Photographer Taryn Baxter captures the vista at Poets Cove on Pender Island that overlooks Bedwell Harbour
Many of the Gulf Islands have a wide variety of great vendors offering wedding services, says Scott Young, sales, marketing and events manager at Pender Island’s Poets Cove Resort & Spa. “The local talent for wedding amenities is usually less expensive and lives only a few minutes from the wedding location.” Pender Island, just a short ferry or airplane ride from Vancouver or Victoria, is a secluded getaway with all the amenities of a great wedding destination, he continues. “We offer a full-service resort, water activities, parks, marina, fine dining and a spa, and our venue overlooks the ocean and sunset over the distant mountains; a very romantic setting.” Young recommends couples examine the Gulf Island venues they’re interested in online before coming out to visit the property in person. But you can always make a trip of it and scout your shortlist by island-hopping the coast.
Over the years, many couples have wed at Painter’s Lodge in Campbell River and April Point Resort & Spa on Quadra Island, sister properties that provide dreamy ceremony locations especially suited to nature lovers. “Wedding guests spend the weekend celebrating, exploring and enjoying resort activities like fishing, whale watching and grizzly tours,” says Marian de Monyé, sales and marketing director for the Oak Bay Marine Group. “B.C. has so much natural beauty to enjoy and our resorts make that oceanfront backdrop not only part of your day, but also part of your guests’ overall wedding experience.”
Galiano Island is another highly sought-after destination wedding location, with beaches, forests and beautiful vistas at every turn. “Once you’ve selected Galiano Island for your wedding, all the other options fall effortlessly into place,” says Conny Nordin, owner of the Galiano Inn and Spa. “We have a professional florist, marriage commissioners, a heritage church a few minutes away, a choice of professional photographers familiar with the perfect photo opportunities, a hairstylist on the island and bakery options for wedding cakes.” The boutique resort can create intimate weddings with four to 20 people or large-scale events for up to 150 on the oceanfront lawns.
Whichever property you choose, an “I Do” in the Gulf Islands promises to be easily accessible and unforgettably lovely.