How to elope in Aberta - the ultimate guide with tips from a planner

The ultimate guide to eloping in Alberta

for an adventurous Alberta elopement

Alberta is a province in western Canada, known for the gorgeous Canadian Rockies that run through its landscape. For couples who love the mountains, this is the perfect setting for an adventurous elopement! If you want to tie the knot in your own unique way, this guide will tell you everything you need to know to elope in Alberta.

Let’s dive in…

amber, elopement photographer

Hey! I’m Amber.

Your Alberta elopement photographer + planner

Elopement planning should be fun, and it should be stress free. The point of forgoing the big wedding is to make sure that you actually enjoy your wedding day, so my job is to make that happen! As  an elopement photographer and travel planner, I’ll guide you through everything you need for your dream wedding day. I’ll give you location recommendations, help you find the perfect vendors, recommend places to stay and things to do, and give you absolutely everything you need for your elopement!

If you’re ready to elope in Alberta, contact me to learn more about elopement packages and to start planning!

First, let’s be sure we’re talking about the same thing:

What is an elopement?

When I say “elopement,” I’m not talking about courthouse weddings or rushed, quick ceremonies – this may be what eloping used to mean, but not anymore! An elopement is all about making sure that your wedding day is created just for you. Instead of the same old formula, you’re making the experience your own! You can do anything you want, and nothing is off limits.

How to Get to Alberta for Your Elopement

To kick off your adventure in Alberta, you’ll need to get here! It’s pretty easy to get to, so you’ll have no trouble finding transportation.

Get to Alberta by Plane

If you’re traveling internationally, you may need to hop on a flight to Alberta. The province is pretty big, so make sure you land close to your final destination! There are three international airports to choose from – Calgary, Edmonton, and Fort McMurray.

Get to Alberta by Car

If you live within driving distance away, either in another province of Canada or across the border in the US, it’s easy to get to Alberta by driving. If you need to cross the US-Canada border, just make sure that you have your passports ready!

Getting Around Alberta During Your Elopement

Alberta has several scenic train routes available that will take you through the Rockies! This can be a fun way to see the country, as you’ll go past tons of natural beauty. These trains can get you between major cities, but for your elopement, it’s best to have a car to get around.

A car gives you the most freedom and flexibility to explore, so it’s going to be the best option during your adventure. You can rent a car in Alberta, or drive your own!

How to Legally Elope in Alberta

You can get legally married abroad when you elope in Alberta! You’ll need to get a marriage license to make things official, which you can get from a registry agent office. You’ll both need to go to the office in person together, and bring a photo ID with you. There is a $40 fee, and then you’ll have your marriage license! It’s valid for 3 months after you get it.

You’ll also need to choose what kind of ceremony you plan to have – religious or civil. A religious ceremony needs to be performed by a member of the clergy, who is also registered with Alberta’s Vital Statistics office. A civil ceremony is performed by a marriage commissioner. The two ceremonies both require a marriage license, and you’ll have to find a person to perform the ceremony.

When it’s time for your elopement ceremony, you’ll need the celebrant who is performing the ceremony, along with two witnesses to sign your marriage license. Afterwards, the document will be sent to Vital Statistics, and you’ll be officially married!

For couples from the US:

In certain states, you can ask your county clerk the authorization to sign your wedding license abroad. If they agree, as a registered minister, my team and I will be able to legally marry you without the hassle of a legal wedding ceremony in Alberta.

Why Elope in Alberta

The Rocky Mountains

One of the best reasons to elope in Alberta is the gorgeous Rocky Mountains. The jagged peaks and dramatic valleys make the landscape truly breathtaking, and if you love the mountains, this is the perfect province for your adventure!

Year Round Adventures

Whether you elope in the summer or in the winter, Alberta has something for you! Summers are perfect for hiking, while winters are ideal for skiing and enjoying the snow. Each season brings something different, so there’s no bad time to get married here!

Dog Friendly National Parks

A great thing about Canada, unlike its neighbor the US, is that the national parks allow dogs! This means it’s easy to plan a dog friendly elopement in Alberta and bring your furry best friend with you for your adventure.

Top 5 spots to Elope in Alberta

There are endless gorgeous places to tie the knot – so here are just a few ideas for some of the best places to elope in Alberta!

Where to elope in Alberta - Banff National Park

Banff National Park

Banff is perhaps the most famous national park in Alberta. Known for its turquoise colored lakes and the jaw dropping mountain views all around, it’s an incredible place to get married. Popular spots like Moraine Lake and Lake Louise are gorgeous, but you can also find some lesser known locations for a little more privacy!

Jasper National Park

Another beautiful park, and one of the best places to elope in Alberta, is Jasper National Park. With beautiful mountain views and sparkling alpine lakes, this is an incredible place for couples who love nature! You can explore caves, see glaciers, and summit mountain peaks – there are endless adventures.

Where to elope in Alberta - Jasper National Park
Where to elope in Alberta - Canmore


Though Canmore sits right next to Banff National Park, it’s much less popular than the town of Banff – so it’s a great mountain town for a peaceful elopement! Its proximity to the park means you can go explore, but there are also lots of mountain trails to enjoy all around Canmore. It’s also a great place to try some local breweries!

The Hoodoos in Drumheller

Alberta has plenty of mountain views, but this place offers something totally different! Hoodoos are a rock formation shaped like a big column, and at the Hoodoos in Drumheller you can see a lot of them, uniquely shaped and formed over millions of years.

Where to elope in Alberta - the Hoodoos in Drumheller
Where to elope in Alberta - Waterton Lakes National Park

Waterton Lakes National Park

At this national park, the prairie meets the peaks, and you can see beautiful landscapes all around. There are blue lakes, dramatic waterfalls, and incredible mountain views. This park is really underrated, so it’s a great place to elope and find a little more privacy!

When to elope in Alberta

When to Elope in Alberta

Weather in Alberta changes a ton throughout the year – so you’ll definitely need to know about the seasons before you set a date for your elopement!


Winters are perfect for couples who love the snow. You’ll need to bundle up, but experiencing the winter wonderland on the day you get married can be really magical. This is the best time to elope in Alberta if you want to ski, ice skate, snowshoe, or just enjoy the snow!


Spring weather can be a little unpredictable – with blizzards one day and sunshine the next. If you visit the mountain towns or head into higher elevations, you’ll most likely still encounter some snow this time of year, but in lower elevations, it can be a great time to see wildlife and blooming flowers as snow starts to melt and temperatures warm up.


Summer is the most popular time to visit Alberta, because the weather is amazing for outdoor adventures. This is the best time to elope for couples who want to hike, but I recommend July or August, as this is when all of the snow will be melted.

FALL IN Alberta

Early fall is amazing in Alberta – it’s still warm, and the summer crowds dissipate a lot. You can catch some beautiful foliage as the leaves change color, but snow usually starts to fall in the mountains around mid October.

Example budget of an elopement in Alberta

All-inclusive, 7-day ELOPEMENT + Honeymoon

6 nights in accommodation (3* or more)
Award-winning elopement photographer for 3 days
All meals for the 7 days
4-5 beautiful, natural and raw ceremony location options
Custom timeline of the day
Hair and makeup
Car rental
Airport transfers

TOTAL FOR An all-inclusive ELOPEMENT IN Alberta:

$26 400


Award-winning elopement photographer for 12 hours
4-5 beautiful, natural and raw ceremony location options
Custom timeline of the day


$9 600

Lodging for your elopement in Alberta

Another important part of planning your Alberta elopement is figuring out where you’ll stay! Alberta has plenty of options, from mountain resorts to cozy cabins, and more.

A lodge or Resort

In the mountain towns of Alberta, like Banff, you’ll find some beautiful accommodations. The luxurious hotels, lodges, and resorts in the mountains make for a perfect home base for all of your adventures! The Buffalo Mountain Lodge and Deer Lodge are located in Banff, while Emerald Lake Lodge is the perfect place to stay near Yoho National Park.

Airbnbs in Alberta

Another great way to find a place to stay is to search on Airbnb. This allows you to find private accomodations and unique spots! There are amazing cabins all over, as well as one of a kind places to stay like this underground hideaway and this dome in the forest. If you’re inviting guests to your elopement, you can all stay in a chalet, a rental home, or a luxurious villa.

Camping in Alberta

If you want to get outside and really have an adventure, you can camp in Alberta! You can find campgrounds in the parks, or head to crown land (Canada’s public land) for dispersed camping that’s free, quiet, and beautiful.

Unique Things to Do When You Elope in Alberta

Your elopement should be a unique adventure, and it’s all about planning a day that’s truly the best day of your life! Think about what you want to do and what would make this day perfect – and to give you some inspiration, here are some ideas for unique things to do when you elope in Alberta.

Soak in a Natural Hot Spring

A hot spring is the perfect way to end a day – just imagine relaxing on a mountainside after tying the knot! There are several resorts around Alberta where you can find spas and hot pools, but for natural hot springs out in the wilderness, you can hike to Mist Mountain hot springs in Kananaskis.

Go Hiking

Hiking is a great way to get out and nature and explore, and it can take you to some amazing places! If the two of you love hiking, finding a trail for your elopement day can be the perfect way to celebrate getting married.


Alberta has so many lakes – and a really fun way to experience them is to get out on the water! You can rent a paddle board or a canoe, or bring your own, and enjoy the serenity of the clear blue water.

What to wear for your elopement in Alberta

What to Wear to Elope in Alberta

The most important thing to remember when choosing your elopement attire is that it should be comfortable! Traditional wedding attire may not cut it, since you’ll likely be hiking and moving around a lot more. Along with that, think about the season that you’re eloping in – since the weather changes a lot throughout the year in Alberta, this will affect what you wear!

The Dress

When choosing an elopement dress, looser skirts are usually better – and it’s best to avoid tight fitting styles like mermaid dresses. Make sure that you can walk around easily, and that you won’t be restricted as you adventure and explore throughout your elopement day!

For warm weather, lightweight fabrics will help you stay cool, which is ideal for hiking. But if it’s cold outside, heavier and thicker fabrics can be better for staying warm! You can also accessorize with lawyers like jackets or shawls for added warmth.

The Shoes

Shoes are a big part of your elopement day attire. Hiking boots are best if you plan to walk around a lot, and if you elope in Alberta in the winter or you’ll be encountering snow, make sure that they’re waterproof too! Before the big day, break in your shoes if you got new ones for the occasion.

The Suit

For an elopement suit, it’s important that it fits you well and allows you to move freely! When you try on your suit, make sure you’ll be comfortable all day. Suits make layering easy, which is great for the colder months in Alberta. In the summer, lighter weight fabrics can be more comfortable, but for winter, a thicker suit can keep you warm!

Elope in Alberta – Your Checklist

Choose a Location

Finding the perfect place to tie the knot is one of the first things you’ll do, but it can be hard to narrow it down! I’ll make this step easy by creating a personalized list of recommendations with places that are ideal for the two of you. Contact me to start working on finding the best places to elope in Alberta!

Pick a date

Consider the weather, crowds, and what you want to experience on your elopement day, then set a date to tie the knot!

Find more information about travel visas and wedding documentation

Most couples won’t need a travel visa to elope in Alberta, unless you want to stay for several months. But, make sure the rest of your paperwork is in order and that nothing is expired!

Book your flights and accommodation

Making all of your bookings early can ensure that you’re able to stay close to your elopement coation, and that you get the best deals. Book your flights and lodging, along with any transportation (like rental cars) that you need!

Book your vendors

Vendors are probably the most important booking you’ll make, since we’ll be responsible for making sure your day goes smoothly! Find a team of people that you absolutely love, and reach out as soon as possible, because elopement vendors book out pretty early. Some vendors that you may want to hire include a photographer, a hair and makeup artist, a florist, a videographer, a chef or baker, and more – I’ll recommend some of my favorite people!

Live your dream elopement

After you’ve planned it, it’s time to live it! This is when you’ll marry your best friend, have the adventure of a lifetime, and exchange vows surrounded by the most beautiful scenery Alberta has to offer. Afterwards, you’ll relive it all through your photos. If you’re ready to elope in Alberta and plan your once in a lifetime adventure, contact me!


How it works to plan your elopement in Alberta

Process-how to plan an elopement

Let’s dive in, so you can start your journey right away!

Imagine a wedding where you can be you. Breathe. Bask in each other’s love.
Experience a place close to your hearts, or a bucket-list dream.

Alberta elopement planner and guide - get in touch

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Are you eager to start planning your elopement in Alberta? I’m here to help you envision, plan and immortalize this beautiful adventure! Contact me now for a free consultation!

How to elope in Alberta, the ultimate guide
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