You’re getting married! And whether you’re eloping or having an intimate wedding, now you need to figure out where it is you want to tie that knot. Through my elopement photography, I’ve come across a ton of amazing intimate wedding and elopement venues in Alberta. Research, personal experience, networking, and location scouting have all contributed to my dream list of venues. So read on for my list of, in no particular order, the top ten intimate wedding and elopement venues in Alberta!*
*Since some of these venues have multiple locations or rooms that you can choose from, this is more like a top ten plus, but “Top Fourteen-ish Elopement Venues” did not flow as nicely in the title 😉
Kicking it off with a funky vibe in the heart of downtown Calgary, we have Venue 308 (@venue308yyc). This is a gorgeous venue that crosses a classic studio vibe with modern decor. You’ve got red brick walls, beautiful chandeliers, white curtains, and (the photographer’s favourite) tons of natural light to spotlight you on your big day. Want to kill some time before or after the vows? There’s also a funky pool table at your disposal. This area has space for a full intimate wedding, but you can also claim it all to yourself for an elopement of the smallest variety.
Located in downtown Calgary, it’s easy to access as a local, and it’s proof that you don’t have to drive out to the mountains to find a picture perfect venue. You and any guests can take transit or ubers on the cheap, and if you have a honeymoon suite booked in one of the towering downtown skyscrapers, you’ll only be a few minutes away!
The Commons (@thecommonsyyc) is technically a collection of spaces, rather than a venue all on its own, which is great because that means there are more opportunities at your disposal to fit your needs. Also all located in Calgary, these venues are perfect for when you want to keep your wedding in the city, but add a bit of character to the venue. I could go into detail on each location, because they’re all spectacular in their own ways, but for the sake of time I chose the ones that would be best for those smaller, intimate weddings that I know you love (just like me)!
The Ramsay Design Centre is one of The Commons’s funkiest buildings, with high ceilings, brick walls, and accents of gold wallpaper. It has two rooms available, but the Parlour Room, with its 50-guest-or-less banquet capacity, is specifically great for hosting intimate weddings. The space has a really open concept and a truly unique aesthetic, with velvet couches, leather benches, and crystal chandeliers all working together for an industrial modern environment that will give your elopement photos a ton of character.
The GRAND Theatre is a historic theatre with three rooms available, but my favourite for elopement purposes is The Mezzanine. It can fit up to 75 guests, if you’re hoping to have some extra people tag along, and is a bit darker than the Parlour Room, almost like getting married in your own private club!
Park by Sidewalk Citizen is another Commons venue that can accommodate up to a hundred people. Light-wise, it’s basically The Mezzanine’s opposite. As The Commons puts it, the Solarium is “Filled with natural light, open to summer breeze and warmed with fireplaces to dispel the cold of winter.”
Okay, I know I’ve gone off on The Commons Venues, but I couldn’t skip over the Orchard Restaurant, because it’s just so cool and unique, especially for plant lovers who also crave an urban atmosphere! I actually went here for my birthday a few years ago and felt so at home surrounded by all this nature in the middle of the city. Again, it fits 90 people, so it’s especially good for if you’re planning an intimate wedding and want to bring along more than a couple of close friends or family members for the ride.
The Saskatoon Farm (@saskatoonfarm) is located between Calgary and Okotoks, and is a great option for if you’re a plant lover who would prefer an aesthetic more surrounded by nature than the city. You can get married outside or use the greenhouse to get that natural outdoor lighting without having to worry about the weather cooperating. It also has quite a large capacity, so works for a wide range of wedding types.
The Malcolm Hotel (@malcolmhotelcanmore) in Canmore is the first destination taking us into the Rocky Mountains. It has beautiful, well-lit rooms, where you can stay overnight after you say I do! The building has that classic Canmore lodge aesthetic, and comes with amenities like an outdoor pool and cozy fireplace, accommodating you in any season. Right in the heart of the mountains, this venue offers so many places to explore and take breathtaking photos without having to travel far from your hotel. There’s also an event space that fits up to 200 guests, so you have lots of wiggle room if you’re going for a more intimate or traditional wedding, rather than an elopement.
Silvertip Resort (@silvertipresort) is another Canmore venue that offers more than one location perfect for eloping. Both are surrounded on all sides by unbelievable Rocky Mountain valley views. The first, known as the Gazebo, is available May through September. It’s a great summer wedding spot, because it allows you to get married outside in the natural light, without worrying about the weather turning against you under the gazebo. The second, the Three Sisters Patio, is available October through April, and includes a hot chocolate bar for before or after your ceremony, so you can warm up with your guests if you’re getting married in those chillier months outside.
Located in Banff National Park, Storm Mountain Lodge (@storm_mountain_lodge) is definitely more of a typical elopement and intimate wedding venue, with a maximum capacity of only 34 people. Accommodations-wise, there are 16 individual cabins, each equipped with “wood burning fireplaces, clawfoot soaker tubs and warm, authentic Canadian decor”, perfect for unwinding after an exhilarating day of saying yes to the love of your life! Their baseline package also includes a three course dinner and continental breakfast, exclusive use of the property, and champagne for all (legal) attendees after the ceremony!
If you’re getting married outside of the Rockies, The Lodge at Panther River (@thelodgeatpantherriver) is a beautiful Sundre location that offers a myriad of wedding packages in order to tailor the experience best to you! With a ton of different locations to choose from, a wedding coordinator will actually walk you through each one, so you can make an informed decision on what suits you best. They also are unique as a venue in that they provide different spaces and packages to meet your wedding style. The Lodge can accommodate smaller, intimate weddings; a massive wedding tent on the grounds can serve larger parties; and a vintage gazebo is available for classic elopements.
If you want to see what a Kananskis wedding at Mount Engadine Lodge (@mountengadine) can look like, check out my other blog on Katie and Sam’s intimate winter wedding at this venue! Imagine immediate hike access right outside your door, an open patio perfect for outdoor ceremonies, and a wide-windowed dining area so that even your reception photos are flooded with natural light. The lodge is open year-round and offers a variety of accommodation styles, from “stunning lodge rooms, to wilderness cabins, glamping tents, and yurts.” Whatever your style is, they will accommodate and over-deliver for the perfect elopement experience.
Only ten minutes away from Banff, I couldn’t complete this list without Mount Norquay (@mtnorquay)’s two outdoor wedding locations. Both the Lone Pine Lodge and Cascade Lodge Patio locations are surrounded by the gorgeous Rockies, and provide indoor alternatives in their respective lodges in case the weather does not hold up. You should note that these are available only from July through mid-October, so unless you’re planning a summer or fall wedding, it may be better to choose from one of the other venues on this list.
Last, but certainly not least, we have the absolutely iconic Prince of Wales Hotel. Located in Waterton Lakes National Park, this is a stunning venue in a beautiful, historically rich park in the south of Alberta. The location is privy to the most insane panoramic views of Upper Waterton Lake, and the building itself is a sight to behold. The architecture, the wood beams, and the wide windows all contribute to a truly unparalleled ambience. And the guaranteed wind makes for some romantically dramatic photos!
Canmore, Calgary, Sundre, Waterton, Banff… Alberta is a goldmine for cities with a ton of character and a ton of elopement destinations. If you’re looking for even more intimate or down-to-earth spots, you can also check out my blog on AirBnBs in Alberta perfect for the occasion. If nothing speaks to you in either of these lists, don’t fret! As your elopement photographer, I want your day to be flawless. I will dive head first into location scouting to help you find the perfect venue for your day. Just say the word! Click here to contact me and we can get the conversation started today.
I’m your elopement hype girl and a photographer for the goofball lovers + those who want to make their wedding day an adventure. I’m also the owner of a converted camper van and love exploring the outdoors. You’ll find my heart on this blog. Whether it’s documenting my real life couples or giving my brides + grooms the tips + tricks they need to plan their best elopement, I’ve poured my heart out for you here.
"Liv is extremely talented and great to work with! She gave us enough direction in our shoots to know what to do but still left tons of room for candid, genuine moments. Nothing beats seeing real smiles and laughter in your photos! She was more than willing to collaborate and go for some sillier ideas, and was always super encouraging. She's an incredibly sweet person and we felt very comfortable to be ourselves around her. Liv's talent is beyond just the technical knowledge, she really has an artist eye for beautiful photos. Her editing style is perfect, not too dark or light but still brings personality with the warm tones she adds. I HIGHLY recommend working with Liv!!"