The Best Kootenay Wedding Venues

January 30, 2020

This blog is meant to get you brainstorming about some of the best Kootenay wedding venues to host your wedding. This is solely my opinion, based on my experience and conversations with my clients. The list is not based on any partnership with any of the places I list.

I’ve been a wedding photographer for over a decade, and based in Nelson BC for much of the nearly 250 weddings I’ve had the honour and pleasure to photograph. With that experience in mind, I bring you a list of the best Kootenay wedding venues!

Bride and groom walk on beach under beautiful sky during their kootenay lakeview resort wedding

The Best Kootenay Wedding Venues

Fall wedding at Blaylock Mansion, nelson bc

The best resort venue is Blaylock Mansion. 

wedding couple walks in front of blaylock mansion in nelson bc
  • Blaylock is an elegant, historic mansion nestled in the hills, with manicured gardens and beautiful views.
  • It’s in high demand for good reason. There’s no need to leave the grounds for anything!
  • Inside the mansion is a gorgeous bridal suite, a great place to get ready and watch your guests arrive.
  • Your closest loved ones can stay there with you, and the mansion is close to town for an easy shuttle or cab ride.
Fall wedding portrait in front of blaylock mansion in nelson bc
Wedding dress hangs in the bridal suite at blaylock mansion, nelson bc
Father of the bride walks the bride down the aisle on her wedding at Blaylock Mansion, nelson bc
Wedding party celebrates with champagne at a Blaylock Mansion wedding, nelson bc

A fantastic hall venue is Georama Growers near Nelson.

  • It’s perched on the hillside above the lake for lovely afternoon light.
  • The hall is actually one of the greenhouses!
  • There’s a meadow for portraits right beside the lawn where you can have the ceremony.
  • The only drawback is that it’s not available until July.
Couple smile during recessional at georama growers wedding
wedding party at fall wedding on the grounds of georama growers, nelson bc
Shoe game at georama growers, nelson bc wedding
First dance at georama growers wedding, nelson bc

An awesome off-the-beaten-path venue is Gray Creek Hall.

  • It’s a bit of a jaunt from any major centre, but you’ll be rewarded with the intimate feel of a rustic cabin along the sweeping shore of Kootenay Lake. It’s absolutely beautiful and worth the trek!
  • Ten minutes from the hall in the eclectic little town of Crawford Bay are multiple restaurants and artist galleries for your guests to sink into the east shore vibe.
  • Crawford Bay has cabins where everyone can stay. If your guests are a little more outdoorsy, they can camp nearby.
  • If you’re looking for a classic Kootenay experience, Gray Creek Hall is a Kootenay wedding venue perfectly made for romantics overlooking the awesome east shore.
A couple stands in the sunshine beside Gray Creek Hall on Kootenay lake near Crawford Bay
Wedding ceremony on the shore of Kootenay lake at Gray creek hall, crawford bay
Wedding portrait on the rocks near Gray creek hall, crawford bay
Wedding reception dance party with Val Kilmer and the New Coke at Gray creek hall wedding, crawford bay

The Vallican Whole Community Centre is an intimate locale.

  • Similar to Gray Creek Hall, it’s a 30 minute shuttle ride for your guests who want a hotel, there are several guest-houses near the hall, or there’s on-site camping for the outdoor lovers.
  • It’s nestled in the forest and gives you tons of freedom to do what you want.
  • The hall is air conditioned!
  • It’s far away from urban sounds and lights. I managed to capture the Milky Way near the hall and this video will give you a sense of how special the Vallican Whole is.
Wedding at Vallican Whole Community Centre
Wedding portrait on the steps of the vallican whole community centre
Couple cheers for the speeches at vallican whole community centre wedding
Vallican Whole Community Centre at night wedding

If you want a ski resort for your Kootenay wedding venue,

Wedding ceremony at whitewater ski resort
wedding ceremony at whitewater ski resort near nelson bc
wedding party plays in the snow at whitewater ski resort
Wedding couple sits on the chairlift at whitewater ski resort

Book a gorgeous getaway for all your guests at Bull River Guest Ranch

  • It’s located on a stunning vista near the Bull River under the gaze of the Rocky Mountains.
  • While it’s about a thirty minute drive from Cranbrook in the East Kootenays, you and your guests will have the place all to yourselves.
  • The staff are incredibly sweet and accommodating, and the animals are adorable additions to the wedding party 😉
First look on the bridge at Bull River Guest Ranch wedding
Wedding portrait over canyon near Bull River Guest Ranch wedding
Wedding Ceremony site at Bull River Guest Ranch
Wedding decor at Bull River Guest Ranch wedding hall
Old couple walks past honeymoon suite at Bull River Guest Ranch Wedding

A convenient all-in-one resort is Kootenay Lakeview Resort

  • I’ve shot tons of wedding here for destination weddings and for locals.
  • It’s by Balfour, a 30 minute shuttle to Nelson, or your guests can stay in the hotel on site.
  • We’ve got lots of wonderful lakeside portrait places nearby.
  • The cabin is perfect for the reception if you don’t want to risk the weather outside.
  • And if you like golf… you can see the course from your window!
wedding ceremony overlooking  kootenay lake at Kootenay Lakeview resort wedding
Bride gets ready in the bridal suite at Kootenay Lakeview resort wedding
wedding arch at Kootenay Lakeview resort wedding
Wedding details at Kootenay Lakeview resort wedding

The best Kootenay wedding venues list wouldn’t be complete without talking about lakeside and backyard weddings. The Kootenays are loved for their laidback feel, and a backyard wedding beautifully fits the region’s vibe.

Backyard events like this Christina Lake wedding tend to be more personal than a resort wedding, a little more private, and sometimes more affordable–but there is a lot of logistical planning involved.

bride and groom give a toast at dusk with strings lights at their christina lake wedding

There are several wonderful Kootenay wedding planners to help with your backyard or lakeside wedding:

If you’re looking for the feel of a backyard but don’t have a friend or relative able to host you,

  • Some Lakeside AirBnBs may be open to a wedding party.
  • A non-backyard, backyard-feeling Kootenay wedding location is Sunshine Bay Park in Proctor (see the sites below). They’ve got a commercial kitchen, bathrooms, camping space, and a large covered gazebo with a cement dance floor!
  • Birchbank Picnic Grounds has similar amenities and is located close to Trail BC.

This is definitely not an exhaustive list of the best Kootenay wedding venues!

Wedding party at fall wedding on the grounds of Blaylock Mansion, nelson bc

I’d love to tell you about wedding venues in Revelstoke, Kelowna and Vancouver… but I’ll save those for another post. Or we can talk about it when you contact me.

I look forward to hearing from you!