It’s definitely been a challenging year for planning Vancouver weddings during COVID 19. With government restrictions imposed, weddings and other special events are limited to gatherings of 50 people or less. Even with these current phase 2 restrictions, if you are hoping for a wedding in 2020, you can still plan for an intimate wedding of close family and friends.
Celebrating outdoors may be your safest option for weddings during COVID 19 restrictions, so most of these locations are in outdoor public spaces. With a reservation, you’ll be able to ensure access for a specific time and also bring up to 20 chairs for guests (you can apply for more chairs fpr an additional fee – where available). In order to reserve Vancouver City locations, you’ll want to get a City permit. For the City of Vancouver, you can get a permit online. The current cost to reserve one of the designated Vancouver locations below is $444.
Before you plan your wedding ceremony, be sure to apply for a marriage license from the Province of British Columbia. The cost for a marriage license is $100, and you can obtain them from a number of locations in the city – including London Drugs stores.
Note: If your marriage license expires before you are able to get married due to COVID 19 restrictions you are eligible for a refund from Vital Statistics (you’ll need to call them at Call 250 952-2681 or 1 888 876-1633 (in B.C.)).
Here are some location ideas for small and micro weddings during COVID 19
1. Rose Garden in Stanley Park
The Rose Garden in Stanley Park is one of the most popular locations for small outdoor weddings in Vancouver. It is located near the Stanley Park entrance off Georgia Street and offers a large space for weddings during COVID 19. The location is surrounded by trees and you’ll be just a short walk to the rose garden.
Walk a little further and you’ll be at the Stanley Park Pavilion, which is another beautiful spot for wedding photos.
2. Queen Elizabeth Park and Seasons in the Park
Queen Elizabeth Park is a recommended location for weddings during COVID 19. It is a large city park with many walkable garden photo locations nearby. Parking is usually easy to find, but just be aware that it is pay-parking within the park. The City of Vancouver has designated a specific location for ceremonies, which is near the duck pond. The location is on grass and not too park from the road way. Although it doesn’t offer splendid views of the city, the location is convenient.
You can also plan your wedding reception for Seasons in the Park, which is just a short walk away. Seasons in the Park has reopened for Dine-in service since May 29, 2020 and can host small wedding receptions during COVID 19 in one of its four dining rooms.
3. Ann Moore Wedding Commissioner
Ann Moore is a Vancouver wedding commissioner that performs civil weddings (non-religious). She is known for hosting small weddings and elopements at her home. In the past, I’ve photographed small intimate weddings at her home in Kitsilano. She also performs same-sex (LGBT) weddings. She is just a few steps from Kits Beach, so right after your wedding ceremony, you can then pop bubblies at her home and then make your way to the beach for wedding day photos.
One of our wedding couples just held their wedding ceremony in April 2020 at Ann’s home. It was a small and intimate celebration with wedding photos taken at Queen Elizabeth Park on a beautiful sunny Spring day in Vancouver.
For details on booking a wedding ceremony with Ann Moore, send her an email.
4. Spanish Banks West Extension
Spanish Banks West Extension is a small beach near UBC. The views of the mountains and water are truly west coast, and you can get a Vancouver City permit to reserve the location for your wedding ceremony. The area can accommodate up to 80 people, so there is plenty of room for guests at your wedding during COVID 19. This location is also a little more private (although still on a public beach) than most beaches in Vancouver. There is limited parking nearby.
5. Jericho Centre Beach
Jericho Centre Beach is nearby the Jericho Sailing Club. Wedding ceremonies are held right on the beach, so this location is best for couple that aren’t too shy about having the public around them during the wedding ceremony. You can host up to 90 people without COVID 19 restrictions, so you should have plenty of room to social distance during the restriction period. There is also ample parking at the Beach and many good locations for wedding photos. If you need ideas, feel free to email me.
6. Jericho Lookout
If you don’t like the idea on being on sand for your wedding ceremony, another option is Jericho Lookout. It’s a location at Jericho Beach, but you’ll be having your ceremony on a paved area rather than sand. This is a better option if you want a beach wedding, but want to wear heels or have guests that are mobility challenged. This location is smaller and can only host up to 50 people without COVID 19 restrictions in place, so you may need to plan for a party at least half that size.
7. Ferguson Point in Stanley Park & The Teahouse
Ferguson Point is near Third Beach in Stanley Park and directly in front of The Teahouse at Stanley Park. The ceremony location is surrounded by a grass field, with views of the North Shore Mountains and water. It’s a big space that can accommodate up to 100 people. Parking may be challenging during the summer months as crowds are expected, but if you can plan your wedding for earlier in the day, there will be one less thing to worry about.
After your wedding ceremony, there are many spots throughout the park for wedding photography. If you plan your reception at the Tea House, you get to enjoy a beautiful west coast sunset and amazing west-coast dining. As of the time of this article, the Tea House is closed, but is taking wedding reservations for after July 1, 2020.
8. Vancouver City Hall Micro Wedding
During COVID 19, Vancouver City Hall has made space available for an outdoor micro wedding. These micro weddings are limited to a total of 10 people (including your wedding photographer) and a 30 minute time slot, so if you are planning for a short and sweet wedding ceremony with just close friends and family to attend, City Hall may be a good option.
9. Peace Arch Park
This is one of the more unique spots to get married in the Greater Vancouver region. It is the park that straddles the Canada/US border, and has been the meeting place for many cross-border couples during the COVID 19 pandemic. Peace Arch Park may be a truly memorable location if the border has meaning for your relationship, and some couples have recently held small wedding ceremonies there already.
If each of you have different citizenships, you’ll just need to decide in which country you will want register your marriage license.
If you need more location ideas, please feel free to contact me. As a Vancouver wedding photographer since 2007, I can offer more locations and even some tips for hosting small weddings during COVID 19.