How to Plan a Helicopter Wedding in Banff

February 8, 2022

So, you’re getting married! This is exciting news, and I couldn’t be happier for you. The adventure is just beginning, and I’m here to guide you through this journey. 

Think about where you picture your dream wedding? Is it next to a beautiful lake surrounded by mountains? Do you imagine standing on the highest tip of the Canadian Rockies feeling like you are on top of the world? What you imagine for your wedding day can become a reality with Banff helicopter tours!

Have you heard of a helicopter wedding? Well, you are in for a treat. If you seek adventure on your wedding day, a helicopter wedding might be for you. Let’s learn everything there is to know about a helicopter wedding in Banff and the Canadian Rockies in general and the best way to have one.

TIP: If you are looking into getting married in Banff, I wrote a detailed guide on How to Elope in Banff, so feel free to read it if you’re looking for more information

What is a Helicopter Wedding?

A helicopter wedding in the Canadian Rockies is an unforgettable experience where you include a helicopter on your wedding day. For example, you can make a grand entrance to your wedding on a chopper, go sightseeing after saying your vows, or take a helicopter to a remote place on a mountaintop to say your vows in a secret location.

Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies is one of the most beautiful places to get married. Getting whisked away in a helicopter to a remote mountain top adds excitement to your wedding day you will never forget and drama to your photographs. 

Why you should have a helicopter wedding

If you are going all out, why not have a helicopter wedding? Let’s list why you should have a helicopter wedding, and if your vision for your wedding aligns, then a Banff helicopter wedding is for you. 

  • Adventure: You are both adventure seekers, and flying over the Banff National Park is thrilling.
  • New experiences: This is totally out of your element, but you are ready to experience something new with your partner and make exciting memories.
  • Views: The view is spectacular, and you get to see it from an angle that very few do.
  • No hiking: A helicopter provides you with the ultimate ride. Not everyone wants to wake up at 2 am and hike the mountain for sunrise. Why hike when you can sleep in and fly in an unforgettable helicopter wedding. 
  • Photographs: There is one thing we know for sure – the photographs are everything. The images last forever and freeze your beautiful memories in time.

Who is a helicopter wedding for?

While the assumption is that helicopter weddings are for couples who crave adventure, it is not limited to adventure seekers. You might even be a quiet couple looking into a helicopter wedding to do something out of the norm. 

For some, it might seem like an intimidating experience, but once you are standing on top of a magnificent mountaintop saying your vows with the love of your life, you will realize that the experience is worth it. 

Are you wondering how you can plan the perfect Banff helicopter wedding? Then, let me show you how!

How to plan your helicopter wedding

This is the part that most couples feel anxiety over, but don’t worry. I’ve got you covered. Hiring a helicopter for your Banff wedding isn’t much different than booking a venue or limousine. You decide on the date, location, time frame, and vendors, while the helicopter operator does the rest.

Pick a date

There are a few things to consider when picking a date for your Banff helicopter wedding. Choose the season that’s right for you:

  • Winter and the start of spring becomes a whimsical wonderland with beautiful thick snow. The air is crispYou can also expect winter to be fewer tourists in Banff National Parks and throughout the Canadian Rockies.
  • Summers are warmer, and you can expect greenery or dramatic rocky jagged peaks everywhere in your wedding photographs. The days are longer, and the views are beautiful. 

What activities do you want to do before or after your wedding? During the winter, you can dog sled, ski, or ice climb. During the summers, you can go horseback riding, river rafting, and hiking. No matter what season you choose, there are endless opportunities for adventure sports.

The busiest time of year is between mid-June 18 and mid-September 2 because of the warm weather and families taking summer vacations. However, the coldest months are January and February, so keep that in mind when booking a winter wedding.

Lastly, weekends tend to be the busiest. Many families and mountain lovers may take a long weekend, such as Friday or Monday, to continue their journey. Tuesday-Thursday offers the most privacy.

Choose a helicopter location

The first thing to remember is that a helicopter can’t fly everywhere. They have their own landing permits for specific areas and abide by all the rules and restrictions of the Banff National Park and around the Canadian Rockies. While these permits and regulations are not something you need to handle yourself, you have to choose your location before choosing the helicopter company.

Decide on the scenery you want for your backdrop. Do you prefer snow-capped mountains or lakes? Meadows or glaciers? Waterfalls Take a peek on Pinterest and make a list of all the beautiful sceneries in the Canadian Rockies. Compare the list to the places where you can have your helicopter wedding and choose the perfect location!

Consider number of guests

The number of loved ones you can bring to your helicopter wedding will depend on the number of people the helicopter can hold. There needs to be room for the two of you, an officiant, your witnesses and a photographer. Many couples choose to elope and have a ‘just us’ wedding, which is a great option too, and the helicopter pilot and I can sign as witnesses.

If you want more than a couple of people to come, remember you are not limited to one helicopter! Depending on your budget, you can hire more than one helicopter to carry more guests or a larger one. The Robinson R44 can take three people, so you have one guest, and the A-Star can take five passengers.

You can still have the intimate wedding you dreamed of with your closest loved ones. To save a seat for a loved one, ask an ordained friend or family member to officiate (must be a permanent resident of Canada).

How long should you rent a helicopter for?

Depending on which area and helicopter company you choose, you can have a helicopter for an hour up to several hours. You will also be limited in the number of times you land. Before the wedding day and after selecting the package from the helicopter, I will help you create a schedule for your big day to ensure you get the most out of your helicopter ride and the rest of your day. We can spend a couple of hours up in the clouds and still explore the lakes and waterfalls of Banff National Park and beyond. Sky is not the limit here!

Book the vendors

Now that you have a date, location, wedding photographer, and helicopter company all set, it’s time to book the vendors. You will need:

  • Makeup artist and hairstylist
  • Florist
  • Caterers
  • Videographer
  • Bakery
  • Officiant

Have a backup plan

What every couple needs to have – a backup plan! The weather in the Canadian Rockies can be unpredictable, and it can become too windy to fly, which can change your flight plan. Fog can also cover the mountaintops, so consider landing at a lower altitude.

Should the weather be too bad where the idea gets cancelled altogether, which happens very rarely, you still have options. You can take a hike through Banff National Park, and I can help you choose a secluded area to say, ‘I do.’ Or you can canoe to the remote shoreline of the turquoise blue glacier lake. Your alternative will be just as special!

Where to have a helicopter wedding in the Canadian Rockies?

An important thing to note – Helicopters are not allowed to fly within Banff National Park, but there are helicopter operators outside Banff National Park, that will fly you around the heart of the Canadian Rockies and beyond. The sky is literally the limit.

  • Icefields Parkway: Rockies Heli Canada will help you celebrate at 9,000 feet with sparkling wine and dessert. 
  • Canmore: Alpine Helicopters Inc. offers two great helicopter elopement options, and the pilot or/and the mountain guise&marriage officiant will remain on-site for the duration of the ceremony. They can provide a beautiful and unique heli-wedding experience. You can choose to fly to Mt. Charles Stewart where you can have around three hours for your ceremony, photos and a little bit of hiking. The downside of this tour company is that they only operate from around 10 am to 5 pm, so you won’t be able to fly for sunrise or sunset.
  • Golden: Not quite in the Rockies, but they offer similar packages that will take you to the most beautiful alpine lakes and glaciers where you can exchange your vows. White Tooth Heli is great choice if you want to fly for sunrise or sunset and stay at the side for more than one hour.
  • Revelstoke: Also not in the Canadian Rockies, but close enough. Glacier Helicopters will exceed your expectations and ensure you have the helicopter wedding of your dreams.
  • Calgary: Mountain View Helicopters offer a helicopter ride two beautiful landing spots near Banff National Park. They are very flexible and can bring us there even for sunrise or sunset either for the wedding ceremony or ‘just’ portrait photos.

Why you should have an adventure photographer for a helicopter wedding

Having an elopement photographer is not just about taking magnificent photographs. It is so much more than that! As an elopement photographer in the Canadian Rockies area, I know the area well. I will ensure you get the best location to suit your vision, recommend a vendor list and a full elopement guide to ease the planning process for your Canadian Rockies helicopter wedding.

The elopement/wedding guide includes:

  • Advice on wedding attire
  • Activities suggestions for any time of the year
  • Vow exchange & ceremony ideas
  • Private chef options
  • Florists
  • Hair and makeup artists
  • And much more!

Banff Helicopter Wedding

The perfect helicopter wedding Canadian Rockies awaits you! If you are looking for an amazing adventure and a special experience to share your true love, then go for a helicopter wedding. Canada has so much to offer in beauty and elegance.

Remember that if you choose to elope or get married with guests, they don’t have to be there for the vow exchange. Instead, plan a beautiful brunch beforehand or have an elegant dinner afterward. Banff helicopter tours is a once in a lifetime experience, and it should be free of stress!

There are various ways you can include friends and family at your helicopter wedding:

  • Bring along a family heirloom and incorporate it into your attire
  • Ask friends and family to write love letters to the two of you and read them on the mountaintop
  • Have a viewing party after the ceremony 
  • Have your loved ones help you get ready before your helicopter wedding

Get married the way you want and be uniquely you because your wedding is just that – about you. So, if you want to get married completely alone, then do it! 

Contact me for more information about how you can have the perfect Banff helicopter wedding!

FAQ

Can I bring my dog for a helicopter ride?

Yes! You absolutely can bring your furry best friend with some of the helicopter companies in the area. Call ahead of time and make sure they will cater to your dog.

Do I need to be fit if I want a helicopter wedding?

No. You don’t have to be fit to have a helicopter wedding. However, there is a weight limit that ranges depending on the helicopter you use. For example, the R44 has a weight limit of 280 lbs per seat.

What dress is best for a helicopter wedding?

Choose a dress that offers you the best mobility. For example, climbing in and out of the helicopter might be challenging in a tight-fitted dress. When trying on dresses, bend and step up to see if you can move freely in the dress. Also, if you love airy flowy wedding dresses, they look absolutely amazing when the wind is blowing at the top of the mountain.

How many people can fit in one helicopter?

The amount of people that can fit in a helicopter depends on the model of the helicopter. For example, the Robinson R44 can fly three people, and the A-Star helicopter has room for five people.

What if the weather doesn’t look great on your wedding day?

Always have a backup plan! Coordinate with your elopement photographer about what the plan will be if the weather turns south. If there is poor weather in the morning, speak to the helicopter company as ask if they will be willing to do a sunset wedding instead. Suppose there is thick fog, land lower on the mountain, and your dream day despite the weather. 

When is the best time to have a helicopter wedding in the Canadian Rockies?

Helicopter companies are allowed to fly all year round. June through September are the busiest months, but it has the best weather. 

Are you ready for your helicopter wedding in Banff or elsewhere around the Canadian Rockies?

I’ll be happy to help you in any way I can to help you create an unforgettable adventure wedding experience.

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