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Rhode Island

Intro and need a wicked ton of help finding a venue!

Hello Rhody knotties!

I'm new to this board (and relatively new to TK in general) but I'm not a stranger to RI.  I was born and raised in Johnston before I started my higher ed, and now I'm a PhD student at Virginia Tech. 

FI and I have been talking marriage for a while, and did some preliminary planning and thinking before the engagement 2 weeks ago.  We had originally thought of having the wedding in a different place but due to circumstances in my family (mom is sick/relatively crazy/insistent that the wedding be in RI), here I am looking. 

I have relatively no idea where to start in the search for a ceremony/reception venue.  I've looked through the choices on the Local Resources here, and have gotten a few ideas- Whispering Pines, The Ocean House, Warwick CC, and Belcourt are on the list of inquiries so far.  We're basically looking for a place where we can do everything all-in-one: ceremony, cocktail hour, pictures, possibly in a hotel setting where our OOT guests could stay, etc and I KNOW there are more places than what's on the resource guide to look!  We want something elegant and seamless/flawless for our day.  And, to complicate matters slightly, we're trying to do this next August- we don't want a long engagement becuse of my school situation and because my mother is a cancer patient with an uncertain prognosis.  We've got about a week while we're up for Christmas to look at venues. 

That being said, does anyone have any rants/raves about specific all-inclusive places in RI?  Any and all input would be greatly appreciated. 

Thanks!
~MP (Anne)
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Re: Intro and need a wicked ton of help finding a venue!

  • jennlee08jennlee08 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I am planning a reception at the Crowne Plaza. They have been absolutely excellent to work with. I know they do cermonies there as well as nice grounds to take pictures on. They had the best "package". Michelle has been great with all of my questions. Even though I live in RI i do a lot of communicating via email and she is always very responsive and more than happy to answer any questions (even the dumb ones lol).

    HTH
  • mary106mary106 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Welcome and congrats!!! This whole deal of finding the venue can be stressful - but try not to let it overwhelm you. FYI - With Belcourt you need to get a caterer, linens, etc - so I would say it's not worth it, especially if you're planning long-distance.

    Check out the Marriott (2 in Providence, 1 in Newport) very elegant and you could do everything there. GL!
  • jennabobjennabob member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Welcome!  A friend of mine got married at the Viking Hotel in Newport last year.  It is a "one stop shop" and they even have a chapel in the hotel.  The Viking itself is historic, elegant and very quentessential Newport.  Although Im not sure of their pricing, I remember my friend having nothing but fantastic things to say about the whole experience.
    Best of Luck!

  • RoyalOrientRoyalOrient member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Congrats on your engagement! There are tons of venues to choose from in this area. It just really depends on your style/taste, guest count and budget. Once you have that figured out than we can give more specific recs for ceremony/receptions.  Some helpful links

    chattybrides.com
    brideschoice.com


  • edited December 2011
    Knowing your guest count would definitely help.  But based on what you say, I'd suggest looking at the Crowne Plaza or the Biltmore.  Doing all this by August is totally doable. 
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  • edited December 2011
    I'm also a Crowne bride, getting married in August.   I am so pleased with them so far.   Michele has been a dream to work with, and although we're having our ceremony in a church, you can certainly have it at the Crowne.   I love the package the Crowne has to offer, and having it at a hotel was important to me since we have so many OOT guests (FI is from Texas).    I definitely recommend looking into Crowne.
  • edited December 2011

    Hello and welcome!  Congrats on your engagement!  You will find a lot of helpful info on The Knot, I am also planning long distance and it's been really helpful.
    You mentioned Ocean House - I am getting married there Oct 2010. It is going to be absolutely beautiful when it is done.  A few watch outs...I don't think they have any dates in August left unless you want to do a weekday.  It's my understanding that for the first few months open they are only doing one wedding per weekend...this may have changed since I booked back in September.  The other thing is that while it is a hotel the rooms are going to go for $400+ per night so it is not the best option for out of town guests.  My FI and I picked a hotel 30 minutes away in Groton for our OOT guests and got transportation to and from.  The biggest thing to watch out for is that they don't really negotiate the pricing.  There is a minimum $ amount (which chages based on day of week) but they don't budge on it and everything is priced a la carte.  Since we are having a smaller wedding with probably around 85 people we are able to use the money to add more things at cocktail hour etc. to meet the minimum.  If you are having a larger wedding and want to add things the cost will get somewhat out of control.  The setting is breathtaking and I'm sure they will do a first class job on events so even though I pointed out the above issues you should still give a call to Ebbie (event sales) to get the scoop, things may have changed since we signed our contract.  I didn't look at any other venues in RI so I don't know anything about the other ones you are interested in.  Good luck with your search!


  • edited December 2011
    Congrats on your engagement! At first I also wanted an "all in one" place but after not quite finding what I wanted I went with something else. Anyways, Oceancliff and the Hyatt are also "all in one" places. They will probably be on the more pricey side if you are looking for a saturday night wedding but you may be able to find a deal on a Friday or Sunday. Good luck with your search!
  • GEL0153GEL0153 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Hi I am getting married at Crystal Lake golf club. We are doing everything there and they only allow 1 wedding a day there which I like. They gave me a sat. night which alot of places wouldn't for ceramony and recemption. The prices are great.
  • sg123sg123 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Hi!  I looked at Renaissance Hotel, in Providence, Five Bridge Inn in Rehoboth, OceanCliff, Village Inn in Narragansett, Roger Williams Park and Casino,The Viking Hotel and also the Newport Marriott. 

    maybe consider hiring a planner to assist you in all of this.
  • edited December 2011
    Wow, thanks for the warm welcome and the awesome advice!!! :)

    To answer some questions: We're looking at having around 100 people at the wedding, and our budget is probably going to be around $25k with contributions from my family, FI's family, and the two of us.  The two dates were looking at right now are August 7th and 14th, to coincide with my school schedule (VT's semester starts up again the 24th and while I'm not going to be taking classes anymore, chances are that I'm going to have to teach that semester). 
     
    The Crowne- I have thought of that place, since we had our high school's winter formals there every year.  But because of that, I'm not sure I'd be able to get over the giggles of having it there, plus the view of I95 vs the water in other locations may be a dealbreaker.  And one of the dates we're looking at is already taken.  But we'll see.

    The Ocean House- YAY! Now I'm glad that I know someone else who is looking there :)  I hope they have a date available in August- crossing my fingers.  One of the things that we'd have going for us there is that my mother is friends with one of the head developers of the hotel. 

    The Belcourt- I could have sworn that they had in-house catering there when I looked at the blurb on TK resources.  My mother wanted a short list so she could inquire from home, so that's why that's on the list. 

    I will have to look into the Hyatt and the other places as well.  I'll mention the Biltmore (had my proms there) and the other hotels, but my mother might be against looking anywhere in Providence, because even though it's convenient it's "dangerous".  In her own words: "you shouldn't even think about going to Providence.  People get shot there every day!" (told you she was crazy).

    Have a lovely day ladies!
    ~MP
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