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gwendy Sep 10th, 2003 12:02 PM

Wedding in Banff/Lake Louise

My fiance and I are trying to choose a hotel (or more based on what you share!) for our wedding this winter in the Banff/Lake Louise area.

We're trying to decide between the Banff Springs Hotel or the Buffalo Mountain Lodge in Bannf, or, the Chateau Lake Louise or the Emerald Lake Lodge or Deer Lodge in the Lake Louise area.

We would like a venue that is elegant, pretty, bright, with good servive but not too stuffy!

I would appreciate any advice and insight you can share.


Cruiseryyc Sep 10th, 2003 12:45 PM

My vote goes to Emerald Lake, remote, quiet and the most beautiful lake in the Rockies.

Cruiseryyc Sep 10th, 2003 12:46 PM

Hit the wrong button!! Meant to add that my second choice would be Lake Louise followed by the Banff Springs.

RachelG Sep 15th, 2003 11:21 AM

Here's my opinion, for what it's worth, as I have stayed in several of these. It really depends on what you are looking for. Chateau Lake Louise is big and has a beautiful location--I've stayed there 4 times and have never seen any weddings. It is quite crowded in the daytime as a lot of tour buses stop here. Definitely not quiet.
Banff Springs Hotel is huge and chaotic. There are some fairly quiet corners, but it is always crowded and has a lot of large tour groups.
Emerald Lake is quiet, much smaller, but very beautiful and romantic, esp. if you get a sunny day. However, it does rain a lot more here (I don't know about winter).
Another option in Banff would be the Rimrock--very nice--I prefer it over the Banff Springs Hotel. Still a big hotel atmosphere, but more laid back, and better service.

marthag Sep 15th, 2003 01:44 PM

I second the Rimrock for a wedding. Lots of quiet little corners and spaces. Beautiful views and very elegant,yet still relaxed. I'm thinking of renewing my vows there next summer.

Borealis Sep 15th, 2003 06:43 PM

I have seen weddings at the Chateau Lake Louise. In particular, the curved staircase in the lobby makes for a nice background for photos. The view onto Lake Louise through high arched windows is also gorgeous.
Personally, I find the Banff Springs too dark (especially for photos).
All the hotels that you mentioned are very busy during the prime tourist season - summer (May to September). Wintertime is much quieter, even during the ski season. We have been there in March and it was very peaceful and serene.
Banff Springs and Chateau Lake Louise are both "elegant"; however, the Chateau is brighter and more spacious.
Can't comment on the service for a wedding, sorry!
Good luck!

gwendy Nov 6th, 2003 11:21 AM

Thank you so much for your replies everyone! Very helpful information.
I think my fiance and I are leaning towards the Chateau Lake Louise.
Borealis - from what I've been able to find out from the Fairmont staff, pictures on the web, etc. I agree the Chateau looks brighter, cheerier. Thanks for confirming my hunch!

Any recommendations for best time of year for a "winter wonderland" type wedding - when we and our guests can take advantage of the snow and sleigh rides,etc.?

Thanks again everyone!


ltt Nov 6th, 2003 01:44 PM

i would choose the beginning of march before the kids get out for spring break. the snow and ice should still be great but hopefully the weather won't be too brutal. another choice, if easter is late april this year, would be in april - after spring break and before easter long weekend.

Borealis Nov 6th, 2003 07:11 PM

The beginning of March or even the end of February is the perfect time to go if you want to see lots of fluffy white snow in the Banff - Lake Louise area.
The winter weather may even hold out to the end of March - although that changes from year to year. We have been in Lake Louise during the third week of March and it has still been lovely.

April is not usually as "pretty". By then the snow has started melting, as it melts it leaves dirt and debris behind, so it looks dirty. Besides, the seasonal changes quite often bring unpleasant winds. I think that it is the ugliest time of the year in the mountains. The only advantage that I can think of is that the temperatures are usually much warmer (although it is the "transitional" season between winter and spring, so one day can be very cold and snowy, and the very next day - or even hour - can be warm and melting.)

(By the way, Easter Sunday in 2004 will be on April 11th).

gwendy Nov 7th, 2003 01:14 PM

How about December or January? Would it be snowy then? Maybe too cold?


Borealis Nov 7th, 2003 06:19 PM

January is usually the coldest month of the year; the temperatures can dip down to minus 30C (22F below zero) or even colder.
December sometimes is quite "dry" and not much snow falls, and it can get very very cold too.

Your best bet for a combination of snowy weather and not quite as cold temperatures is the end of February (last 10 days) and the beginning of March (first two weeks).

Unfortunately, the weather is always full of surprises, and really tough to predict this far ahead. Some years are warmer, some colder, some snowier, some drier.

It can be - although it's not as likely - colder at the end of February than in mid-January. Or there could be a warm spell and the snow could start melting at the beginning of March.

The last few years have been drier than normal, so maybe we are due for a year with at least average snowfalls??

You may want to consider planning both indoor and outdoor activities for your entire stay, just in case (have a "Plan B").

I wish you all the best at picking a date Gwendy. Even the best and most accurate meteorologist in the world couldn't guarantee ideal conditions this far ahead. (just though you might like to know - my husband and I spent our honeymoon in the Rockies many years ago - we went in the middle of February right after our Valentine's Day wedding, and the weather was quite cold and snowing almost the whole time, but it was perfect for sitting in front of a roaring fire with glasses of mulled wine ;;)

bebeblanc Nov 11th, 2003 07:26 AM

Congratulation Gwendy,
The Chateau Lake Louise would be a beautiful spot for a wedding. My husband and I honeymooned there in November 2001. It was a great time of the year because it was snowy and wonderful, but not too crowded. However, I suppose snow isn't guaranteed in that time of the year. If that location doesn't work out for you, I also second the Rimrock hotel in Banff. It was lovely and quieter than than the Banff Springs. Good luck with whatever you decide.

gwendy Dec 1st, 2003 08:46 AM

Thanks Borealis and bebeblanc! You're information was so helpful :)

Have a Happy Holiday season!

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