Travel Blog

12 Apr

Hot Tub Time Machine: Whistler Wedding Edition

TAG: Festivals Events

Posted by: Feet Banks

Perhaps it’s the all the great fresh air and sunshine that comes with spring skiing or maybe it’s as simple as blooming flowers and a few less layers to wear on the patio but springtime in Whistler means wedding season is just around the corner.

Olympic Skicross gold medalist Ashleigh McIvor’s Whistler forest wedding in 2013

Whistler’s natural beauty and loose, fun-loving vibe and easy accommodation options have always made it an ideal place to get hitched (or host a Staggette!) Last summer The Insider featured local girl and Olympic gold medalist Ashleigh McIvor’s Whistler forest wedding so for 2014 we’re going up the mountains and back in time with Brian White (and these awesome photos he sent in) to talk about the Whistler mountaintop wedding he and his wife Laura enjoyed way back in 1986.

Brian White: This is August 23, 1986. There wasn’t as much happening in Whistler during the summers in those days but the lifts were running for sightseeing. We were living in Ontario at the time while Laura was in school but while planning the Whistler wedding we found a justice of the peace in North Vancouver that was willing to make the trip up.

We figured it would be just our eight guests and us but when we arrived the Lifties were so stoked for us they pulled one of the nice carpeted Ski Team gondolas for us and made it into a big thing. Someone in the Village had contacted Paul Morrison to take our photos. We knew of him from Ski Canada Magazine back then, and you can see in the bottom of one shot Paul’s writing saying the photo would appear in the Whistler Question newspaper.

We rode the old Creekside Gondola and then the Red Chair up to the Roundhouse. The Lifties surprised us designing a “Just Married” sign and some cans to hang on the back of the chair— the sign was made from a Dusty’s menu, it was a Mexican restaurant back then!

Getting married at the top was always how we wanted to do it. We were told a lot of people would do a ceremony in the little skiers chapel in the Creekside parking lot and then go up the hill after for photos but we wanted to be married outside and with that view. When we arrived at the Roundhouse the Lifties had given all our guests ski poles so when we got off the chair they held them up like honour guards.

We walked down the slope a bit to a good solid rock to have our ceremony at and sign the register. The mountain staff gave our Justice of the Peace a ride in a pick-up truck as she was a bit elderly. The staff also decorated everything— they were really great the whole day. Afterwards we had a bouquet toss and champagne in the Roundhouse then headed down to a French restaurant for dinner. I think there were only a couple restaurants to choose from. The after party was in the hot tub at the Tantalus Lodge where we were staying.

Laura and I never did live in Whistler, in hindsight we certainly should have, but these days we come up 3-6 times each winter and a few times in the summer. We always come for Crankworx and whenever we have guests from out of town we bring them up. Whistler is one of the happiest places on earth. Winter, summer, rain, snow or sunshine the people, scenery and atmosphere are amazing. A lot has changed since our wedding but a lot has also stayed very much the same. Whistler is one of the best places on earth.

Times haven’t changed that much and Whistler is still an incredible place for a wedding. Learn more at

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