The Best Places For Wedding Photos In Newport RI

By Mariah Ashley

Why Newport for your wedding? Well, because it is a town that offers something for everyone! Newport is the epitome of charm and glamor, steeped in the rich history of the turn of the century fabulously wealthy. Whether it’s touring the grand homes, sailing the gorgeous coastline, or shopping the lovely boutiques, scores of people find themselves summering in Newport and consequently looking to Newport as a location for their wedding.

We have over fifteen years of scouting and snapping  under our belts so we are well acquainted with the best places for wedding photos in Newport RI. Most of our clients are from out of town and Newport is a destination wedding for them. It takes a while to get to know a place, luckily we’ve done all the exploring for them so we can take them straight to the best spots for their photos!

 

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We should probably start our tour in the area that Newport is most known for- the Waterfront. Yachts and sailboats abound, providing a very nautical feel. There are a few options, Bannister’s Wharf, Bowen’s Wharf, or my favorite the Marina at 41 North with complimentary giant yacht {pictured below}.

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This was also taken at the Marina at 41 North. There is a beautiful long dock to accommodate a large bridal party, and a perpendicular dock which I could stand on to take this shot. Although the area is busy,  the boats are all white so the background is clean and neutral.

A side note: you must check with the Harbor Master to get permission to take photos on the dock, he is accommodating and can tell you if they have any yachts scheduled to come in, in which case they would need the dock clear of bridal parties and photographers.

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The entrance to Goat Island near the Hyatt Hotel is also a great spot for the quintessential Newport waterfront view. In this location, you have boats, the Newport Bridge and the lighthouse at the Hyatt! The parking is also very easy here, as there is a pullover area for your limo or trolley. Straight across from the bridge view is the the view pictured below right, a fun angle of the marina!

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Bellevue Avenue… now here is an area rich in prime photo real estate! {Double pun intended}. Bellevue is only 2.5 miles longs, but it is chock full of ornate fences, stone walls and grand gates. While it is known for it’s famous mansions, the elegant outer architecture is what really gives our wedding photographs that opulent Newport feel.

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This location is near the end of Bellevue. When driving down the “Avenue”, we will often just have the trolley or limo driver pull over when we see pretty light and simple architectural features like the crumbling wall with ivy pictured left or the lichen covered wall pictured right.

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Of course, sometimes a slightly wider and more grand view is in order.

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In the shot on the right, you do get a sense of the mansion behind the couple, although the fabulous mature tree and streaming sunlight is what actually attracted us to this spot. On the right, you get a sense of the ornate detailing of the fence, one of the things we love most about Bellevue.

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Next up, The Newport Cliff Walk! 3.5 miles of beautiful walkable coastline,  best enjoyed when not in a wedding gown and high heels! However the beginning of the trail up until 40 Steps is a fun area for wedding photographs. This is an extremely popular attraction so count on their being lots of tourists around. In the photo below, there were actually some ugly orange cones, a porta-potty and tons of tourists on the fringe of the photo! Be assured, we can crop out the unsightly sights and focus in on the beauty of the Cliff Walk.

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This is 40 steps. It has, you guessed it… 40 steps from the Cliff Walk down to a stone landing which opens up to the rocky cliff, which we are risking our life on {photo on the left!}

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This lovely location is at the very beginning of the Cliff Walk, closest to The Chanler. The stone wall is pretty and the walkway here is paved and wide and often has green grass and a view of First Beach.

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One thing that Newport and neighboring Middletown have is no shortage of beaches! If you don’t mind a little sand in your shoes there are some super options to choose from. You can definitely count on beach-goers in the background, but sometimes that can actually make the shot, as pictured below.

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This is Second beach, actually in Middletown, only a hop and skip over the town line from Newport. At the beginning of the beach, you’ll find Surfer’s Beach, a sub-beach of Second Beach. What we love most about Surfer’s beach is this big beautiful rock and sea grass smack dab in the middle of the beach, so romantic!

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This photo was taken at the far end of Second Beach, it has gorgeous weathered beach fencing and beautiful dunes. This photo was actually taken right in the parking lot before we hit the actual beach!

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Gooseberry Beach is after Bellevue Avenue and at the beginning of Ocean Drive. It’s a semi private beach, and very small so it is best visited during the off season. It has a pretty dune right near the parking lot and some really interesting rock formations in the water.

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Looking for something less sandy but right on the water? Kings Park is a pretty park on Wellington Avenue {off Lower Thames} with great views of Newport Harbor. There’s plenty of parking and shade and a giant gazebo.

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Here’s the Kings Park Gazebo. It can be a pretty backdrop for family photographs as well as a shelter from light rain.

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Have something more dramatic in mind? Ta-da… Ledge Road! One of my favorite places, but a little tricky. Ledge Road is at the end of Bellevue Avenue, on the left just before you hit Ocean Drive. This is actually the other end of the Cliff Walk! The couple pictured below are standing at the very end, you literally can’t go any further.

The tricky thing about Ledge Road is the parking, it’s a dead end and the residents do not always take kindly to illegal parking. The Newport parking patrol regularly tickets here and the trolley will not go down this road. Ledge Road is great in the off season when parking and residents relax!

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Of course, sometimes it’s worth the risk in the height of summer too!

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Love the downtown shopping feel of Newport? Lower Thames Street is a great choice for that atmosphere.

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This photo was taken on a little side street off Lower Thames. We are always on the lookout for Newport-Style elements to enhance the photos, and these upturned boats were a real find!

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We love the playful colors of downtown and the rustic storefronts juxtaposed with the glamorous bride and groom and their bridal party.

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Rustic not quite the look you are going for? How about palatial? You can rent an hour of photography time on the grounds of one of the Newport Mansions by contacting the Newport Preservation Society. This beautiful spot is at The Elms in the garden.

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Both of these photos were taken on the front lawn of Rosecliff Mansion.

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This is a stunning view of Rosecliff Mansion with our very “Vanity Fair” bridal party!

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Along with the iconic options of Newport, there are also a lovely variety of soft green places that make beautiful backdrops. This particular spot is a side street off of Bellevue, we found it when we pulled over to park!

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This location is totally random, an overgrown stone wall and weeds at a bend in the road on the way to Oceancliff. We’ve driven past it a million times, but on this particular day all those little white flowers were blooming and it was the perfect spot to place our beautiful bride. Dreamy!

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Speaking of dreamy… This delightful rose covered fence is outside a private home near the Tennis Hall of Fame. Again, we’ve driven by here a few times and always admired the fence, but when we checked it out on this particular day we saw the roses were blooming and knew we had found an exquisite green location for this portrait.

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Climbing ivy and a charming couple framed by a beautiful tree… classic. Newport is full of these amazing green gems!

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If you have time, a loop around Ocean Drive will not disappoint! It’s hard to choose where to stop the car, there are just so many breathtaking views!

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This is Brenton Point at the end of Ocean Drive. It has sweeping views of the coastline. The beach is rocky rather than sandy and there is a set of stone stairs from the road leading down to it. It’s gorgeous here but can be a little windy so keep that in mind.

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Of course, wind can be a good thing too! When the wind is up the kites are out in the park across from the Brenton Point beach.

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This photo was taken during the windiest, coldest, drizzliest day in May ever! The bride was adamant about a photo with the ocean in the background, fortunatley even on a dreary day Brenton Point can be beautiful and dramatic.

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The area around Salve Regina is full of pretty spots for photos. Gates, hedges, lanes, and cool architecture, all within one block, give us plenty to work with to make portraits.

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Ochre Court at Salve Regina, back and front.

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We frequently visit the gates at the front of Ochre Court. We love this spot, there’s a million ways to photograph it, but this is one of my all time favorites.

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A pretty lane, a neat hedge, and the setting sun… cue the romance!

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Hope you enjoyed the tour of our favorite photo haunts, the best places for wedding photos in Newport RI!

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Still confused about getting around Newport? Would you like a wearable map? We are giving away this cuff bracelet with a vintage map from the 1940’s. On second thought, don’t rely on it to get you around- use your GPS and just enjoy the bracelet as a conversation piece.

To win the bracelet: Comment below and then share this post on your own facebook page. We will choose one lucky winner from all the commenters next week and announce the recipient on our facebook page.

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  1. Mariah Ashley

    March 24th, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    No Trish, you cannot enter to win the bracelet.

  2. Jacqueline Piluso Trombino

    March 24th, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    Such a cute cuff!! And as always, great photos Trish and Mariah!

  3. Kelly D'Agostino

    March 25th, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Love this tour of Newport! I am a little biased, since three of our photos made this blog post! Thanks for capturing such beautiful moments of our special day, 9-10-11. Much love to the Snap ladies!

  4. Mariah Ashley

    March 28th, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Hi Kelly! Your wedding was full of great locations, I had a hard time choosing just three. So fun to look back through them!

  5. Jaime Nelson

    March 26th, 2015 at 8:35 am

    You don’t know how helpful this was even for me… who works in Newport all the time! I was just having a conversation with one of my couples last week about some of my favorite places but told them to check with their photographer too! I will definitely be passing this link along. Thank you!

  6. Mariah Ashley

    March 28th, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Hi Jaime! Yay, so glad it was helpful to you!

  7. Corrie Quintard

    March 28th, 2015 at 9:11 am

    Love this article ladies! You create beautiful photographs one can cherish for a lifetime :). So lucky to have had you to photograph my special day! Thank you!

  8. Mariah Ashley

    March 28th, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Hi Corrie! Thank you, we are so excited to see you in the fall! xoxo

  9. Joanne Cadenazzi

    March 29th, 2015 at 9:32 am

    As a photographic banquet, Newport is visual feast. I’m always drawn to the less obvious nooks and crannies. The back sides of kitchen door create contrast for dressy up photos. I love the contrast in shape and color in the tombstones and the wrought iron enclosures. I enjoy the work of children as a field of fun for a contrast and a mood builder. Salve students sunning or shopping and waiting at the bus stops. Bare trees with fascinating curvature to their limbs (ex. Red Wood Library south-west corner)is wonderful as well as the shadows cast by ornate park benches or even a stray pagoda. the sister city sign coming into Newport at Farewell and America’s cup is wonderful and with just a few of the right people arranged around it would be spectacular. There are so many! I love Newport! Every day, your eyes are invited to a party!

  10. Jamie

    July 7th, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Love all of these ideas! I’m trying to get ready for my wedding next year. Quick question – do you normally contact Salve Regina when you want to shoot on the grounds of Ochre Court? Or are the grounds open to the public? Thanks for your help!

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