Get Married In The Enchanting Jasper Atmosphere
by Habeeb Salloum
The first time that I saw the setting of the town of Jasper I said to myself, “What an enchanting place for newlyweds to start a life of bliss!” A few days later when I toured the nearby Maligne Lake, I became convinced that my first thought was right. The lake, surrounded by glacier tipped mountains, completed the aura of seductiveness that would be encouraging to wedding bells.
The atmosphere of the town was conducive to happiness. Wondrous snow-capped mountains all around gave me a feeling that I was living in a fantasy world. In the ensuing days as I explored the countryside, I discovered that these mountains were dotted with deep-blue lakes, glaciers, green forests, roaring waterfalls and thundering rivers, making the panorama of the surrounding area a spectacular and enchanting world. The clear, cool, and fresh mountain breezes seemed to pep up both body and soul and, like thousands of other visitors who travel to this spot in the Canadian Rockies, I felt contentment.
In the midst of this breath-taking part of nature sits the town of Jasper, the heart of Jasper National Park, the main urban centre and commercial heart of the Park – the Mecca of travellers to this part of Canada. Even though the town is the shopping centre of the area, yet it is truly non-commercialized.
Laid back and peaceful, some call it ‘an Alpine paradise’. It is an authentic urban centrethat still has a small town aura. The inhabitants are, as a whole, friendly and welcome visitors, especially families, in a hospitable manner. In the words of a Scottish tourist who went on a tour with us, “It’s only a small trading post with a polished 21st century veneer.”
Walking the town’s streets, I found the air crisp and invigorating. This seems to give the thousands of young men and women who travel here to work during the summer months a love for their jobs and an air of joie de vivre. Happiness seems to reign everywhere: on the faces of the taxi drivers, guides, bellboys, maids and shopkeepers. Seeing so many smiling faces, I heard a tourist remark: “I have never seen so many happy people at work as in this resort town. Isn’t it an ideal place for a honeymoon or wedding!”
Called ‘a little town in a large park’, the town is the gateway to the joys of Jasper National Park – Canada’s largest and most northerly National Park and a spectacular World Heritage Site. In this breathtaking playground for tourists, nearly two million come annually, mostly in summer, to enjoy the unspoiled hand of nature, in autumn to glory in a landscape of amber and gold, in winter to ski and in spring to admire the valleys of flowers breaking through patches of snow.
Amid these marvelous creations of nature, the top place to have one’s wedding is the historic Maligne Lake Chalet Compound – located on the edge of the charming Maligne Lake, 44 km (27 mi) from the town of Jasper. Stretching for 22 km (14 mi) with a depth of 198 m (318 ft), it is the second largest glacier-fed lake in the world. Set in the imposing Maligne Valley, the lake, the largest in Jasper National Park, is surrounded by glacier-studded mountain peaks. The lake boasts sparkling deep-blue waters and for beauty, has no equal in the region. Indeed, no other venue could offer this most beautiful of scenarios for the setting of a wedding than what Jasper can offer – a true gift of nature.
The compound, which specializes in weddings, is made up from restored 1920s log buildings. These sit on a pine-forested high spot with majestic mountains all around. To those couples wanting a unique type of wedding, the rustic luxury and unparalleled scenery offered by the Maligne Lake Chalet is unbeatable.
The Maligne Lake Chalet consists of three log buildings and a flagstone courtyard. The panorama of the surrounding snow-capped mountains, glaciers and turquoise waters create an aura for a relaxing and rustic mountain wedding. This assures the wedding party and their guests (usually up to 80) exclusive access to enjoy the beauty and serenity of this historic site for the entire day.
The only drawback is that the wedding party and their guests must return to the town of Jasper after the party is over. Guests are chauffeur-driven from their Jasper hotels aboard Maligne Tours’ executive-style shuttle vans. This service also returns everyone to their comfortable hotels, such as the luxurious Fairmount Jasper Park Lodge, in town.
During the day of the wedding, the bride and bridesmaids arrive first and retreat to the Cottage where they can get themselves ready. Outside, in the flagstone courtyard, chairs are set up for guests under a large white tent.
Following the ceremony, food and wedding activities begin according to the menu of food and activities the couple have chosen for the day. One great offering is for the entire wedding party to take a lake cruise and have their wedding photos taken at world famous Spirit Island – a place enwrapped in legends.
Later, a seated dinner reception is held by the open-hearth fireplace in the historic Maligne Lake Chalet. The food, delicious fare ranging from appetizers to gourmet plated dining, is prepared by skilled chefs and served by happy, smiling waiters or waitresses, completing the wedding’s romantic setting. In the words of my daughter, “Can you think of a better place to have a romantic setting for a wedding than Maligne Lake and its Chalet”?
If You Go
How to Get There:
The town of Jasper is situated about the same distance from Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta’s capital – about a five-hour drive. Both have excellent air, road and rail connections. Also, there are good rail and bus connections with Jasper. However, the ideal way to travel trough Jasper National Park is to rent an auto and explore the Park. The roads inside the Park are excellent and the viewpoint sites are endless. In addition, there are excursions offered from both Calgary and Edmonton.
Top Place to Stay In Jasper:
The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge – The hotel, spreading along the curve of Lac Beauvert, a short distance from town, incorporates a golf course and combines the ultimate in luxury with tranquillity and natural beauty. A village unto itself, it consists of lavish log cabins and cedar chalets. 1 Old Lodge Road, Jasper, Alberta, Canada T0E 1E0. Tel: TOLL FREE: 1(866) 540-4454 or (780) 852-3301. Fax: (780) 852-5107. E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.fairmont.com/jasper
For Information and Prices Relating to The Maligne Lake Chalet:
Maligne Lake Weddings: Tel: 780) 852-3370. Toll Free: 1-866-MALIGNE (1-866-625-4463) Fax: (780) 852-3405. P.O. Box 280. Jasper, Alberta, Canada T0E 1E0. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org – Website: www.weddingsmalignelake.com
For Further Information Relating to Jasper:
Tourism Jasper, P.O. Box 568, Jasper, Alberta, Canada TOE 1EO. Tel: (780) 852-6236 Website: www.jasper.travel
Photos (except where noted) courtesy of Jasper Tourism.