12 Best Nontraditional Wedding Venues in Rhode Island
Updated: Jan 8
If you're anything like me, the thought of having your wedding in a place with gross old hotel carpeting, country clubs, or locations that have multiple weddings a night is horrifying. Instead, you're scouring the internet in the hopes of finding any solid lead on a nontraditional wedding venue in Rhode Island. Look no further! In my years of searching for my own wedding and experience as a wedding planner, I've rounded up some of the best and most beautiful nontraditional wedding venues in this little state of Rhode Island for you.
Industrial Venues in Rhode Island
Located in the historic neighborhood of Olneyville in Providence, RI, The WaterFire Arts Center is a stunning refurbished manufacturing building with an industrial feel. It has original whitewashed brickwork, huge windows allowing tons of natural light to stream in, concrete floors, and some fun old machinery hanging from the extremely high ceilings. My favorite thing about this nontraditional venue (aside from the fact that industrial buildings are to die for) is that it's a giant blank canvas. You can really get creative with floral, drapery, floor plans, and more. Bonus - they also are partnered with Russel Morin Catering - a well-respected caterer in New England.
The Steel Yard is a hidden gem of a venue located in Providence, RI in a beautiful industrial artists' community surrounded by florists, designers, leather craftsman, and other creatives. This is a unique outdoor space where you can have a beautiful and relaxed ceremony in the courtyard and have food trucks or a small sit down dinner and dancing for your guests. Perfect venue for a more intimate celebration and for those couples who appreciate art and the history of the steel yard!
Historic Venues in Rhode Island
The Providence Public Library houses a gorgeous early 1900s building with a grand hall, stunning staircases, beautiful old bookshelves, and years of history. Located in the heart of downtown Providence, the Providence Public Library lends itself to stunning photos around the city and access to some great bars for an after party such as Trinity Brewhouse, Union Station, and AS220 to name a few. Once again, this location has a partnership with Russel Morin for all your catering and event coordination needs. If you love books and grand architecture this is absolutely the nontraditional venue for you!
Any Gatsby lovers out there? Glen Manor House was built in the 1920s as a family home in Portsmouth, RI on the old Glen Farm. It was designed by famed architect John Russel Pope - the same designer who created the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C. There are many options for you to make use of for your wedding from their waterfront lawn to their covered patio, interior home to the well-manicured gardens. This home is perfect Rhode Island venue for a range of weddings from intimate to medium-sized and feels much less stuffy than some other mansions in the area so you can make it as formal or relaxed as you please!
I was hesitant to put this venue on here at first because Linden Place has a terrible history as being built for a family using the money they earned with their involvement in the slave trade, as were many other of the historic homes in Bristol, RI. However, the current owners are very much invested in making sure that they tell both the good and the bad history of this location as a part of the Rhode Island Slave History Medallion project, which I agree is very important work. It has housed parties for the rich and famous for nearly 200 years, and they even used it to film the 1970s version of the Great Gatsby. There have many additions since its original creation in the early 1800s, and now you can make use of their many spaces including the mansion itself, gardens, ballroom, and more.
Botanical Venues in Rhode Island
Blithewold is a venue located in Bristol, RI, is known for its stunning waterfront lawn and lush floral grounds including greenhouses, a bamboo grove, lover's lane, and other botanical backdrops. You will want to leave lots of time for photos here! The ceremonies take place on the lawn with a tented reception, and you also get full use of the mansion's terrace for cocktail hour and more photos.
The Roger Williams Botanical Center is a venue located in Providence, RI in the Roger Williams Park. No need to worry about rain here because the giant glass conservatory filled with exotic florals will make you feel like you're outside while still controlling the environment. This location is beautiful year round - I even had a friend get married here on New Year's Eve! Perfect for those that love nature but don't want to risk mother nature's wrath on their wedding day.
This hidden gem is the perfect nontraditional wedding venue for those who love a mix of beautiful florals, tree farm vibes, and a remote feeling in an accessible location. The Farmer's Daughter is located in South Kingstown, RI just about 10 minutes down the road from URI. It is a fully functioning year-round farm and just so happens to be the place that I buy my Christmas tree from each year. The reception is tented, but it still makes for an absolutely breathtaking, organic-feeling wedding experience!
Coastal Venues in Rhode Island
If you've ever been to the Narragansett town beach, you've likely driven under or near The Towers. The original version of The Towers was part of the Narraganset Pier Casino back in the late 1800s. It has suffered two fires since then and has been continually renovated to reflect the original design. This Rhode Island venue is a gorgeous landmark, historic building, and has the unique feature of a balcony that overlooks the ocean and windows that allow a relaxing sea breeze. The interior is entirely stone and wood giving it a sort of rustic/ industrial vibe while still being very much coastal. Once again, you can really put your personal stamp on this nontraditional venue going for an earthy, boho feel, nautical, fairytale - whatever floats your boat!
This unique venue is situated on land that used to be owned by Benedict Arnold's grandfather on a site called Bull Point - right next to Fort Wetherill State Park in Jamestown, RI. This gorgeous property is completely private allowing for a tented reception, use of the stunning studio loft-like building, surrounding smaller buildings, private beach, and most importantly - views of Narragansett Bay. This is the perfect location for someone who was thinking of getting married in Newport but wanted a little bit more privacy and seclusion from tourists. It has both a coastal and artistic feel and is the perfect poster child for a nontraditional wedding venue without making your guests feel out of place. (PS. If you're thinking of getting married here, can I photograph it, please?)
For those couples still wanting to get married in Newport but wanting something a little different than your standard resorts and hotels, Fort Adams is definitely the venue for you. There are options from waterfront lawns to coastal homes to the hip industrial fort itself for your ceremony with a tented reception. I mean come on - just look at that stunning vintage-vibe in the photograph. This screams nontraditional coastal to me!
Okay, so this one isn't exactly on the coast, but it's right near Scarborough State Beach, so it counts! This beautiful lofted venue boasts 360 degree views so you will always be able to look out and catch the sunset! This venue, located in Narragansett, RI, has a unique square design to it and is covered in windows and beautiful hardwoods. You can have your ceremony onsite at Sunset Farm or if you want to keep it coastal, you can say your vows down the road at Point Judith Lighthouse.
There you have it - 12 of the best nontraditional wedding venues in Rhode Island. Now there are a few others that I didn't mention because even though they're nontraditional as well, they don't have any visible examples of weddings happening in them. It would require a bit more planning on your end, but if you're up for it here are a few honorable mentions...
- The Met
Let me know which one is your favorite or if there is any sick nontraditional venue in Rhode Island that I missed?
Meaghan is the owner and lead photographer of Rhode Tripper Photography, a moody adventure wedding and elopement photography company. She lives in Rhode Island, USA with her husband, Evan, and her rescue pup, Arya. You can frequently find her hitting up all the best foodie spots, barcades, and music venues around Providence, RI likely with her Fuji camera in tow.
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