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Unique Wedding Ideas: Boat Elopements and Boat Weddings British Columbia

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All images by Pursell Photography. 

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Impressive Sunset Boat Wedding Photography

So you are interested to elope or having a larger wedding and using a boat in British Columbia, Canada? Congratulations! You’re in for a beautiful adventure.

But where do you start? What type of boat should I use? What are the best places to elope and get married on a boat?

This guide will answer all of these questions and more!

We are British Columbia photographers that spend A LOT of time on a boat

We are British Columbia photographers that spend a crazy amount of time around water. We love the water, the mountains, and the people that we meet.

We live on a lake and love sharing that type of adventure with people. We think using a boat for your wedding or photo shoot is such a unique wedding idea (we even used a boat for our own wedding as an excursion with our closest friends and family).

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Get wedding photos like no one else by using a boat

There are so many different ways to take wedding photos and create beautiful memories for a lifetime. One of the most unique ways to capture memorable moments is by using a boat. Capturing the scene from the water can provide incredible angles that you don’t see every day. There are lots of options to do this when using a boat.

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Option 1. A Smaller boat for an elopement or photoshoot

You can explore amazing locations by boat like islands, waterfalls, cliffs and old-growth forests. A smaller boat is the ideal choice for your wedding photos because it is easy to get on and off the boat.

If you want to invite a larger list of guests then you can get married at a location that accommodates your larger guest count, then head out to the boat for some beautiful wedding photos of just the two of you.

We live near Harrison Lake and are happy to recommend boat tours that can take you to some absolutely amazing locations around Harrison Lake. Another great option is to rent boats out of Granville Island (https://boatrentalsvancouver.com/). They offer many sizes of boats.

001 - Adventure elopement boat to waterfallCheck out more elopement ideas.

Option 2. Hire a larger boat for your larger wedding

If you’re looking for a way to make your larger wedding day unique, look no further than hiring a yacht as the venue. The water and scenery will be spectacular, and you’ll give your guests an ever-changing unique experience.

We have photographed weddings at Magic Yacht Charters (https://www.magicyachtcharters.com/). They offer 4 vessels that can cater for micro weddings or huge weddings of up to 385 guests!

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5 Types of Boats for a Boat Elopement or Boat Wedding

Here are five types of boats for your next boating elopement or boat wedding:

Motor Boat: Motorboats are Faster but smaller in Size

Motorboats are an easy way to explore the waterways and enjoy a more intimate experience with nature. They are also faster than other types of boats and can be rented at many places on the water.

Yacht: Perfect for Luxury Weddings

With the ability to accommodate large amounts of guests, they provide an unforgettable experience for those in attendance. Yachts also come with a wide range of amenities and extras that make them ideal for large celebrations.

Sailboat: Quiet and relaxing

A sailboat wedding is the perfect elopement or wedding venue for the couple who wants to enjoy a quiet, tranquil ceremony on the water. Sailboats are a beautiful way to get married and with so many options out there, you’re sure to find one that meets your needs.

Houseboat: Houseboats Offer Space and Privacy

A houseboat is a boat that serves as a home. They are usually built on top of a barge, which provides stability. They provide space and privacy and amenities such as rooftop decks and washrooms for couples who want to elope or get married.

Kayak, Rowboat or Canoe: Great for elopement photo-ops

Kayaks allow you to paddle up close to shorelines, which is something that a boat would not be able to do as easily. If you’re looking for an easy and fun way to get some beautiful photos, then kayaking, canoeing or even a rowboat might be your best option!

rowboat wedding photos

What are the most scenic places to elope and get married using a boat in British Columbia?

There are many scenic places to elope and get married in British Columbia, but these are some of the most popular.

Harrison Lake

We’re locals and as such we are more than a little biased. But honestly, who could blame us? Harrison Lake is beautiful. We love how the sun is usually in a good spot for photos and that it’s often framed by snowcapped mountains and lots of trees. There is a lot of public land without much housing, so if you’re interested in exploring find new places consider checking out this part of British Columbia. Check out an amazing Boat-Access waterfall elopement.

The Howe Sound

The Howe Sound region is easy to access from Vancouver, has many beautiful destinations and secluded spots. There are lots of hidden gems along the Howe Sound.

Indian Arm

The Indian Arm stretches from Deep Cove to Belcarra and has its own series of beautiful islands and waterfalls. These are all within close distance to Vancouver but still have seclusion that’s got its own amazing charm.

Pitt Lake

Pitt Lake is considered the second largest lake in the Metropolitan Vancouver area and is a beautiful body of water, surrounded by mountains and nature on its north side. Pitt Lake has Canoe rentals as well as a boat launch for motorboats. Don’t get caught by the currents on this lake as they can be extreme.

Sunshine Coast

The Sunshine Coast is a beautiful stretch of coast in British Columbia. There are plenty of coastal towns and villages along the coast, as well as great outdoor activities like paddling, boating. Check out this wedding where we used a rowboat to get amazing angles of the couple’s wedding ceremony.

Vancouver Island

British Columbia’s coastline has arguably the most breathtaking scenery of any in the world. It’s full of majestic fjords, alluring inlets, and hundreds of beaches. Boaters in this area get to explore the sheltered waterways around Vancouver Island or the popular marine parks found on nearby islands.

Interior British Columbia

Kelowna, Penticton and other towns in the interior of British Columbia are beautifully situated on lakes that would make beautiful wedding locations. We can’t wait to explore them!

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Wedding Venues that have Boats on the property or near the Venue

False Creek Yacht Club

The False Creek Yacht Club is the perfect place for hosting private functions in their clubhouse. With scenic views of False Creek, there’s space to eat and drink while you enjoy this bustling area of Vancouver. It’s an excellent choice if you want to make something truly special, one that will be remembered as long as it lasts.

Royal Harrison Retreat

An Airbnb that not only has a beautiful location but also includes a boat launch on the property. This provides multiple services in one place – you go to the Airbnb and dock your boat right next to it! Most importantly, they can accommodate wedding parties or photography shoots with their own boats. Check a wedding from Royal Harrison.

The Lodge Harrison

It’s a wonderful Airbnb with its own private boat launch. From the property, you can enjoy views of the water and mountains. (https://thelodgeonharrisonlake.ca/)

Vancouver Yacht Club

The Royal Vancouver Yacht Club offers a beautiful location for all kinds of events, including weddings. There’s a private marina and the central location is really convenient too. Check a wedding from Royal Vancouver Yacht Club. Weddings from Vancouver Yacht Club. (https://www.royalvan.com/)

Deep Cove Yacht Club

With a wide, sweeping view of the Deep Cove waterfront, this location is perfect for your wedding! With space for 85 seated guests in the clubhouse and 100 standing guests as well, you’ll enjoy this location that’s right on the water.

first look boat dock

Things to bring for your boat elopement and boat wedding

If you are planning to elope or have a wedding on the water, there are a few things you should pack for your trip:

Make sure to bring the following items:

  • Proper footwear.
  • Anti Nausea medication.
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses.
  • Jackets (even if it’s warm)
  • Bug spray, and mosquito repellent.
  • Change of clothes.
  • Snacks and drinks.
  • Towels.
  • Make up touch-up kit
  • If in an open top speedboat, bring something to cover the hair

More tips in the complete guide to elopement photography.

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Best time of day for a boat elopement or wedding

The best time of day for a boat elopement or wedding is usually in the morning. This depends on the location and it’s best to talk to an expert for that specific location. Usually, lakes and oceans are the calmest in the morning before thermal winds start. The lighting in the morning is also beautiful and the air feels clean and crisp.

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The best season for boating

Summer boating is an obvious choice, but there are other factors to consider. Crowds will be a big issue at prime locations, and thermal winds can make it difficult to get out on the water depending on the location. Smoke can also be a factor during British Columbia weddings.

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Book your boat elopement, wedding, or photoshoot

A boat elopement, wedding, or photoshoot can be a great idea for a lot of couples. It is not just about the event itself, but also be a great adventure. Get in touch to book the photography side of your boat wedding or elopement now.

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