For their wedding day, Angela and Andrew wanted to hike a mountain to the summit of Ha Ling, 7,897 feet above sea level. But they also wanted to exchange vows in front of their beloved grandparents and parents. And so they came up with the most perfect solution; wedding at the base of the mountain with family, then together with Raf, hike up to the summit for photos, aka the Hiking Ha Ling Wedding!
Ha Ling is Canmore’s iconic mountain peak. It’s a relatively easy trail for people who hike and it’s super close to Canmore, which makes it a great choice for a hiking wedding. Andrew and Angela spotted this sunrise photo by Raf, featured in Luxe by Calgary Bride magazine, and knew a Ha Ling wedding was for them!
Our awesome adventurous couple were married at the base of the mountain on the shores of Spray Lakes by Barbara Parker from Threshold Ceremonies. Barbara is Angela’s aunt and so she crafted an extra special and extra meaningful ceremony. Their special guest list of six watched from the shoreline with Ha Ling in the background.
After the ceremony, the family left to enjoy dinner while Angela and Andrew changed into their hiking gear. They hiked up together and reached the summit in one hour and 40 minutes. A pretty good time!
Andrew carried Angela’s dress and his suit in his backpack and at the top they fashioned a makeshift change room. Of beautiful note, we must absolutely RAVE about Aileen Twa, Angela’s friend who is an artist with incredible talent and who designed Angela’s stunning gown; perfection in the breeze on top of the mountain indeed! Visit Aileen’s website here for your own custom gown and to see her beautiful creations.
As they waited for the perfect light, Andrew, Angela and Raf hunkered down behind some boulders. The winds at the top of Ha Ling can really be something. It’s what made for the gorgeous natural flow of Angela’s dress – but it can also make things a tad chilly.
But no fear, Raf’s Arcteryx Nuclei jacket kept all three of them super duper warm! Who’d have thought… great for climbing AND for adventurous wedding couples! (Raf took the jacket for a field test a while back. Here’s his review, if you’re interested.)
Raf was locked and loaded with not only his fancy jacket and smart camera stuff, but also his Wildsmart gear: bear spray (yes, that’s a real thing), hiking poles, extra food and water, extra jackets, head lamps, a first aid kit… Canmore is bear country. And cougar country, elk country, big horn sheep country, deer country and wolf country, for that matter! So we like to be like the boy scouts. Prepared.
They started their descent at 9.30pm. When Raf texted their estimated arrival (the bonus of being in the front country), I jumped in the car with my girls (puppers Kaia and Mara) and had warm hot chocolate bevvies waiting for the newly weds and Raf at the bottom of the trail. They were down in just one hour.
It was so fun to hear Angela and Andrew’s happy voices coming out of the darkness, then seeing their headlamps popping out of the forest and bobbing on over to me! Their smiles were BIIIIIIIIG and their excitement was so heartfelt!
What can I say… marriage is a journey and these two are definitely up for the adventure! We <3 adventure too, and I know Raf had a blast taking these Ha Ling wedding photos and hanging out with Angela and Andrew. Congrats guys!
Welcome to the Hiking Ha Ling Wedding! Enjoy x
Wedding photography: One Edition Photography
Celebrant: Barbara Parker from Threshold Ceremonies
Ceremony venue: Spray Lakes, Kananaskis (Canmore)
Angela’s beautiful Custom wedding gown: Aileen Twa Design
Angela’s hair and make-up: Simply Me Canmore
If you’re thinking of a hiking wedding in the Canadian Rockies, or any kind of adventurous wedding day fun, email us now as we’d love to chat! With Raf’s alpine adventuring background, he’s the go to for all things hiking weddings in the Canadian Rockies.