Say your Vows on Canada’s Largest Stern Wheeler

One of the most unique venues in the Okanagan, the SS Sicamous is perfect venue for those seeking beauty, magical elegance on the water. You have access to all points on the boat, making it one of the most memorable weddings your guests will attend!

Okanagan Wedding Ceremony Inside the SS Sicamous, Penticton
Wedding Ceremony on the Grand Stair Case, by Barnett Wedding Photography

Visiting the Venue

We would be happy to set time aside to invite you for a personal tour of the SS Sicamous, to show you the ship and discuss your vision for the Wedding.

The SS Sicamous is available for the wedding ceremony and reception. If you have questions, just ask. We are here to help!


All About the Stern Wheeler S.S. Sicamous

What is the SS Sicamous?
The Sicamous is the largest surviving stern wheeler in Canada. It was used to transport passengers and cargo to remote communities along the shores of Okanagan Lake. The ship is now open as a heritage site, tourist attraction and premier wedding venue. It is cared for by a non-profit organization called the S.S. Sicamous Society.

Why are Weddings important for the Sicamous Society?
Galas, balls and community events were hosted on board the S.S. Sicamous while it was in service on the lake, and these activities continued after the ship arrived in our community in 1951. The use of the ship for events is part of a continued tradition that supports our mission and our goals.

Where is the SS Sicamous?
The SS Sicamous is on the beach in Penticton, BC (Canada). It is right on the waterfront of Okanagan Lake, and has stunning panoramic views of the valley.

You will find Penticton in the south Okanagan valley, nestled between two lakes, and surrounded by vineyards. We are one hour south of Kelowna, and a 4 hours from Vancouver (or 55 minutes by air).  The Okanagan is considered one of the warmest regions in Canada, so you can visit in any season.

Amenities and Attractions close to the Wedding Venue
The SS Sicamous is on the waterfront, and is alongside a park called the “Penticton Rose Garden” (available for ceremonies). Just behind the ship is a small private beach , with a willow tree and rock pier that extends out into the water.  Although this space is great for photos, it is not being offered for Weddings at this time. There are several hotels nearby, including the Penticton Lakeside Resort and Ramada Inn. The Naramata Bench is home to many wineries, and is a short drive away, so your guests make the most of the local wine culture.

Reasons to Choose the SS Sicamous for Your Wedding

  1. The SS Sicamous is offered for the ceremony and reception so this means you do not have to worry about logistics, or transporting guests from one location to another.
  2. This is a truly unique venue (the largest Stern Wheeler in Canada) with awesome photo opportunities at every turn.
  3. Bar Service is entirely at your discretion (your choice of wine and beverages, with no corkage fee! ) This helps the budget, and gives you complete control over what is served.
  4. A selection of hotels and motels are within easy walking distance from the venue. This makes it easy for you and your guests on the Wedding day.
  5. Prior to the reception, guests are free to roam through all 4 decks of this popular tourist attraction. They are not confined to the same room, and can have fun exploring and mingling in the different areas that the ship has to offer.
  6. Vineyards are a short drive away, and the Rose Garden and beach are just outside. This means you have lots of options for the ceremony and for family photos.
  7. The interior is stunning already, so few decorations are needed. (This helps the budget, and allows you to focus on other aspects).
  8. Funds from your Wedding go directly to a local charity (the S.S Sicamous Society) to protect Okanagan heritage.
  9. Tables, white wedding chairs and sound equipment are included in your rental.
  10. Every booking automatically includes  Wedding Planning Services. This is included in the quoted price, and means that you have help and support every step of the way.

Questions about Weddings

What happens on the day of the Wedding?
We close the doors to the public, so you and your guests will have private use of the ship after 2pm! Guest can roam the decks, relax with a glass of wine, or admire the displays and model railway. The ship also provides many unique and magical opportunities for photographs, so you can make the memories last.

Will there be other Weddings on the same day?
That’s a good question. We only ever hold one wedding per week (on Saturdays). The entire ship is reserved for you, and your guests.

What is a Wedding Planner?

A wedding planner is your personal guide through the entire wedding planning process, including:

✔Choosing Vendors
✔Detailed Timelines
✔Help find a local restaurant to host your rehearsal dinner
✔Help you find local Okanagan Wines
✔Meeting vendors the day of your big day
✔Helping you find the perfect photographer, flowers, wedding cake and more…

Your wedding planner will also assist you from start to finish on the day of the Wedding. They will look after timelines and vendors so that everything goes smoothly. This means you can focus on enjoying the moment, and spending time with friends and loved ones.

Why is the Wedding Planning Service included here, and not at other venues?
For many, the venue is the first big item that you will book when planning your wedding. By including this service automatically with every booking, it means they can help you from the very beginning, so you are off to the best start. Our planners have worked many weddings on board, and know the ins and outs of the ship.  In addition, you will find that several of the other venues require wedding planners as a condition of booking, but it isn’t included in the price. (Please bear this in mind when comparing the costs of other venue rentals).

{Plans & Pretty Pictures}

The ship has three decks for your guests to explore. Click the map below for a guide to the main levels. The second floor of the ship is where most of the action happens. This is where the wedding reception takes place, where drinks are served, and were the vows are often exchanged. There is an elevator to this level if you have guests with mobility concerns.

Visit the Gallery page to see examples of weddings on board.

The Wedding Gallery

Have you visited the SS Sicamous Pinterest Page? Click below to see all the pretty photos ♥

Pinterest Weddings

Explore Inside the Ship
Take a sneak peak inside with a 360 Google Tour.

Explore Inside

Questions about the Wedding Ceremony

Can we hold the wedding ceremony on the beach?
Due to the problems we have been experiencing with high waters, debris on the shoreline and the amount of sand that is tracked back onto the ship, we have decided that we will no longer be offering the beach as a wedding alternative. It is still available for some great photo opportunities.

Can we hold the wedding ceremony in the Rose Garden?
You can, and it is a lovely location for a wedding. This needs to be booked through the City of Penticton. Click here for details: City Parks Wedding Ceremony Booking Form.

What happens if I plan to have my ceremony outside and it starts to rain?
The interior of the Sicamous is reserved for you for the entire day. If the weather turns wet, we are happy to accommodate your wedding ceremony inside the ship.

Questions about the Wedding Reception

How many guests can I invite?
The bow of the ship and the grand staircase can both comfortably accommodate between 85 people for the ceremony.  There is additional standing room as well on the upper deck. The dining room can comfortably seat up to 80 guests for a formal dinner, and up to 100  guests for a standup cocktail style wedding reception.  While this fits within our capacity limits, the ship lends itself very well to a smaller more intimate group.  It seats about 70 people very comfortably and provides ample for a dance floor.

Where do we hold the wedding reception?
The wedding reception is held in the dining saloon, on the second level of the ship. This level is now accessible by elevator, so guests with mobility concerns can attend the reception. Due to smaller doorways and structural design, there is limited access to some areas of the ship. We provide the tables, chairs and sound equipment. To learn more please click here . You can also see sample table set-ups and diagrams, and examples of real weddings.

Where is the dance floor?
The dance floor is usually in the dining saloon, where the Reception is held. The head table will be at one end, with the music and dance area at the opposite end. If more room is needed, the crew will simply push a few tables against the wall, or fold them away for you after dinner is finished.

We have elderly relatives that can’t climb stairs. Is there an elevator?
Yes, we have an elevator! It allows access to the second level of the ship, and can be used by guests with wheelchairs or mobility concerns. Due to smaller doorways and structural design, there is limited access to some areas of the ship. Please take contact us directly if you would like additional details.

Can I choose an “Outside” Caterer?
You can have your pick of the vendors and caterers that the South Okanagan has to offer. There is a small kitchen on board that the Caterers use. We would prefer that you work with a vendor that is familiar with the ship, and we have a diverse and awesome list that our wedding planners can provide a list of recommended caterers to get you started.

Is there a bar for serving drinks?
There is an antique bar in the gentleman’s saloon, where you can serve beer, wine and cocktails for your guests.

Is there a Corkage Fee?
Nope. At the SS Sicamous you will have complete freedom to decide the wine, drinks and cocktails that your guests enjoy.

Can my guests go outside on the decks with their drinks?
Yes, guests are able to wander and take their drinks out on the decks. Guests are free to explore the decks prior to the reception. After the start of the wedding reception, we ask that guests keep their drinks to the second level of the ship, so we recommend they explore the cargo deck and model railway before the party gets in full swing. No alcohol is permitted to leave the ship.

Is there smoking allowed on board?
There is absolutely no smoking or vape usage allowed anywhere on board or within 10 meters or 30 feet of the Ship. In the past this has become a serious problem and we take this very seriously. If anyone is caught breaking this rule, we reserve the right to ask them to leave the ship for the remainder of the event.

Are there any hotels nearby for my guests?
There are lots of hotels and motels along lake shore, all within easy walking distance of the ship. Click here to see a map: Hotels Close to the SS Sicamous

What about parking for my guests?
There is free parking all along Lakeshore and just across the road at the Loco landing parking lot 🙂 Parking is very busy during the summer months. Suggested solution: There are hotels and motels all along Lakeshore, and your guests are likely to be staying nearby. We recommend that they park at the hotel, and simply walk over to the ship. This also saves any potential worry at the end of the night.

Questions about Timing

How long do we have the ship for?
The ship is yours from 2pm to 12midnight on the wedding day.  You will be able to set up the evening before (from 4:30 to 7:30pm)  to decorate, bring supplies, and ensure everything is perfect. Plus you will have 1 hour in the morning after the wedding so you can collect any left-over supplies and decorations.

What time does the bar close?
Drink service must be over by midnight. Last call is at 10:30pm  to allow plenty of time for your guests to drink up and everyone to be off the ship by 12 midnight. Clean up must be done by this time as well and you can hire a setup/takedown crew.

What happens at the end of the evening?
All guests need to be off the ship and cleanup needs to be done prior to 12am.

Questions for your budget

What is the price of a Wedding?
Our 2019 Wedding package is $4999. 00 and includes taxes and fees.

What does this price include?
Included in this price, you will the venue after 2 pm (for the Wedding Ceremony and Reception). Tables, white wedding chairs and sound equipment are also included.  Clean up and take down will be up to the wedding party or designated individuals. The Wedding Planning Service is also already included within this price.

What other costs do I need to consider?
There are a couple other things that you will need to consider. We do require that you submit a $1000 Damage Deposit, which will be returned either in full or in part depending on any incurred damages, after a 2 week assessment period.  We also require that you obtain Event General Liability Insurance coverage in the amount of $2,000,000. This can be purchased from most insurance companies (expect to pay between $225 and $300). The only other thing you will need to purchase is the liquor license ($25).  We do not charge a corkage fee at the bar.  Items such as linens and plates will need to be rented separately. You can rent some of these items from us, (contact us for a rental list) but there are other rental companies to choose from as well. Our wedding planners can help you to make that decision.

What are the wedding fees used for?
The SS Sicamous is operated by a registered non-profit organization called the SS Sicamous Society. We are dedicated to preserving the marine heritage of the Okanagan. The price of your wedding will go directly to helping us preserve and protect the ships for the future.

Questions about booking

How do I book a tour?
We would be happy to set time aside to invite you for a personal tour of the SS Sicamous, to show you the ship and discuss your vision for your big day. Just send us a quick email to Idoweddingsokangan@gmail.com

I’m in the very early stages of planning, how far in advance should I book my date?
This depends on the season of your wedding. The wedding season in the Okanagan is from May through to October. Weekends in June, July and August are the first to book (closely followed by September). Many venues will start booking up 18months to a year in advance. So if you are planning for a weekend wedding in the summer, the answer is the sooner the better 🙂

How do I book a date?

  • Step 1: Please contact the SS Sicamous. We will have a chat about your plans, and I can let you know about the availability for choosing your wedding date. We can also arrange a tour, so you and your family can see the venue in person!
  • Step 2: Place a deposit to confirm the date. The deposit is $2500.00. We also ask for a refundable damage deposit ($1000) 3 months prior to the wedding day.
  • Step 3: Read through and sign the Rental Agreement. The SS Sicamous will then officially be reserved for your wedding!