Victoria, Tofino, Hornby & Galiano: My Guide To Vancouver Island Weddings

February 25, 2022

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Photographer captures couple getting married in Vancouver Island elopement

No matter how many times I visit Vancouver Island, I never tire of its dramatic beauty, sparkling beaches, and low-key vibes. These make it one of the best destination wedding venues from Vancouver (or anywhere, for that matter!) – the island just has so much to offer adventure-loving couples. 

For those in Vancouver, the island boasts gorgeous outdoor spaces and venues for weddings that are close to home but feel a world away from the city. Whether you’re dreaming of a huge formal affair or something more intimate, you’ll find it on Vancouver Island. 

If you’re starting to think about Vancouver Island wedding venues, I can recommend four regions that are just perfect: Victoria, Tofino, and Hornby and Galiano Islands. Not only are they gorgeous, but they’re each spectacular for photography. We’ll be able to take those natural, dreamy photos of your wedding that you’ll both treasure for years to come.

To help you plan your amazing day, here’s my guide to Vancouver Island weddings, outlining everything you need to know when planning your elopement or wedding. 


Is Victoria the most picture-perfect city in Canada? From a photography perspective, it’s seriously hard to top it. The British Columbia capital is known for its beautiful historic architecture, particularly the unbelievable Craigdarroch Castle (and yes, they do weddings!). You’ll also find the most gorgeous gardens in Victoria – it’s actually known as the City of Gardens, so spring is one of the best (and most popular) times for weddings in Victoria. 

The beaches are pretty epic too, with spots like Cordova Bay, Spiral Beach, and Arbutus Cove that are ideal for a beach wedding in Victoria, BC. While Victoria can be an expensive place for weddings, a smaller, DIY wedding is always a good option too. Rent an Airbnb with your loved ones, tie the knot on the beach, and enjoy the beauty of Victoria.

From Vancouver, the ferry is the best way to reach Victoria. The combined bus and ferry trip takes about four hours, or you can hop on a plane and be there in about 35 minutes.


Whether you’re planning a large or small wedding on Vancouver Island, Victoria offers so many gorgeous options! Here are a few venues that I love:

If you’re planning an outdoor wedding or a celebration within one of Victoria’s parks, you’ll likely need to apply for a Wedding Permit from the City of Victoria. 


I love weddings in Victoria since there’s so much to see and do in the area! You can plan epic pre- and post-wedding activities for your guests, such as whale watching in the summer months, visiting the Victoria Butterfly Gardens, or kayaking in the gorgeous Victoria Harbour.

These special family moments are just as important as your wedding day itself, and they’ll make great photo ops as well. Imagine that moment when a monarch butterfly lands on your niece’s shoulder, or when your uncle beams as he proudly kayaks for the first time – those are the special moments that make destination weddings so meaningful! 


Victoria is generally known for its warm, dry summers and wet, chilly winters. We’ll get beautiful, bright photos in Victoria thanks to all the gorgeous flowers and gardens. Since Victoria gets so much sunshine, we can take colourful, warm photos here with that golden sunny glow. 

Even in the spring and summer, evenings can bring a chill, so it’s a good idea to keep this in mind when planning your wedding day clothing – the flexibility of elegant-yet-weatherproof and warming layers should be considered to ensure your photos remain stylized and tied together (that’s not to suggest everything needs to be lace and silk – an ivory windbreaker would bring a fun urban edge to any glamorous attire).

photographer captures couple getting married in Tofino elopement


If you crave rugged, undeveloped nature, Tofino is the place to be! This pristine part of Vancouver Island is known as the surfing capital of Canada. The famous crescent-shaped Cox Bay is known for its surf competitions, but it’s also a stunning place to tie the knot. 

Tofino is all about the outdoors, so you and your guests will want to do some hikes in the Pacific Rim National Park, visit the region’s old-growth forests, and just relax and unwind in nature. The magical Big Tree Trail and Tonquin Trail are some of the best forest wedding venues on Vancouver Island if you want to exchange vows under a natural tree canopy. 

You’ll find gorgeous Tofino wedding venues here that are just made for couples who prioritize natural beauty, outdoor adventures, and privacy. Situated on Vancouver Island’s west coast, the town of Tofino is about a five-hour drive from Victoria, or you can fly from Vancouver, with flight times around 45 minutes. 


As a Tofino wedding photographer, I’m always blown away by the beauty and serenity of Tofino. Here are a few wedding venues to consider:

(Note: If you were considering a Tofino Botanical Gardens wedding, please note the space is currently closed as it transitions to new ownership.)

For couples planning a beach wedding, it’s helpful to know that all beaches are public in Tofino, so you don’t need a special wedding permit here. 


Since Tofino is all about the outdoors, it can be extra special to plan some fun activities for your guests while they’re visiting. There’s no better place to try out surfing, with the Pacific Sands Beach Resort offering surf lessons – ideal if your guests are staying there. The resort also offers a unique Pacific Storm Watching package. It’d be such a neat thing to experience, and the mist and ominous clouds of an approaching storm will create epic backdrops for a photoshoot! 

Tofino also offers lots of coastal hiking and tidal pools to explore, so there’s no shortage of activities for both kids and adults to enjoy. 


July and August are the most popular months for visiting Tofino, as they offer the warmest weather (although it’s still fairly mild). Autumn, spring, and winter bring a lot of rain, with November being the rainiest month. 

Even in July and August, you’ll only get highs of around 17–19°C, so bring layers and warm clothes, especially for the evenings. A raincoat is a must too! Although the rain can seem like a nuisance (August is referred to as ‘fogust’, due to the fog), don’t worry – fog and mist actually help us take moody, nostalgic photos that can be just breathtaking. 

photographer captures couple walking in a beach in Tofino elopement

Hornby Island

If you’ve never been to Hornby Island before, you’re in for such a surprise! This beautiful part of Canada is known for its white sandy beaches and crystal-clear water. The dreamy turquoise hues of the water make you feel like you’re in the tropics, so it’s a great choice for a beach wedding.

The island is extremely small, at just under 30 square kilometres, so it’s easy to visit all of the main attractions, such as Tribune Bay Provincial Park, Helliwell Provincial Park, and Mount Geoffrey. 

A Hornby Island elopement is a good idea too, as there are lots of cute Airbnbs on the island. You can get to Hornby Island by boat or by ferry from Vancouver Island’s Buckley Bay. 

Wedding venue ideas

Due to the island’s tiny size, there aren’t a huge number of Hornby Island wedding venues. But that can be perfect for couples who are looking for a unique and meaningful venue for their wedding.

The main options on the island are:


Hornby Island is known for its beaches, so enjoying the sparkling beach of Tribute Bay is always a great way to spend an afternoon. You’ll find gorgeous hikes on the island within the Provincial Parks.

For a fun ‘festival-style’ accommodation option, take a look at Fossil Farm Beach’s glamping tents. Set in the pristine landscape of a 100-year-old working family farm, each beautiful bell tent is nestled among the trees overlooking beautiful Fossil Beach. The farm’s ‘Cider House’ provides guests with access to private showers and washrooms, while their ‘Cookhouse’ is the perfect place to get together, share meals and celebrate with your loved guests.

One of the best things about Hornby Island is that it just feels like another world, so get ready to pull up a beach chair, kick back, and soak up all the good times with your loved ones. 


Most visitors come to Hornby Island during June–September, when the weather is warmest and you can make the most out of the beaches and hikes. The colours of the water here are unbelievable, so we can get the most stunning outdoor wedding photos. They’ll also be unique, since the island’s tiny size means not many people get married here. 

The summer brings highs of 23–25°C, so pack your swimsuit, but also bring along a coat for the evenings. Some tourist attractions will close in the winter off-season, so it’s really best to visit in the warmer months. 

Galiano Island

Galiano is one of the Southern Gulf Islands and is similar in size to Hornby. It’s a really special place for natural beauty and it offers something for everyone: unbelievable views, challenging hikes, picturesque beaches, and lots of opportunities for sailing, kayaking, and whale watching. 

You’ll find spectacular Provincial Parks here, including Montague Harbour, Bellhouse, and Bodega Ridge. Galiano attracts visitors who want to make the most of their weekend away by immersing themselves in nature, so it’s a great choice for anyone considering an outdoor ceremony. 

Galiano Island is convenient too, since it’s the closest island to Vancouver. The ferry takes around 55 minutes, so door-to-door it’s just over two hours.

Wedding venue ideas 

If you’re planning a Galiano Island wedding, you’re in luck – there are some absolutely dreamy waterfront locations to consider. Or you could plan an elopement and say I do on a remote hike at sunrise!

Here are a few great wedding venues on Galiano:


There’s no shortage of fun activities for you and your guests to enjoy on Galiano. You’ll find plenty of scenic beaches and beautiful hikes in the island’s parks. In the summer, there’s great kayaking to be found around the island too, which you can arrange through Gulf Island Kayaking

If you need a break from the outdoors and could do with some pampering, book into the Madrona del Mar Spa for a day of massages, facials, and manicures. It would be such a fun way to spend the day before your wedding with your bridal party, and such a relaxing way to unwind before all the thrill of your wedding day. 


Galiano Island is actually known for its temperate climate, which means you don’t need to limit your wedding to the summer months. While summer will give you the best weather for enjoying the island’s beaches, you can also enjoy pleasant weather in both spring and autumn. Autumn is a great time for wedding photos on Galiano, since the island has lovely fall foliage that looks gorgeous in photos, especially when it reflects onto the water. 

Unlike some of the other islands, which close up shop in the winter, you can still visit Galiano in the winter months if you don’t mind colder temps. However, November is the rainiest month, so it may not be the best time for a beach wedding! Since the island offers so many fun outdoor adventures, be sure to bring along your hiking boots and waterproof clothes for kayaking.


This guide has inspired some serious wanderlust – I can’t wait to get back to Vancouver Island! It’s truly such a special and unique place to get married, and your guests will be just as happy to be there as you are. If you’re thinking about large or small wedding packages on Vancouver Island, I am glad to help.

I’m all about weddings that are authentic to your values, so I love helping couples curate the best possible wedding adventure for themselves and their loved ones. If you have any questions about your wedding photography on Vancouver Island, I’d love to have a chat to recommend some locations and venues that would best suit your style. 

From the instant you arrive on the island until that magical moment when you walk down the aisle and say your vows, I hope the beauty and serenity of Vancouver Island make your wedding everything you’ve dreamed it would be. Camera in hand, I’ll be there every step of the way to capture all those little moments that make your wedding meaningful. Let’s do this

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