Just a few generations ago, Niagara Falls was one of the top honeymoon destinations for couples all over the world. Modern couples might overlook the Niagara Falls region in favor of more exotic destinations, but the area still has plenty to offer for a couple who wants to combine outdoor adventure with romance, fine dining and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
Niagara’s Honeymoon History
Long before the luxury hotels and casinos, the waterparks and the wineries, Niagara Falls was a sleepy town that focused on the waterfalls. Locals touted the mists from the falls as a means to enhance romance — some even claimed that the mist had aphrodisiacal powers and increased the likelihood that a woman could get pregnant.
It wasn’t until the early 1800s when Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother Jerome visited the area on his honeymoon after traveling all the way from New Orleans that it became fashionable to visit. The popularity only grew when Theodosia Burr, the daughter of US. Vice President Aaron Burr, visited the region after her marriage to Joseph Alston. From then on, Niagara Falls was the place for the most fashionable members of society to visit on a wedding trip. Burr and Alston visited the area after being invited by Joseph Brant, a political leader and chief of the Mohawk tribe; in many ways, her honeymoon was a political gesture as much as a romantic one. Regardless, when the trip was announced in the New York society pages, suddenly Niagara Falls was on the map as a posh honeymoon destination.
These days, honeymooners have a wide array of romantic options when it comes to planning the ultimate romantic getaway. Of course, most hotels offer romance or honeymoon packages, complete with luxurious suites and add-ons like couple’s massages, wine and champagne, dinner vouchers and other experiences. Outside of the hotel, couples can enjoy a romantic sunset cruise with cocktails in the shadow of the falls, take in the view from Skylon Tower or explore the quaint streets and shops of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
However, the first stop for any newly betrothed couple should be the Niagara Falls Canada Convention and Visitors Bureau. Here, the happy couple can collect an official certificate, signed by the mayor of Niagara Falls, noting that they honeymooned in the area. Not only is the certificate a keepsake of your trip, it also entitles the bride to free admission at a number of area attractions. Visitors to the American side of the falls can collect a similar certificate from the visitors’ bureau there.
Of course, it’s possible to have both your wedding and your honeymoon in Niagara Falls, as several companies offer wedding packages that include officiants, photographers and more. Americans can be married on either side of the falls, but both the province of Ontario and the State of New York require couples who intend to be married to secure a marriage license at least 24 hours in advance of the ceremony. It’s best to work with a professional wedding planner to help you manage those details and ensure your wedding is recognized legally.
When it comes to romance, Niagara Falls has always been in fashion. If you’re looking for a place to get away for a few days after your wedding, consider coming here — you won’t be disappointed.