Belle Mer is the best Newport wedding venue for glamorous seaside weddings. My favorite feature is the Ocean Lawn, a manicured green lawn that is used for outdoor wedding ceremonies and cocktail hours. Thanks to its location on Goat Island it has unobstructed views of Narragansett Bay, numerous sailboats, and the Newport Bridge. It faces directly West and is perfectly positioned for a sunset wedding ceremony. Some couples use the lawn for lawn games during the cocktail hour or a fire pit after dark.
Larger Belle Mer Weddings
Larger wedding receptions at Belle Mer are held in the Water Salon, a gorgeous contemporary all-white ballroom with crystal chandeliers. The side facing the ocean has retractable glass walls, so guests can enjoy stunning views from inside as well. The main ballroom can be closed off completely with white curtains to allow for a big reveal when guests enter the reception. One end of the ballroom features a large grand staircase that is often used for the bridal party entrances. The other end has a beautiful fireplace that is often adorned with candles and elaborate florals.
The Belle Mer property also includes a smaller building called the Island House that is perfect for smaller weddings and events or a getting ready suite.
Belle Mer is operated by Longwood Venues, a company known for their attention to detail and professionalism. They operate several other high-end wedding venues between Boston and Newport.
Belle Mer Wedding Portrait Locations
If you are opting to do your wedding portraits during cocktail hour, Belle Mer is an excellent choice of a wedding venue. There are several beautiful photo locations on-site. One side of the Ocean Lawn has a long wall covered in ivy that is a great place for group photos. The back side of the main Belle Mer building is also covered in ivy with a seashell pathway leading up to it. It makes a nice location for parents or couple photos. Then of course, the sea wall along the ocean is a must-visit photo location. It’s particularly wonderful at sunset for silhouetted or backlit wedding portraits. To see a wedding that features a selection of sunset photos, check out this Bell Mer Outdoor Fall Wedding or this sunny summery outdoor wedding with vibrant pink florals.
Given more photo time, there are many great locations around Newport for wedding photos such as Cliff Walk, Sachuest Point, the Newport Mansions, the beach, Lands End or the Newport Tower.
Industry Insider Tips
Many seaside wedding venues in New England have early curfews due to nearby homes and noise restrictions. Belle Mer is one of the few wedding venues that can hold wedding receptions until midnight, which could save you from having to organize an after party location! Having a later reception also allows for the wedding ceremony or cocktail hour to happen around sunset time.
There are two bridal suite options at Belle Mer for the bride to get ready in. The Grace Suite is the smaller of the two, and is located upstairs from the Water Salon. It’s great if you have a very small bridal party or have already gotten your hair and makeup done somewhere else. There is a beautiful set of windows looking out onto the lawn, which make a perfect location for photos of your wedding gown.
The Island House has a larger bridal suite upstairs that can be reserved if there isn’t another event going on. It’s large enough for a whole bridal party to have their hair and makeup done onsite, and has windows with lovely views to the ocean on two sides.
In my experience, the groom and groomsmen typically get ready off-site and arrive at Belle Mer about an hour before the ceremony. They can hang out in the Jackie Suite, which is a smaller boardroom. I also like to take them outside and get some of the group photos done if time allows.
The closest hotel near Belle Mer is Gurney’s Newport Resort. It’s just next door on Goat Island and is a very short walk. It’s a large hotel with lots of amenities like a spa, dining, pool etc. so it’s a great option for your guests to stay in or to get ready in.
Another hotel option nearby is the Newport Marriott, which is just across the bridge from Goat Island. It’s a very short car ride or about a 15 minute walk to Belle Mer. It’s also a large hotel with lots of amenities, and is located right downtown near all of the shops and restaurants.
Hotel Viking is an additional hotel option that is a short car ride from Belle Mer and is just up the hill from downtown Newport.
Belle Mer Location
Belle Mer, 2 Goat Island, Newport RI 02840