When it comes to celebrating the love and commitment you share with your partner, you want to go big. Everything the two of you share is so spectacular that it only makes sense to get married at one of the most majestic locations on earth: Niagara Falls, Ontario.
It’s an historic place for romance. The daughter of the third United States President, Aaron Burr, honeymooned there in the early 1800’s, as did Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother. People still flock there today to pledge their love.
Honeymoon Capital of the World
Niagara Falls has been a popular destination for wedding ceremonies and honeymoons for hundreds of years, leading to its fame as the “Honeymoon Capital of the World.” Perhaps it’s the beautiful spring weather or the rainbows that dance in the mist of the falls. Something about the beauty of the location puts its seal on forever.
Many couples that get married in Niagara Falls want one thing, to wed somewhere overlooking the falls. The Tower Hotel features a wedding chapel on the 25th floor, where the special couple and guests can take in the awe-inspiring sight. During the day or night, both the Canadian and American sides of the falls can be viewed from this chapel. It’s a match made in Heaven, a perfect place for your wedding, since you’ll already be floating on air.
In this quaint town just outside of Niagara Falls, you can say your vows in an historic church or a romantic vineyard. Many of the hotels feature spas for a before-the-event pampering session. Cozy inns will enchant you and your guests and the friendly town is colorful and full of life. In the spring, the smell of flowers fills the air.
Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens
Couples who want to celebrate their special day surrounded by nature can take advantage of the botanical gardens’ lush greenery. The secluded wedding arbor provides an intimate ambiance, and the hidden willow pond will make you feel as though you just stepped out of a fairy tale. The reception can be held in the Butterfly Conservatory Terrace for a unique experience. Or get as close as you can to the falls without getting wet in the Elements on the Falls Restaurant.
Thrill-seekers can seal the deal on the Maid of the Mist boat tour. This is the closest you can get to the falls, but be careful about getting some water on your wedding gown. The roar of the water and the phenomenal view from below the falls will take your breath away.
A Winter Wonderland
If you’re not worried about getting cold feet, get married at Niagara Falls in the winter. During the colder months, an ice bridge forms from one side of the river to the other, and the snowy backdrop is striking. Snuggle up to your love after dark when multi-hued lights illuminate the falls. The transformation of the icy panorama to a rainbow-colored fantasy world is absolutely stunning.
You don’t have to go over the edge in a barrel to take the plunge at Niagara Falls. The thundering cascade is every bit as extraordinary as your wedding will be. Fireworks reflect off the mist many nights during the year; perhaps they will explode over your special night. Whether you celebrate the moment overlooking the falls or in a picturesque nearby village, your wedding party will share the event of a lifetime.
Gina Hamilton is an insurance consultant and a resident of London, Ontario. She also contributes content for Kanetix, a full-service insurance company; including home, business, vehicle, travel and health (including visitors to Canada).
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The Mediterranean Sea has long been a popular destination for honeymooning couples. Many people focus on the mainland of countries bordering the Mediterranean such as Israel, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Turkey, and completely forget about all the islands located in the region. There are over 3,000 islands in the Mediterranean Sea, many of them exquisite and little known locations where you can honeymoon in peace and quiet. Here are three of the best kept secret Mediterranean island destinations for your honeymoon.
Tilos, Greece – With a population of barely over 500 people and only three hotels in the area, you’ve hit the jackpot if you’re looking for a remote vacation spot free from chattering hordes of tacky tourists. The downside to a place with so few places to stay is that you have to book early in order to get a spot. Tilos is a wonderful place to watch bird migrations, and there are several ruins on the island that you can explore, including the Megálo Chorió and Mikró Chorió castles and the Monastery of Áyios Pandeleímon.
Maddalena Archipelago, Italy – The Maddalena Archipelago is a group of seven large islands and several little ones. The seven islands, from largest to smallest, are Isola Maddalena, Caprera, Spargi, Santo Stefano, Santa Maria, Budelli and Razzoli. The entire archipelago is part of the Arcipelago di La Maddalena National Park, which is currently being considered by UNESCO as a future World Heritage Site. If you were interested in checking out the area but are not interested in staying at the nearby world famous Costa Smeralda resort, then the Maddalena islands are perfect for you as they share the same beautiful water and coastlines but the Maddalena islands are much less popular. Only three of these islands are actually inhabited, which leaves visitors with plenty of undeveloped land to explore.
Sovalye, Turkey – The island of Sovalye is part of a chain of twelve islands in the Gulf of Fethiye. It is the only one of the islands that is still inhabited. Although Sovalye is the island that is actually closest to the mainland and only ten minutes away from nearby mainland settlements by boat, the regular tour boat operators ignore it because they want to take tourists out to islands that are further away, which results in more money for them. This is great for travelers visiting Sovalye looking for a peaceful and undisturbed paradise. On Sovalye there are no cars or roads – people get around by walking. Canoes and boats are the best way to explore the island. Another popular activity is to snorkel through the crystal clear waters to see the sunken mosaics and other remains from ancient Roman times that have slid into the sea. There are a few rental villas, a couple of guest houses and self catering apartments, and a hotel on the island and the prices aren’t too bad.
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Every married couple looks forward to their honeymoon. It is one of the most romantic vacations you’ll take as a couple. That’s why we feel we should let you in on a few bride to bride secrets that only brides truly know. No…it’s not what you think…it’s actually all about enjoying your honeymoon as a fun vacation with your new hubby. You too can be a honeymoon savvy bride!
Bride to Bride Secret #1
Remember the 24 Hour Rule. Now there may be other 24 hour rules, but this one is so important for brides. Your wedding day is an exciting, very memorable day. You’ll probably celebrate all day and night, dancing well into the wee hours of the next morning with friends and family. The only challenge with this is that you’re getting up at 6am to catch that 9am flight to Bora Bora for your wonderful honeymoon! It’s the savvy brides who actually plan 24 hours between their wedding and leaving for their honeymoon to relax and enjoy every moment of this experience. This is a far better choice than missing your flight or rushing through everything sleep deprived, a sure recipe for starting your honeymoon as “the Bickersons” couple!
Bride to Bride Secret #2
Plan ahead. It’s no surprise that 99.9% of the brides we know are totally focused on the wedding. They just don’t think that much about the honeymoon. Brides are far too busy, thinking about bridesmaids’ dresses, the perfect flowers and finding that great band. But you do need to plan ahead for your honeymoon and get every detail taken care of, just as you do for your wedding. Get your passport or other travel details organized well in advance. Take care of other practical travel details like packing sun block or suntan lotion.
Bride to Bride Secret #3
Be sure to budget. Your honeymoon is a once in a lifetime experience, and you’ll want to enjoy every moment. Before you go is the time to plan for all of the special and fun things you want to do, instead of giving your credit card a real workout. Most often you can get approximate costs of the activities you would like from visiting the hotel and location’s website, these can help you budget. Our tip: don’t forget to include gratuities (tips!) when these will apply!
Bride to Bride Secret #4
Learn one of the easiest ways to make your new husband happy. We’re about to let you in on one of the easiest, simplest ways to make your new husband happy. Ready to learn? It’s all about packing a suitcase, and traveling lighter instead of bringing two or three pairs of shoes for every whim. Even if hubby isn’t carrying your suitcase, somehow most men tend to fuss over too many suitcases brought on a trip. And every additional suitcase is an additional charge as you travel with most airlines today.
Bride to Bride Secret #5
Romance appears in unexpected moments. This is something every bride learns about the honeymoon, and its one of the loveliest things. Romance does appear in the most unexpected moments. You don’t always have to plan for that candlelight dinner or roses and champagne. It can be that moment of laughter that you share or a shared experience on your honeymoon. And it’s the perfect way to start your marriage, the biggest romance of them all!