Recently engaged? Congratulations! Newport is a very popular wedding destination offering mansions, beaches, historic houses of worship and New England beauty that appeals to thousands of brides and grooms annually.
Lucky for you Bowen’s Wharf offers access to over 20 different stores, restaurants and activities that infuse nuptials with a local charm for every aspect of your wedding. (Skip to end for list of Newport happenings this month!)
Charter a Boat For Your Bachelorette Party
Bachelorette parties often make their rounds at local bars on land, but for truly fun-loving groups SightSailing offers Newport on the water. Sail through Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay with up to 13 members of your bridal party on the Sightsailer (for larger parties book Schooner Aquidneck). Relax in the fully cushioned cockpit as you enjoy the sights with Captains who know the history of the harbor.
“This is a great way to see Newport, explore the sailing capital, and have a non-traditional celebration on the water,” says Manager Courtney Koehler.
What’s a party without food and alcohol? Have food and drinks delivered directly to the dock prior to setting sail. Your choices range from various Bowen's Wharf or Newport establishments and it's only minutes before you can indulge right on the water. Gansett Cruises offer motor yacht and fishing charters, and 12 Meter Charters gets you out on America's Cup boats.
For Your Rehearsal Dinner
A Newport wedding wouldn’t be complete without a rehearsal dinner right in downtown Newport, overlooking the harbor as well as Bowen’s and Bannister’s Wharves. Fluke Newport offers you their main dining rooms which can accommodate up to 30 guests. Mingle with friends and family while experiencing sunset views at the third floor bar. Choose a drink from Fluke’s award winning “Best Wine List” or one of the “Best Creative Cocktails,” awards given to the restaurant by regional publications. You and your guests will enjoy a special customized menu, based on what is seasonally available, as well as an overall charming Newport vibe.
“We always emphasize what’s fresh, local and seasonal as well as a lot of sustainable seafood,” says owner Geremie Callaghan.
Larger party? 22 Bowens accommodates up to 125 people if you rent the entire restaurant. For a more intimate affair, you can reserve different areas of the restaurant such as, the Skull Room, Wine Room, deck and patio facing the tour boats docking and leaving Bowen’s Basin. Each offers its own elegant charm while also providing you with views of the harbor and wharf. Like Fluke Newport, 22 Bowens also has its own list of award winning wines and was recently awarded “Best Steakhouse”.
For Your Bridal Party and the Groomsmen
When shopping for your bridal party, Primavera will provide you with plenty of cute options, many from Rhode Island artisans: overflowing with small humorous household items your girls will love, such as soaps, signs, towels and coasters. For more Newport related pieces choose from wine glasses with Newport’s coordinates to sea glass necklaces made by a Newport artist. Every piece in Primavera will reflect the local qualities of your wedding making whatever you choose a beautifully sentimental gift for your bridesmaids.
KJP is in the process of designing Atlantic Pearl bracelets that can be personalized for the whole bridal party. Monogram each charm to read bride, bridesmaid or M.O.H (Maid of Honor). Choose between a silver and gold charm and then match your ribbon to your wedding scheme by selecting a red, black, pink, navy, cream or turquoise color. These bracelets will showcase the nautical novelty that is Newport. Made in Rhode Island these bracelets are an excellent accessory your bridesmaids (and yourself). KJP will even include your bride bracelet for free if you're paying for the party’s bracelets. (photo sample, not final)
For your groomsmen, give them a gift made truly unique by the art of scrimshaw. Scrimshaw is the art of engraving ivory or bone. Traditionally whalers did this as a way to pass time during voyages; today, Brian Kiracofe keeps the art alive in his store at Bowen’s Wharf. Brian can personalize cufflinks or pocketknives by engraving their monogramed initials or dates, creating a one-of-a-kind piece for each groomsman.
For Your Guests
If after impressing your groomsmen with Brian’s work you want to impress your guests, the store offers custom work for you to give to your guests as well. Browse their collection of bottle stoppers, corkscrews, key chains and coasters. Once you’ve selected your piece customize it with depictions of local landmarks such as the Newport Bridge or the Castle Hill Lighthouse.
“People buy these to offer their guests a little souvenir from the wedding,” says employee Taylor Clary. “When you say souvenir people think colorful magnets or t-shirt’s that say Newport. We stick to the local scenes and they’re iconic enough that people know what they are when they look at them.”
Brian’s hand crafted work will give every guest a piece that is truly unique and reflective of Newport.
If you’re looking to appease your guest with a sweet tooth, homemade truffles should do the trick. Anchor Toffee offers two-piece boxes they’ll decorate with a custom ribbon and wax stamp. Personalize each box by choosing a ribbon that matches your color scheme and creating a stamp with your wedding date. True to their name the store also offers larger custom boxes of toffee and you can see the actual Anchor of Newport out of their shop window.
Owners Katie and Peter Kelly pride themselves on making each piece to order; Peter is a culinary professor and makes the truffles himself.
“Our product is all hand done, not by machine,” says Katie. “We have a professional chef behind the product.”
Not only will each guest receive a custom gift that’s reflective of your wedding but they will also enjoy a delicious treat made locally.
For the Bride and Groom
Finally, lets not to forget the all-important gift for the bride and groom, although according to employee Meghan Foley it’s not that uncommon for guests to realize that they have.
“People come in-between the ceremony and the reception to buy cards or grab a gift,” says Meghan. Luckily for those people, Primavera has a variety of fun and personalized pieces to give to the bride and groom.
“Believe it or not our bird houses are a very popular wedding gift,” says Meghan. “These are gifts for someone who already has everything.”
Another popular last minute purchase is the store’s customizable plates. Guests can choose from a few different designs, including a Newport inspired one, and add special elements for the bride and groom such as their wedding date or name.
“People come in for a card to put money in and then see this and say, ‘this is great.’ We order it for them and then they just print out a photo to put in the card and write a note saying it’s on its way,” says Meghan.
No matter what guests choose to buy, they’ll know the bride and groom are receiving a thoughtful gift from a local store in the city they got married in.
All of our businesses, restaurants and tour offerings are linked here in our directory, and the wedding options abound.
- Trixie Wadson & Courtney Gagnon