SS Sicamous Heritage Park
A Premier Okanagan Wedding Venue
Say your vows on board BC’s largest surviving stern wheeler, with stunning views and a backdrop of the glimmering Okanagan Lake. A wedding on the SS Sicamous is nothing short of magical.
We would be happy to set time aside to invite you for a personal tour of the SS Sicamous, to personally show you the ship and discuss your vision for your big day.
The SS Sicamous is offered for the entire day, for the wedding ceremony and wedding reception.
Contact Us Today!
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
Where is the SS Sicamous?
The SS Sicamous is on the beach in Penticton, with stunning views of Okanagan Lake. The ship is alongside the Penticton Rose Garden, with a small private beach behind the ship. A rock groin behind the ship extends out into the water, and makes for truly magical photos, as does the old willow tree beside the beach. Penticton is in the south Okanagan, and is an hour from Kelowna, and 4 hours from Vancouver. We are in the heart of wine country, and there are wineries surrounding the city. MAP
Why choose the SS Sicamous for a Wedding ?
- The SS Sicamous is offered for the entire day (for the ceremony and reception)
- Every booking includes a Professional Wedding Day Coordinator for the entire day (from Vines and Vows Weddings + Events).
- This is a truly unique venue (the largest Stern Wheeler in Canada) with awesome photo opportunities at every turn.
- Bar Service is entirely at your discretion (your choice of wine and beverages, with no corkage fee! )
- A selection of hotels and motels are within easy walking distance from the venue.
- Guests are not confined to the Reception, and are free to roam through all 4 decks of this popular tourist attraction.
- Vineyards are a short drive away for wedding photos, and the Rose Garden and beach are just outside.
- The interior is stunning already, so few decorations are needed. (This helps the budget, and allows you to focus on other aspects).
- Funds from your Wedding go directly to a local charity (the S.S Sicamous Society) to protect Okanagan heritage.
- Tables, white wedding chairs and sound equipment are included, and will be set up for you by the SS Sicamous Crew.
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. Just send a quick email, or give us a call at 250-492-0403. We are flexible, and can accommodate most busy schedules.
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 for the entire day of the wedding! Guest can roam the decks, relax with a glass of wine, or admire the displays and model railway. Because you have the ship for the entire day, we are able to host your wedding ceremony and reception. The ship also provides many unique and magical opportunities for photographs, so you can make the memories last.
What is a Wedding Day Coordinator?
The Wedding day Coordinator will help to run the entire wedding day (and the rehearsal!) and will make sure that all of your hard work and plans are executed smoothly. This means that you can enjoy yourself and relax, with more time to spend with friends and family. They are included with each and every booking at the SS Sicamous. Learn More
Will there be other Weddings on the same day?
That’s a good question. We only ever hold one wedding per day (and rarely more than one per weekend). The entire ship is reserved for you, and your guests, so you will have the entire space, and all of our attention 🙂
What is it like inside the ship?
Take a sneak peak inside of the SS Sicamous using our new Google Tour.
The ship has four decks for your guests to explore. Here is a guide to the different levels
The Cargo Deck is on the ground floor. This is the first area your guests will see when visiting the ship. They will walk past the model railway, steam boiler and the engines, and take in the unique atmosphere of the venue. This level houses most of our museum displays, and can be explored before and after the ceremony takes place.
The Passenger Deck: This is the most luxurious area on board the Sicamous. At the bow of the ship is the “Gentleman’s Saloon”. This area has the bar, and grand stair case. The banisters were hand carved, the cane bench is original, and floors are covered with plush red carpets. A large antique mirror hangs above the stairs. In the center of the ship is a large room called the “Dining Saloon”. This is where the reception, speeches and dancing take place. Antique cabinets are at either end, and light shines through coloured glass windows set into the roof. At the stern of the ship you will find the “Ladies Saloon”. This is where the buffet is normally located. The room is decorated in duck egg blue, with wicker furniture which is perfect for lounging in.
The Observation Deck: Climb the stair case to find the observation level. On this level you will find cabins where the guests would sleep, wicker furniture for relaxing in, and stunning views of the lake shore. This is where the guests will stand for viewing the ceremony, if you choose to say your vows on the grand stair case. This level is also where the groom and attendants can get ready on the day of the wedding.
The Pilot House: Step outside onto the decks, and climb the stairs to the very top level. The pilot house is small, with green walls, compass and speaking tubes. It houses the original captains wheel, and is a unique spot for photographs.
Questions about the Wedding Ceremony
Can we hold the wedding ceremony on the ship?
Yes, the ship is yours for the entire day, so the ceremony and reception can be held on board. The vows can be said inside on the Grand Stair Case, outside on the bow of the ship, or on the beach in the Heritage Park. The Penticton Rose Garden is also just around the corner. It all depends on the number of guests, and your visions for the day.
We would like to have the ceremony on the bow, how many guests can fit there?
We can host up to 100 guests out on the bow, with viewers watching from 3 levels. There is room for seating for about 40 guests on the main bow, with more room for standing behind, and above on the next two levels.
Can we hold the wedding ceremony on the beach?
With the Beach Option you are able to hold the ceremony on the beach. The area will be reserved for the next three hours. This are is larger and can host larger wedding parties.
Can I hold a cocktail hour on the beach?
If you have the beach option then your guests are able to have cocktails and champagne outside. Due to restrictions with liquor licensing, temporary event fencing will need to be arranged. Please ask for details.
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 provide the alternative venue for your wedding ceremony.
BC Marriage Laws – Prior to being married, couples must obtain a British Columbia Marriage License from a registry in the Province of British Columbia. The Marriage License is valid for three months from the date of issue. A list of Certified Marriage Officiants can be found here: Penticton Marriage Commissioners
Questions about the Wedding Reception
How many guests can I invite?
The SS Sicamous can comfortably seat up to 100 guests for a formal dinner, and up to 148 guests for a cocktail style wedding reception.
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. We provide the tables, chairs and sound equipment, and will set them up for you. 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.
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, and we will provide a list of recommended caterers to get you started. We are flexible, and you do not have to choose from this list. (As long as you have a licensed caterer for the Reception Dinner we are happy!) Take a peek at the vendors list: Popular Wedding Caterers
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?
Guests are free to explore the decks with their drinks. After the start of the wedding reception, we ask that guests stay on the second level of the ship, so recommend they explore the cargo deck and model railway before the party gets in full swing.
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. We also have a special discount with Coconut Express, so you can arrange a shuttle for your guests if they are coming from further afield.
Questions about Timing
How long do we have the ship for?
The ship is yours from 12noon to 12midnight on the wedding day, with an extra hour for clean up (until 1am). With the Early Bird Option, you are also able to board the ship ahead of the wedding day, to decorate, bring supplies, and ensure everything is perfect. Plus you will time the morning after the wedding (from 9 am to 11am) so you can collect any left-over supplies and decorations.
What time does the bar close?
Drink service stops at 12 midnight. Last call is 15 minutes to 30 minutes before this, to allow plenty of time for your guests to drink up. The last guest should exit the ship by 1am.
What happens at the end of the evening?
Please click here for details: After Midnight – The Pumpkin Hour
Questions for your budget
What is the price of a Wedding?
Wedding packages start at $3,400. This is for the entire day, and includes taxes and fees. Contact us for more details!
What does this price include?
Included in this price, you will the venue for the entire day (for the Wedding Ceremony and Reception). Tables, white wedding chairs and sound equipment are also included, and will be set up for you by the SS Sicamous Crew. The Day of Wedding Coordinator Service is also already included within this price. We don’t charge any surprise fees, and all of the quoted prices are inclusive of tax.
Are there any extra charges or fees that I should be aware of?
The only extra charges to consider are the liquor license ($25) and the event insurance (expect to pay between $225 and $300). Items such as linens and plates will need to be rented separately.
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, or give us a call at 250-492-0403.
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 busiest (closely followed by September) and these are usually the first to be snapped up. 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 🙂 While if you are planning to have a mid-week wedding, or off-season wedding, you can afford to wait longer before booking.
We have chosen a date, but are worried about other events on the same day. Can we check if any big events are planned for the same day as the wedding?
Let us know the date, and we will do our best to check so there are no surprises. Here are the big annual events to keep in mind when choosing:
- the Peach City Beach Cruise and Elvis Festival (the last weekend in June)
- The Gran Fondo Race (usually the second weekend in July)
- The Penticton Peach Festival (usually the first weekend in August)
- The Challenge Triathlon (the last Sunday in August, with road closures starting on Saturday evening)
There are always new events though, and sometimes the dates can change. If you want to make absolutely sure we recommend calling Travel Penticton. They keep an official list of annual events, and will be the first to learn of any new events that are in the works. We are happy to host weddings on most of these weekends, they just require a little extra planning (and extra early booking for hotels).
How do I book a date?
- Step 1: Please contact Jessie at 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 $1350, and we also ask for a damage deposit ($500) this will be returned one week after the wedding day.
- Step 3: Read through and sign the Rental Agreement. The SS Sicamous will then officially be reserved for your wedding!
Contact Us Today!