Sweet Spots

Looking for a place to get hitched? Here’s a tip: Go where the ambiance and scenery are already built in.


sweet spots

Dinner With a View: Set for a fete on the Chanler’s covered terrace. Photograph by the Chanler.

sweet spots

The Chanler’s posh version of a backyard wedding. Photograph by the Chanler.

sweet spots

The Rosecliff’s giant ballroom. Photograph by the Preservation Society of Newport County.

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).

sweet spots

Rosecliff at dusk. Photograph by Ira Kerns/Courtesy of the Preservation Society of Newport County.

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

Venues: Rosecliff, newportmansions.org; The Chanler, 401-847-1300, thechanler.com; Belle Mer, 401-841-0330, longwoodevents.com.

Rehearsal Dinner: The Clarke Cooke House, 401-849-2900, clarkecooke.com; 22 Bowen’s Wine Bar and Grille, 401-841-8884, 22bowens.com.

Local Planner: Exquisite Events of Newport, 401-846-3254, exquisiteeventsofnewport.com.

Photographers: James Hazelwood Photography, 401-932-6963, jameshazelwood.com; Cheryl Richards, 617-424-7760, cherylrichards.com.

DINNER WITH A VIEW: Set for a fete on the Chanler’s covered terrace.