Calgary Top 12 Best Outdoor Wedding Party Photo Locations and Venues for Wedding & Elopement Photos
Updated: Oct 19, 2020
Here are my top 12 wedding party, elopement and engagement photo locations and wedding venues in Calgary to consider. These are all photo locations and wedding venues that are maintained by the city with easy access for a wedding. Some locations are great for the bridal party, others are great for the bride and groom to get some magazine like photos, some are also perfect for engagements. We are not including private wedding venues for this post, as we are looking to provide free or low cost outdoor photo locations for couples that are looking for photo locations that are easily accessible and can be part of a series of photo locations, and for couples who may have their ceremony and reception at different venues including religious ones (and want photos away from a church or hall). We will have a list of our top private indoor and outdoor wedding and elopement venues at a later time, we cannot wait to provide our list with so many beautiful wedding venues in the city.
Throughout the years, we have done many weddings, elopements and engagements all over Calgary, and we have photographed some amazing location right within the City of Calgary. While we all love to go to Canmore, Banff, Kananaskis for some dreamy mountain wedding photo locations, we are blessed to have such great locations within the city itself! We often find ourselves riding with the bridal party in a limo, to find a number of iconic Calgary photo locations to get some great photos. We hope this guide will help you in considering some options that you may have not have thought of before. Please talk with your wedding or elopement photographer about these locations, or contact us if you are still looking for a photographer and request a free consultation.
These are not in rank, and all are great spots in their own right to get some stunning wedding photos. We have many photos of these locations on our wedding photography page
Stephen Avenue - 8th Street in Downtown Calgary
Located in the heart of downtown Calgary, Stephen Avenue is a pedestrian pathway full of shops and interesting architecture, offering some of Calgary's oldest buildings as backdrops. Unlike many other outdoor locations, Stephen Avenue requires a permit to
shoot wedding photos. While the permit free for a wedding photographer, please allow your wedding photographer time to get this permit you do decide to go for this location. Your wedding photographer also needs to be insured in order to get a permit, make sure to ask your photographer prior to booking if they are licensed and insured to work within Calgary and able to access these spots. It's worth it, even during a total rainstorm!
Peace Bridge - Downtown Calgary on Prince's Island Park
The iconic pedestrian bridge that connects Kensington to Prince's Island Park, the Peace Bridge quickly became one of the most photographed spots in Calgary, and for very good reason. We have photographed full wedding parties, engagements and couples on this bridge and it never ceases to amaze me how beautiful the bridge is. If doing wedding party photos on the bridge on a busy summer day, please note that the center lane is meant for cyclists. Your wedding photographer should be able to direct the wedding party for stunning photos while keeping in mind other users of the bridge at the same time.
Calgary Central Library - Downtown Calgary
Completed in 2018, the Calgary Central Library is an amazing modern architectural wonder with many options for some stunning wedding photos both outdoors and indoors. Wedding photography is allowed inside without needing a permit, and as such is a great wedding photo location when the weather is rainy or snowy, or we are in a deep cold (we are in Calgary after all!). The library is best for bride and groom photos, and uses the library's great natural light to the fullest advantage.
Rundle Ruins - SouthEast Calgary
Once the first hospital in Calgary's history, the Rundle Ruins are the remains of a Romanesque hospital. This location is great for bride and groom photos, and provides the opportunity for some pretty unique photos that are not expected from a city like Calgary
Inglewood Bird Sanctuary - Southeast Calgary
A pristine natural habitat that is a birdwatcher's paradise, it is also home to some of the most beautiful trails in Calgary, especially the walkways over the waters. Make sure to stay on trails as you enter the park to help keep the park in its natural state, but this sanctuary is one of the quieter areas of the city and is great for some bride and groom and a few bridal party photos as well. Be prepared to get photobombed by a few deer from time to time during a wedding or engagement session.
Reader Rock Garden - Southwest Calgary near the Stampede Grounds
A wonderful hidden gem and historic site in Calgary, Reader Rock Garden is a beautiful garden with the Reader Rock Garden Cafe on top of the hill which is perfect as wedding venue for both weddings and elopements. Absolutely stunning all year round, it has several including little warterfalls and gazebos for the perfect picturesque bride and groom photos. A photo contract is required for any photos taken on location (50$ per hour for public use and 100$ per hour for private use), but a photography contract is included with the booking of the venue for your wedding. It is still a low cost option that a photographer can provide to you when considering photo locations
Gerry Shaw Garden - Southwest Calgary near Roxboro
I really should not name this in our top wedding photo locations, because it is such a wonderful photo spot we want to keep Gerry Shaw Garden to ourselves! A very small garden near Elbow River, it is a mix of both garden and nature into a beautiful perfect spot for engagement or bridal photos. No matter the season, the garden's cute charm is always a hit for any of our engagement or wedding couples when we recommend this location.
Edworthy Park - Northwest Calgary by the Bow River
As we move further away from downtown, we start to get much more into natural areas, and there is no better park for easy travel than Edworthy Park. A Banff like atmosphere with the pine trees on its hills, the park offers beautiful scenery for riverside photos, forest and you even can do some trainspotting while there for your full wedding party and even family photos. I personally live close to Edworthy Park, and we are lucky to be blessed with such a beautiful natural park. If your wedding or engagement couple does not mind a little hike, the Douglas Fir Trail offers some unique and secluded spots to give a sense of being lost in the woods.
Nose Hill Park - Northwest Calgary
Further up in the North of Calgary, this majestic hill and natural environmental park has some great views of downtown Calgary, and is one of the biggest parks in the city with its 1129 hectares. Very much on a hill, be prepared to be a bit winded as you hike up to the best spots, but be prepared to get some of the best wedding photos that all your friends will be the envy of. We have still yet to find all the hidden spots here with the park being so big, but we love to continue to explore each time and find something new every time!
Fish Creek Provincial Park - Southwest Calgary
The only provincial park right in the
middle of a city, Fish Creek Provincial Park is the perfect counter for anyone who says that Calgary is just a prairie town. With the rivers
and creeks, the forested areas and the grasslands, Fish Creek Provincial Park has something for everyone who loved to be with nature. Fish Creek Provincial Park is also home to one of the best wedding venues in Calgary in Bow Valley Ranche, if you are looking for a wedding venue while reading our blog (we will have our top wedding venue post later this year!)
Griffith Woods - Southwest Calgary
Near the outskirts of Calgary and the new ring road in the area, Griffith Woods is one of those parks that 9 out of 10 Calgarians could not name, but once they see it they cannot find again. The small winding trails around Elbow River are great to walk on, and this park is one of my favorites for our dream portrait photo sessions and engagements. While we have done family wedding photos in this park, we recommend bride and groom or smaller wedding party photos to match the cozy and small trails in this pristine wooden area.
Bonus: try to find the hidden swimming hole! Follow the people in swimsuits, and be prepared to cross shallow waters.
North and South Glenmore Park - Southwest Calgary
Enveloping the Glenmore Reservoir, both North and South Glenmore Park overlook the manmade lake that is great for city sailing and canoeing. It also offers some great lakeviews from a higher vantage point. We love this park for bride and groom photos, as well as our graduation. This is one of the busier parks in Calgary, be prepare to plan ahead to ensure to be able to park during a busy Summer Saturday,
While we know there are many other parks in Calgary, and lots of other beautiful spots we can only. We love other parks such as Bowness and Confederation for family and portraits, and classic vantage points like Scotsman's Hill.
What is your favorite wedding photo spot?