Getting your Canmore and Banff, Alberta marriage license
If you’re getting married in Banff National Park or Canmore, you’ll be getting a marriage certificate issued by the province of Alberta. The requirements for getting an Alberta certificate are pretty basic.
You’ll need $125 and identification such as a passport, birth certificate or driver’s license, the full names of the bride and groom’s parents (maiden name for mothers), and their birthplaces. If either bride or groom have been divorced, a decree absolute is necessary, if widowed, you must have the death certificate of the former spouse.
Once you’ve got your license, you’ll need a marriage commissioner to perform the ceremony and two witnesses over the age of 18 to attend the ceremony. Photographers and videographers are usually happy to act as a witness.
Alberta does not require blood tests or waiting periods before getting married.
Getting married in Banff National Park
Because Banff National Park is public property, the rules are a bit different. The good news: Anyone can get married here, as long as they meet the province of Alberta’s requirements. Parks Canada asks couples to fill out paperwork informing them of the wedding, although there is no penalty for not doing this.
Parks Canada has a few rules you should be aware of while planning your wedding:
- Do not throw any confetti.
- You must clean up after your event. Nothing should be left behind.
- There is no open alcohol allowed.
- All guests must have a park pass.
- No gas-powered generators, excessive noise, unruly behavior, loud music or P.A. systems allowed. Quiet music
- Guests may not disturb or infringe on the park’s natural and cultural resources (ie: no picking or disturbance of flower beds, setting up of chairs or removal of trees or branches).
- Be bear aware: do not leave any food behind.
- Groups using shelters should be aware that day use areas and shelters close at 2300 hours (11 pm).
- The organizer accepts full responsibility for any incidents, and/or costs of clean up or site rehabilitation resulting from the event.
- The Park Service asks that events be limited to 20 people to minimize impact on the site.
- No area of the park can be cordoned off for personal use.
- From instruments such as guitars, flutes or harps is allowed.
Getting to Canmore or Banff
Total travel time depends on where you are coming from, of course. If you’re coming from far away, Calgary International Airport is your best bet for getting here quickly.
Hypothetically, you could arrive at the Calgary International Airport at 9 am, get to the licensing bureau at 11 am and be married at 1 pm.
From the airport, it takes about 1.5 hours to get to either Canmore or Banff. Car rental and shuttle service are available at the airport.
General tips for getting married in the Canadian Rockies
Remember you are in the mountains: the weather here is subject to abrupt change, at any time of the year.
You and your guests should dress in layers and bring extra clothes.
If planning to hold your ceremony or reception outdoors, make sure you have a backup plan in place.
You may want to bring some mosquito repellent, sun block and a little water if you plan to be away from civilization for more than an hour.
If you’ve never been here before, it is probably a good idea to hire a wedding planner. Local planners know the area well, and can make sure your wedding day goes smoothly.
Also, remember this is bear country, and be bear aware.
Parks Canada does require a form to be filled out so that they can be aware of what is going on. Many people conduct their wedding in Banff without notifying Parks Canada. There is not a penalty for doing so.
To avoid any problems with park officials, please avoid:
- Clean up after your event.
- Do not throw any confetti or leave anything behind. You must clean up after your event.
- There is no open alcohol allowed.
- All guests must have Park’s Pass.
- No gas-powered generators, excessive noise, unruly behavior, loud music or P.A. systems will be tolerated. Quiet music such as a guitar, flute or harp is allowed.
- Guests may not disturb or infringe on the park’s natural and cultural resources (ie: no picking or disturbance of flower beds, setting up of chairs or removal of trees or branches)
- Absolutely do not leave food behind. We have issues with bears.
- Groups using shelters should be aware that day use areas close at 2300 hours.
The organizer accepts full responsibility for any incidents, and/or costs of clean up or site rehabilitation resulting from the event.
To stay out of any problems with Banff National Park’s officials: Please limit the number of participants/guests attending the ceremony to a maximum of 20 people; and – keep vehicular traffic to a minimum (use car pooling or group transportation).