Laying Claim to the Name "Honeymoon Capital of the World"
Crowd getting married

Honeymoons and the City of Niagara Falls have gone hand in hand for a very long time, with the first documented Niagara Falls honeymoon occurring in June of 1801. Theodosia Burr (the American vice president’s daughter) and her husband Joseph Alston visited the city on a delayed honeymoon that even included a visit with the famous Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant. 
Throughout the years, the city even became known as the Honeymoon Capital of the World!  From time to time, our popularity as a honeymoon destination has waned and when this happens, some rather interesting events have been promoted to give the destination a needed boost.

The concept of handing out Honeymoon certificates was originally “borrowed” from Niagara Falls, New York, but for some reason, the Canadian certificates quickly became much more popular. Starting in 1949, newlyweds could visit the Chamber of Commerce office to sign the Honeymoon Register and pick up their certificate. As well, coupons for free and discounted tourist activities were often given to the happy couples. In total, almost one million certificates have been given out and are still available today.

In 1993, the Cities of Niagara Falls on both sides of the border attempted to rekindle the romance as a honeymoon destination. A special contest was announced and advertised in over 1000 newspapers in the United States and Canada. Couples who had honeymooned in Niagara Falls were asked to submit letters of their fondest honeymoon memories. Ten winners would be selected to share in prizes worth $20,000. From the more than 400 entries, Saskatoon couple Bill and Eleanor Ryan, who honeymooned here in 1957, were declared the grand prize winners. Festivities for the Valentine’s Day weekend included a memorable toast when a twelve-foot 50 gallon bottle of pink champagne was poured over the Falls by helicopter, followed by a finale of champagne-coloured fireworks.

The most recent event that attempted to solidify the city’s reputation as the Honeymoon Capital occurred on Valentine’s Day in 2000. Called “The Wedding of the Millennium”, organizers originally hoped to attract 1000 couples who would be married en masse in a giant outdoor ceremony at the Oakes Garden Theatre. In the end, 200 couples registered for the event which was still the largest group wedding ever held in the area. Reverend Derek Rymarchuk presided over the group ceremony, assisted by 20 ministers who then married each couple individually (for legal reasons). After all of the couples shared their first snowy kiss, bursts of fireworks over the Falls were enjoyed by all.
 
If you would like to read some of the honeymoon letters, they can be viewed in person or online at https://www.nflibrary.ca/nfplindex/. As well, the Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, Honeymoon and Visitor Registers (1949-2011) can be viewed online at any library location using Ancestry Library Edition. Who knows? You might even be able to find your own name!
 

Library Notes

2019-10-28

It seems hard to imagine that today, there are approximately 14,000 hotel and motel rooms available for visitors in the city of Niagara Falls. Because of our famous location, the city's hotel industry has a long and intriguing history. One such hotel that might not be as widely known as its more famous neighbours is the Hotel Lafayette.

2019-10-25

In case you weren’t aware, October is Autism Awareness Month, Breast Cancer Awareness month and Canadian Library Month to name a few. If you haven’t tried our great digital content on these subjects, please do! Download our Kanopy app and find a whole host of great feature films and documentaries on Autism.

2019-10-25

Fall is an exciting time of year, and Niagara Falls Public Library is ready to celebrate with fun programs and events.

Join the library as we connect residents through our new Neighbour Night program. Starting Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 6 p.m., a once-a-month "mix and mingle" program will be held.

2019-09-21

For the most part, we have been enjoying some pleasant weather this month in Niagara Falls. Of course, this has not always been the case. Ninety-nine years ago, it was an entirely different story.

2019-09-09

Science Literacy Week runs from September 16th to the 22nd. While many of us may think that it’s aimed mostly at kids and teens, the truth is that everyone can celebrate science and oceans research in Canada.

2019-09-03

September is an exciting time of year, and Niagara Falls Public Library is ready to celebrate with fun programs and events.

Be sure to pick up our Fall 2019 magazine to learn about all the exciting programs and events happening.

2019-08-27

With September just around the corner, we at the Niagara Falls Public Library are excited to once again offer a full slate of Mental Health and Wellness programming to connect you with others and help you feel your best as summer fades away and the days start to get shorter, darker, colder.

2019-08-20

Honeymoons and the City of Niagara Falls have gone hand in hand for a very long time, with the first documented Niagara Falls honeymoon occurring in June of 1801. Theodosia Burr (the American vice president’s daughter) and her husband Joseph Alston visited the city on a delayed honeymoon that even included a visit with the famous Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant.