On Location: Newport

Go on, get out of town to the highbrow harbors of Newport. This New England destination practically guarantees wedded bliss.
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A couple tie the knot under a tent at the Newport Yachting Center; Photograph by Richard Esposito

THERE’S A REASON NEWPORT has long been a sought-after summertime destination: the refreshing ocean breezes. They’re heavenly in July, but be warned — they can wreak havoc on a veil and dress (à la Marilyn Monroe), not to mention wedding décor. Why do so many couples take the gamble and pitch a tent festooned with crystal chandeliers and fabric-draped columns? At this beautiful island town about 45 minutes south of Providence, the elements are part of the charm.

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Tables are set for an afternoon reception at the Castle Hill Inn and Resort; Photograph by Warren Jagger

Whether you prefer barefoot beach bashes or black-tie affairs, elegance is the operative word. To give your guests a true taste of Newport, consider The Chanler at Cliff Walk (401-847-1300, thechanler.com), perched high above the Atlantic. The panoramic views from the mansion are truly spectacular — as is the cuisine from award-winning in-house restaurant the Spiced Pear. Castle Hill Inn and Resort (401-849-3800, castlehillinn.com), a Relais & Châteaux property on a 40-acre peninsula overlooking the water, is prized for its seclusion. For more action, the Newport Yachting Center (401-846-2610, newportyachtingcenter.com) offers cocktail receptions aboard a 78-foot sailing vessel, casual clambakes, or formal seated dinners at the busy marina.

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A view of 22 Bowen’s from the dock; Photograph by Warren Jagger

The night before the big day, invite guests to Bannister’s Wharf, which used to be Newport’s commercial hub. Now a lively waterfront strip of restaurants and boutiques, it includes superb spots like the Clarke Cooke House (401-849-2900, clarkecooke.com), 22 Bowen’s (401-841-8884, 22bowens.com), and The Black Pearl (401-846-5264, blackpearlnewport.com). Like the wind, fun is something you can count on here.