Top 10 Reasons to Choose an Okanagan Destination Wedding by Liz Moore… there are so many fantastic reasons to choose a destination wedding in the Okanagan Valley. Firstly, you’ll experience rolling hills and valleys filled with a lush green oasis of vineyards. Secondly, you’ll love the one-of-a-kind wedding venues found throughout the region. Thirdly, resorts boast the region’s best natural landscapes, including some of British Columbia’s best native artwork. And the list goes on and on. Here are my top 10 reasons to choose the Okanagan for your destination wedding! Main Photo: Picture Courtesy of Day by Knight Wedding + Events Kelowna and Boketto Photography
REASON 10 – Okanagan Dream Destination Weather
We know through experience brides often think of a peak summer wedding in the Okanagan. And yes, it is simply divine to marry during this time. Not to mention in July, Okanagan lavender is in full bloom and perfect for bridal bouquets! The summer encompasses lovely sun and heat and very little rain. It’s ideal for planning your outdoor wedding ceremony and reception. Some parts of the Okanagan, such as Osoyoos, are located in the desert belt. Average temperatures are warmest in peak summer months. They are often reaching up to (35C) or (77F). Therefore sunset weddings are more suitable during this time.
REASON 9 – Off-Peak Season Pricing Perks
Let’s face it: The Okanagan Valley is a fantastic destination choice during the popular summer months. However, there are additional advantages to consider booking your wedding in the pre-or post-summer season. True, it’s a little more off-season as far as lake activities and sports.
However, these times do make for overall more competitive hotel pricing. And often, venue pricing becomes a little more reasonable in price point as well. The added benefit is that your out-of-town guests can stay a bit longer. And enjoy an abundance of post-wedding festivities and tours.
REASON 8 – Easy Access from Western Canada and the US
Once you are in your designated area of the Okanagan, getting around this region is very easy. Highway 97 (The Okanagan Highway) is the main road that will take you straight from North Vernon to Southern Osoyoos. Many out-of-town guests may opt to fly into Kelowna International airport. And here there are lots of car rental options to choose from. Guests driving from Alberta and further East will find the highways both Southern and Northern also convenient for travel.
REASON 7 – Fantastic Group Fun!
The Okanagan valley has long been a go-to destination for vacationers around the country and beyond. The gorgeous long stretch of Okanagan Lake and surrounding mountains provide the ultimate backdrop for a scenic summer vacation paradise. Here are some fantastic top 10 reasons why your wedding group will love it!
Consider booking a boat tour on the lake for your group. There are a variety of options here to consider. Cruise your leisurely afternoon away. Or plan a sunset dinner trip, complete with musical entertainment. And your fishing guests will be sure to enjoy fishing for the catch of the day. Or at least have great fun trying!
Hiking trails galore
Another excellent group option would be to explore the hiking trails. There are so many fantastic trails to tackle in the region. One particular favourite of mine is at Silver Star Mountain Resort. The resort’s gondola offers 22 kilometers of hiking trail splendor. Additionally, the high-speed chairlift accesses the bike park. Perfect for those action adventurists in your group. Kelowna hiking includes Knox Mountain, Angel Springs trail, just to name a few of the vast options here!
Of course, you won’t want to miss booking a group tour of the spectacular vineyards that dot along the Okanagan valley. One of my favourite wine tour companies is Sip Happens Wine Tours. They are conveniently located in all central city locations in the Okanagan Valley. Tours run from April through to October. Pretty much the entire wedding season! And best of all you can book a half-day or full-day tour. Most importantly, they can accommodate both smaller intimate and larger festive groups.
REASON 6 – LGBTQ Friendly
Our LGBTQ community will love Kelowna and the surrounding area when it comes to exchanging their wedding vows. The Okanagan Valley warmly welcomes our same-sex wedding community. To note, same-sex weddings are legal throughout Canada. And our LGBTQ community will feel entirely at ease while vacationing here. Keep in mind mid-June is usually when Kelowna celebrates Kelowna Pride. Therefore planning a June wedding in Kelowna can work out great for post-wedding fun in the Okanagan Sun!
REASON 5 – Romantic Honeymoons
Your beautiful Okanagan Valley wedding is now completed. And with Kelowna deemed one of Canada’s most beautiful cities, your wonderful honeymoon is about to begin. Pristine lakes, lush vineyards, and delicious fruit orchards are yours to explore. I’ve got a gem of accommodation for your honeymoon, A Vista Villa.
A Vista Villa is located in beautiful, picturesque Kelowna. And they offer four beautifully appointed honeymoon suites. You’ll enjoy complete privacy and total comfort. Plus, you’ll have the added benefit of a world of wine and off-site adventures right at your fingertips. The warm and inviting staff here are ready to assist with fabulous honeymoon adventures. And most importantly, a warm, inviting, and memorable start to your new life together!
One of my favourite tours for honeymooners is Cheers Okanagan Tours. It’s genuinely one of the best ways to experience Okanagan Wine Country. You’ll enjoy a variety of tour times that take you through the Okanagan region’s most famous vineyards. Then enjoy a delicious picnic lunch together with your group.
Another of my favourite things to do while on your honeymoon is visiting Burrowing Owl Estate Winery. Especially if you are staying in the Osoyoos region, it’s just a quick drive from Osoyoos. Or better yet, rent bikes and take a leisurely ride over to experience some of the Okanagan’s best food and wine. Not to mention spectacular vineyard views!
Okanagan’s Idyllic Locations
The Okanagan region of British Columbia is truly one of the most spectacular areas in Canada. This is why so many couples from Vancouver, Alberta, and the Western United States are flocking here to marry. From Vernon to Kelowna, Penticton to Osoyoos, you’ll find a wealth of venues and resorts to plan your fairytale wedding.
Best of all, the vast 135 Km Okanagan Lake flows through each of these famous cities. Additionally, adding a plethora of fun lake activities for group vacation fun. And, of course, those much-desired gorgeous wedding photographs. Above all, did I mention all the fantastic photographers you have to choose from here in the Okanagan and Vancouver area? The list is long and part of the top 10 reasons to marry here!
REASON 4 – Vernon
Vernon is located in the Northernmost area of the Okanagan Valley. It’s known for its unique accommodations. And, of course, its breathtaking natural beauty. Not to mention an abundance of activities for adventure seekers. A group post-wedding hiking adventure is at the top of my list for group wedding suggestions. You’ll find the hills and valleys bursting with blooms, especially during the spring season. And of course, the golfers in your wedding group will be in golf heaven here.
Food: Delectable Offerings
Planning a wedding in Vernon allows your guests to experience an extraordinary farm-to-table experience. Local honey production and dozens of orchards make for a scrumptious wedding reception dinner menu. Additionally, you won’t want to miss visiting Triple Island Cheese Farm. Not to mention adding their delicious range of freshly made gouda to your wedding cocktail reception.
Hotel: Predator Ridge Resort
There are so many beautiful reasons to have your wedding at this one-of-a-kind venue. Firstly, you and your guests will have accommodations and restaurants all within the same location. Complete with lovely wedding venue locations. Your wedding is their priority with their “only one wedding a day” policy. Additionally, there are boundless amenities. Including tennis courts, world-class golf, and four crystal clear pools. Plus, added yoga, fitness classes, and much more.
This property also boasts a convenient location only 30 minutes from the Kelowna International Airport. Best of all, it’s pet-friendly. So no dog is left behind with your wedding group vacation plans.
REASON 3 – Osoyoos
Osoyoos is located in the furthermost southern region of the Okanagan. It’s conveniently located right on the border of Washington State. This area has become particularly popular for US destination wedding couples. Moreover, it offers up the warmest lake in Canada. Perfect for summer swimming and fun-filled water activities. Your guests will very much appreciate this after a day of a wonderful day of touring the Okanagan Valley vineyards.
This premium property offers an entirely tranquil and sublime setting for your Okanagan destination wedding. Guests will bask in the picture-perfect natural landscapes. And delight in an abundance of resort amenities. Thus ensuring you’ll have the most memorable wedding vacation experience.
Consider the Desert Rooftop with expansive views of the surrounding vineyards, desert, and lake. Enjoy amazing on-property-produced wines and delectable appetizers. The built-in bar is fantastic for a post-wedding cocktail reception. The Coyote Ballroom boasts a very neutral décor, which provides the backdrop for your dream wedding decorations.
Most importantly, your guests will enjoy the 226 adobe-style condos and villas. Your beloved guests will experience full kitchens, balconies complete with BBQ and welcoming fireplaces. It’s a true desert oasis. Above all, the sun and little chance of rain will ensure your dream wedding is picture-perfect. Similarly, the winery, beachfront, and golf course offer a very welcome extended vacation stay for you and your guests.
REASON 2 – Penticton
Did you know that Vernon is just one of two cities in the world situated right in between two lakes? Additionally, the Okanagan and Skaha beaches offer up 15 acres of premium sandy beaches. And better yet, you can enjoy endless summer swimming in both! Are you searching for that ideal vineyard for your romantic wedding photos? Then you’ll love the 80+ vineyards located in Penticton surrounding areas.
Similarly, this area boasts three distilleries and six craft breweries for the beer connoisseurs in your group. Not to mention a cidery as well. Now that’s a lot of thirst-quenching fun in the Okanagan Sun!
Penticton Lakeside Resort & Conference Centre
I love the location of this property! It’s located right in the heart of beautiful downtown Penticton. And what’s so lovely is you can offer a casual, fun-filled group wedding celebration. Or a formal, elegant, over-the-top black-tie reception. Above all, the conference center is stunning. You are boasting 13 event locations, which also include two ballrooms. It’s a one-stop shop for your wedding venue and accommodations.
Painted Rock Estate Winery
This sought-after venue is also located in picturesque Penticton, BC. Situated on a beautiful, terraced hillside, this property offers outstanding views of Skaha Lake. Excellent local caterers are just the start of your fabulous wedding reception here at the Painted Rock Estate Winery. What I also love about Painted Rock Estate Winery is the option to choose unique wedding desserts. For something truly unique, you can set up a delicious pie or tart table. The sleek modern minimalist design here allows you to create your own stunning wedding colour palette.
REASON 1 – Kelowna
Kelowna is truly all that you would expect in a dream group wedding vacation. To start, you’ll enjoy countless amenities and an incredibly expansive lake. And not to mention world-class hotels. There is also an abundance of attractions to explore pre-or post-wedding. You’ve got adventure parks and water activities galore. The Kelowna Tourism board is a great starting place to check out all this beautiful area has to offer.
Additionally, you’ll discover stellar vineyards with picturesque views of the surrounding Okanagan lake and mountains. Your guests can meander through quaint markets, and a multitude of orchards are nearby to explore. And the local markets are perfect for finding those little wedding gems. Not to mention excellent group shopping and site seeing.
The other nice aspect of a Kelowna destination wedding is the world-class accommodations. You’ve got 5-star luxury lake and mountain view hotels. Off the beaten path, bed and breakfast lodging. Along with charming motels and sparkling pool resorts. This is where a wedding travel agent specialist comes in handy. They can assist in finding the most desirable accommodations for your group. And, of course, the one with the closest proximity to your wedding venue.
Hotel: El Dorado
If spectacular lake and mountain views are what you seek your ceremony, this is your premier location. This top-rated Kelowna hotel offers the only rooftop ceremony terrace in the region. Plus, you are situated right on Okanagan Lake. It’s the most sought-after location in Kelowna proper. Imagine the perfect sunset over the Monashee Mountains as you exchange wedding vows amongst your treasured guests.
Summerhill Pyramid Winery
You are looking for that perfect picturesque vineyard for your wedding ceremony. Not to mention lovely expansive views of Okanagan Lake. Then look no further than the awe-inspiring Summerhill Pyramid Winery. They pride themselves on award-winning Okanagan wines. And farm-to-table organic ingredients that will wow your wedding reception guests for years to come. And, of course, with both indoor and outdoor venue locations, you’ll have endless photography options for your fairytale wedding day.
I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about the Top 10 Reasons why an Okanagan wedding can be such an incredible adventure in destination weddings. Weddings within the Okanagan Valley continue to become more and more popular these days. And new resorts and venues match the demand with fantastic amenities and one-of-a-kind fairy tale settings. My Top 10 Reasons to Choose the Okanagan for Your Destination Wedding blog has come to an end. But I hope it has inspired the start of your dream Okanagan Valley destination wedding plans!
Destination Wedding Expert
Liz Moore is the owner of two award-winning travel agencies. Liz Moore Destination Weddings and My Wedding Away UK. Her 15 years of wedding travel expertise have enabled her to help couples over the past 15 years with fabulous destination weddings in the Okanagan Valley and worldwide. “Love in life and love in travel.”