Vancouver Island Wedding Venues: Parksville/Qualicum Beach
Parksville/Qualicum Beach is one of my favourite areas for weddings on Vancouver Island. It’s becoming an increasingly more popular location for weddings these days and I love getting to shoot there! With sandy beaches and some of the best weather on Vancouver Island, it feels like a destination wedding location within Canada. For engaged couples, there are so many great venues in this area, whether you’re looking for a place to host a huge party or an intimate gathering. Below, I’ve rounded up 3 of my favourite Parksville/Qualicum Beach wedding venues to give you some ideas.
1. The Bayside Resort, Parksville
I have photographed a few weddings at The Bayside Oceanfront Resort since its renovation a few years ago and it’s a gem. Located downtown Parksville and right on a quiet section of the beach, this is the ideal venue for couples who want to keep everything in one place. From getting ready to dinner to the dance party, you won’t have to leave the property. Fortunately, since it’s a hotel, your guests can stay here too for a getaway weekend. Personally, I love this venue for guests visiting from off the Island because it makes for the perfect beach vacation spot.
Recently, The Bayside went through extensive renovations so it’s very aesthetically pleasing from a photography standpoint and easy to decorate. The rooms are bright and modern which makes for nice getting ready photos. In my opinion, choosing a getting ready location that is bright and has a little bit of personality adds so much wow factor to these images! Although there is a gorgeous lawn overlooking the ocean for outdoor ceremonies and receptions, there’s a beautiful indoor space too. At the end of the day, we can sneak out to the waterfront for some blue hour portraits.
2. Cuckoo's Trattoria, Coombs
Although this venue isn’t quite in Parksville or Qualicum Beach proper, I had to include it. Cuckoo’s Trattoria, located in Coombs, is one of my favourite wedding venues on Vancouver Island. If you’ve never experienced Coombs, it’s a strange and wonderful place (there are literally goats on the roof). In Coombs, there are several shops and markets, and tucked in a back corner is Cuckoo’s, an Italian restaurant. In addition to being a kickass restaurant, Cuckoo’s hosts weddings.
The space is full of character inside and out. It feels like you’re in Europe! This is definitely a venue where you can get away with minimal to zero decorating. In addition to the beautiful setting, their food is amazing. If you want something a little different for your wedding dinner (and who doesn’t like Italian food?), Cuckoo’s might be for you!
3. Rathtrevor Beach, Parksville
And last but not least, Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park is one of my all-time favourite locations. It’s my go-to recommendation for wedding portraits in Parksville. Although it’s not an “official venue,” I’ve done tons of wedding portraits here (as well as family photos and engagement sessions). From a photographer’s perspective, I love the variety of backdrops. At Rathtrevor, you’ll find grassy fields, sandy beaches, and forest all in one park. Most importantly, all of the different backdrops are easily accessible, which is key when you’re in full wedding attire!
The reason I included this park on my list of favourite Parksville and Qualicum-area venues is that is contains a group campground. Although I’ve never shot at this particular campsite, I photographed another wedding at a group campsite elsewhere on the Island and it was a blast. All the guests camped out, the couple held their ceremony on the beach nearby, and had a barbecue dinner at the campsite’s private picnic pavilion. For an outdoorsy, laid-back couple, this would be such a fun retreat with all of your friends and family!
Thanks for checking out this blog post of some of my favourite Parksville/Qualicum Beach wedding venues. I am planning similar blog posts for Victoria, Tofino, Cowichan Valley, and Nanaimo so keep an eye out if you are looking for more venue ideas!