Newport owns the most ringing endorsement possible for a wedding location: Jacqueline Bouvier wed JFK here in front of 1,200 guests. Known as “America’s First Resort,” the town was a Gilded Age playground for Rockefellers and Astors-a seaside retreat where the upper crust staged an annual Summer Olympics of conspicuous consumption. The Depression curtailed the excess, but vestiges remain (see the palatial “cottages” along the cliffs).
Modern Newport celebrations run the gamut from black-tie parties in those mansions-rented through the Preservation Society-to clambakes on the beach. But everyone should kick off the weekend with a harbor cruise, replete with sunset views and stories of Prohibition-era rumrunners. Hold a rehearsal dinner at the Clarke Cooke House on Bannister’s Wharf. Then say “I do” at the Chanler, an opulent mansion-turned-hotel that sits on Newport’s Cliff Walk, and where a party on the lawn is straight out of Gatsby. Large events call for an estate like Rosecliff, whose architecture was inspired by Versailles. Or head to Belle Mer for a glam barefoot event that would make Jackie proud. -Brigid Sweeney
Local Planner: Exquisite Events of Newport, 401-846-3254, exquisiteeventsofnewport.com.
The Chaler’s posh version of a backyard wedding.
Rosecliff at dusk.
The Rosecliff’s giant ballroom.
DINNER WITH A VIEW: Set for a fete on the Chanler’s covered terrace.