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Wedding Venues in a beach town for 150 people?

Just got engaged last night (!) and trying to brainstorm on where we should have the wedding. These are my hopes:
-A indoor venue
-A room with windows
-A town on the water where there's fun stuff to do (Newport, etc)
-Good food a major plus (of course)

Please let me know if you can think of anything. Many, many thanks.

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  1. Could you be more specific about location preference?

    I just attended a wedding last weekend at Water's Edge Resort in CT. It was chosen because of the location and the great food. There was one other wedding going on there, and the place itself was a bit busy-seeming, but not in the area of our wedding----the place was truly beautiful----the wedding was outside, on a lawn, but on the edge of their small beach (this is optional---they do indoor weddings too)...the cocktail hour was out on a terrace, and the dinner was in the ballroom. The ballroom has a balcony and overlooks the lawn below and the water (very pretty, sailboats and etc.). Truly, everything about this wedding was terrific.

    The Hotel Viking in Newport is also a great wedding venue. No direct water view, but good indoor location/good food. I've attended several there, in summer also, and it was terrific. Also---Rosecliff (one of Newport's mansions) does beautiful weddings----you'd need a caterer to come in, but I think they have a list of ones they'll let in, heh.

    I went to a gala thing at a hotel in Newport a few mos ago----now the name is escaping me----but it's a popular wedding venue also. Not Castle Hill. Amazing view out large windows in the reception room----you could see the Newport Bridge. It's a very obvious name, once I remember it. D'oh!

    3 Replies
    1. re: Moonpie1

      Ocean Cliff Hotel. I googled. It was really beautiful.

      1. re: Moonpie1

        Was it the Newport Hyatt at Goat Island?

        1. re: Moonpie1

          Thanks so much Moonpie! Great suggestions. I have no location preferences...just somewhere on the east coast in new england. I really appreciate your help.

        2. I went to a wedding at Oceancliff in June and it was great. The ceremony was outside on the lawn then we moved inside for the cocktail hour and dinner. Food was very good as well. I'd definitely recommend it.

          1. I think it is super that you got engaged last night and are writing to Chowhound today. Very impressive. Congratulations.

            Newport is great for weddings and easy to get to from Boston and NY. But if you are going to do it there, reserve your space and hotel rooms for the wedding party and family members SOON! It is a very popular wedding destination. (I got married in Newport myself- MANY years ago. A lot of people still say it was the best wedding they had ever been to!) Newport Monthly Magazine actually publishes articles on Newport weddings complete with photos and names of caterers so you can check that out. Have fun with the plans!

            3 Replies
            1. re: mvi

              Oh yeah, his life is all ready planned too, He just doesn't know it yet :-)

              Obtw, The Ocean Cliff Hotel is a beautiful venue.

              1. re: Harp00n

                very funny! :) thanks...looking into it.

              2. re: mvi

                can't waste time...gotta go straight to chowhound! thanks so much for your insights.

              3. Congratulations! The Inn By The Sea in Cape Elizabeth, Maine is a great place to get married. Really beautiful and only a stone's throw from Portland, which has plenty of great food.

                Inn By the Sea
                40 Bowery Beach Road, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04104

                1. To this day, the BEST wedding I've ever attended (and this was 9-10 yrs ago) was on First Beach in Newport/Middletown....not sure what the venue is called but it's round or octagon, and attached to the carousel next door (which was ours for the night). That night was magical.....big windows open to the sea breezes, white curtains billowing, a view of the water. Just amazing. I'll go google it and see if I can get you a name.

                  1. Here's a list of Newport wedding venues:


                    And here's the Easton's Beach Rotunda Ballroom I mentioned before:


                    FYI - the city of Newport page has info on a couple of reception sites available, so everything you see on that 2nd link does not pertain to the Rotunda Ballroom.

                    1. Blu, the inn on the beach in Newburyport. Amazing setting. http://www.blueinn.com/

                      1. I have some more thoughts (came to me later)----the Bay Voyage Inn in Jamestown---not sure if your # is too large, but they do a beautiful job and the view is toward Newport, of the Newport Bridge.

                        Also----most beautiful beach location, IMO (though not everyone's choice, for a few reasons)---the Towers at Narragansett Pier. Looked into it for my wedding (1994) and it might not have enough capacity for your wedding (it didn't for ours----we were close to 200, so I don't remember what their capacity actually was). And it's a location, not a food provider or wedding organizer in any way----you'd have to get a caterer and deal w/the details, vs. a venue handling stuff for you. But it is the quintesential RI beach location. It's a historic bldg, it's just beautiful.

                        Hammersmith Farm in Newport used to be a great wedding venue, too (and the site of JFK/Jackie's reception---her family's old place)...it was sold in recent years and I'm not sure what it is now used for or if they do events.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Moonpie1

                          OH, good call on the Towers! Yes, lovely location!

                          Hammersmith Farm is totally private now....no public tours or functions. Too bad, it's gorgeous.

                          1. re: JaneRI

                            Inn at Castle Hill is nearby though- gorgeous setting of the bay.

                          2. re: Moonpie1

                            I have to second the Bay Voyage Inn. My best friend got married there 10 years ago and it was a stunning reception. Also, if I had known about the Towers when I got married, I would have done it in a minute. What a great spot. We just saw a couple getting married in the gazebo in the park outside last weekend. Their reception was at the Coast Guard House, though, which could also be a player. Right on the water and across the street from the Towers. www.thecoastguardhouse.com

                            If you're interested in the Towers, you need to book now. Also, there are no kitchen facilities in the building, so your caterer would have to be able to deal with that. Check out www.thetowersri.com for all the details.


                            1. re: Bivalve88

                              The Towers are next door to the Coast Guard House, not across----both are on the water side of the street.

                              Unless it's a really informal wedding, I'd hesitate w/the Coast Guard House. But that's partly because I've had way too many Absolut Citron/club sodas on that deck as a college student (and those golden years just after), and remember a disco ball upstairs and a lot of shenanigans w/those animals from URI (I keed, I keed!). Also, would it hold 150 comfortably? I'm not sure the Towers would either----though it's just as perfect a place as we have in S. County, I agree.

                              Just for the bride's FYI, Quidnesset Country Club is on the water, just a bit further up, in the Potowamut section of Warwick/EG/NK, and they are on top of the whole thing, but they're a bit of a wedding factory also.

                              1. re: Moonpie1

                                Moonpie1, I guess since the Towers spans over the street, we're both right! <grin> I always think of the place as across the street because the entrance is across the street, but the little Juliet balcony overlooking the ocean is right next to the Coast Guard House, as you say.

                                I hadn't thought of Quidnesset CC. My husband used to bartend there, back in the day, and it is very nice.

                          3. Two wonderful choices on the Cape are the Wequassett Inn in Harwichport and the Chatham Bars Inn in Chatham. Super locations, beautiful rooms, luxury accomodations, and terrific food. The latter even lists its pricing for its various wedding venues and menus.

                            1. Oh congrats! The Crane Estate in Ipswich! Beautiful House on a hill overlooking the ocean. SPECTACULAR views. You have to use one of their caterers but it's such a beautiful place and a WOW factor. :) Let us know where you pick!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: bostonfoodie111

                                The Crane Estate is a gorgeous spot! Such a lovely view. It would be a beautiful place for a wedding.

                              2. Congratulations! We went to a wedding a couple of weeks ago at Ocean View Inn in Gloucester. Lovely room, and good food. Good luck!

                                1. you guys are so wonderful. I have so much to research. Will keep you posted!

                                    1. re: gramercyfoodie

                                      Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. You simply cannot beat the setting. Has a good reputation for food, but I only go for cocktails so I can't vouch for that personally.

                                      1. re: JaneRI

                                        Ditto on Castle Hill.

                                        I don't want to ask, but I'll ask----is the budget unlimited? Castle Hill is pretty pricey----but so are a lot of places.

                                        Also----for you personally---you might have a preference for a place that's more inclusive wrt venue and food and ceremony...or you might not mind finding a great place and getting your own caterer and not having someone there doing the coordinating. Do you have a preference on this yet?

                                        My close friend got married/had reception at a place in Mystic, CT----it was excellent. No water view, but close. I'll find out the name of the place. It was a while ago.

                                        1. re: Moonpie1

                                          Thanks so much Moonpie...budget not unlimited, but figured it was worth pricing against other places in Newport and seeing pros and cons.

                                          I think I've already figured out that an all-inclusive place (assuming food is ok to good) is easier and more efficient...if I were in love with a location that didn't have all inclusive that would be one thing, but since I'm not I'd prefer it being inclusive.

                                          Thank you so much again for your generous and thoughtful responses.

                                          1. re: gramercyfoodie

                                            If the numbers work, the Newport area is a very nice place for a wedding in part because there is so much for guests to do. Rain or shine, there is great architecture. Cliff Walk is wonderful, and there are beautiful views everywhere. There are farm stands and a vineyard close by, and interesting food in and around town. While you are investigating, you might the clam chowder at the Black Pearl and a scallop chowder nearby. I'm blanking on the name of the restaurant, but will post back. Congratulations!

                                    2. We recently attended a wedding a the Eisenhower House on Ft. Adams in Newport - beautiful, quiet location on the water. I think you would have to find your own caterer, though.

                                      The house itself is not very big - with 150 guests, you may need to go with a tent on the grounds (?).

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: LMWW

                                        Oh, that sounds beautiful, LMWW. Don't know anything about the venue, but just from your description, it's worth a look. Lot of good caterers out there.

                                      2. I can't believe I haven't recommended this yet. Doh! We had our wedding at the Ocean Edge resort in Brewster on Cape Cod. If we had been able to cull our guest list a bit more it would have worked to have the reception in the main building <grin>. The main building is right on Cape Cod Bay and the food was very good. Just not big enough for us, so we ended up having it at the golf club restaurant, outside on the 9th green under a big tent. We invited 160, I think. It was a great day. The restaurant was called Mulligan's but I think it's something else now. Anyway, the link is www.oceanedge.com. Brewster is a lovely little town and there's lots of antiquing and shopping. Good chow, too!

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Bivalve88

                                          Oh, I hadn't thought of Ocean Edge either-----been to one wedding there and it was terrific. Can't go wrong.

                                        2. Congrats! Here's my take...Rent the Eisenhower House in Fort Adams State Park for (IMO) the best view in Newport. Set up gifts, cocktails and apps inside, then rent a tent for the outside and hire a caterer for the sitdown. The house is very affordable. Lots of good catering options in Newport to boot.

                                          2nd choice would be Blithewold Gardens in Bristol. I've also heard the Octagon on First Beach is great.

                                          Also consider renting a cruise ship from Bay Queen, Warren RI. You're inside, with windows, on the water.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: TrollKing

                                            I agree with Belle Mer in Newport. Went to a wedding and it was breath taking. Food was great, can't beat the atmosphere. Castle Hill is unbelievable to eat at although I have never been to a wedding there.

                                          2. I would also highly recommend Belle Mer in Newport. It's next to the Hyatt on Goat Island. The venue has breathtaking views of the water, elegant indoor space, great indoor/outdoor space for a cocktail hour, fabulous appetizers, and very professional catering staff. I've also attended great weddings at Blithewold in Bristol, but the receptions are held in a tent and you need to arrange all aspects of the wedding (catering, tables, etc) yourself.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Audacitea

                                              Have you thought about Block Island? Spring House or Atlantic Inn would be Utopia....

                                              1. re: Audacitea

                                                I also agree with the Belle Mer. I went there for a wedding in July and thought it was spectacular. Definitely fits all the criteria you're looking for.

                                                Congrats on the engagement!

                                              2. I just had my wedding at the Wharf Restaurant at the Madison Beach Hotel in Madison, CT. I don't think they can do 150 but wanted to pass it along in case your numbers go down. The location is great, right at West Wharf Beach and Beth, who runs the restaurant, is wonderful. We went for a more casual feel and had a New England Clam/Lobster Bake dinner. Cocktail hour was outside on the lawn, with beautiful displays (Beth was an art major), and during the hour they set up and started cooking the clam bake, with seaweed, burlap etc. Guests would wander over and watch their dinner being cooked. Dinner was inside, in a private room. The food was fantastic and so plentiful, bowls and bowls of steamers and mussels, lobster, the works. There is a small hotel attached.

                                                If the tide is low enough there is a fantastic rock jetty for your pictures, just LI Sound as your background.

                                                1. Congrats!!!!!! My stepdaughter was married a month ago in Falmouth, MA (Cape Cod) at the Flying Bridge. It was a fabulous wedding; the reception for 100 was in a large space overlooking the harbor. Pictures of wedding party were done at the beach a few blocks down from the restaurant. She had a tight budget ($15K absolute MAX) and was able to pull it off without looking at all chintzy. The food was quite good and very generous. The setting at 5:00 with the sunset providing a backdrop later on, was gorgeous. We all - three very different families - agreed that it was perfect.

                                                  1. http://www.capecodrestaurants.org/coo...
                                                    Coonamessett Inn in Falmouth
                                                    Indoors, lots of windows, beautiful view, patio and yes, the food is very good.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: ginnyhw

                                                      Coonamessett Inn and The Flying Bridge are owned by the same people. We stayed at the CI and had the wedding at the FB, keeping it all in the family, I believe the Flying Bridge is a bitb less pricey,

                                                    2. Just wanted to extend more thanks to everyone...you are all wonderful! I will keep you posted on the progress.