The last few months have been quite a whirlwind for brides, grooms and the entire wedding industry, haven’t they? I remember hearing the Government of Alberta’s decision to cancel all events over 15 people this spring & summer, and feeling my heart just sink. After giving myself time to process the news, I began thinking of ways to continue to support my own clients through this uncertain time, as well as all couples who have been affected. Most of my clients began reaching out to me about postponements, but some couples asked me for elopement venue suggestions. The information out there is confusing and leave many questions unanswered such as which parks are open? Which venues are offering intimate celebrations? I started a conversation with my good friend and amazingly talented wedding planner extraordinaire Jacqueline Rae of Jacqueline Rae Weddings and together we decided to do some research and compile a list of some of our favourite wedding venues for intimate weddings/elopements in and around Calgary! Although there are many stunning venues in Banff and beyond, we decided to not include them due to the uncertainty regarding the closure of Banff National Park. We’re hoping this will change and would love to discuss these options with you as well!
Having an intimate wedding is a wonderful option for couples who don’t want to wait another year to have their ceremony. Many of our clients have decided to still get married on their original wedding date, while postponing the large celebration with family and friends until it’s safe to do so. Honestly, elopements can be so special, and having a great team behind you will make the experience magical. From Jacqueline Rae: “I believe in providing wholehearted hospitality for couples who desire intentionally intimate weddings and an experience made up of moments. I’m looking forward to designing elopements and small ceremonies that are thoughtfully curated, connected to the couple, and seamlessly executed where couples can celebrate their love freely and fully, just the way they imagined.”
If you’ve decided that an elopement is the right choice for you, you’re likely looking for a perfect place to honour your intimate celebration. There is a lot of uncertainty during this time regarding park closures, venue offerings, and other important factors when planning your day. Whether you’re on plan B, or have always planned on an elopement style wedding, we’ve compiled a list of beautiful, romantic spots to say “I Do!” PS: they’re all perfect for photographs before or after the ceremony too.
*Disclaimer – the information provided may change as the regulations around events during COVID-19 evolve. We encourage you to do your own research and contact venues to get up to date information.
1. The Norland Estate – Lethbridge, AB
Kristyn: The Norland Estate is truly a magical place – of course I’m biased because it’s where I married my husband in 2018! I cannot speak highly enough of my experience with The Norland, and I recommend this venue to any couple who wants a classic, romantic venue that has everything you need in one place. The grounds are breathtaking, the manor is something out of a Southern dream, and the staff are wonderful as well. There are countless spots for an intimate ceremony here, and they are offering multiple packages to suit the different needs of couples coming from around the province.
Jacqueline: Formally a historic farm with a colonial style estate, dates back to 1909 with over nine acres of tree-lined and manicured grounds. What I love about this venue for an intimate ceremony is the privacy and quaint grounds it provides for you and your small-group of guests with a rich classical landmark. The Norland Estate is the best of both worlds, classical architecture with secluded lush lawns, perfect for an elopement and intimate ceremony.
2. Reader Rock Garden – Calgary, AB
Kristyn: One of my favourite places in Calgary, Reader Rock Garden is an inner-city escape to a beautifully designed garden complete with a gazebo and multiple lawn spaces to hold a ceremony. The park is especially beautiful in late May – August when the flowers bloom and everything is so green! You do require a city permit to have a ceremony and do photographs here, but the cost is well worth it. I could spend hours on hours in all of the different areas – it is that beautiful!
Jacqueline: Reader Rock Garden is a truly unique outdoor venue tucked away on union hill before you cross into downtown. The history of the gardens was incredibly pivotal to Calgary’s ecosystem which adds to the charm of the outdoor space. Complete with a historic building and spacious green lawns surrounded by foliage, rock-lined pathways, and lush florals creates a beautiful location for an intimate ceremony or elopement in the heart of the city.
3. Azuridge – Priddis, AB
Kristyn: Only 15 minutes outside of the city, Azuridge is a beautiful venue that offers a variety of spots for an elopement. Think wooded forest, manicured grounds and beautiful indoor options as well. Their service is known for being top-notch, and you’ll be well taken care of.
Jacqueline: If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind experience with your intimate wedding, look no further then Azuridge Estate outside of Priddis. Combined with 13 acres of deep forests and striking mountain views, they have multiple ceremony options to suit your preferences with an unmatched service team to make your day unforgettable.
4. Deane House – Calgary, AB
Kristyn: Deane House is another beautiful inner-city spot that seems so peaceful when you arrive and walk down the garden lined pathways and into the charming historic house (which has been transformed into one of Calgary’s favourite restaurants!) They’re known for delicious food and a sustainable approach, and they have multiple spots to exchange vows.
Jacqueline: Imagine intimate lush gardens, climbing roses and draping oak trees on a riverfront property complete with a historic red house. Deane House located on the bank of Inglewood allows for multiple outdoor ceremony locations using the gardens as a backdrop, rustic outbuildings, and catering services that are full of Canadian history.
Click here for photographs of Deane House weddings
5. Rouge Restaurant – Calgary, AB
Jacqueline: Rouge is not only known as a premier dining restaurant in Calgary, but also has one of the largest outdoor gardens and patios in the downtown area. Spanning over 6 city lots and adorned with overflowing edible gardens, lush trees and shrubs; aids as the perfect venue for an intimate ceremony and elopement.
6. Mount Engadine – Kananaskis, AB
Kristyn: One of my 2020 couples recently made the decision to elope at this magical mountain spot, and I could not believe I hadn’t heard of it! It’s secluded, surrounded by beautiful views, and they have lots of lodging and meal options as well. It’s worth a visit, even just for a breathtaking hike around the area!
Click here for photographs of Mount Engadine
7. Kananaskis Mountain Lodge – Kananaskis, AB
Kristyn: Although I’ve only ever been to Kananaskis Mountain Lodge in the winter, I can tell you that it’s beautiful year round. The property offers two stunning viewpoints for outdoor ceremonies as well as multiple indoor options if the weather is poor. The area is perfect for photographs of mountain views and bonus – they are reopening on May 15 2020 for guests who would like to book a stay in the hotel as well.
8. Silvertip Resort – Canmore, AB
Jacqueline: Located 5,200 feet above the Town of Canmore, Silvertip Resort offers unmatched mountain views and ceremony spaces with private dining spaces for your intimate or elopement ceremony. One of the most popular, and one of our favourite ceremony options is the Gazebo which offers a beautiful wooden gazebo structure and stone patio that is perched on top of a hill overlooking a picturesque mountain range and tree line. Truly a one-of-kind venue to host your special day.
9. Pine & Pond – Falun, AB
Kristyn: I have my first Pine & Pond wedding in the spring at this charming outdoor venue, and I am so excited! This new & exciting venue is around 2 hours north of Calgary and 1 hour south of Edmonton! I can promise it’s worth the drive – have you seen the pictures of brides & grooms in canoes on their lake? Or the sparkler exits down the stairway? There are so many beautiful photo opportunities here, and I just can’t wait. For 2020, they are offering elopement specials which can include access to the entire venue, tables, chairs, arbour and more.
Click here for photographs of Pine & Pond weddings
10. Primrose Lane Farm – Cardston, AB
Jacqueline: What dreams are made of! Although I have not had a chance to visit Primrose Lane Farms, the idea of your nuptials taking place in the middle of an organic floral garden is truly magical. Located near Waterton Lakes National Park on quarter-acre farmland an intimate ceremony or elopement is perfect for this venue and allows for personal flowers to come right out of the garden adding to the charm.
Click here for photographs of Primrose Lane Farm
We have curated the small list above from the many incredible wedding venues around Alberta. These are some of our personal favourites that reflect our classic & romantic style and are able to serve clients well during current event restrictions. We believe every couple deserves a unique celebration and we would love to help you bring your personal, meaningful and beautiful wedding day vision to life no matter how you decide to celebrate it. Together, we are offering personalized elopement and intimate gathering services. If you feel our approach is the right fit for you, we would love to hear from you. You can inquire below & Jacqueline & Kristyn will reach out to begin the conversation!
We’re looking forward to working together and creating intentional, thoughtfully curated experiences that are personal to each couple.
Jacqueline & Kristyn