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Whistler gets people in the mood for romance



Romance of the mountains blooms on Valentine’s Day

Whether it's on snowmobiles or skis, in swimming pools or atop high mountains next to glacial lakes, or even among the trees in Khyber's Pass, there is something about Whistler that gets people in the mood.

It might be the sheer beauty of the place that gets the romantic juices flowing. Or perhaps its the extreme thrill of the mountains that makes the sparks fly.

Then again, it might just be cupid working his particular brand of magic that makes Whistler one of the hottest places to get married, especially around the most romantic day of the year, Valentine's Day.

"You are a very small part of the universe (here) because there is such a lovely lot around us," said Florence Petersen, who has been a marriage commissioner in Whistler for 14 years now. "It grips you. It really does. It has a magic that you feel a part of."

In her 14 years as a marriage commissioner here, Petersen has married 896 couples. She can testify to romantic pull that Whistler has on couples in love.

And while she said that each wedding is different and special in its own way, one in particular stands out in her memory as a wedding that simply captured this Whistler magic.

This wedding took place on Alta Lake where all the guests were tied together on various watercrafts. Some were there in canoes and kayaks; others were floating on surfboards, paddle wheelers and river rafts.

"I must say that I was a little apprehensive as to how the atmosphere would be because I didn't want it to be kooky," she said. "It was four o'clock in the afternoon and we were in a twilight sort of mist down in the south end of Alta Lake and it was very reverent. It was interesting how everyone settled in to give focus to the wedding."

That Whistler magic that she talks about gets even more powerful as Feb. 14 draws near.

In fact in the year 2000, wedding planner Linda Marshall, owner of Whistler Wedding Planners, had seven weddings on Valentine's Day alone. This year she has two weddings on the 14 th .

Those two weddings involve American couples who are already married. The wives are surprising their husbands with a renewal of their vows while the families holiday in Whistler.

"It sure beats giving somebody flowers or chocolates" she said.

Most of Marshall's clientele are from the American Northwest. She estimates that about 80 per cent of her business are couples from out of town.