Summer, fall, winter, spring. Do you want to know the best season to get married in the Rocky Mountains? There isn’t one. Whether you’re dreaming about getting married in Banff, Lake Louise or any other mountain town, each season is beautiful in its own way and comes with its own list of benefits.
Did you two meet in the fall? Do you have a special memory of the spring? Do you love to ski? Choose a time of year that is meaningful for you as a couple – don’t just follow conventional wedding norms.
Sure, some seasons might be easier to navigate than others, but as a couple who is choosing to get married in the Canadian Rockies, we know you’re not the type to choose the easy route.
Below, we’ve created a guide to each wedding season in the Rockies with some considerations you may not have thought about, so you can be sure to pick the perfect time of year for you and your partner.
Summer is a popular time to get married in the mountains and with good reason. We don’t really need to sell you on this one.
You can wear whatever wedding attire you want without worrying too much about getting cold. The days are warmer and longer, the mountains are vibrant with the energy of people and it’s perfect for a hiking elopement or for dancing the night away at your reception.
Sunsets are early and sunrises are late, so you can take advantage of long days to do a heli or hike at the wedding. The scenery is spectacular; glacial blue lakes are thawed and wildflowers start blooming in the alpine in July. Unless you want random people in your photos, it is helpful to have local vendors on your side to help you avoid touristy crowds and peak times at popular sights.
The weather can be unpredictable in the mountains though, so there are no guarantees that there won’t be rain or even snow at your summer mountain wedding. Nights are still chilly so a shawl or light jacket is recommended if you’ll be outdoors in the evening.
In general, since this is Canada after all, we recommend an indoor reception as well as an indoor alternative for your ceremony. This goes for every season because the weather can change on a dime here in the Rockies.
Fall might just be the sweetest season to get married in the Rockies, but also the shortest. Fall is shoulder season, so those huge crowds of tourists have disappeared and if you plan it early enough, you can still have a hiking or heli elopement in the alpine.
Just be sure to bring a good pair of hiking boots as there is potential for mud. As the days get shorter, sunrise photoshoots will be a lot easier to wake up for, but temperatures will also be chillier calling for mittens, a touque (that’s a beanie for you non-Canadians reading) and warm layers. You’ll have beautiful golden sun, colourful leaves and moody mist – maybe even a touch of frost.
If you’re lucky, you’ll have gorgeous golden larch trees as a backdrop. In September, the soft pine needles of Rocky Mountain larch trees change colour from evergreen to golden. It’s a truly spectacular sight, one that many will travel from all over the world to see. The golden larch season is short, lasting about two weeks from the first frost in the mountains, roughly from just mid-September to early October, peaking in late September.
If you’re able to scoop up a venue during those crucial late September days, you’ll be rewarded with incredible scenery and beautiful golden larches. Regardless, a fall mountain wedding is perfect if you love warm jewel tones, smaller crowds, and lower prices for venues and accommodations.
Wedding season starts to slow down in the Rockies in winter, but we can’t figure out why. Don’t overlook a winter mountain wedding just because of the weather.
A winter mountain wedding is wildly romantic and whimsical. Imagine glistening frosty pines, snow-covered mountains, the glow of a warm fire and the company of your favourite people surrounding you.
Winter is one of the most beautiful seasons in Banff and is a great time to get married (and then jet off somewhere sunny for a warm honeymoon)!
The crowds have thinned so you’ll have more options for venues and most likely cheaper prices than in the summer. Your guests will also benefit from more affordable accommodation rates and can partake in some fun pre-wedding activities like dog-sledging, snowshoeing or hitting the ski slopes.
If you’re worried about outdoor portraits, don’t be! A great local photographer will be familiar with the cold temperatures and will have the plan to help you stay as warm as possible between photos.
Maybe you’ll even get some epic photos in front of a frozen waterfall or a carved ice castle. All of our local vendors are experienced with unpredictable winter weather and are able to help you navigate wedding planning through every season.
In the spring, there’s an exciting energy that you can feel in the mountains as the sleepy winter thaws, the birds migrate back and all of nature awakens. It is shoulder season, so the big ski crowds are gone but you’ll still have snow-capped mountains as a backdrop to all your photos. You’ll have a bit more access to scenic trails, although the alpine will still be snowed in until June.
Take advantage of this time of year to lock in affordable pricing on wedding venues and accommodations before they go up in the summer. Spring also means having more choice of wedding vendors before they book up such as the mountain wedding photographers, videographers, caterers and beauty stylists you’ve had your eye on.
If you swoon over wedding florals, then spring is the perfect season for you to get married! Some of the most gorgeous flowers are in season in the springtime – peonies, tulips, hyacinths, sweet peas, and lilacs just to name a few. Be prepared for any kind of weather, but as the days grow longer and snow begins to melt, you’ll have beautiful scenery for your dream spring mountain wedding!
As you can see, every season is unique in the Rockies and there is really no “best time” to get married. Whether you want a cosy winter mountain wedding or a sunrise hike up to your summer mountain wedding location, you’re guaranteed to have an unforgettable time with your new spouse and loved ones.
If you’re torn between two seasons, choose your ultimate favourite for the wedding and do your engagement photos in your second favourite season.
If you still have questions about the weather and the changing seasons, send us your questions. We can help you decide on the best season for your dream mountain wedding depending on what is important to you and what kind of vibe you’re after.
We live here year-round and are well-versed in the seasons. We’re here to make sure you have an incredible experience, no matter what time of year you decide to get married in the Rockies.