We love helicopters. And we love heli weddings. When a bride or couple contact us and say ‘we’re thinking of a heli-wedding’ our little ole’ wedding planner hearts skip a beat, even after all these years and even after logging hundreds of hours escorting couples up and away to remote ancient glaciers and clear mountain lakes, for the private ceremony of their dreams.
What do we love? Well, getting there is half the fun for a start. The minute we pull up at the Blackcomb Helicopters location, just a short drive north of Whistler village, we start to get all excited for our couple and their guests (if any, this can be the ultimate in private elopements) because they often have no idea of what awaits. We love seeing the excitement meter ramping up when they see the helicopter for the first time. We love seeing their faces light up in delight when the rotors start to spin faster and faster and they feel the machine begin to rise gently from the ground.
We love the ride, a breathtaking and exhilarating aerial trip over some of the most dramatic and gorgeous landscapes to be found anywhere in the world. We love the knowledge that we are in the expert hands of experienced and knowledgeable pilots and guides. We never fail to gasp at the inspiring beauty of the Coast Mountains, the ancient glaciers, dramatic peaks and pristine lakes.
We love the moment when we land, the pilot kills the engine, the rotors slow down and gradually stop and we step out – into absolute silence and peace. That total silence of the mountains that can be found nowhere else. We love it when the only sounds are the voices of our couples and their officiant, followed by the ‘pop’ of the champagne cork as we pour the champagne toast, witnessed only by rugged mountain peaks.
Yep, it never gets old. That’s why we created a unique and all-inclusive ‘Helicopter Adventure’ package as part of our Small is Beautiful service. Check it out here. It is worth noting too, that the fine folks at Blackcomb Helicopters are perfectly capable of hosting larger affairs, able and willing to fly up decor, tables, caterers, staff and even tents, into the high alpine.
There are some practical questions to consider, and for these we turned to Amy at Blackcomb Helicopters, asking her the questions we thought you might ask yourselves. Here is what she had to say:
Ideally, how far in advance should couples book a heli wedding?
It is best to book with us at least a few months in advance if you want to ensure you are guaranteed the date and time you would like. We operate and offer these packages year round but Summer is our busiest time for heli weddings and we can book up fast!
Is safety a concern, regarding the correct protocol for being in/around the helicopters, and for being in the backcountry?
Safety is always our number one priority. We ask that guests come prepared for sudden weather changes even in the middle of the summer Proper footwear is also very important. It is a good idea to bring your own water and snacks if the guests are planning a photography shoot….don’t forget to throw some champagne in there as well! The pilot always conducts a thorough safety information briefing before guests board the helicopter. This is mandatory even for experienced heli flyers.
What kinds of helicopters do you have? What is their carrying capacity?
Blackcomb Aviation has a large and varied fleet of helicopters. We have 20 helicopters throughout our bases in the Sea to Sky. We operate out of YVR, Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton, and Sechelt and have been in operation for more than 25 years. We work in many different industries including film, utility, emergency (search and rescue), fire and wildlife, and of course tourism.
Is it ok for the bride to wear a wedding gown in the helicopter!?
Of course! The dress is one of the most important parts of a wedding! Our staff love hosting these intimate weddings, and they love meeting the bride, groom and their closest family and friends. The bride and groom all dressed up beside our signature red helicopters makes for some amazing photos.
What other kinds of clothing/footwear should couples and guests think about?
It is so important for the bride and groom to be comfortable while in the backcountry. It makes for a much more enjoyable experience if sturdy footwear is worn and back up warm layers are packed. We have had some brides bring their heels and a spare pair of shoes. This is a great idea as you can load the heli in safety but change footwear once you arrive in the backcountry for photos.
Do check out our Gallery of some pretty amazing heli wedding images, plus some supplied by Blackcomb Aviation. If you look closely, we could swear those gorgeous red helicopters are smiling.