Being a photographer in Calgary and Canmore for over a decade, I often get asked if I have any sample photos for locations that some of my new clients are getting married at. The good news is... I DO!.
I have compiled a list of some of my FAVORITE locations to shoot and with them you will be able to check out some of my blog posts and some sample photos of each location! The locations get updated automatically as I blog and do more shoots so be sure to check back often leading up to your special day!
The beauty of Banff definitely lies in the surroundings, you can't go wrong with breathtaking mountain views everywhere you look. Banff is home to historic churches like St George's Anglican Church and St Mary's Catholic Church which I have had the pleasure of capturing the exquisite detailing of the sanctuaries. Buffalo Mountain Lodge always remains one of my all time favourite venues. I love the Tunnel Mountain Bluff that can be used for outdoor ceremonies but equally as beautiful is the Wapiti Room, complete with fireplace and wooden beams for a cozy indoor ceremony. The food is delicious, made by the ingenious chefs of the CRMR and the wine cellar below the Wapiti Room is well-suited for cocktails. Other favourites include the Rimrock Hotel and the Banff Springs Hotel and Juniper Lodge. Creatives locations are easily found within a few minutes drive from any venue.
I always feel happy when I get to photograph a wedding at the Calgary Zoo. Even though it is a more public setting, the way the ceremonies are situated with guests facing away from sidewalks and towards the gardens, they remain intimate and beautiful. Guests love that they can be entertained between the ceremony and reception. The zoo offers everything a wedding photographer like me could want for possible locations. A huge plus is that should there be bad weather, the indoor options are just as incredible as outside. The food at the zoo is always incredible and everything is always on time. I am continually impressed by the service and the staff. Being right in Calgary, a bad weather option, a stunning indoor garden, and with amazing service, the Calgary Zoo is definitely an amazing choice for photos and for a wedding.
Canmore is my second home. I travel out to the mountains to photograph weddings and engagements there 2-3 times a month in my busy season. I never tire of the epic mountain views and the laid back vibe. The Canmore Rail Bridge is a favourite creatives location. I love the black iron against the mountains with the river rushing below it. It's definitely a popular spot but it's popular because it's stunning. Seriously, it is a must see and you can not go wrong as a wedding destination. Also, you can't beat the fact that Canmore is only an hour from Calgary.
St Eugene is a little piece of Tuscany only a few hours away from Calgary. Driving up to the grand entrance covered in ivy took my breath away. The sweeping lawns, treed lane, flowers and old world charm still captivate me and I am dying to shoot there again. I love how guests can stay in the hotel and the entire wedding is situated on the property. The tent reception can accommodate over 100 guests and it's a dream to photograph with it's beautiful draped white walls and ceiling complete with chandeliers.
Cochrane is a little piece of the mountains only a few minutes from Calgary. I love the quiet peacefulness that the Cochrane Ranche House offers. The mountain and sky views from the outdoor ceremony space are spectacular. Everything you could ever want for a ceremony and reception venue is right there, as well as the most stunning surroundings for creatives. I will often bring my family and engagement clients here as it truly is one of my favourite locations. The expansive Hall of Vision with its timber beamed roof and stone fireplace is also a perfect indoor ceremony space that more than makes up for a rainy wedding day. The Chinook Room is perfect for a large wedding and I love how it opens up onto the patio and has an excellent green space for children (or guests!) to run off steam.
Oh Emerald Lake. Oh Emerald Lake Lodge. You have my heart. I love you in summer, winter, fall and spring and I love you in all types of weather. You never disappoint me as a photographer and I always feel that familiar gleeful delight when I photograph a wedding, engagement or elopement there. The blue-green, emerald, waters still capture me and I adore how the guests react, as if they can't believe their eyes either. I have photographed quite a few elopements at Emerald Lake Lodge and truly, there is no better option for a small wedding, especially international couples. It is the quintessential Canadian Rockie destination and it is breathtaking. Plus, it is less than 2 1/2 hours from Calgary. It is the perfect distance for family and friends to get their easy, and still be in an absolutely breathtaking, secluded, mountain location.
Heritage Park is a wonderful place to get married. It offers absolutely everything from really beautiful ceremony locations, incredible food (top 3 for sure!), tons of fun for me to shoot at and overall a really interesting and unique experience. They even offer cocktail cruises on their steamboat. I am always impressed by the service and staff and the Wainwright Hotel is my favourite reception venue on the grounds. I love that they have a big old fashioned bar that allows guests to move around and mingle between the two rooms.
If you're planning a wedding in Kananaskis, you're most likely headed straight for the Delta Kananaskis Lodge. And let me tell you, as a wedding photographer who has shot there countless times, you will not be disappointed. I love destination weddings where everyone is all together, no need for driving or coordinating transport and the Delta Lodge definitely fits that. You and your guests can relax and enjoy each other's company and the whole day is a breeze. The viewpoint for the ceremony is incredible and the entire creatives session can be done on the grounds or within a few minutes drive. The reception rooms are lovely with big windows to the outside and the service is fast and friendly. It's a gorgeous spot that might be overlooked due to its proximity to Canmore and Banff, but certainly it is a huge favourite of mine. I'm delighted to have my work featured in their brochures and wedding information as well! If you live in Calgary, it is less than 100km form downtown Calgary.
The nooks and crannies of this glorious lake are what makes Moraine Lake such a gem of a location. It’s fairly easy to wander away from the crowds and find our own bit of solitude, up and away from the world and looking down at the unreal green waters. The mountains surrounding the lake are nothing short of breathtaking and certainly the canoes paddling gently on that pristine water add to its charm.
Photographing a wedding at Silvertip in Canmore is always a delight. The views from the Gazebo overlooking the mountains make the ceremony perfect and as a wedding photographer, it's so much fun to shoot! The grandness of the Pavilion for the reception is unmatched in Canmore and if you're planning a larger wedding, it really is one of the most perfect spots for it... certainly one of the few. I love how the reception space opens up onto the patio with the fireplaces and huge views of the mountain right behind. Silvertip is only about 1 h 10 min (103.5 km) from downtown Calgary.
My husband is from Scotland, we met at a summer camp in Maine in 2002 and he immigrated to Calgary to be with me. We are back in Scotland every year and I am looking to photograph a wedding in Scotland each trip. Travel expenses are reduced because of that. If you are planning a Scotland wedding, I would love to hear from you! We travel from Edinburgh to Glasgow to Aberdeen and Lossiemouth each trip and I am extremely familiar with travel and amenities there. We were actually married in an old Scottish Ruin called Spynie Palace in 2010 so I am also familiar with wedding planners and navigating the wedding landscape in Scotland.
So putting the Rocky Mountains on here is a bit vague :) But... often we forget in Calgary just how close we are to such a beautiful and amazing natural canvas. The opportunities for photos, and weddings in the Rockies are almost unlimited!
Waterton is little piece of paradise that is often overlooked. I love that it's got a quaint tourist-town vibe but it's not obnoxious, it just makes me feel like I'm on vacation. There are lots of accomodationoptions for guests to choose from and a lot of venues for the actual wedding. Everything is close by from water, to waterfalls to prairie meets mountain. It's definitely a spectacular destination to introduce guests to and it's a very walkable town.
I think my favourite part of the Lougheed House is the fact that no matter the weather, you are covered for ceremony location. Both the inside and the outside options are spectacular and so any worry of bad weather can simply disappear. I love that this national historic site is centrally located in Downtown Calgary. It is truly a majestic venue filled with history and charm.
I have photographed weddings at RAW lodge and Island Lake Lodge in Fernie and I would highly recommend both venues. They both offer unique and beautiful and intimate experiences. In addition, both RAW lodge and Island Lake Lodge have exceptional ceremony and reception spaces and have wonderful chefs creating inspired food.
Oh, let me tell you about Murrietas in Canmore! I love being a Canmore wedding photographer because of Murrietas; which is fast becoming one of my absolute favourite venues inside Canmore. Most of the weddings I do there utilize the cozy and casual vibe and do food stations to encourage movement and mingling and I can always tell that the guests really really enjoy it. Plus the food is just the best, it's Murrietas after all.
Calgary has SO many hidden gems that we take for granted every day. Not just all of the amazing places that surround Calgary, but all of the awe inspiring spots hidden within our city. As a Calgary wedding photographer I always love shooting my home. Some of my photos in Calgary, you would swear were from deep in the mountains, on the rivers of Colorado, the wide open prairies of Saskatchewan with golden fields, or even an artistic capital of the world with a downtown core that never sleeps. For the title photo for this location, I think I chose the best photo to describe Calgary. Even in the winter, we are warm hearted. We don't need to take our selves too serious and there is amazing beauty all around is even in a simple photo. Look closer, we are lucky to live here!