What if it rains

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What if it rains?

The allure of most Newport wedding venues is the beauty of their outdoor space. Expansive lawns, cliff-side locations with striking water views, a cool ocean breeze to keep guests comfortable on a hot summer evening: All of these features are present on Aquidneck Island, but holding an outdoor event, especially a wedding, is not without risk. So, what happens when Mother Nature does not cooperate?

Emilia Thurber and David D’Annunzio, of Baltimore MD. , chose the Glen Manor House in Portsmouth. “We were looking for a venue that had beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces that could hold a reception for up to 200 guests indoors with options for indoor and outdoor ceremonies,” says Thurber. “We also wanted a venue that would be gorgeous regardless of the weather.”

Newport area wedding sites have pre-planned contingencies for a last minute change in weather, offering ample space both inside and out so a wedding can be moved under cover. Regatta Place,  located dockside on Newport Harbor, is an open air building resembling a tent with a permanent roof and clear plastic sides that can be lowered, transforming an outdoor wedding to an indoor event. “We can convert the space in under 15 minutes,” says catering manager Melissa Baran. “We have extra staff on call to bring in, or we pull from our marina.”

Vendors like Newport Tent Company and PEAK Event Services specialize in protecting your guests from the elements at wedding venues that are strictly outdoors.  The trick with having a tented wedding, is to make the tent not look like a tent. Bold lighting and visual decor serve as props to hide the otherwise utilitarian features. At Regatta Place, everything is portable. Large fixtures like the bar and display tables are on wheels making it easier to move inside at a moment’s notice. Even Fort Adams, dating back to pre-colonial Newport, offers space inside the Casemates, with the walls and roof of the fort as protection, while the surrounding grounds provide ample space for a tent.

If the weather does turn, your mind will be on your guests as much as preserving your special day. “The best feeling is looking back at photos of the wedding and seeing the smiles on the guest’s faces,” says Jodi Briand from Regatta Place. “Knowing they won’t remember the rain, only that they enjoyed the wedding, is what’s rewarding to us.” –JC



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