My Favourite Wedding Venues

Having been a wedding photographer in the Okangan for the past 10 years, I have had the privilege of working at many different venues. During wedding planning, a couple books their venue before they book any other vendor. Because of this, I usually do not get a chance to recommend my favourite venues. So If you are planning your big day and would like a photographer's recommendation for venues, allow me to help out. Here are my Top 5 Wedding Venues in the Okanagan. 

See Ya Later Ranch Winery - Okanagan Falls

When COVID hit, I teamed up with See Ya Later Ranch to offer Micro Weddings for couples looking for a COVID-friendly wedding day. For those two restricted years, I shot over 30 weddings at this winery, and quickly became familiar and comfortable with the layout of the property. See Ya Later Ranch has a member on staff that looks after wedding preparations, so a day-of coordinator is built into your wedding package for a stress-free experience. This venue also has one of the best bridal suites in the valley. Bright, spacious, and decorated in an elegant vintage motif, you can’t help but feel bridal in this space! 

The property is large and offers different locations for photos. It's a photographer's dream! Depending on your tastes, you can have a barn, garden, vineyard, or lake as your background. Some clients prefer a rustic look for photos and love the old truck, fences and original barn across the road. Others prefer a more fairytale vibe, and navigate towards the vineyard and gardens. Well with this venue you can have both, and because it’s all in one spot there is no need to travel anywhere else for photos.

I love that the ceremony site is far removed from the rest of the winery. Since they offer tasting and lunch service on wedding days, the ceremony site gives some privacy to the couple and their guests. There is little chance of interruptions or strangers looking on while you are getting married. The best feature of this venue is the stunning view, which is one of the best in the valley. As one of the highest wineries in BC, it gives couples and their guests a panoramic view of Skaha Lake and beyond.

Although there is no option for large weddings to have an indoor reception, there is a beautiful covered area beside the barn that is large enough for your dinner, dancing and other celebratory activities. With lights in the rafters, heaters for chilly days, and beautiful barn wood tables and chairs, it is an elegant space for a wedding reception. See Ya Later Ranch also offers catering and beverage service which is a big plus, and their food and wines are amazing! 

Linden Gardens - Keremeos

There is a reason this venue books up so far in advance. It is a fairy tale! It’s super private and absolutely stunning, you would never guess that there is a town so close to this location. The grounds are extensive which gives clients a choice of where they want their ceremony and receptions located. Small pathways lead guests all over the exquisitely kept lawns and forests, complete with creeks, ponds and bridges accenting the scenery. 

From a photographer's point of view, this venue is stunning. There's not a bad location for photos to be found! Because there are different lawns and gardens separated by pathways and treed areas, it is easy to steal the couple away for more intimate portraits without distractions. And because the whole wedding can be done within this venue, there is no need to factor in travel time between locations. These types of venues tend to offer a quick photo turn around so even if things run behind schedule, you can easily take 15 minutes and snap a variety of photos in one spot. However, because this space has so many beautiful vignettes, I recommend giving yourself as much time as possible to explore every beautiful background.

Linden Gardens comes with a planner who is absolutely amazing. She helps in planning and organizing the day and between her and the rest of the staff, you are in good hands. They are all ready to take care of every detail to make sure your wedding day is perfect! With a large indoor area, you have the option to have your ceremony and /or reception indoors in case of rain. However, if you are able to, I highly recommend an outdoor reception, either in the gardens or on their quaint patio. 

Summerhill Pyramid Winery - Kelowna

The beauty of this venue is that they offer an amazing ceremony site, as well as a big indoor reception area with large windows for lovely views and a lot of natural light for photographers. With space for larger weddings, this is a perfect option for those with a big guest list.

The ceremony is held on the lower lawn that offers beautiful views, and a large wooden arbour for couples to decorate as they like. The grounds are well maintained and are large enough to accommodate larger weddings. Although other guests of the winery can watch your nuptials from the restaurant and tasting room above, they are far enough removed that they are not really noticeable and are not a distraction. Near by is a pretty little spot for cocktail hour where the happy couple can have a sparkling wine sabring experience if desired. The winery offers two bottles of bubbly, one for each of you, and a quick lesson on using a real sabre to pop the top. This is a unique and fun way to start your celebration!

Photography here is wonderful for many reasons. The grounds are more extensive than they seem. There are many little locations to keep the couple separated from guests while they take their photos. You have your choice of different spots for photos including a vineyard, old building and fence line, wildflower gardens, sunflower garden and if you do a little exploring, you’ll find a little red bridge under overhanging trees. Once the wine tasters and visitors of the winery leave for the day, there are also some great places on the main level for photos as well. Check out the pyramid for a unique modern look and main patio for stunning views. 

The indoor area has plenty of room for dinner and dancing. A mixture of wood and stone, gives this space an elegant feel which can be decorated in a variety of ways to satisfy anyone's taste. As mentioned before, the large windows offer great views and natural light for most of the evening. Because of its location, you are able to enjoy your reception while overlooking Okanagan lake while the sun sets. It’s a perfect touch for a romantic experience. 

The S.S. Sicamous - Penticton

Penticton's famous paddle wheel is an Okanagan treasure! I have been on this boat numerous times since moving here, and it is always a delight. This beautiful vintage venue is like a step back in time with ornate design details, and features a majestic staircase. Though it’s a little tight in places, this lovely venue is sure to charm your guests. 

I have witnessed ceremonies at different places on the boat including outside on the deck, inside on the staircase and even outside under the big willow tree by the water. Depending how large your wedding is, you may be limited as to where you can hold your ceremony on the boat itself. However, for couples who just need a reception venue, the Sicamous has the option of using their space for just dinner and dancing. 

Although it serves as a museum and sees many tourists come through during the year, the Sicamous closes its doors to the public for wedding days and other private events. This gives couples total privacy aboard the boat while they celebrate with their guests. Not many venues in the Okanagan do this. Golf Courses, Wineries and public gardens keep their venues open to the general public for most of the day, so the Sicamous is unique in this way!

Your caterers will find access to a kitchen aboard the boat, and bartenders have a little room that they can work out of that boasts a vintage bar. The many rooms located on different levels of the boat give guests many quaint places to mingle and chat.

Situated right next to the Sicamous are the Penticton rose gardens, a natural pier, big willow trees and beach access, giving couples multiple options for photo backgrounds, all within a few steps from each other. It’s a lovely space and a unique venue for weddings. 

Harvest Golf Club - Kelowna

I love discovering amazing new wedding venues and in 2023, I did just that. My last wedding of the year was held at this beautiful Golf Course and Club House. As I usually do when photographing at a new location, I arrived early to check things out. I like to take a look around before I start capturing wedding day memories, to find the best places for beautiful shots. Well the Harvest Golf Club did not disappoint! Everywhere I looked, I saw perfect little vignettes for photos and as I kept walking around the property, I found more and more. There is a large water feature, manicured laws, lot’s of trees and flowers, a little creek with a lovely bridge, walkways, arbours, and much much more. I did not get around to taking my couple to all the places I had found because there simply were too many places to go. 

As most Golf courses do, this venue stays open for golfers and club house members, however, we barely noticed there were any other people there besides the wedding guests. Even during the ceremony which was held on the lawn beside the clubhouse, I felt as though we had a lot of privacy. The lawn was surrounded by trees and other foliage with different coloured flowers and leaves that naturally decorates the area. A simple white arbour sets the focal point for the ceremony. 

Inside, the club house is a lovely space for wedding receptions that features a giant stone fireplace. Large windows look out onto the breathtaking golf course and beyond. One great feature about this venue is the amount of space it offers both outdoors and inside. It allows couples to set up and decorate whichever way they please. There really are no limitations on how to arrange tables and chairs giving couples creative licence to celebrate however they want.

The Harvest Golf Club also offers food and beverage service included in your wedding package which makes one or two less vendors you need to find and hire. The food was amazing and although I did not try the cocktails, I did see many happy guest enjoying them during the evening. This is a wonderful venue and I know from speaking to my couple, they had a virtual stress free experience as they planned their wedding here!

There are so many wonderful Wedding Venues in the Okanagan but my favourite ones are those who can host the entire wedding at one location. I find it makes things so much simpler. It keeps the timeline on track because there is no need to get from one location to another. Whenever one of my couples tells me they have booked any one of these venues, it gets me excited because I know they will have a great experience and we will get some amazing photos to boot!