If you’re gonna elope, why not do it in one of the most beautiful places on earth?
Ashley + Derrick’s unforgettable elopement in Banff had some of the most incredible scenery we’ve ever seen. The mountainous Canadian landscape and vibrant blue lakes these two were surrounded by are beyond breathtaking.
The couple and photographer Henry Tieu (who specializes in epic elopements like this one) got an early start on the big day. In the wee hours of the morning they met up and headed out into the wilderness to make sure that they caught the sunrise. There was hiking. There was beer chugging. There was a stunning lakeside ceremony with a handful of family and friends. And Ashley rocked a traditional red Vietnamese áo dài for a portion of the day!
“This day was everything an elopement day should be,” says photographer Henry, “an intentional celebration of love.”
Oh, and you’re not ready for these pics, btw.
Ashley wanted to keep things light and inexpensive when it came to her wedding day look. A few visits to bridal salons left her feeling like every option she’d find there was pricey and heavy. She found this beauty on Lulu’s, customized it with a V-neckline and additional lace details, and then added fun touches like the pearls and the belt herself!
A Lakeside First Look
You might recognize photographer Henry Tieu’s stunning work from this other adventurous elopement in Japan!
Derrick’s sharp, sand-colored wedding day look came from Kenjo Suits.
We love that Ashley went with a longer veil! This pic is just too good. Take a look at our rundown of the best wedding veils for every style if you’re still trying to zero in on which veil silhouette is right for you.
How dreamy are the whites and neutrals of that pampas grass filled bouquet?!
Time to Climb!
Loving Ashley + Derrick’s Nike Blazers! And the fact that the swooshes match Derrick’s suit!!
Ashley + Derrick’s pup Otis couldn’t join them on the big day, but he was there in spirit via these matching custom pet socks!!
Also, take a look at our guide to rocking bridal sneakers if you’re dreaming of a cool paid of wedding day sneaks.
A Ceremony On The Shore
Our Favorite Memory From The Wedding
Most memorable moment was definitely walking down the imaginary rocky aisle which made the path to the altar, both our parents walking us down, with a view of Bow Lake and the beautiful terrain right behind us.
This lace bodice burgundy number is STUNNING. Scroll through our collection of non-frumpy mother of the bride dresses if the important ladies in your life need some outfit inspo.
Figuring out the actual logistics of eloping can be complicated. Ashley + Derrick found their officiant through Rain and Pines.
We’re in love with these adorable custom vow booklets.
Celebrate Surrounded By Scenery
Chug!! : Moms Edition
This amazing macaron-encrusted wedding cake is from Whippt Kitchen. It even features an Otis figurine!
Loving the elegance of this lavender + white tablescape (The bubbly! The taper candles!) against the majestic mountains.
Our Advice To Those Planning Now
Trust your photographer and the entire process! Henry was key to our beautiful and successful day. Without him, we wouldn't have even known where to begin.
And on the day of, truly enjoy and embrace each other's company, go with the flow, and just have fun with it!
If you’re feeling inspired by the romance and jaw-dropping vistas of Ashley+ Derrick’s elopement (how could you not be?!), take a peek at some other spots with jaw-dropping views that are PERFECT for a scenic elopement.
From the couple: “Having our intimate wedding in Banff, with a photographer turned lifelong friend, was truly an experience we’ll never forget. Beautiful photos aside, we were just glad to be able to enjoy such a fun and meaningful trip surrounded by both our families.”
A Traditional Vietnamese Second Look
Ashley changed into a bright red áo dài for a portion of their adventure. Áo dài are traditional Vietnamese national garments that most often feature long split tunics worn over silk trousers. Much like Chinese qipao, red ones are in some instances worn by brides for weddings.
Photographer Henry says: “This elopement was also the first time I had the chance to photograph áo dài, a traditional Vietnamese dress I’ve known and seen my whole life. It was the first time I was able to mix my culture and my career which was very special for me personally.”
Loving these sheer red lace sleeves. Check out this stunning red áo dài on Etsy!
Congratulations on your breathtaking Banff elopement, Ashley + Derrick!! GWS wishes you all the best!
photography: Henry Tieu Photography // wedding dress: Lulu's // bride's shoes: Nike // groom attire: Kenjo Suits // groom's shoes: Nike // cake: Whippt Kitchen // officiant: Viet Dinh