Where to Get Married in Rhode Island

Rhode Island, the smallest state, has an excellent array of Big Day offerings.


the chanler at cliff walk real wedding bride and groom
Photo: The Chanler at Cliff Walk

Rhode Island, with its pretty beaches, excellent seafood shacks, and historic mansions, doesn’t get as much of the glory as its bigger beach resort neighbors — The Hamptons and Cape Cod. And that's what makes it so special. Offerings here are less crowded than those other names. Add the only-in-Little Rhody Gilded Age ocean-facing grand homes, and you’ve got a great place to wed. Here, some of our favorite hotels to host your big day.

The Chanler at Cliff Walk

Elevated both figuratively — the bespoke design of each guestroom is of special note — and literally — the mansion property is perched over the famed Cliff Walk, which hugs the coast and the oversize gardens of some of Newport’s most revered buildings — this retreat checks all of the glamorous couple’s big day boxes. Celebrations here showcase all of the property’s spectacular offerings from the sparkling setting to the exquisite cuisine. Outdoor ceremony spots include the Cliff Lawn, overlooking the eponymous site; Meadow Lawn, with ocean and mansion vistas; and the secluded Woodland Lawn with its fairy-tale vibe (wedding packages start at $12,000 and include ceremony).

Ocean House

ocean house rhode island
Photo: The Ocean House

This stately beachfront property has been hosting guests since the beginning of the century. And has been doing so with such detailed service, excellent cuisine (locally sourced or grown on site) and such sumptuous accommodations that the oceanfront grand dame in Westerly is arguably Rhode Island’s most luxurious hotel. Weddings here are a celebration of the historic property packaged with an innate sense of luxury. Micro weddings are held in the herb garden, which affords excellent ocean views (wedding packages start at $3,500 for up to 10 guests and include an officiant, a bouquet and boutonnière, champagne toast and cheese board and one hour of photography).

Gurney's Newport Resort & Marina

gurneys newport resort and marina rhode island
Photo: Gurney's Newport Resort & Marina

Set on an island in the middle of picturesque Narragansett Bay, this 257-room hideaway has all the glitz of its Hamptons sister properties (the eatery Scarpetta; outdoor firepits) blended with the traditional appeal of Newport (maritime design and uninterrupted water views). The property also boasts 22 slips for boats as large as 125 feet — Newport is, after all, one of the most famous host sites of the famed America’s Cup regatta. Wed here in a micro wedding and celebrate under the famed Goat Island Lighthouse and toast to your union over a traditional New England clambake (wedding packages start at $1,500 for up to 15 guests and include ceremony set up on the North Lawn, champagne toast and pool cabana rental).

The Preserve Sporting Club & Residences

the preserve sporting club and residences rhode island
Photo: The Preserve Sporting Club & Residences

A resort designed for our new normal, this haute outdoors-first resort is a collection of cabins, treehouses and high-end tents scattered across 3,500 acres. Activities are all about the natural surroundings. There’s hiking, fishing, horseback riding, clay shooting, swimming and more. Micro wedding ceremonies for up to 10 guests embody the property’s chic approach to enjoying the great outdoors with an elevated emphasis on farm-to-table menus (wedding packages start at $2,000 for up to 10 guests and include an officiant, a bouquet and boutonnière, champagne toast and cheese board and one hour of photography)

Legally Wedded: Marriage licenses are required in the state of Rhode Island. Couples must apply in person at the city or town clerk’s office and be able to furnish proof of age and marital status. There are no blood tests or waiting periods. Licenses are valid for three months. Weddings must be attended by two witnesses and marriages need to be officially registered.