Analysis of historic visitor records from Niagara Falls has revealed how one of Canada’s top tourist destinations earned its reputation as the honeymoon capital of the world.
Recent research shows that August is Canada’s most popular month to wed – and to celebrate the 500-year-old tradition of taking a vacation after the big day, Ancestry has delved into a newly-launched collection of records to compare honeymoon trends from decades ago to the present day.
The Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, Honeymoon and Visitor Registries (1949-2011) collection was curated by the Niagara Falls Tourism office and provides historical evidence of more than 680,000 records of visitors to one of Canada’s most visited attractions.
Honeymoon destination: your own backyard
It’s perhaps no surprise that the majority of Canadians today prefer to honeymoon in a beach paradise, and with cheaper and more accessible air travel available today, only a quarter of Canadians getting married (24 per cent) are planning to stay close to home for their honeymoon – in contrast to their ancestors.
- The newly launched records show that in 1956, the majority (60 per cent) of the newlyweds who honeymooned at Niagara Falls were residents of Ontario, additional 28 per cent from across the rest of Canada
- Sixty years ago both U.S. and Canadian honeymooners accounted for nearly three quarters (73%) of all visitors to The Falls
- The third most common country visitors came from was Japan – more than 10,000km away
Today, the most popular destinations Canadians identified for their honeymoons were Mexico, Hawaii and the Bahamas. But for some the grass is always greener, and the records show that couples from these exotic climes actually chose to visit Niagara Falls shortly after their wedding:
- Mr. Eduardo Mojia from Acapulco, Mexico married on July 9, 1983 and travelled to Niagara Falls nearly two months later on Aug 31, 1983.
- Mr. Dennis Arakaki from Honolulu, Hawaii married on Apr. 26, 1980 and travelled to Niagara Falls 11 days later on May 7, 1980
- Mr. David P Albury from Nassau, Bahamas married on Aug. 24, 1953 and visited Niagara Falls 12 days later on Sept. 5, 1953
Canada’s wedding season is shifting to late summer, early fall
According to the survey results, August topped the list for the perfect month to get married in Canada, followed by October. This is a shift in the “traditional” wedding season according to findings from the Honeymoon and Visitor Registries collection. Records indicate that historically, the most common month to get married among those visiting Niagara Falls was June, with nearly a quarter (22 per cent) writing down June marriage dates in travel guestbooks.
- Lesley Anderson, family historian and content specialist for Ancestry: “For Canadian couples looking for a more local honeymoon hide-out, Niagara Falls has a long history of being a romantic destination. Many big names in history chose to honeymoon at the Falls, including Theodosia Burr Alston, who was the daughter of the third Vice President of the United States, Aaron Burr, as well as Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother, Jerome.”
- Lesley Anderson, family historian and content specialist for Ancestry: “Planning a wedding is a wonderful opportunity to learn from your family members about their own love story. You may have never thought about using your parents or grandparents honeymoon location for inspiration but you may discover something that strikes a chord, and helps you plan your own fairytale wedding.”
Find your grandparents, friends, family, and maybe yourself in the Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, Honeymoon and Visitor Registries (1949-2011) collection.