How to Elope in BC: Adventure Elopement Guide
Thinking about eloping in BC? Keep reading this guide to learn how to elope in BC and plan a unique day that you’ll never forget.
Situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains in Canada is the province of British Columbia, where rocky coastlines, evergreen forests, and alpine lakes form a picturesque landscape with tons to explore. For any couple who wants a wedding day unlike any other, one filled with adventure and scenery, getting married in BC might be just the thing!
HOW TO PLAN YOUR BC ELOPEMENT
1) Start dreaming up your BC elopement
2) Choose a time of year
3) Hire your elopement photographer + other vendors
4) Choose your perfect elopement location(s)
5) Book travel & lodging
6) Get your marriage license
7) Celebrate on your elopement day!
1) Start Dreaming Up Your British Columbia Elopement
Before we start planning your BC elopement, this is the time to dream big! Your elopement can be anything you want it to be – and I really mean anything! There are no rules, so think about what would make this the best day ever! Whether that’s a private mountaintop ceremony, an epic helicopter ride or a day spent with a few loved ones. Here are just a few things you can do when you’re eloping in BC and even more unique elopement ideas here.
Helicopter Elopement BC
Your elopement day should be nothing short of incredible, and it’s all about the experience. You’ll be celebrating this day on your anniversary each year, so plan something amazing!
One of the best things to do on your elopement day is to take a helicopter tour. Blackcomb Helicopters has several locations in BC. You can fly over the sea or the mountains and stop at several summits along the way! From the sky, you’ll get epic views of British Columbia that you would never see otherwise! Based in Pitt Meadows, Sky Helicopters offer helicopter elopement packages that include 1 hour of landing time to have an intimate ceremony with a stunning and secluded mountaintop backdrop.
Hiking in BC
The scenery and nature is without a doubt the best reason to plan a BC elopement. No matter what time of year you elope, you’ll find plenty of trails to explore and adventures to be had! If hiking’s your thing, you and your partner can hit the trails on your adventure elopement day, whether it’s a long backpacking trek or a quick stroll in the woods.
2) Choose a time of year for your elopement
When is best time of year to elope in British Columbia? One of my favourite things about living in BC is the four season weather. Like the rest of Canada, the weather in British Columbia changes a ton throughout the year! My personal favourite times are spring and fall – there’s far less crowds and cooler temperatures!
Spring in BC
The weather in BC starts to warm up as spring rolls in, but it’s often unpredictable, and often rainy. The mountains will likely be covered in snow into summer, but for lower elevation hikes, you’ll likely be able to hike the trails before the summer crowds start pouring in. Spring is a great time to see waterfalls, as the snow melts from the mountains!
Summer in BC
Summer is definitely the most popular time to visit BC. The weather is warm and sunny, creating perfect opportunities for adventure all throughout the province. The mountains are usually snow free by July/August, so you can hike and explore, and the coast is great for surfing, hiking, or swimming!
Fall in BC
The cooler temperatures mean that crowds start to clear out, but early fall can still be a good time to elope in BC! The fall foliage puts on a show, and if you hike in the mountains in September, you might get the chance to beat the snow fall and avoid a lot of the summer crowds.
Winter in BC
Due to its proximity to the coast, BC’s winters are more mild than some of Canada’s other provinces. Coastal areas are warm in the summer and rainy in the winter, but as you head inland, the weather gets much colder. In higher elevation areas, the snow piles up high – so if you want to go for a hike, you may have a hard time finding accessible trails. This time of year is great for skiing, and it can also be a good way to avoid crowds!
3) Hire Your Elopement Photographer + Vendors
Once you’ve decided on time of year, the next step is choose your elopement photographer! Deciding on who to choose as your elopement photographer is one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your elopement day! They’ll ensure that your day runs smoothly and that from the beginning of the planning process to the day you tie the knot, you have a completely stress free experience.
Along with getting stunning photos of you two on your elopement day, I’ll also help guide you with planning your unique day, from finding your dream locations, to creating an epic timeline, to recommending other vendors like florists, officiants, and hair and makeup artists. This is why it’s a good idea to consider choosing a photographer before you set your exact location – I’m here to help with all of that!
Some couples keep it simple with just a photographer, but here are some vendors you can consider for your day, along with some of my favourites!
Hair and Makeup
4) Decide on your perfect elopement location(s) in BC
Between the alpine lakes, mountain tops, and lush forests, choosing just one place to elope might be the hardest part! As a BC elopement photographer, I’ve done lots of exploring (for my couples and for myself) to find some of the most beautiful places this province has to offer. Here are a few ideas for the best places to elope in BC, and my top 10 favourite places can be found here.
Places to Elope in the Mountains
Some of the best views in British Columbia can be found in the mountains! Whether you want to hike to the summits or explore some easier trails, you’ll find some incredible spots all around the province. Some of the best places to elope in BC for mountain views are Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton, and Yoho National Park.
Coastal Elopement Locations
To the west in BC, you’ll find some of the best coastal views around! You’ll find anything from rocky cliffs to sandy beaches, so whether you want to surf, relax on the beach, or hike along the coast line, British Columbia is perfect for you. Between April and late October, you might even spot a few whales.
Squamish is great for both mountains and for seaside fun, and places like Tofino, Sechelt, Jordan River, Sooke, and Galiano Island are some of the best places for a coastal elopement.
Lakeside Elopement Locations
There are countless lakes all over BC, so you can kayak, paddle board, or just marvel at the turquoise water often found in the parks. Check out Buntzen Lake, Yoho National Park (especially Emerald Lake and Lake O’Hara), Garibaldi Lake, and Okanagan Lake for some amazing adventure elopement locations!
5) Book Travel & Lodging
I recommend booking travel and lodging at least a few months in advance. You’ll have a better chance of finding somewhere close to your elopement location, and likely will get better prices! Especially in the summer months in popular areas, things tend to book up early.
Some things to think about for your elopement will be flights, rental cars, and where you’ll stay. There are lots of amazing Airbnbs in BC and I’d be more than happy to give you suggestions!
6) Getting Married in BC: Marriage License
To get legally married when you elope in BC, you will need a marriage license! This needs to be done within three months of your ceremony date. You will need to go in person to apply for one, but only one of you needs to do this.
You will need a primary ID (birth certificate, IMM/immigration form, permanent resident card, or citizenship card) for both of you, and $100 to pay for the marriage license.
You can find a marriage license issuer here. You can go to any one in the province of BC, so choose one close to home if you’re local, and leave room in your travel plans if you aren’t!
7) The Final Touches For Your BC Elopement
This is the part where things come together! You take all the big dreams and make them come to life. Make a timeline of the day with what you’ll be doing, get your attire, rings, vow books, and all the little details together, and shop for any adventure gear you’ll need. A month or two out is also a good time to confer with your vendors and make sure everything is in order with payments and bookings, and you can always ask them for advice on what to pack, what still needs to be done, and anything else you’re wondering about!
8) Have the best elopement day in BC!
After all the planning, this is it! The big day arrives, you have the best day ever, get married, live happily ever after, that sort of thing. We’ll spend the day exploring and celebrating the two of you, enjoying a wedding day that’s everything you want – and nothing that you don’t.
My goal is to make sure every couple has the wedding day they dream of – one full of authentic experiences and meaningful memories, with no rules and no expectations. Get married your way, and celebrate in a way that actually reflects your relationship.
As a British Columbia elopement photographer, I help couples with everything from finding the perfect spot to say your vows, to getting the right permits, to planning all the amazing adventures you’ll have. For some more elopement inspiration, be sure to check out my Squamish Elopement Guide and this Mount Cheam Hiking Elopement.
Elopement Packages BC
All packages include photography coverage, a 80+ page elopement guide, unlimited planning assistance, and more. To view my BC elopement packages, check out my packages here.
All packages include the following:
- Starting at 4 hours of photography coverage
- 80+ page elopement planning guide
- Customized location suggestions + unique activity ideas
- Unlimited planning assistance
- Personalized timeline for your day
- High-resolution digital photos
- Private online gallery to view, download, print, and share your images
- All travel fees within 200km of South Surrey included
So if you’ve been thinking about eloping in BC, contact me to get started!