Looking for a destination wedding that checks all the boxes? With over 400 miles of breathtaking coastline, a vibrant culinary scene, and a plethora of trendsetting and diverse vendors to support your day, this special region is in a league of its own. We’re talking about Rhode Island – our home sweet home has consistently been named a popular haven to host the ultimate experience by couples across the nation and beyond. If you’re considering hosting your wedding in Little Rhody, we’ve compiled reasons why this location hails second to none to realize your vision for the most memorable affair.
Although Rhode Island may be the smallest state, it packs a big punch as a gastronomic mecca for world class chefs. Noted as the home to Johnson and Wales University, one of the best culinary schools in the nation, there is no shortage of talented food connoisseurs and caterers that will be sure to curate the perfect menu for your special day.
As you begin to design your wedding day menu, consider incorporating quintessential Rhody favorites. Think artful presentations of playful comfort foods, such as Easy Entertaining’s clam cakes and chowder for cocktail hour. Based in Providence, their commitment to purchasing from farms within a 150-mile radius also helps to support local businesses while cultivating sustainability practices – a win-win for your tastebuds, core values, and investment.
“Working with a local maker for favors, catering, a cake, or any number of items that lend a special Rhode Island touch is perfect for the event and terrific for our food economy,” says Lisa Raiola, founder of food business hub, Hope & Main in Warren. “Hope & Main members love these assignments and care deeply about the result as a reflection of their commitment to this market. Their connections and clients are local, and this work is their bread and butter!”
If you prefer a more bold and culturally infused culinary approach, check out Distinguish Catering, also in PVD. Chef Jessica Zeon takes pride in fusing bold flavors of Afro-Caribbean Soul Food with regional favorites, resulting in a memorable food experience for your guests.
Selecting the perfect wedding venue is one of the most important decisions couples will make during the wedding planning process. The space will set the tone of the experience. Whether you are a wine enthusiast and envision your day in the vineyards of Shepherd's Run in South Kingstown, or perhaps your mutual love for books and European architecture propels you to consider a city-chic wedding at the Providence Public Library or The Ballroom at Providence G, each site has its special unique features that add so much character to the experience.
“Our little state packs a lot into a small space!” says Susanne Day, director of OceanCliff at Newport Experience. “Some of my couples are looking for something unique and personal. I love suggesting a grand entrance by boat at our Regatta Place venue located on the docks of the Goat Island Marina with stunning views of Newport Harbor. This venue is ideal for couples that love a private feeling space that is also conveniently located to all the fun spots near downtown Newport.”
Jamal Burley of Jamal and Lashana Photography agrees. "As Rhode Island wedding photographers, we stand firm that this state has a lot to offer for anyone seeking the dreamiest seaside wedding in America. We feel very privileged. People from all over the country seek Rhode Island as their destination wedding location and it's for good reason! Its rich history and welcoming atmosphere are enough to make you want to stay.”
For guests traveling to Rhode Island, consider creating a list of special points of interest for them to experience. If time allows, enjoy playing tour-guide.
Begin with a morning in pastoral Little Compton of socializing with goats over yoga at Simmons Farm, followed by brunch and a wine tasting at Newport Vineyards. Perhaps you’ll prefer to soak in the sun on Newport’s Second Beach with stuffies from Flo’s Clam Shack and a side of Del’s, followed by shopping at commercial streets throughout the City by the Sea (Thames, Spring, America’s Cup, Bowen’s and Bannister’s wharfs, and more).
For guests staying in PVD, a leisurely ride with Providence Gondola, shopping for rare finds at Geri’s Bluffing Boutique, followed by dining out on Federal Hill are popular attractions for tourists and locals alike, or wander the exhibit halls of the RISD Museum.
“Clients are looking for complimentary color palettes – dusty blue with creamy yellows and peach, emerald green, rich purple, and ruby red. I’ve also been seeing an early trend of monochrome and ombre color palettes. It can make using whites and neutrals feel very fresh when layering variations and textures.” Wedding Planner Pearl Farquharson, Designed by Delsie
“I’m definitely seeing two trends right now with my 2022-2023 couples. On one hand, you have the minimal and modern take on traditional all-white cakes, typically by using subtle textures, square styles instead of circular, and floral placements. On the other hand, one of the more popular trends I’m seeing is non-traditional wedding cakes. It’s so refreshing to see couples not only interested in, but open to experimenting with different shapes, colors, and elements for their special day.” Cake Designer Nicole Gomes, Ninth Cake
“If you’re looking for something that will excite your guests and give them something new to talk about at cocktail hour, then an antique car from Newport Classic Cars is just the thing.”Wedding Planner Pearl Farquharson, Designed by Delsie
For the Love of Paws in Cranston provides the ultimate pup-concierge service with trainers that will not only care for your pet, but also provide styling services, aisle etiquette, and a personal driver for your pet. For dinner service, hire Pavlov’s Treat Truck to whip up the best doggie dishes, which include spaghetti and meatballs. Here’s an idea that takes the cake – commission West Warwick’s NoLees Custom Cakes to carve an entire cake in honor of your dog: a true work of art.
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