sentimental way to start off our marriage as husband and wife. It was scary and challenging, yet beautifully rewarding, and we accomplished it together.” [Hayley]
Deciding to Elope Instead of Having a Traditional Wedding
With the rise of the pandemic in 2019, a lot of couples are realizing the meaning of eloping. They are also planning post-elopement celebrations with their friends and family after their adventure. Hayley tells us they were able to share their special day with their friends and family when they returned home thanks to their amazing elopement team.
Are you thinking about eloping in Banff, Alberta after seeing this EPIC multi-day adventure? Deciding to elope in the Canadian Rockies is always an exciting moment for couples, especially if they aren’t from the area.
Eloping is exciting because it allows couples to celebrate their wedding day how they want to, despite what traditions say.
“I love planning elopements. They are their own special kind of magic. A day filled with embracing being in love and creating opportunities to do more of what couples love. Whether that’s an adventure from hiking or exploring surrounding areas, and then ending the day with a campfire and a picnic or an intimate dinner to celebrate. There’s no limitation for elopements. They can be crafted for the couple to say their vows on the top of a mountain, on a beach, or in a forest…” [Cassie]
Planning & Styling: Love Spell Co
Photography: Willow and Wolf
Floral: Banff Flowers
Beauty: Something Borrowed Beauty
Accommodation & First Look Location: Storm Mountain Lodge
Cake: Whippt Cake
Officiant: Patrick Smiley
Flat Lay Template: Splendid Moments
Ring Box: Blush Vintage Rentals
Photos From This Elopement in Banff, Alberta