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Getting married at Lake Louise

Lynbrook, New York
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Getting married at Lake Louise

Hi, we are getting married on a Thursday around 10:30am at Lake Louise late in August. Can anyone share their experience with crowds at that time?

How early should we get there to make sure we get parking and do we have to worry about having people in the background of our photos?

12 replies to this topic
Saskatoon, Canada
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1. Re: Getting married at Lake Louise

If you are not actually staying at Lake Louise but just getting married there I would suggest parking at the gondola and taking the shuttle.

There will be people in the background of your photos, this an extremely busy place

Lynbrook, New York
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2. Re: Getting married at Lake Louise

Even on a Thursday morning?

Oshawa, Canada
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3. Re: Getting married at Lake Louise

Yes, this is an extremely busy year, as I'm sure you know. There are reports of parking lots being full by 8 or 9 in the morning.

We are advising people to get out and about early.

Oshawa, Canada
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4. Re: Getting married at Lake Louise

Is your officiant a local? He/ she should be able to answer your questions and know about the crowds.

If not, do you have the appropriate documentation and registration to be married inside Canada's National Parks?

https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/banff/activ/~/media/CC914B4689594531A0827EBA6A816170.ashx

Edited: 12 July 2017, 19:16
calgary
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5. Re: Getting married at Lake Louise

Yes even on a Thursday morning you're going to have lots of tourists in the background of your pictures.

Calgary, Canada
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6. Re: Getting married at Lake Louise

This TripAdvisor Traveler Artivle has the basics on getting married in Banff:

https:/…Weddings.In.Banff.National.Park.html

Lake Louise is public (except for the property belonging to the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise) and very popular. So popular that there are five different shuttle services going there (2 operated by Parks Canada, 1 each from Lake Louise Gondola, Hop On Banff, and Fairmont Hotels).

10:30 am is already too late in the day to be assured a parking spot on a summer weekday; that has been the case for several years. And the LL parking lot is not small, so that gives you an idea of how many people will be there with you.

Edited: 12 July 2017, 19:35
Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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7. Re: Getting married at Lake Louise

>> Even on a Thursday morning?

People on their "trip of a lifetime" to the Canadian Rockies don't really care what day of the week it is. Thursday is as busy as any other day.

Your biggest issue may be getting parking at the lake. I would recommend monitoring the situation here http://www.pc.gc.ca/banffnow (bear in mind that times are EDT, not MDT - adjust by two hours) and be prepared with a "plan B" (which might be taking the shuttle up, or using another location). I would also advise consulting with your officiant.

I note that now, a Wednesday morning at 9:30 am MDT, the Upper Lake Louise parking lot is still marked as "green" (i.e. parking available) .... except it hasn't been updated in two hours :-( (showing 9:15 EDT ... 7:15 here in Alberta).

I have a copy of this year's Parks Canada's "Getting Around" guide for Banff National Park, and in it, they advise arriving before 9 am or after 7 pm "to avoid the largest crowds".

People are usually pretty considerate of wedding parties taking photos and will give you space, but they do not have to stay out of the area you are using ... you do not have the right of exclusive use. So your photographer will have to be patient and adaptable. If s/he is local, they will already be aware of the crowds and probably have favourite spots along the lakeshore public path that they like to use.

You can also check out the live webcam that shows a portion of the shoreline of Lake Louise. http://cams.skilouise.com/cam9.jpg It shows the area over to the right, in front of the Chateau Lake Louise, not the area on the left closer to the public parking.

Jasper, Canada
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8. Re: Getting married at Lake Louise

Checked the Parks parking website again just now - the new update is 11:40 EDT (9:40 in Lake Louise) and the parking lot at the lake is full.

Lynbrook, New York
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9. Re: Getting married at Lake Louise

Thanks for the info... we are planning on arriving at 8am for photos, then the ceremony will be at 10:30. We have local photographers and a local officiant. We will actually see each other first for photos then have the ceremony after. It's a sacrifice we decided to make in order to get photos for us and our 10 guests. The reception is at the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel. Do you know if they would accommodate our parking needs at the chateau since they are both fairmont owned?

Calgary, Canada
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for Canadian Rockies
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10. Re: Getting married at Lake Louise

I would talk to the Banff Springs Hotel.

My guess is that, given parking issues, you would be treated like any other day guest - if space is available, you would be able to park at the Chateau Lake Louise for $20. There are hundreds of guests at the Banff Springs Hotel and it would overwhelm parking at the Chateau if they were all allowed guest privileges there.

However, I would check to see if day guest parking is available this summer and whether or not it can be used for someone not going to an event/appointment at the Chateau. With road closures, the Chateau likely has to prove to Parks that every vehicle that receives an exemption placard will have a place to park. Which may mean no day parking unless you have an appointment at the spa or are attending an event being held at the Chateau.

As mentioned, parking is a major issue and when the lots are full, they can and will block access up the hill to the lake for everyone other than hotel guests & employees, shuttles and those with handicap placards. Neither you or your officiant would fall into any of those categories. So you definitely should have a Plan B to get to the lake if it's busy - i.e. decide which shuttle you'd take (the one from the overflow lot or the one at the gondola).

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