- 5 years ago
- Wedding: May 2014
How many guests are you considering?
I am going to be having a private ceremony (no guests in attendance) with a reception for family and friends.
I am having my ceremony done by Rick Kunelius and Alpine Heli-Weddings. It wlil be in Canmore, costs $1800 and includes the helicopter ride to the top of the mountain, the ceremony, time at the top for photos and stuff, and then a ride back to the bottom. Technically, you can take 3-4 guests with you in the helicopter if you so chose.
I found this option awesome because for our reception we could just focus on a venue that is strictly food and drink oriented (we chose a restaurant in downtown Calgary) and not have to worry about any kind of set-up or rentals. That really helped with our budget.
I see you checked the Iron Goat, which is great..but I imagine not super cost effective. Try some of the smaller restaurants in the downtown area (that suit your group size). If they are not popular wedding spots, they tend to be cheaper.
ETA: Our restaurant venue in downtown Calgary had only a $4000 F&B minimum and no venue rental cost. It is not a common wedding spot but absolutely beautiful so that really helped. Also consider checking community halls or the Nordic Centre or something.
Here are some venues that I researched and real weddings to boot!
What about Storm Mountain Lodge, Bear and Bison Inn, Banff Rec Center, Banff Lodge, Murieta’s, Grande Rockies, Stewart Creek? They are all smaller, not as up front venues.
Here’s one from the Canmore Golf and Curling Club.
Maybe try calling the Chamber of Commerce or Visitor’s center and see if they have any ideas. I’m sorry I can’t really help you so much with this (not a local). But let me just say i LOVE Banff. So beautiful! Anyone know of any great places to stay for a honeymoon? (besides the big castle or Lake Louise because they are out of our budget)
@engleman10513: We did our 11 day road trip honeymoon in the Canadian Rockies!
We only camped in Banff (very lovely campground). Banff was super busy (the town and the park). The trails were super crowded. People do not know how to stay to the right! They just walk right down the middle while pretending you are not coming at them. I can’t tell you how many times I had to step off the trail to let people pass. Arrrrgggh.
Here are some well know accomodations in the Canadian Rockies:
Banff Springs Hotel (fancy), Banff
Rim Rock Hotel (fancy), Banff
Paintbox Lodge (quaint), Canmore
Post Hotel (fancy), Lake Louise Village
Fairmont Chateau (fancy), Lake Louise
Baker Chalets (rustic), Lake Louise Village
Moraine Lake Lodge (rustic fancy), Moraine Lake
Cathedral Mountain Lodge (rustic fancy), Field
Emerald Lake Lodge (rustic fancy), Field
Banff has the chains and not as well known complexes too that would be just as good.
@sbruin99: I am a Banff/Rocky Mountain bride. We just got engaged last month and are planning on a small, intimate wedding in the mountains next summer followed by a restaurant reception. We are hoping to have the whole thing come in at $6,000 or under and I really think it can be done.
Since Banff is a National Park you are allowed to get married anywhere you want within the park itself. You just need to fill out a form from Parks Canada telling them details of when, where and how many people, etc. The Town of Banff itself also rents out several different wedding venue ceremony locations and the prices are decent. Check their website.
We will have an outdoor ceremony and then a restaurant reception at a place either in Banff or back in Calgary. We won’t be having more than 30 guests, so even at $100 a head we can still come within budget. We will not be paying for alcohol and our guests know this and don’t expect us to (both Fiance and I are in recovery). At most restaurants they will rent you a private or semi-private room as long as you agree to a minimum food and drink amount ($4,000 is normal). We are also not having a dance or anything like that…just a top of the line meal for our guets, with toasts at dinner and then a cake cutting afterwards.
We are going to avoid getting into signing a contract with a lodge or hotel because often you have to have a garaunteed number of rooms rented out by your guests and that can get expensive fast. We would rather get into a contract with a restaurant and allow our guests to find their own accommodations within their own budgets.
We were going to look at Waterton, which would be the cheapest in Alberta in the Rockies. However, we decided on Valemount instead.
Sorry for being MIA – my SO and I are currently building our forever dream home so things are crazy around our house. Thank you so much for the advice.
I think my problem is I want this “dream wedding” on way to small of a budget. I look at all of these gorgeous places around Banff and think WOW I want to get married there but I just cannot afford it. We will have between 50-100 guests ( depends who wins that arguement – us or our parents). So it is the meal that is killing me. I guess I am old fashioned but I don’t see how I can invite people to our wedding and then not feed them ( maybe if it was a Destination type wedding it wouldn’t be so bad).
@crystalrae: I am in LOVE with the Iron Goat but it does not fit into our budget 🙁 I wish I did not have my heart set on the mountains and a lodge type feel – it would make this much easier because then I could look for something in Red Deer or Calgary
@sienna76: Thank you so much for mentioning Stewart Creek, I have been researching there and I think we are going to go look at it. It is probably the most I can afford with my budget ( okay, that’s a lie – we can’t really afford it but its the highest we will try to make work
@sillysillybee: Congrats on your engagement! If we had our way we would be having a very small wedding. Unfortunately I come from a very large family and my parents feel I need to invite everyone so as to not hurt feelings – and since they are chipping in a BIG chunk of my budget money I feel like I need to at least try to please them. ( I won’t even get into the fight we had because we are choosing to not be married in a church.) I would love an outdoor wedding but as our wedding is going to be in December ( most likely) I am to scared to not pick somewhere with an indoor backup. I will check out the Town of Banff website.
@Cynderbug: I looked at Waterton – I just don’t know about the distance for us. I was also looking at possibly Jasper. Where abouts in Valemount did you decide to go with?
Thanks again ladies! Hopefully this gets easier. Part of me feels like we are making a mistake trying to do the house this year and get married next year.
@sbruin99: Best Western in Valemount. My fiance proposed to me at the creek in Easter. 🙂 It’s a very nice town; it’s gorgeous in the winter time too! However, it gets busiest in winter as a lot of ski-dooers and alpine skiers go there. Have you looked at Mount Robson?
50 to 100 guests? You have a lot of choices! Where in Alberta are you?
Jasper would be closest to me (Edmonton), but I looked at prices and places — none of the venues could fit my maximum capacity of 150, but their largest was 100 to 120. The main deterrent from my Fiance and myself having it in Waterton/Jasper/Banff is that our guests and ourselves would have to pay national park fees.
I actually just emailed three different Rocky Mountain venues close to Calgary area. If you want their 2014 quotes, I could forward it to you from my work email. (PM me your email) They were Banff Gate Mountain Resort, Kananaskis Guest Ranch and a Jasper venue. I also looked at the Delta by Kananaskis. (My most favourite venue closest to Calgary/Banff!) Kananaskis wasn’t going to be too bad price-wise, but my Fiance wasn’t keen as his preference is in the northern parts of the Rockies. (I really think it’s because he hates driving on Highway 2!!)
Hinton would be okay, but I couldn’t find a place that serves great food. (Our luck with restaurants in Hinton has been slim)
Getting the house ready ahead of the wedding is smart. 🙂 Fiance and myself became homeowners two summers ago! (Owning a house is so much work!! >.<;; )
Curious what you have decided on? I live in Banff and we are getting married in Banff. Our budget is $5000 and I have to get creative to stick to it but it is possible.
@Pixienickie: honestly… I haven’t made out at all! I thought finding a venue I would like that fits what I wanted would be easy – WRONG! How are you doing it?! How many quests are you having? We are inviting 100 ( I am hoping though that they all don’t come lol).
I decided very early on that I wanted the Tunnel Mountain Meadow (or Buffalo Mountain Meadow, Banff reserviour) for the ceremony. That made the decision to have the reception at the Buffalo Mountain Lodge easy, it is just so darn close I couldn’t go with anything else. I have chosen the wainwright room (70 person capacity, so 25 people better decline :S). I am doing a Sunday afternoon reception with lots of horsdeurves and wine. Another place that had reasonable rates is the Banff Park Lodge (indoor only) and the Fenlands Rec grounds. Their is an outdoor ceremony at the fenlands and indoor reception possibilities. I work for a photography company in Banff with great prices if you are looking for a photographer!
I attended a wedding at the Canmore Nordic Center. it was a really nice venue, tons of windows…huge deck. Most expensive room is the banquet room for a full day at $500.00. But you can do half days and smaller rooms too.
britwolf: we just had our wedding in Canmore over thanksgiving weekend. It was fantastic and we stayed on a pretty tight budget. I highly recommend the Legion in Canmore. Chris was AMAZING to deal with, the food was great and everyone had a blast. If you’d like more info on vendors, let me know, I’m happy to share info if you need anything.