Story by Adrian Brijbassi
Vacay.ca Managing Editor
For most couples who want to get married in British Columbia, the ideal location for a wedding is one that features nature as a primary component. At an Indigenous-owned venue, nuptials are certain to be grounded in an environment with deep spirituality and strong ties to the land. These six destinations offer wedding experiences that include all of the important touches couples seek with the added benefit of Indigenous culture to seal the bond with soulfulness and grace.
Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, Whistler
The marriage of two coastal communities who have existed harmoniously in the Whistler area for many generations is celebrated in this exceptional facility. A showcase of art and culture, the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre (SLCC) provides outstanding venue spaces, including a longhouse that fits up to 80 people for traditional ceremonies. Two large reception halls offer views of the location’s majestic alpine surroundings and the SLCC’s patio provides room to laugh, mingle, and rejoice while Blackcomb Mountain peers down from above.
Quaaout Lodge & Spa at Talking Rock Golf Resort, Shuswap Region
If a wedding by the water is what you seek, Quaaout Lodge should be on your list to check out. The lodge is located about an hour’s drive from Kamloops and sits along Little Shuswap Lake. Your lakefront wedding can be large or small, featuring dramatic scenery within the East Kootenay mountain range, and the opportunity to indulge in golf and spa outings for you and your guests. The lodge is in the territory of the Secwepemc Nation and is owned by the Little Shuswap Indian Band, which has established a reputation for providing quality hospitality experiences for visitors to this exquisite part of British Columbia.
St. Eugene Golf, Resort & Casino, Cranbrook
Want a fairytale wedding? St. Eugene, set amid the Rocky Mountains and Purcell Mountains, is a fine choice for a magical beginning. The 300-acre resort stands on the shores of the St. Mary River and features a championship golf course. Couples with plans for a large wedding will be particularly drawn to St. Eugene, which has 125 guestrooms and suites, an on-site casino to keep guests entertained, and a spa for pre-wedding facials and treatments. Hiking trails and a heated outdoor pool are other attractions that will appeal. Owned by the Ktunaxa Nation, St. Eugene is an incredible success story that draws travellers from Alberta, British Columbia and beyond.
Wya Point Resort, Ucluelet
If an intimate beach wedding is for you, head to Wya Point. Picture yourself saying your vows while standing on the shores of the Pacific Ocean with the sun on the horizon and your closest family and friends witnessing this momentous occasion in life. Wya Point, known for its luxury yurts and sophisticated suites adjacent to Pacific Rim National Park, provides a variety of accommodations as well as the opportunity for a dream getaway to the west coast of Vancouver Island. Owned and operated by the Ucluelet First Nation, Wya Point is a star on the Pacific, sitting among towering Sitka spruce and Douglas fir trees that have been living together beautifully for centuries. It is indeed a place for forging unbreakable bonds.
Indigenous World Winery, Kelowna
Good wine, good food, and good company. Those are hallmarks of any great celebration and at Indigenous World Winery, located in the heart of the province’s wine-growing region of the Okanagan Valley, guests will have the chance to indulge in culinary delights while honouring the happy couple. Indigenous World Winery is owned by the Okanagan Syilx people, who have lived in the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys for thousands of years, and continue to demonstrate the magnificent flavours of the area. The on-site Red Fox Club is a good choice if you want to further explore those Indigenous tastes before or after the ceremony.
Musqueam Cultural Centre, Vancouver
Run by the Musqueam Indian Band, the cultural centre is a legacy building from the 2010 Winter Olympics. Formerly the Four Hosts Aboriginal Pavilion during those games, the cultural centre close to the University of British Columbia features a variety of venues for indoor or outdoor celebrations. Your nuptials can take place within the facility’s museum, home to astounding Indigenous art, or on one of its outdoor fields, where guests can enjoy the spectacular scenery of Vancouver and its surrounding mountains while you and your significant other exchange vows.