Rhode Island

New to the Knot...Venue Help!

Good morning ladies!  I got engaged a few weeks ago and am brand new to the Knot.  I currently live in Boston with my FI and our engish bulldog and we are planning a wedding for May or June 2011.  I am so excited to start planning!!

We just started to look at locations and Newport is one of our first choices.  We've spent quite a few weekends there since we started dating but I've never been to a wedding there and I'm a bit overwhelmed with all the venue choices!  We're want to do the ceremony and reception at the same place and were hoping to make some appointments to see sites this weekend.  The wedding will likely be around 150 people.  Any advice when looking at venues for the first time?  Any venue suggestions?  Will there be any May/June dates left at this point?

Thanks in advance!!

Re: New to the Knot...Venue Help!

  • edited December 2011
    Congratulations on your engagement!  Your story sounds like mine only FI and I have a maltese :)

    We also picked Newport because we have spent many weekends there over the years and it is also where FI proposed.  We looked at Castle Hill, Oceancliff, Regatta Place and Belle Mer.  We didn't look at the basic hotels (Hyatt, Marriott, Viking) because we have stayed at all of those places and knew we didn't want a hotel ballroom for our wedding.  We were engaged mid/end of July 2009 and we are getting married early July 2010.  We did not have a problem getting a date at any of the locations so you should not have a problem especially since May/June is a bit earlier than the really busy wedding season. 

    Good luck!!
  • edited December 2011
    Congratulations on your engagement! 

    What kind of venue are you looking for? Hotel, water front, mansion, vineyard, etc? Or are you open to anything?
    I think you shouldn't have a problem getting in for next May or June. We got engaged in May of 2009 and are getting married in July 2010. We had tons of choices of dates at most venues. 

    Congrats again and good luck with all the planning!
  • edited December 2011
    I agree with the previous post-you might want to figure what type of feel you're going for and also your budget. I'm sure that you've noticed that many of the Newport locations are pricey. If you're going to make some appointments, I'd recommend checking out these places, which are all popular wedding sites and have on site ceremonies:
    -Belle Mer-they have two different areas for weddings-the island house has an indoor/outoodr feel and the main house has a very modern look-alll white etc. there is also a good ceremony spot there. i dont know the specifics but they do have some weird requirements where you have to book a certain dollar amount through them.
    -Castle Hill-they have a nice ceremony spot overlooking the water, but it is essentially a tent wedding, a nice tent wedding but a tent wedding nonetheless plus the rooms at Castle Hill were crazy expensive-I think the cheapest one was $700/night.
    -Rosecliff-this is great if you're going for the mansion feel, I'm sure you've visited there. they do the ceremonies on the lawn in the back.
    -OceanCliff-has a nice ceremony area outside, but the ballroom was added on so it doesn't have much detail etc.it has a nice view though and there are only 25 rooms on the property so youd likely be taking over the place for the few days around your wedding.
    Glen Manor-about 20min from Newport, but really beautfiful views of the river. their outdoor ceremonies take place with their gardens in the back and they have a covereed porch like area that you could use as a rain back-up. the rooms inside are nice too but one thing that bothered us was that you do dinner in one room and then move to another room for dancing.
    other poplular venues that i didnt look at are: Regatta Place, Glen Manor
    i know it can be overwhelming at first. look at all the photos online and also email each venue for current pricing. you might not want to visit somewhere id its way out of your budget...if you fall in love, itll be hard to find anything that compares. Most appointments take an hr or less so you can make a bunch of appointments in one day. oh and many of the venues have interesting little quirks, like we were in contact with the Chanler, but you cant have amplified music after a certain time at night (and it was fairly early). i dont know anything about the hotel venues because that's not really what we wanted. youll find the knot incredibly helpful with vendor recommendations and reviews on everything. congratulations!
  • edited December 2011
    Congrats on your engagement. We looked at all of the above venues and decided on the Hyatt. They have a working light house that we will incorporate into our ceremony and can have it inside if it rains. We are getting married 7/3/2011. We started looking in January and surprisingly some of the dates and places were already taken so I wouldn't wait to long. Good luck and if you decide to look at the Hyatt, Tonianne the wedding planner is awesome!! She was the most accommodating and helpful of all the venues we looked at which helped us in our decision of picking the venue.
  • BellaBride29BellaBride29 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Wow, thanks for all the help!!  We definitely want something on the water and are planning to check out most of the mansions.  It's so hard to get a feel for what they look like from only pictures in a website.  We know Newport is pricey, especially on a Sat night in spring/summer, so we're prepared for that.  I'm interested to see how they all compare as far as price and what is included.

    summerboston - we feel the same way about a hotel ballroom.  Which venue did you end up choosing??

    eacota - thanks for all the info!  I just made an appt at OceanCliff and Regatta Place and hopefully we can see a few others on the same day.  Good to know about the Chanler, I don't think the music restriction would work for us.

    pmm - are you having your reception at the Hyatt outside as well (if it doesn't rain), or just your ceremony?
  • lwolf2001lwolf2001 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Pmm I am at the Hyatt on 7-3-10 and working with Toni. How fun isnt she amazing!
  • edited December 2011
    I am partial to the Regatta Place, I am having my wedding there in August 2011.  Melanie is wonderful to work with.  I am planning long distance and she's been great with communication which is very important to me.  OceanCliff is beautiful too but I feel like you get more of the Newport feel at the Regatta because it's literally right on the water.  If you like the tented wedding on the water, definitely check out Castle Hill.  I fell in love with it but it was just a little out of my budget.  Their ceremony site is gorgeous.  Good luck with your search!
  • edited December 2011
    Bella-Regatta and OceanCliff are owned and/or operated by the same people-I had an appointment at both in one day and ended up seeing Holly at each place. She's incredibly nice and accommodating too! So you might want to make those appointments back to back or let them know so they can give you the sales pitch on both places at once lol.
    all of the Newport venues are great in their own way so wherever you pick, you'll be happy. we're getting married at astors' but when we had the scare of them canceling on us, we looked at venues again and really loved Glen Manor and Belle Mer. you'll be happy no matter where you get married =) but if you need help with any vendors or anything else, post it on here and everyone will give you their two cents!
  • edited December 2011
    Bella - we ended up picking Belle Mer.  It is RIGHT on the water and has a fabulous view of the Newport bridge.  Even though you don't want a hotel ballroom you may want to check out the Hyatt because their main ballroom does have windows with water views and there is a deck off of the ballroom.  It wasn't for us but it is a nice ballroom. 

    We didn't look at any of the mansions because I didn't want to do everything myself - i.e. rent tables, linens, chairs, pay for bartenders, etc. etc.  Some people would love all of that planning but I can't be bothered. 

    I liked Regatta place better than Oceancliff because it had more of a Newport feel to it.  It is more affordable than Belle Mer but to me the view wasn't that great and I really didn't like the layout of the bathrooms.  If it is raining out your guests will have to walk out from under the tent to get to the bathroom plus they don't have a very good rain plan for the ceremony. 

    Let us know if you have any other questions! 
  • edited December 2011
    Pretty much every venue listed above is absolutely stunning. I'm a Glen bride and can't say enough good things about the place.
  • finnerkcfinnerkc member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Hi Bella - I'm getting married at Rosecliff this August, and if you are considering a mansion wedding I would definitely check it out!  It's absolutely beautiful.  I live in Boston too, and my fiance and I picked Newport because we fell in love with it visiting a few summers ago, and have since started renting a house there every August.  We decided to go with a mansion, because the historical architecture, and the ocean, are two of the main things that we love about Newport.  At Rosecliff, you get both of these things!  I think it's such a unique, memorable venue.  Of course, all of the other suggestions are fantastic as well, it just depends upon the feel you want your wedding to have.  I really loved the idea of the historical architecture, and wanted to incorporate that feel into an elegrant, classic wedding.  If you are looking to have a more modern wedding, Belle Mere and OceanCliff are great picks!

    Hope this helps!
  • MrkyrainMrkyrain member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://newport.weddings.com/main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_rhode-island_new-knotvenue?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:122Discussion:8bbb79dd-2e47-4a76-aea9-c7db9b4b6bfcPost:ec3329a1-9f1c-4701-a0be-7c179fd4d502">Re: New to the Knot...Venue Help!</a>:
    [QUOTE]I am partial to the Regatta Place, I am having my wedding there in August 2011.  Melanie is wonderful to work with.  I am planning long distance and she's been great with communication which is very important to me.  OceanCliff is beautiful too but I feel like you get more of the Newport feel at the Regatta because it's literally right on the water.  If you like the tented wedding on the water, definitely check out Castle Hill.  I fell in love with it but it was just a little out of my budget.  Their ceremony site is gorgeous.  Good luck with your search!
    Posted by amylydia23[/QUOTE]

    <div>I was married this past summer at Regatta Place.  I still jump on this board every now and then to chack things out.  Anyway, I loved Regatta Place.  I can't sing it's praises enough.  Everything was perfect.</div>
  • edited December 2011
    Congrats on your engagement, what about the Rotunda on Easton's Beach?
  • BellaBride29BellaBride29 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Thanks everyone, your suggestions and info were a huge help.  We ended up seeing a bunch of places last weekend and our 2 favorite were Regatta Place and Castle Hill.  We met with Galen at Regatta Place and Marie at Castle Hill.  Marie was super nice.  I loved both but they are so different!  I think we are leaning slightly towards Regatta Place because it is closer to downtown and will allow for more after-reception options for people and I liked the more casual feel.  I didn't think it would be this hard to decide!!
  • edited December 2011
    My fiancee and I were in Newport this weekend visiting some venues. We saw Castle Hill, OceanCliff and Belle Mer. We're really interested in OceanCliff, but I'm a bit concerned about the quality of food there. While the focus at Castle Hill and Belle Mer seemed to be very strongly on the quality of the food, I did not get that sense as strongly at OceanCliff. Anyone with any feedback?
  • kathanddavekathanddave member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    All the above are great spots!  I am getting married in August on the front lawn of Fort Adams where the Jazz and Folk festival are held.  It is the best kept secret and has an incredible view of the Newport Bridge, Jamestown, Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay, no obstruction views at all.  It is definately worth checking out.  Lori is phenomenal over there and is extremely helpful.
  • edited December 2011
    Hi there,
    I'm a Castle Hill Bride and just wanted to share my positive experience. My FI and I live in Boston and wanted a wedding in newport that was outside, airy and either on the water or oceanfront.

    You really can't go wrong as most of the places mentioned are just gorgeous. We chose Castle Hill because we thought the property and seclusion was amazing and special. We also liked the tent and the high standards of food and service.  I also have Marie at Castle Hill and she's been wonderful and extremely responsive. We're just about 4 months away now!
    I heard amazing things about Belle Mer and Roseclliff too if you're looking oceanfront and fully or partially outside. Both also offer ceremony and reception too.

    good luck!
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