Lake Louise Wedding by Banff Photographers, Troy & Shirleen Burnett.
Lake Louise is amazing in September. Rain or shine. Locals say, if you don’t like the weather in the mountains, just wait a minute. And often that is the case. But not always…
Christina Jeffrey and Wayne Williams were married in the gazebo of the Lake Louise Inn on Sept. 5, 2015 and its a good thing that they were showered by the love of friends and family, because the shower of rain just never let up. A wedding day, however, is always a beautiful day and in the years I have photographed weddings, I’ve yet to meet a couple whose enthusiasm for each other has been dampened by a few drops of water. Christina and Wayne were no exception. In fact, Christina, upon hearing that it might possibly snow that day, embraced the notion by erecting a giant snowman on her bedroom balcony. His open arms and wide smile an effigy of Christina’s own happiness.
The “gazebo” at the Lake Louise Inn is an enormous wooden structure dressed beautifully for the occasion by wedding planners, Lauren Laming and Julie Pagett of Rocky Mountian Weddings . Christina’s brother, Mike, hand-made the elaborate wreath that hung from the ceiling and was the center piece of the ceremony site. Pamela Barnett officiated the ceremony guiding the emotional couple through laughter and a few tears to the final first kiss as husband and wife. The guests, bundled in blankets, surprised the newly weds with a shower of bubbles that transformed the gazebo into a magical place made even more enchanting by the patter of rain on the roof. Wood, rain, laugher, bubbles. It all came together in a natural cacophony of celebration. Congratulations were given and family portraits taken.
The plan was to go to the top of the Lake Louise Ski area with the newly weds and their wedding party, but the mountains were shrouded in mist and the rain was heavy. Instead, we went to the historic Lake Louise Railway Station and Restaurant where we were warmly welcomed by the staff and guests as we took shelter from the rain for an impromtu indoor photo shoot. The Railway Station is the oldest building in Lake Louise. It has large, picturesque leaded glass windows on both sides of the building, several brick fireplaces, and a maze of small rooms decorated with the original fixtures and equipment from its days as a railway station in the 1920’s. (If you have never been to The Station Restaurant I highly recommend it. The food is excellent, the service is fabulous and the atmosphere can’t be beat. Its one of the hidden gems of the Bow Valley.) I can not commend the staff enough for allowing us to warm up, have a drink and take advantage of its gorgeous architecture and turn-of- the- century ambience for our portrait session. There it was easy to forget it was 2015 and let our imaginations take us to a nostalgic time of railroad travel romance, mystery and seduction.
We walked the grounds and explored the old box cars and gardens immediately adjacent to the restaurant. A large golf umbrella protecting the amorous couple from the sodden elements.
Lake Louise had been the site of Christina and Wayne’s first date and the place where they were first engaged. As such, it seemed essential that we should pay our respects on their wedding day, despite the weather. The mountains, misty and mysterious, were still beautiful in the rain.
The reception was held at the Lake Louise Inn and ran smoothly with the help of the Inn’s event co-ordinater, Ashley Stoll, and the gals from Rocky Mountain Weddings. A photo booth with old fashioned polaroid camera gave guests the perfect excuse to get silly and music provided by DJ Ben Miles of Livin’ & Dancin’Dj Servives the impulse to dance the night away. Pirate booty –ie. candy– was available in hords and if the copious amounts of sugar didn’t get the kids dancing certainly DJ Ben queuing up the song “Timber” did!
Altogether it was a beautiful wedding day that no amount of rain could damper.
At the end of the night, we passed Christina’s snowman. It was still raining. He was still smiling.