Going to a church wedding this summer? While you anticipate sweating in your suit in amongst the creaky pews, your mind is sure to wander to where you really want to be – on the golf course. Why not hit the fairways for your upcoming nuptials? Weddings and golf courses go together like Tiger Woods and green jackets. So end your swinging single years with a swing of a different kind, and put the smiles back on the faces of weary wedding guests.

Perfect for those small ‘second time around’ weddings, or a large family gathering with those cousins you barely know, golf course weddings have something to offer the most discerning bride – and it’s guaranteed the groom will like it too! While other wedding venues may discourage him from smoking stogies all day in the sun with his best man, these local courses offer a chance for boys to be boys, right up until the ‘I dos’. Here are a few of our favourites – but a word of warning, book as soon as you have that sparkler on your finger!

Eagle Ranch Golf Resort – Invermere, BC

Start your new hitched life out right – in Eagle Ranch Golf Resort’s outdoor gazebo encircled by natural wild grasses and 360-degree mountain, lake and river views. Well worth the 2.5 hour drive from Calgary, your guests will thank you for taking them away from it all to this enchanted valley surrounded by the Purcell and Rocky Mountains, the Columbia River, and and wildlife. Traditional weddings get a dose of elegant ranch luxury. This venue can be customized to match the vision you have in your head – where everyone is happy and relaxed, including the bride and groom!

Focus on your game while the event planner at Eagle Ranch assists with your preparation. Photographers, DJs, florists and cake bakers, check them all of your list – the resort has local contacts to help ease your planning. Eagle Ranch staff can coordinate accommodations for all your wedding guests with local lodging partners. At the Ranch, your guests will dine on fresh, delicious regional foods prepared by executive chef Eric Wood in the brand new Clubhouse. This magnificent building features a timber frame design reminiscent of a 19th century ranch house. With decks that overlook the Columbia Valley and an extensive wine collection, your special day will be a wedding fairy tale.

Pre- and post-vows, you’ll be happy to turn your thoughts from boutonnieres and garter belts to irons and woods. Eagle Ranch is a spectacular 18-hole championship course that winds around ravines and shows off panoramic views. Sure to calm any last minute cold feet, this prestigious 6,600-yard course offers a piece of tranquility while you celebrate romance.
For more information on weddings at Eagle Ranch Golf Resort visit: www.eagleranchresort.com or email info@eagleranchresort.com

Silvertip Resort – Canmore, AB

Have your big day on the sunny side of the Bow River; Silvertip Resort basks in the rays from its mountainside location in the Rocky Mountains. Just a few minutes above the charming town of Canmore, Silvertip offers the opportunity for wedding photos that will make people green with envy. Feel like you are on top of the world when you gaze past your soon-to-be spouse at the mountains and surrounding fairways. The Timbers Clubhouse offers wrap around verandas and a place to celebrate into the wee hours with facilities for a variety of wedding sizes. This is an elope-friendly venue – can’t stand the thought of a fancy affair with a hundred of your closest relatives? Escape for a quaint get-away to Silvertip, just you and your sweetie (you can grab a witness coming off the 18th hole). Or if your event is set to be the party of the year for guests galore, Silvertip has the space and wine list to match. In fact, this year the resort is adding a wine cave to hold a 30,000-bottle collection from 200 wine regions. Pair that with your custom designed menu of mountain fusion cuisine from Rustica restaurant and that should be enough to satisfy even the grumpiest of great uncles.

The best part about a golf course wedding is guests can gather for a round or two and reminisce about stag shenanigans just hours before the grand event. Play 18 holes on Silvertip’s course that truly defines mountain golfing – spectacular views at every turn while you play your round. Or a pre-ceremony cocktail never hurts; Stoney’s Grill offers liquid courage to grooms or brides about to navigate the seas of soon-to-be in-laws.

Silvertip Resort is about a one-hour jaunt from Calgary and just minutes from the gates of Banff National Park. The location is a perfect get-away for nature lovers to witness the celebration of devotion in a mountain-high location. For more information on weddings at Silvertip Resort, visit: www.silvertipresort.com or email info@silvertip.com

Brides & Birdies at The Westin Bear Mountain Victoria Golf Resort & Spa – Vancouver Island
Weddings and foursomes aren’t usually part of a bride’s lingo when it comes to planning nuptials – unless it’s taking place at a golf course. And, no eyebrows will be raised if the venue is Westin Bear Mountain Victoria Golf Resort & Spa, home to the Jack Nicklaus co-designed course, and a picture-perfect setting for the special day.

Whether the wedding is for 3 or 300, the resort can cater to couple’s whims and wishes. For large groups, the Bear Mountain Ballroom can host 750 for a reception or 300 for seated dinner. Overlooking the 18th green, the Highland’s Celebration Arbour sunny terrace has a scenic backdrop and could be “the” place for the ceremony, bridal shower, or dinner with a capacity of 300-seated guests. If small and intimate describes the mood, then say “I Do” to Panache, the resort’s award-winning fine dining room, with 32-seats, gourmet fare and flare, or enjoy a private affair in a personal suite.

Executive Chef Iain Rennie and his talented team can create whatever the heart desires – hors d’oeuvres and cocktail reception, buffet with family favourites, ethnic specialities, or a multi-course culinary extravaganza. And sommelier Stuart Brown can recommend sparkling suggestions for toast-making, as well as marrying wine to the food menu.

While some of the wedding party swing on the course, others can enjoy pampering in Santé Spa, relaxing poolside, or working off jitters in the fitness centre. And everyone can ride the elevator back to their room after the “marry-making”. For inquiries, visit the website at www.bearmountain.ca or call the hotel at 1-888-533-BEAR.

The premier destination and first and only master-planned resort community on Vancouver Island, Bear Mountain Resort provides a complete lifestyle experience, offering a variety of residential and vacation real estate opportunities as well as The Westin Bear Mountain Victoria Golf Resort & Spa. Situated on 1,300 acres of mountainside property, the community features the first and only 36-hole Nicklaus-designed golf offering in Canada, medical and traditional aesthetics at the Santé Spa, five world-class restaurants and the state-of-the-art Mountainside Athletic Club, all within minutes of the beautiful seaside inner harbour of Victoria, British Columbia.

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