Help with location please

posted 3 years ago in Elopement
  • poll: Where would you go?
    Yosemite National Park : (0 votes)
    Lake Louise : (0 votes)
    Lake Moraine : (0 votes)
    Lake Emerald : (3 votes)
    100 %
  • Post # 2
    Member
    6073 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    Shonzilla:  Hi there!  I was married at Emerlad Lake in 2012.  While on that weddingtrip, we also visited Lake Louise and Mortaine Lake!

    I too had a hard time deciding which of those gorgeous lakes to elope at having never been there myself.  I have done a TON of research for this area too!!!

    I will summarzie my thougths for you.  Keep in mind, we are not crowd people.  The more intimate the better.  We wanted the most perks in a package for our wedding.

    Lake Louise is a ZOO.  Seriously I have never seen so many tourists.  All of Banff NP is a zoo really.  Like busloads of them just walk up to the shore and stand there and take photos.  Many don’t leave the main shore though.  Chateau Lake Louse is impressive, but there was a large generator sound buzzing in the background coming from the hotel.  We heard it for miles while on our hike to the Tea House.  There is a little grassy area off to the side where you could do a wedding (google Rick Kunelius and check out his wedding location photos).  There are countless weddings online if you want to see photos.  Plus in August there were tiny little gnats buzzing all around you getting in your mouth.

    Moraine Lake is another stunning lake – more blue than the chalky teal Lake Louise.  The 10 peaks in the background are beautiful.  If you were considering the Rock Pile (a popular short hike to a view point), keep in mind you will have tons of visitor staring at you.  They might clear out for you to do your wedding at one of the views, but they will be just out of the picture and off to the side.  Some officiants/photographers that I contacted only would do weddings AFTER 5pm to allow for visitors to return to whereever they came from.  I peaked in the restaurant there and it looked OK.  I think they had great food reviews.  The cabins look a little more posh than Emerald Lake’s cabins.

    Emerald Lake – now they offer an elopement package I’m sure you’ve ran across.  We actually did this package.  The Viewpoint where weddings outside take place is tucked away from the day visitors.  All the cabins are conected with little wooded walking paths, so no cars and day visitors don’t generally venture away from the touristy areas.  I think I saw one couple who were guests staying there pass by our ceremony.  They have an onsite wedding planner that will take care of the ceremony timing, chairs for any witnesses, table and chair for signing, restaurant reservations, your personal wedding cake, your flowers, boutonniere, champagne, officiant booking – everything!  It was really nice.  The Lodge itself is where you eat and there is a bar.  The upstairs lounge is the rain back up plan.  The cabins got so so ratings.  You’re really there for the view.  Some of the rooms were a little worn looking.  We had a king suite with one of the best views, thn had to move to a queen room and noticed a difference (like a ripped throw rug).  I think if you take the deal minus the room rates, the wedding pacakge came to $550 as a value including 2 breakfasts and your wedding dinner in the Mt Burgess Dining Room.  We added on one more night to our stay just so we could enjoy the area and take advantage of that hot tub.  We also ate at the other restaurant onsite too.

     

    Now I have never been to Yosemite, and it was also on our list of options to elope.  My H had been there for cliing trips, but he thought the Canadian Rockies were a much better choice.  We did an 11 day road trip from utah, hiked every day of our trip including our wedding day.  GreenWeddingShoes.com has a Yosemity Elopement you can check out.

    Post # 3
    Member
    6073 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    Also to add:  With 4-6 weeks you could atually go to BOTH locations – Banff NP and Yosemite really.  You could drive the entire West Coast HWY 101.  You could drive across all of British Columbia too. Are you getting hotels every single night?

    We drove from Utah to Cranbrook, BC in 14 hours, and then Nelson, BC to Utah in 15 hours.  It wasn’t that bad because it was all new and exciting to see.  We listened to a lot of Radiolab podcasts!

    I have a blog of our weddingmoon and maps of where we went on our 11 days (I’d need to PM it to you).

     

    I also made posts a while ago about Canadian Rockies venues and photos of real weddings:

    http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/canadian-rockies-wedding-venues-a-list-with-real-weddings/#axzz32YaAij9D

    http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/eastern-bc-venues/#axzz32YaAij9D

     

    My photos:

    http://www.sarahkhalladphotography.ca/2012/12/26/shannon-erik-married-emerald-lake-wedding-photographer/

     

     

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  sienna76.
    Post # 4
    Member
    6073 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    Oh and the temps in Banff area are not going to be that hot  they just don’t get that hot being so far north latitude.  I think the highs were in the 75F in August?  I had a long gown, but I did not need a coverup even walking around the lake to get photos and the minor wind storm that came through!

    Yosemite is a high desert forest so June is low 80s and July is upper 80s.

    Post # 6
    Member
    3044 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2016

    sienna76:  doesn’t get that hot due to latitude? Next time I’m there and it hits 35-40 C I will let folks know it isn’t happening… Sheesh. Heck – I live only about two hours’ south, in the Rockies – next time I can’t sleep because it is too hot I will be sure to inform my boyfriend we can’t possibly be this hot because latitude.

    Late July is probably the hottest month for the Canadian Rockies, by late August we get very cold at night. You can get snow or hail in any month, but late June to early August is really your peak in terms of temperature. Basically, pack for everything!

    I definitely would suggest picking up a lifestraw to take with you – if you happen to run out of water on the trail, you stick it in any water source to drink safely. They are only a few ounces, and well worth the weight in your hiking path.

     

    Post # 7
    Member
    6073 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    babeba:  Well that was pretty snotty of you.

    Do you actually think I said it NEVER gets in Banff area?  It’s pretty common knowledge that the futher you go north on the globe the lower the overall temps. Altitude also plays a factor in temps as well. 

    If you look at historical highs and lows for in Banff, they are going to be on average lower temps than you’d see is Colorado or Utah.  In my town in northern Utah mountain town, the July high is 97F.  In Banff it’s 80F for July.  Note I did not say it never gets hot.  Wow.

    And then you have relative hot.  Some people who don’t need to wear a jacket in 50 degree weather while others feel the need to wear hats and mittens and bundle up.  I’ve witnessed this in San Francisco in December.  So for us in August, 75F degree temps were pretty ideal and that is not hot to us.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  sienna76.
    Post # 8
    Member
    6073 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    Shonzilla:  “i do worry about the packages, can you elaborate on how you felt about it and what the food was like? ie what you had.”

    We had dinners at both Cathedral Mountain Lodge and at Emerald Lake Lodge (part of the package).  CML over all was a nicer dining space made to look more lodge rustic style, but ELL is a 100 year old lodge keep in mind.  The dinner wait staff was amazing at both places. I had a black quinoa and halibut dish at CML.  Maybe CML was a “tad” yummier but they were very close.

    We had our own maitre d’ tend to us for our wedding dinner at ELL, and he knew where ever berry, leaf and meat came from.  The breakfasts at ELL were very nice.  They use a ton of the silverware and plates, so kind of fancy even though we were sitting in our hiking clothes for breakfast. 

    My wedding dinner?  We had a platter of cured meats and cheeses to start, a butternut bisque, then I probably halibut I forget the sides (I cannot cook fish well so I usually order it).  H had a pork dish that was devine.  We had a dessert AND also the wedding cake for the last course.  The maitre d’ pre cut our cake and displayed it on the dessert plates (next to the other desserts we chose), I do wish we got to cut the cake ourselves, but I forgot to mention it.  No biggie.

    It was easy to add on two people and you could add more courses if you’d like.

    Post Hotel is supposed to be very nice food as well.  We did have time to go there.  Did not get to eat at Moraine either.

    I felt the package was a good value and well worth it for our case.  We did choose to upgrade to the king bed with the lake view (it was not standard issued room with the package).  EL also has that Point Lodge that is way at the end furthest from the lodge and tourists.  That looked really nice, but we did not opt for that.

    I use TripAdvisor.com a lot to review restaurants and hotels.

    The staff at Emerald, Moraine, Cathedral are typically young college kids in for the summer.  The get a lot of turnover.  As a result, staff might not be properly trained.  Example, we were supposed to get breakfast vouchers when we checked in but the receptionist did not know that.  Then when we showed up to get breakfast the staff wasn’t sure if our pacakge included the buffet or something from the menu.  Then we learned there were vouchers. So that part was a bit confusing but worked itself out in the end.

     

    For our license, we showed up at Kim’s house the day beore and filled out the paperwork.  She then brought a certificate to the wedding day where the witnesses signed that.  We paid her with a credit card as she also owned a B&B so she had a machine already available.  I think the paperwork was good for 30 days, but I’m not positive.  No tests, bloodwork, proof of divorce, etc.  I think it was only good for British Columbia, so probably couldn’t hop over the Banff if we changed our minds.

     

     

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  sienna76.
    Post # 9
    Member
    6073 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    Yosemity does look amazing – I think we’re going to visit this fall!

    Post # 10
    Member
    3044 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2016

    sienna76:  you said that due to latitude it just doesn’t get that hot in Banff… Which sounds a heck of a lot like you are saying  exactly that it isn’t hot, ever. I’m not going to apologize for being snotty unless you apologize for being misleading (oh, and snotty back).

    Banff’s averages are low because the nights can get quite cold (due to elevation and wind, mainly) – but the exact same latitude just a bit to the east on the prairies is almost always much warmer. Therefore cold in the mountains around Banff is not due to latitude.

    This sweeping generalization honestly bothers me because of the number of people I see vacationing in our mountain towns who have come from other countries  completely unprepared for when it gets hot, and who seem to expect that everything north of the 49th parallel is permafrost. The reason our average daily temperatures are on the low side is because there is a huge amount of swing in our temperature from day-to-night. You may have visited when it was low 20s, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t going to be ten or fifteen degrees Celsius hotter in the same week in another year – and it doesn’t mean it isn’t going to snow or frost up hard, either. 

    Post # 13
    Member
    6073 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    Shonzilla:  I’ve seen photos of the inside and outside of Ahwahnee Lodge (because it was also on our list of elopement locatins!) and I’m going to assume it’s more spectacular than Emerald Lake Lodge. Remember ELL is was build in 1903 or around that time, so it retains that old feeling to it and it’s on the smaller side (no rooms to rent inside). My husband has been at the Ahwahnee Lodge and it is much more impressive of a building. The location is totally differnet though – glacial lake versus towering granite cliffs.

     

    We have not however been in Banff Hotel or Rim Rock all in Banff, AB (two other fancy ideas for Banff the town). Lake Louise and Moraine Lake are more stunning to look at in terms of mountains and granduer. Lake Louise is huge with the hanging glaciers in the background. They will just have more tourists milling around. Chateau Lake Louise is supposed to be very nice inside as well.  Overall, those lodging options were too “big” for our tastes.

     

    Here is an elopement for Yosemite – not sure if you’ve seen this one. [http://greenweddingshoes.com/an-elopement-at-yosemite-national-park-kristin-cody/] The environment is different.  Yosemite will be drier climate with ponderosa pines and such. 

     

    As far as what to do for fun afterwards?  Or what to do before the wedding?  What are you looking for?  Nightlife?  Night on the town?  We did all our hiking/sightseeing the morning/day of the wedding, then the getting ready/wedding/photos/dinner took up from 3:00pm-10:00pm so a nice chunk of time.

     

    In the end these places you are thinking of are ALL gorgeous in their own way. You really cannot go wrong with any of them. I was so focused on what is the coolest location with the best views and I was really having a hard time narrowing it down. I had it narrowed down to 3 countries and 5 different US states! What if one place was more beautiful than the other??? It was so hard to choose!

     

    Then my husband reminded me that 90% of it is just the awesomeness of us getting married. The other 10% are in the details (aka location). That help keep things in perspective and I let go of finding the perfect place. Just one that had the most of what we wanted.

     

    See which places have the most amenities that you are wanting and go from there. Try to find as many photos online as you can to narrow it down.  One of those links I posted featured several real weddings for those Canadian areas.

     

    Here is a summary on what our 11 day road trip cost us if you want to get a ball park: [http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/our-dw-elopement-forecasted-vs-actual/#axzz32vk02i5t] (“note 3 nights at fancy lodge” – there aren’t rental rooms in ELL, we stayed at the condo like cabins around it).

     

    We did 11 days/10 nights for $3700 total, so taking our daily average of $370/day for eating/sleeping/gas, 4 weeks would have costed us $8880 and 6 weeks at $13320 going by our rate.

     

    However, we are fine with camping here and there, we did simple lunches on the trail (too far from any restaurant), and we did not have to buy any plane tickets or rent a car.  That could certainly get you up to $20k. 

     

    Food/gas was slightly more expensive in Canada and certainly in Banff NP.  However, it did not seem that noticeable to me in the end for 11 days. The wedding only portion was $3300 for us (see the budget post).  My $400 dress probably kept it low on average.

     

    ThisTimeRound another road tripping bride on here did several weeks in the US. Maybe she can give you her average cost/day.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  sienna76.
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