5 Ceremony Venues

For couples on a small budget

Anyone who has ever planned a wedding can tell you that they are expensive events. Statistically speaking, the average wedding in Canada costs between $30,000 – $40,000. In some places however, like the Okanagan, they can run even higher. This is because vendors have become experts in their services and offer luxury items to make each wedding a fairy tale. However, not every couple is looking for a luxury celebration and many are searching for cost friendly options for their special day. If you’re getting married in the Penticton area and in need of ideas for a budget friendly ceremony venue, here are some options for you. Please note however that some of these venues will only work for smaller weddings.

Local Beach or Dock

Local Beach – The Okanagan has many beaches to relax at and some of them can be reserved for wedding ceremonies. Some couples just show up the day of and lay claim to a section of beach or dock for a few hours without any fee to pay. This runs the risk of the area not being available as other tourists have access to it. To make sure your desired beach is free for your ceremony, talk to the City of Penticton. For a small fee, the city may use blockades to section off a part of the beach and 2 near by parking spots for the couple. The only down side for any beach wedding is the surrounding area on land and on the water is free for others to use as they wish. This means there could be noise from boats or people using the beach. It does not offer a lot of privacy, but it does give the couple a beautiful view for their vows. Talk to City Hall about which beaches are available for this type of use.

Officiant: Marlene Trenholm

Munson Mountain

Munson Mountain – If you have ever been to Penticton, you may have noticed the large Hollywood-style sign on the side of a large hill overlooking Lake Okanagan. This hill is called Munson Mountain and is a local attraction for hikers, picnickers and sightseers. It is also a popular location for elopements or small weddings. At the end of the main walking trail stands a large gazebo that offers a little shade while couples say their “I do’s”.  As far as I know, couples getting married here usually just show up to say their vows without paying a fee. Although there may be hikers on the trails, this area is pretty private and quiet. Plan your date carefully though as there are many events in town during the summer. During some of these events, the access road is closed for a an hour or two, (especially during the Grand Fondo at the beginning of July, and Ironman at the end of August).

Officiant: Heather Byer

Japanese Gardens

Japanese Gardens – Situated behind the Penticton Art Gallery, the Japanese Gardens are a beautiful and popular area for photos. With all the trees, shrubbery and Koi pond, it’s easy to see why. Although the Gardens are for public use, most visitors will be respectful and keep away from your nuptials. This location is also close to the beach and a short walk from the Penticton Lakeside Resort. So there are a variety of spots for photos. There is small fee from the city to use this property for a wedding, and I would also suggest making a donation to the Art Gallery as well.

Skaha Lake Park

Skaha Park – Not many people think of the south end of Penticton as a place to get married, and I have no idea why. Ever since I moved to Penticton and saw this large pavilion, I wanted to take wedding photos there. The Skaha Park is a beautiful and spacious venue offering great views of the lake and has many locations to take amazing photos. Couples also have a choice as to where to hold their ceremony. On the beach, on the grass under the trees or at the large pavilion I already mentioned. Because the grounds are so large, weddings have a bit of privacy as they can be farther removed from the general public. The park can also hold any number of guests so it’s a great option for larger weddings. Skaha Park has washroom facilities, lots of parking options and a playground to entertain any children who may be attending your wedding. As this is city property, you would need to contact the City of Penticton to reserve the area you plan on using for your “I Do’s”.

Backyard Wedding

Backyard – The one thing this type of venue offers, that the others I have mentioned does not, is total privacy. Since the other options are public spaces, locals and tourists can witness your wedding and are allowed to be in the vicinity. Most people are respectful and keep their distance, but a back yard or private property will guarantee that there are no interruptions or unwanted guests. Another upside to this option is that depending on your yard size, you may be able to accommodate more guests than other public areas. When using a private location, there is usually no cost, unless upgrades, renos, or rentals (such as bathrooms or other facilities) are needed to accommodate your guests. If the location isn’t owned by you, I’d recommend giving the host a small payment or gift as a thank you. I also suggest checking into Noise Bylaws in your neighbourhood to avoid any tickets. Also, out of courtesy, just give your neighbours a heads up as well. I love these weddings because there is the added element of intimacy and nostalgia. I often find that couples feel more comfortable in a venue that is familiar and holds meaning to them.

For more adventurous couples who wish to elope, there are several hiking trails in the area you can utilize for your nuptials. Some people have been married at Little Tunnel, Giants Head, the Trestle Bridge, on top of mountains and near waterfalls. All you need for these types of ceremonies are an officiant, a couple of witnesses and perhaps a photographer who is as adventurous as you are!