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Weddings at the SLCC

There are many inspiring attributes about the SLCC as a wedding venue, the most inspiring being personally determined by what speaks to a couple. There are a breadth of assets here that can be dressed up or down depending on a couple’s vision, and we’ve identified the following as the most thematic in what changes a prospecting couple into a confirmed venue booking:

Partnership

Designed to celebrate the marriage of two Nations, the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre embodies partnership. Designed to evoke the form of a Squamish Longhouse and Lil’wat Istken, the SLCC’s three levels complement the flow of a wedding from ceremony to reception to dancing, welcoming guests into three various spaces for each chapter of a wedding celebration.

Structure Our stunning 30,000 square foot LEED certified venue boasts an impressively tall cedar post & beam design, with unprecedented floor to ceiling glass walls that welcome the forest and natural light into all private event spaces. On the Mezzanine Patio, half of the 5,000 square foot patio is covered in retractable awnings, creating an outdoor weather-resistant space for ceremonies, receptions, and dinners while guests take in views of Blackcomb Mountain. The Mezzanine is our largest and most flexible space, comfortably accommodating up to 300 guests. Parallel to the Mezzanine Patio is the Skywalk, a stunning location tucked in between glass walls to the north and south – truly giving the impression of walking on the clouds, yet feeling grounded by the expansive wood floors and eye-level mezzanine patio out to one side. This location is perfect for the more intimate of dinners, such as an engagement or rehearsal dinner.

The Skywalk is the perfect location for live entertainment and speeches during events located in the Great Hall. Photo: Logan Swayze

On the main level is the Great Hall, arguably the grandest space of the venue with its 22 foot ceilings towering house posts, suspended exhibits and canoes, and glass walls. This space both humbles and inspires guests with its rich combination of contemporary and historic cultural assets.

On the lower level is the iconic Istken Hall, a round cedar post and beam room with stunning views of the picturesque northerly mountain ranges and Lost Lake woods. For ceremony, this space is remarkably versatile and can accommodated a variety of set ups: standing in a circle around the couple, chair seating with an aisle, or pillows and rugs have been strewn to invite guests for a casual perch on our (heated) floors. For dinner, tables are located along the windows with the centre of the room perfect for speeches, and later on dancing.

Nature

All of our spaces can trick guests into feeling they are out in nature with unobstructed views of the surrounding forest. For couples truly seeking an in-nature experience, the SLCC has a forest walk (called the Salish Stroll) that meanders off the Mezzanine Patio into our seven acres of forested area, down towards the Fitzsimmons Creek. Stunningly photographed in all seasons, this walk takes couples on a journey into nature not far from their guests, allowing more time to spend with loved ones during their special day.

Photographer Sara Rogers captures these newly weds on the Salish Stroll, steps from their guests inside the SLCC.

Culturally Infused

SLCC Cultural Ambassador Qawam Redmond Andrews, Lil’wat Nation, shares a welcome song prior and wedding blessing in the Great Hall.
Image: Tomasz Wagner

From the blend of two traditional dwellings to the sound of drums and scent of cedar, the SLCC embodies a nod to BC’s rich Indigenous history and their present-day thriving communities. With bold, dramatic carvings and canoes hanging overhead in the Great Hall, inspiring guests to connect more deeply with BC’s Indigenous cultures, to the more contemporary Box of Promises collaboration that hangs parallel to the skywalk, the SLCC is infused with culture that augments weddings with an authentic feel. For couples seeking a meaningful way to commence their ceremony, our Cultural Sharing team provides wedding blessings, a traditional hand drum love song, customary of the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations.

Giving back

As people continue to become more in tune to what it means to support local and vote with our dollars, more and more couples choose the SLCC as their wedding venue for our status as a non-profit society. All revenues earned at the SLCC are directly reinvested into the Indigenous Youth Ambassador (IYA) Program: a cultural and business skills training program for Indigenous Youth, ages sixteen to thirty. When hiring our In-House Catering Team, this is a further IYA Program. Couples have also begun perusing our Gift Shop for wedding gifts: whether commissioning our in-house carvers and weavers to create one of a kind gifts for one another, or purchasing wedding favours for their guests, our Gift Shop continues to see an uptick in interest to shop local, and to shop authentic.

Versatility The SLCC’s iconic structure and cultural exhibits can be played up or down, depending on a couple’s vision for their day. Locally based wedding planners are intimately familiar with the SLCC, accommodating a breadth of visions from boho chic to high couture. Whistler wedding photographers are essential in capturing these visions for memorable reflection (and speaking of reflection, they also know how to best capture moments when surrounded by so much glass!) – whether intimate, whacky, iconic, or otherwise.

Referral

Last but certainly not least, the recommendations couples receive to book with the SLCC from wedding planners, photographers, florists, officiants, and accommodation providers continue to leverage our status as one of Whistler’s preferred wedding venues. We consider their referrals an ode to our professionalism and approachability, and rise to the occasion to continue offering excellent guest experiences.

What speaks to couples when they explore our venue with a lens of matrimonial celebration truly varies; what works in our favour is that the SLCC looks great in white, and we welcome all walks of life. One bride put it so poignantly: “[the SLCC] is a world class venue, with amazing food (so delicious!! And so many options!!) and with a connection to our community. Where else can you get that?”

For more information on choosing your ideal wedding venue, check out Things to Consider Before Booking Your Wedding Venue.

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