Elope in Whistler – The How To Guide
British Columbia falls in the Pacific North West region (PNW) and features many beautiful locations, one of which being Whistler! Located about an hour and a half from Vancouver, it is short drive for diverse and breathing taking landscapes. Whether or not your having a small elopement or a large wedding, Whistler’s versatile seasons make it one of the ultimate choices, since you can visit all year round!
Designed by a past bride (with the worry of planning in mind), in this guide we have outlined all you need to know about getting married in Whistler! We have laid this blog out in a way that works with the process of putting together your nuptials. Planning can feel overwhelming, Amore Adventures would be happy to help you with that! Our team believes that getting married shouldn’t be filled with stress – it should be exciting. If you have any questions about how we can make your nuptials stress free, send us a message here!
Steps for getting married in Whistler
Figure out what you want your elopement to look like, and what you want to do with your day
Choose the time of year that fits with what you want to do and what your vision is
Find your elopement photographer + planner and other vendors
Get yourselves ready
Gather marriage license, and any permits needed
Pros + Cons of eloping in Whistler
Whistler is easily one of the most beautiful and romantic places you can choose to tie the knot in the lower mainland.
Whistler’s iconic scenery is gorgeous for photos.
The seasonal changes offer variety for your photos, and are mostly predictable within their particular seasons (i.e. the summers are mostly sunny, September to December usually has the most rain, etc.)
Because it is very popular, Whistler provides multiple options for accommodations that vary in price.
There are multiple options for planning your ceremony or “excursion” (skiing, snowboarding, horseback riding, hiking, helicopter excursions)
Located in British Columbia directly along the Sea to Sky Highway, it is extremely easy to locate.
It can be pricier depending on the choices you make (busier seasons = higher pricing, luxury accommodation vs airbnb, etc.)
You may not be able to include everyone on your list depending on how you choose to elope
Planning a helicopter elopement can be dependent on weather
During the busy season it can be at times difficult to find available vendors
You might find this helpful too:
Helpful tips from my “how to elope in BC” can be stolen for this too. Start the process by contacting some vendors, or make a list of your hobbies. This will help you get the ball rolling to decide what it is you have in mind for your special day. Lets dive in to the specifics on how to elope in Whistler! Woohoo.
What do you want your whistler elopement to look like?
Eloping is already so incredible with all the endless options, just think about how vast those options could be when you add the beautiful and versatile backdrop of Whistler! Have you always dreamed of getting married on top of a snowy mountain? Maybe you’ve pictured yourself at the backdrop of a rushing waterfall or maybe even shredding down the slopes in your wedding gear!? Whatever you’ve dreamed of, I have a feeling you can pull it off in Whistler, with the right resources.
Weddings in whistler are very unique since the venues themselves are like so original! From the heart of whistlers town all the way to the outskirts of the mountain side! Some people even choose to take larger weddings up to the sky (via helicopter) to Rainbow Glacier. If the moody PNW makes your heart swoon, no matter how your wedding looks – it will look good in Whistler.
Whistler has mountains, forests, lakes, fields, and even small town city feels! Your pretty much set whether you’d like to see the sights rom up high or stay grounded in town.
It can be hard to decide what to do. My best advice is to dig deep, close your eyes and think about your wedding day. What comes to mind? Whos there, if anyone? What does the earth beneath you look like? What does the air around you smell like? Where are you? It may seem corny, but the best thing about a elopement and intimate weddings is that you can really do whatever the heck you want to. Which means you can get super dreamy and creative! Some people hone in on their hobbies, like taking a Jeep tour or taking their own 4×4 vehicle up to a scenic location and adventuring around. Think about your hobbies, and what you and your partner do together — could you turn it into a radical elopement?! Brainstorm with your partner the way you want to feel on your elopement day, and the things you want to experience! There is nothing quite like starting your marriage by doing something that resonates with you!
Some ideas on what to do:
Helicopter your way up to a glacier, peak, or exclusive location
Take a small or huge hike to spectacular scenery
ATV or Jeep tours for a sunset ceremony
Check out the ice caves
Mountain bike your way to a special spot
Bungee jump tandem style
The possibilities are really endless!
Some location ideas for Whistler:
* some locations may require permits
On the slopes
Lost Lake (a fav of mine for its amazing settings in the summer, dare to be wild and jump in the lake?!)
Take a helicopter to one of many exclusive locations such as Rainbow Glacier & Marriage Lake
The abandoned train trail
Suspension Bridge Park
Whistler Mountain/Blackcomb Mountain
Or sometimes vendors (like myself) know of special places they have scoped out, that would be great!
What time of year is best to have a Whistler elopement?
Like much of BC all Whistlers seasons are enjoyable and offer weather to do many types of excursions/adventures! What really is the make or break for season is what you want to do, because of course some things are better done in summer and others winter! It is said that the best time to visit is between June to August for summer season and December and March for winter season.
My recommendation: Hit up Whistler during Summer/Fall or Spring for the best weather and activities!
*Especially if you are leaning towards a helicopter adventure!
June – August
Traveling to whistler during this time means your goin to get beautiful sunny and warm weather! Expect to see highs of 26 degrees during these months, and less than 80mm of rain per a month. Grab your swim suits, not only does whistler have a ton of amazing hotel pools, its boasting with lakes to catch a break from the heat in! The town also usually has some great outdoor concerts going on throughout the summer, which could be a great after celebration for your elopement!
September – November
If you plan to travel during this time you should note that temperatures have a high of about 20 and a low of 5, and historically speaking Whistler sees the most rain in November. If your plans include a lot of outdoor activity and you don’t want to get rained out, September and October may be more predicable for the fall months.
December – March
Said to be the best season to visit in if you enjoy the slopes, winter in Whistler is simply magical! The town looks stunning covered with a blanket of fluffy white snow and the place is bumping with winter activities. If you are thinking of a ground ceremony, this might just be the best time to go if you picture snow in your ceremony. Take note though, that some locations and hikes are closed due to weather — so be sure to ask your planner about this!
April – May
The most popular time to visit for camping and hiking, since the weather is quite nice but the heat isn’t yet blazing! The mountains still see snow until April, so your safe to hit the slopes and have a blast even in the spring! The town usually has a lot of festivals going on during this time as well, so again lots to do to celebrate your recent marriage!
Take away: For hiking stick to spring. For helicopter adventures try for Summer/Fall or late spring. Skiing, snowboarding, and other snow adventures generally run from December to April, so these are ideal times.
Photography, planning, and other vendors!
You’ve done the magic of picking what you want to do, or maybe you haven’t and you need help — that’s where those vendors come in! And hey, I know of a pretty cool photographer who plans amazing elopements including all inclusive packages, who would love to chat with you, haha! Finding vendors is important, and something sometimes overlooked! There is so much importance of being comfortable with the people you choose to have be apart of your day. Think about how vulnerable you are being, saying your vows, shedding a tear, starting your married life! You for sure don’t want someone who doesn’t get you to be there for all those moments, and certainly not a photographer you don’t vibe, since sometimes we get up in your business to get those killer shots!
Here’s the vendors to look for:
Those who service Whistler can get pretty booked up, so make sure to start this process asap!
If you don’t know much about Whistler, your going to want someone who does to help make this as seamless as possible. Luckily Amore Adventures does all inclusive whistler elopements or offers a team of vendors to work with you for your day (we have a planner, photographer, videographer, etc.)
So overlooked but such a wonderful vendor to have, especially if you don’t have any family or friends there! Sometimes your photographer will have someone they love working with, feel free to ask them!
Officiant or Commissioner
Whistler has a few great ones to choose from, or ask your other vendors who they enjoy working with and recommend!
If your wanting your hair and make up done, you’ll need to start looking soon! These vendors also book up rather quick.
Venue, Adventure, or Location
Some locations need permits, so you’ll need to book those if needed!
Want to hear more about what a fully planned for you elopement can look like? We would love to tell you more! For a hint, its everything you imagined but completely done for you — so no stress or worries on your part!
Getting yourselves ready to get hitched!
Time to think about you! What do you and your partner plan to wear? Are you going classical or do you want to try something new?! Who says you have to get married in a formal wear! Same way there is endless options on HOW you can elope, there is so so so many options on what you can wear! To start bring storming what you want to wear you really need to think about what fits with what you are doing. If you are doing a winter hike, your going to obviously need warmer clothing. If you have chosen a summer helicopter tour you could probably get away with converse. If you picked a excision style elopement you’ll want to check in with your adventure provider to see what they recommend wearing.
TIP: You don’t have to wear your dress to the location, you can slip away and throw it on at almost all the locations I have ever photographed! We can even bring blankets to cover you up and help the changing process. Of course for big dresses this doesn’t work as well, but for smaller less puffy dresses you can fold them up without wrinkling, or bring them in a dress bag! I’ve seen it all.
Here’s some helpful links for getting started on attire + jewelry:
Vancouver + Local shops to shop at:
The Dressy Attic (Chilliwack)
Amore Adventures clients get a special discount at this store!
Tip: Reduce. Re-use. Re-cycle. AKA check out some pre-loved but great dresses. Facebook market place and Facebook groups are awesome for this! See below for a list!
You can make posts specific to your budget, vision, vibes, and more!
Here’s a few very useful groups catered to The Fraser Valley of BC:
Here’s a few very useful groups catered to The Interior of BC:
Here’s a few very useful groups catered to The Vancouver Island portion of BC:
Licenses + Permits!
Theres two things can seem so scary, I promise they aren’t! I was so lost when it came to a marriage license that I forgot until a WEEK before and luckily I got one! I suggest getting one a month before, and making sure of course all permits are done way ahead of time — so there’s no surprises!
The Marriage License!
For some reason when it was time for me to get my marriage license, I totally blanked. Its actually super simple! Here’s a link of all the places close to you that you can pick up a marriage license at for British Columbia, click here.
If you are from out of province this may look a bit different for you! Check with your planner or commissioner to find out what type of licensing you will need to get and anything else you need for out of province/country marriages.
You wont necessarily need a permit, depending on your location.
Some places may require a permit that can run up to $400, so you really need to research if you haven’t chosen a vendor that can do the research for you (planner or all inclusive package)
Many areas groups/gatherings under 15 do not require permits, but do check with your vendors and the location in which you wish to elope!
Time to celebrate!
Lastly, time for y’all to figure out if you want to celebrate right after your elopement or a few days later. This looks different for everyone, some people hit the town for a beer, while others meet their family and friends at dinner to celebrate. Sometimes (and this is one of my favs) couples will throw a party a few days or weeks later to celebrate, especially if the marriage was a surprise to anyone!
Remember that you marriage is about you, so how you celebrate should be too! Do something that makes you feel happy and comfortable.
Blog written by Katey Mac, Photographer.