- 2 weeks ago
- Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise
I did a super brief recap right after the wedding, but now that I have my pro photos back I felt like it was time for a more thorough rundown of what was – pants down – the best week of my life.
We chose Lake Louise because of the Bee, in part. We knew we wanted a destination wedding, but our original thought was Mexico. It’s where we took our first vacation together, and it’s really beautiful where we stayed. A change in the security situation, and some issues around cost due to a language barrier made that plan impractical so we were sort of at square one.
Then I saw a post from a Bee who eloped at Moraine Lake (which is very near Lake Louise) and it hit me like lightning; THAT’S where I wanted to get married.
I’ve been obsessed with Lake Louise since I was about 9 and I saw a PBS special on the Canadian Rockies. I didn’t know there were places in the world that looked like that; at least not outside of Europe. The color of the water and the incredible soaring peaks were just breathtaking. Darling Husband had never been, but had pretty much adopted the attitude that his job was just to show up, so whatever I wanted was fine.
So we booked our wedding at the Chateau Lake Louise!
(Not my photo – we never actually got one from this angle)
We decided to spend a full week in Banff so that we could really enjoy the surroundings. I knew I wanted a few days before the wedding so I didn’t feel totally rushed with planning, and then a couple days after where it was just the two of us. Happily, 19 of our 21 guests also decided to make a long weekend out of it, so we got to have lots of quality time with everyone before the wedding, too.
We arrived on Wednesday, which was really just about getting there. I’d ordered a minivan from the cab company to take the 5 of us (me, dh, sister, daughter, and daughter’s boyfriend) to the airport. At 9, when the cab was supposed to have arrived, I was getting antsy and called the cab company. Only to have them tell us that even though we booked and CONFIRMED this ride, they didn’t have a van. And no one was on the way to get us. And they could send 2 cars, but it would be twice as much as 1 van.
No thanks. We loaded into my sister’s wagon and hauled ass to the airport. Long term economy parking was cheaper in the long run, anyway.
We got to our condo at about 5pm local and basically just sat there staring out the windows in awe.
The view from our air bnb
Thursday we went for a quick hike with the crew who had already arrived.
That evening, we met at the top of Sulphur Mountain and had dinner at the Sky Bistro – 8 minute gondola ride to one of the best meals of my life!
View from the top
Next day we took a soak in the Upper Hot Springs
Then it was off to High Rollers – the Big Lebowski themed bowling alley for our official “Welcome” event. Our officiant was my best friend, who got ordained in the Church of the Big Lebowski – She’s a Dudist Priest. So, it seemed a fitting choice.
Next day was the BIG DAY!
We had incredible luck with our venue. Originally, we’d booked the ceremony in a small space on the first floor with a view of the lake. Since our group was so small, it was just the right size to accomodate us. But for the reception, we ended up booking a conference room in the basement. With no windows. We couldnt do the banquet setup in the ceremony space, and the food and beverage minimum for the other lakeview rooms started at $25k!
The week before the wedding, I got a call from the coordinator asking if we wanted to use the sunroom, attached to the Victoria Ballroom. Apparently someone canceled at the last minute, forefitted their deposit, and so we got to use the space FOR FREEEEE!!
This is what we booked
This is what we got
The ceremony was beautiful. Everybody laughed and cried where they were supposed to.
It was beautiful and awesome and fun and magical. Really.
And our luck just kept coming! I rented a jr lakeview suite for our stay. I wanted a view of the lake, but since even that smaller room was running like $850 CAD a night, I didn’t go for anything fancier. However, when we checked in, I ran off to get a massage and Darling Husband got us an upgrade to the Tom Wilson suite! It was a separate bedroom, and a private balcony right over the lake. It was incredible!
Shout out to my Muderino pals
We ordered room service the next morning and I dragged the breakfast cart out onto the terrace because… obviously.
We paddled around the lake for a while after we checked out.
And went for a short hike
Everything about the whole trip seemed blessed with unearned luck. The weather was perfect, everyone who was most important made it. We got to spend loads of time with our closest friends in the most beautiful place I have ever seen with my own two eyes. It was so much fun introducing everyone to this amazing place (only one of the guests had ever been to Banff before) and having a wedding that genuinely felt like a dream come true!