Is Banff a Top Destination for Weddings?

While killing some time the other day I searched “Top 10 Wedding Destinations” and as expected a bunch of top 10, 50, 100 type articles popped up.  What surprised me though was that Banff, Alberta wasn’t on any of them.  While I do understand why beach destinations tend to dominate these lists, there were quite a few other non-beach locations listed and no mention of one of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations. As a Banff Photographer I thought I would write a short article to outline why I think Banff should make most “top” lists for destination weddings.  For those unfamiliar with the area, the Town of Banff is in Banff National Park in the southwest part of Alberta.

Banff wedding photographer

First off, as all the best Wedding Photographers in Banff know, it is an epic location for photographing weddings.  Waterfalls, mountain tops, meadows, lakes etc.  I have been photographing weddings in Banff for over a decade and on the wedding day I always run out of time before I run out of options.  The hardest thing Banff Photographers deal with is making sure you don’t keep the wedding couple out too long on the portrait session!!

Banff wedding photographer

Banff Photographers never get tired of photographing wedding in the Canadian Rockies because the seasons are so different.  While this is a nice perk for those lucky few who get to work in Banff through all seasons, it is also great for prospective couples because it gives them a few more options.  Winter weddings in the Rockies are completely different than summer weddings, so much so its almost like they are two separate locations.  The summer months bring long days with sunsets at 9-10pm while durning winter months the sun can dip behind the mountains as early as 4:30pm.  Wildflowers in July are beautiful and amazing fall colors arrive by September.

Banff wedding photographer

Guests coming from non-mountain locations always appreciate visiting the area because its so different from what they are used to.  Those American guest visiting from the south get to escape the heat.  Most guests have been to a few beach destinations, so when you plan a beach destination wedding it can be hard to impress guests.

Banff wedding photographer

If you want to impress guests look no farther than the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.  Nicknamed “The Castle” it is no wonder so many brides have dreamed of being married there ever since their first visit as a little girl.  The best Wedding Photographers in Banff will be able to incorporate both the exterior and interior of the hotel into your wedding days photos.

The Castle

Banff offers so many options to couples both in terms of landscape and venues and if that isn’t enough you don’t have to look too far for more stunning natural beauty. Banff photographers will have many options for couples within Banff National Park such as Lake Louise, Moraine Lake and even Peyto Lake, which can be reached on the wedding day with some planning.  All of this is an ease one hour drive from Calgary’s International Airport, making it an a simple location to fly into for most North America guests.

Wedding Photo
Alan Maudie is a Banff Wedding Photographer based out of Calgary, Alberta.  He was born and raised in the Canadian Rockies and has a passion for documenting mountain weddings.

When should we do our engagement session? – Calgary Wedding Photographer Alan Maudie answers a common question

I have been a Calgary Wedding Photographer for the past 10+ years and on average shoot around 20 weddings a year.  Most Calgary Wedding Photographers offer an engagement session to couples either as an add-on or part of their coverage.  I try to keep these sessions informal and fun.  Actually, I try to keep all my photography that way, but even more so with engagement sessions where I am often trying to convince the skeptical groom that being photographed can be a good time.  There are some key pointers/suggestions that I make to couples who are planning a session.  For now I’ll talk a bit about the various different seasons of the year and how they work for engagement sessions or any portrait session for that matter.  I realise not all readers are in Calgary or even Alberta, so please keep in mind that this advice is specific this part of the world.

winter engagement session Calgary

I won’t sugar coat it, planning a winter engagement session in Calgary is usually and exercise in patience. There are very few days during the winter where there is fresh snow on the ground but it’s not -20 or snowing sideways.  Some of the best wedding photographers in Calgary know “winter” shoots usually work better in the mountains where snowpack is more consistent and the weather is sometimes a bit more moderate. I spend a lot of time in the mountains and calling me a Banff Wedding Photographer wouldn’t be too much of a stretch.  Some years I do more weddings in the mountains than I do in the city.  I have photographed quite a few winter weddings at Lake Louise and it is usually pretty reliable for snow.  Banff photographers also struggle with a lack of snow at times too, so best to check out the webcams first and make sure there is actually some snow on the ground before driving out.  Having said all that, if you do time a winter session right it can be really amazing, so worth the hassle.

Banff winter engagement session

My favourite two times of the year for engagement session in Calgary are early summer and early fall.  Calgary photographers know that June typically starts off great and ends up wet, so you might not want to plan anything too late into June.  Fall is in my opinion the best time of the year for an engagement session or Family Photography session in Calgary.  As we move into September the light gets better and the fall colour starts to appear.  The season typically peaks around the end of September, when the leaves come down, but October can be really nice too some years.

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My least favourite time of the year in Calgary is April, it is basically really ugly.  The unsung hero though for me is November.  Not every November works out, but more often that not there is a week of weather where the temps are warm and there isn’t much wind.  If you can plan on getting out to do your shoot in the late afternoon there are some perfect sunsets.  It has an amazing California look to it.  Have fun!

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Top Urban and Natural Calgary Wedding Photography Locations

A Calgary wedding photographer has a wide range of locations to select from.  Calgary is a beautiful city that has the Canadian Rocky Mountains as a backdrop and the famous Bow River flowing through town. In addition to all the natural beauty in the area, the city of Calgary also has some amazing urban options from old sandstone heritage buildings to modern architecture.  A skilled photographer working with a great couple will have a lot of fun creating memorable Calgary wedding photography. Some of the high-end wedding photographers in Calgary simply love the range of options from urban streetscapes to mature forests.

Please have a look at some of the best Calgary wedding photography locations:

1. Fish Creek Park:

The best thing about the Fish Creek Park is that it offers a location that doesn’t look or feel like a big city.  It’s also a year-round option where an experienced Calgary wedding photographer can shoot any time of the year. The open fields with sweeping skies and the quiet treed areas of the Fish Creek Park makes it one of the best Calgary wedding photography locations. This beautiful park is in the same area where the Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant is located, which makes it easy for the couple to sneak out of the wedding reception with their photographer at sunset.

Fish Creek Park Wedding Photo
2. Charbar:

Located inside the old Simmons Buildings in the East Village, the Charbar (http://www.charbar.ca/)  is a versatile location that can be used for both Calgary wedding photography or engagement shoots. The best thing about Charbar is that this character location can accommodate weddings and receptions too.  The home like atmosphere of Charbar’s brick interior and low lighting provides photographers a perfect environment for photojournalistic wedding photography.

Charbar Wedding Photo
3. Confederation Park:

With a central location near Downtown, Confederation Park has beautiful trees and manicured lawns that offer a great location for more traditional Calgary wedding photography.  The parks urban setting makes it a favorite for many Calgary wedding photographers to use for their wedding and family photography shoots.

Confederation Park Wedding Photo
4. Langevin Bridge:

The Langevin Bridge (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langevin_Bridge) is an incredible Calgary wedding photography location that has the added bonus of being oriented perfectly for sunsets. Also known as the Reconciliation Bridge, this bridge has rustic classic look and is known to be a great place to take urban looking wedding photos any time of the year.

Lethbridge Wedding Photographer
5. Crescent Heights:

This scenic overlook is a favorite Calgary wedding photography location because Crescent Heights provides a perfect view of the downtown skyline.  This location lets an experienced Calgary wedding photographer provide a wide range of options for wedding couples.

Calgary wedding photography location
If you are looking for experienced and high-end wedding photographers in Calgary, who have over a decade of experience choosing the perfect wedding location and executing the best wedding shoot then consider Alan Maudie. He would love to talk to you and discuss your Calgary wedding photography project help make your day relaxing and enjoyable while utilizing some of the best locations Calgary has to offer.

Feel free to send me an mail at email@alanmaudie.com and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible! Or stay connected with us through Facebook, Twitter, Google+Instagram and Pinterest social networks!