On Location: Newport

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.

[sidebar]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.

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.