Are you looking for a list of the best destinations in BC to elope? I have compiled a list of the destinations in the province along with example images and useful information for planning your elopement.
Top Ten Elopement Locations in British Columbia
- Gulf Islands
- Manning Park
- Emerald Lake Lodge
- Mt. Seymour
- Jones Lake
- Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Gardens, Vancouver
Just a 30 minute drive from downtown Vancouver, Mt Seymour has a hike that takes you to a mountaintop lake. The mystery lake trail is a 45 minute hike but you will be rewarded with incredible views over the lower mainland.
Manning Park is a 2.5 hour drive from Vancouver and filled with incredible scenery. My two favorite elopement locations at Manning Park are shores of Lightning Lake and the Alpine Meadow. Like many locations in British Columbia, Lightning Lake is very popular – especially in the summer. To avoid people bbq’ing in the background as you elope, I highly recommend heading down one of the trails that lead from the main campground. The trails wind back and forth over the river and make for a very peaceful setting. In my opinion the Alpine Meadow at Manning Park might be the best spot to elope in BC. It is covered in snow from October-June but outside of that is often filled with wildflowers. The Apline meadow is a great option for those of you wanting to elope on a mountaintop but avoid hiking to get there. A road leads straight to the top of the mountain and many easy walking trails lead from there.
If you want to elope at the edge of the world, go to Ucluelet. Just a 45 minute drive from more popular Tofino, Ucluelet has my vote due to more variety in scenery. It has the same expansive beaches and moss covered as Tofino but also features some incredible black rocks that make for an otherworldly landscape. My recommendation for best place to elope in Ucluelet is Big Beach right next to Black Rock Oceanfront Resort (which conveniently where I would suggest for accommodation)
If you want to elope in Vancouver, Stanley Park is as beautiful a park as any. One of the main tourist attractions in BC, the park can get absolutely packed with people – especially on weekends. Being a local Vancouver elopement photographer I know of plenty of private places within the park for you get married.
Somewhat of a secret location to elope in BC and one I only know of because my parents have a cabin in the area. Stunning blue lakes, incredible vistas and a thundering waterfall make for an adventurous elopement location. For accommodation nearby, I recommend REO Rafting resort.
The Okanagan valley is the wine capital of Canada and features plenty of vineyards and vistas that can host your elopement ceremony. My recommendation would be to take a look at God’s Mountain Estate just outside of Penticton.
World famous Whistler has many locations for you to elope, whether at the edge of the forest lake or on top of a mountain. The stone circle is a popular spot as is Nita Lake Lodge.
Jones lake is not only very scenic with views of snow-capped mountains but also has a very otherworldly feel to it which makes it unique location to elope in BC. Located less than two hours from Vancouver, Jones Lake is quite easily accessible. Before planning your wedding at Jones I suggest checking the water levels. The tree stumps scattered throughout the area are what make it unique but can be covered when water levels are high.
BC is known for its rugged wilderness but one thing I love most about it is the diversity of locations. If you want to elope in a castle in Canada, this is one of the few places to do it. A stunning property set on Vancouver Island, Hatley castle is easily reached from Vancouver via a short ferry and drive.
The younger sibling of nearby Capilano Suspension Bridge, Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge is arguably just as stunning! I prefer Lynn Canyon as an elopement location due to the variety of backdrops. To avoid the crowds, I highly recommend planning your elopement for a weekday or earlier in the day.
The famous Joffre Lakes features some of the bluest water you’ll find on earth. Unfortunately, the lakes have gotten extremely popular in recent times and you’ll need to go first thing in the morning to avoid the crowds. The first lake is often skipped by hikers so could also be an option for a more private elopement ceremony.
Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Gardens
Another location within Vancouver, The Sun Yat Sen Chinese Gardens are a unique spot to elope. The beautifully manicured gardens and Chinese architecture make for a extremely peaceful setting to get married.
As wild as BC gets and on my bucket list of places to photograph. Eloping on Haida Gwaii is for the adventurous and one of the most stunning places on earth.
The Gulf Islands are only a short ferry ride away from Vancouver but make you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. My vote for best place elope on the Gulf Islands is Gowland Point on Pender Island. Nearby Poets Cove is a great resort for those wanting to host an intimate reception.
Emerald Lake Lodge
Another bucket list location to photograph an elopement. Emerald Lake lodge in the middle of a lake surrounded by the rocky mountains. Nearby Field is the closest town but world famours Lake Louise and Banff are also just a short drive away.
For a truly unique elopement, why not get married on a houseboat? Shuswap lake, with its warm, calm water and sunny summer weather is the house boating capital of Canada. Shuswap Lake is a five hour drive from Vancouver.
The Sunshine coast is a 180km stretch of paradise on the mainland of BC. While there are many “informal” places to elope on the Sunshine coast my vote goes to Rockwater Secret Cove.
Located on Vancouver and just a short 45 minute drive from Victoria, Sooke is a small town with big time scenery. My favorite location for an elopement in Sooke is Aylard Farm Park.
Situated between Penticton and Kelowna, Summerland lives up to its name and features some of the best weather in Canada. If you would like to elope in Summerland I recommend heading up Giants Head Park. The road takes you to the top of the mountain where you can get married with the lake and vineyards as a backdrop. Summerland Waterfront Resort is my recommendation for accommodation in the area.
Heli elopements in BC have become quite popular recently and give you the chance to get married with a backdrop not many people get to see. My recommendation is SKY Helicopters in Pitt Meadows. They’ll transport you to the top one of the many peaks in the area.
What is required to elope in British Columbia
- Marriage License – These cost $100, are valid from three months prior to your wedding and can be purchased HERE. Only one of you is required to apply for a marriage licence but you must apply in person and show primary ID (Birth certificate, citizenship, PR card, Immigation form) for the both of you.
- Marriage Commissioner or Officiant – In BC there is a difference between the two. Marriage commissioners are appointed by the government and cannot include religious aspects in the ceremony. Their prices are fixed ($84) and more affordable than officiants. The downside of a commissioner is they do not allow much room for customization. BC Marriage commissioners are appointed to a region so make sure to pick based on your wedding ceremony location. Officiants are empowered by the province to fulfill ceremonies and allow for full customization of your elopement ceremony.
- Two Witnesses. These need to be 19+ and present during the wedding ceremony. Your photographer may be one of the witnesses, something I’ve been happy to do in the past. Any random person that may be walking by will even do!