*UPDATE: This was posted well before Kevin and I changed our entire venue location, date, etc. Please note, although these venues are all stunning, and in my favorite place in Alberta, we went with an entirely different theme and vibe. More on that upon my updated venue post.*
The future hubs and I went out to Banff this past weekend with a two-fold reason in mind. First and foremost, we were searching for wedding sites. Scouting locations and searching for venues was so much fun but a bit overwhelming because we looked at so many places. We want Banff to be our location because it holds such sentimental value. This place is where Kevin and I went on our first getaway together, and, kind of, our first one-on-one date too. We wanted to have our ceremony at the beautiful Cascade Gardens over looking the mountains because we carved our initials in the gazebo there almost 4 years ago, but upon further research, a party with music, tables, chairs, friends, and family (the whole works really) is not allowed. So we opted for (what I believe to be) an even better choice. We decided to get married up top of the Banff Gondola. The view is indescribable. Unfortunately, I can’t share a picture because when we visited this time around, the gondola was closed for their yearly maintanance. BOO! But I did want to share our (many) wedding sites we checked out for our reception.
We didn’t want to leave anything out but there are a few I didn’t photograph and share, although The Bison and Park Distillery were beautiful spots, if you’re interested in a rustic-style wedding.
Since it was later on in the day and the sun had started to disappear over the mountains, we waited to check out the wedding sites until the next morning. We stayed at a beautiful boutique-style hotel overlooking the mountains. It was such an incredible view to wake up to in the morning. After having our morning coffee and taking in the stunning view, we ventured out and explored.
One of the first places we looked at was The Saltlik. This was Kevin’s and my first one-on-one date spot and it holds such a treasury of memories for us. Since we’re looking to have a rather small wedding, The Saltlik would be perfect for our reception. This was Kevin’s first choice. He’s a very big fan of the rustic decor. I, on the other hand, was unsure because I felt it was a little too closed off to hold a wedding reception party. I wanted something a bit more spacious, with lots of windows and natural light, and more of a view. Although we are still keeping this spot in mind, I was still looking for something with a bit more of a “blank canvas” to play with.
The room pictured below is from the Fairmont Banff Springs. It’s called the Ivor room. And at first sight, I thought I wanted this room. It’s just big enough for our party, has lots of natural light and gorgeous views. The chandelier also didn’t hurt! But I wasn’t a huge fan of the carpet and the small wood (I’m assuming) dance floor, in the back. However, I knew I could work with this.
The thing is, Kevin and I have very different tastes when it comes to wedding sites and decor. He wants rustic and I want a princess-like venue. I realize how much I have changed my take on what I thought I wanted in wedding decor. This is the most special day of a girl’s life so whatever she chooses, she has to love! I want the classically dreamy wedding. A historic chateau with black tie guests. The feel of another time. And what better way to say “I do” than in a castle in the mountains? Around the lakes, gardens, and forests, the feel of nature and view of historic scenery just kind of stole my heart.
The cascade room (pictured below) was far too big for what we were looking for…
And although this room (pictured below) called the Conservatory room, would have been our agreed upon wedding reception location, it is far beyond our budget and can only be rented simultaneously with the Cascade room…
But the Mt. Stephen Hall (below) was perfect. It has everything I’m looking for. I will say that one of the most amazing things about my fiancé is his infinite support. I have truly never met a man more generous and thoughtful. After all of the wedding sites we looked at, this one was it for me. Although he wanted the Saltlik, he knew my heart was set on this location as soon as I saw it, so he told me to go for it.
Wedding sites completed, now onto the decor part. I’m going to be searching for something where we can find a happy medium between rustic and classic: Enter Pinterest.