One of my favorite things about being a photographer is watching couples’ love stories unfold, grow, and flourish over the years. I’ve known Grace and Cody since college and have been honored to capture so many of the couple’s special milestones together! So, when the pair asked me to document their epic elopement in Banff National Park, I knew it would be the most memorable adventure and milestone of their love story yet! If you’re interested in planning a lakeside elopement in Banff or need some inspiration for your celebration in the Canadian Rockies, wait until you see Grace and Cody’s Banff elopement at Lake Louise!
Banff National Park is located in Alberta, Canada, just 80 miles (135 km) from Calgary. Most well known for its brilliant turquoise alpine lake and towering mountain peaks, Banff National Park is also a mecca for hiking, wildlife viewing, water activities, camping, winter sports, and helicopter rides. Banff National Park is open year-round but experiences some seasonal closures in the wintertime. The best time of year to visit Banff depends on the types of activities and sightseeing spots you’d like to experience during your elopement. Generally, Summer and Fall are the most popular times to visit the park. Still, Winter offers unique experiences such as ice skating on frozen blue lakes, backcountry skiing, dog sledding, and snowshoeing.
I was so excited when Grace and Cody contacted me to help plan and photograph their dream Banff elopement! After hanging out with the pair for their first couple session, I knew Cody and Grace had found them forever, so it was no surprise when Cody reached out to me to help plan and photograph a surprise engagement for Grace! The couple got engaged shortly after, and we began planning their epic Banff National Park elopement! Cody and Grace are so fun to hang out with, and Grace is hilarious. I couldn’t be more happy that I could document the early days of the couple’s love story and continue to do so for their Banff elopement.
Grace and Cody’s Banff elopement day started with the couple enjoying one another’s company. At the same time, Grace got her hair and makeup done at their hotel! Grace wanted to surprise Cody with her completed wedding look, so he stepped out just a few minutes before Grace put on her dress and added the final touches to her makeup.
Once we arrived at a private location along Lake Louise, Cody and Grace shared an unforgettable first look. Grace wore this beautiful, long-sleeved white gown with a fur bridal wrap, while Cody wore a black suit that was accessorized with boots and a cowboy hat. The couple’s attire complimented one another perfectly. Grace’s dried floral bridal bouquet added a spirited touch to the couple’s portraits as well!
We took portraits by the shore and shook our nerves before the couple’s intimate vow ceremony. Cody and Grace walked along the river, held hands, and shared laughter before we returned to the hotel to meet Cole, their officiant! We then returned to the lake, where Cody and Grace exchanged beautiful vows and enjoyed the beginning of their forever with one another.
Calgary International Airport is about an hour and a half drive to Banff and services major airlines such as Delta and Air Canada. From Calgary, you can rent a car or travel to Jasper with VIA Rail. From Jasper, you and your partner will then be able to take a bus or private car to Banff!
Eloping in Banff National Park is easy as long as you have 20 guests or less. Parks Canada does require couples to fill out a free registration form at least three days before a ceremony occurs in Banff. I recommend filling out and submitting the form as soon as possible! Once you arrive at the park, there is an entry fee of $11 per person, or you can choose to purchase the Parks Canada Discovery Pass for 1-year unlimited admission!
Always have one or two backup ceremony locations in mind before visiting Banff National Park for your elopement. Weather conditions in the mountains are always unpredictable, no matter the time of year, and unexpected closures due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances can occur. Always be mindful of changing road and weather patterns during your visit, and stay vigilant while exploring the beautiful Banff wilderness. Wildlife such as bears, wolves, and moose call the Canadian Rockies their home, so always be alert and keep your distance.
If you’re ready to experience an unforgettable Banff National Park elopement in the Canadian Rockies like Cody and Grace, I’m here to help bring your ceremony dreams to life! As your photographer, I’ll ensure your ceremony is stress-free by assisting with location scouting, permits, timelines, and more. You can take a peek at my Banff elopement packages here and share your vision for your special day through my contact form. If you want to learn more about planning an epic Banff elopement, check out my guide, How To Elope In Banff National Park!
A destination wedding and elopement photographer based out of Colorado! You can usually find me with a hot cup of coffee in my hand, sporting some comfy tennis shoes, or in pursuit of my next big escape!