Grace: Venue Hunting

Grace: Venue Hunting

The Towers_Exterior

Having survived fires and hurricanes, The Towers in Narragansett are an iconic South County symbol.

Our desire for a summery, rustic venue led to three must-sees.

By Grace O’Neil

Now that I had an engagement ring on my finger (and a fresh manicure), it was time to tackle two big questions: When and where were Paul and I going to tie the knot?

Deciding on a date was easy. We both loved the idea of a late summer evening wedding, when the temperature wasn’t too warm and we could still enjoy a portion of our reception outdoors. We also liked the concept of getting married on a holiday weekend. Having our wedding the Sunday before Labor Day meant an extra day for our out-of-town guests to travel and a weekend date for our rehearsal dinner. Plus, when we shared this date with our families, they thought it would be fun to have a long weekend to celebrate — what better way to end the summer?

The next part wasn’t so simple.

Growing up, I always pictured myself as a Block Island bride. Since I was a baby, my family has vacationed there summer after summer, and to this day, it is still my favorite place. Saying ‘I do’ at the Spring House Hotel seemed magical, but, after thinking things through realistically, I had some concerns. As images of our seasick families and a three-tier cake rocking back and forth on the ferry during a hurricane crossed my mind, I knew that there were too many unknown factors that would make me uneasy about get married on island time.

With Block Island off the list, I began doing lots of research online, sending email inquiries, reading bridal reviews and checking out as many venue pictures as I could get my hands on. I knew I was looking for that perfect spot that captured summer in Rhode Island, with a rustic yet elegant vibe. I just didn’t know where we would find it.

After comparing the options, we decided there were three places we had to see in person:

  1. Kinney Bungalow at Sunset Farm in Narragansett. A rustic venue that sits on 114 acres of farmland, Kinney Bungalow has a lot to offer, including a grand staircase, the cutest little bridal suite and a private grassy area for outdoor seating and a tent.
  1. Squantum Association in Riverside. East Providence’s best kept secret. With panoramic views overlooking the bay, turnkey packages and plenty of options for upgrades (yes, a cannon shoot is really offered in the platinum package), there wasn’t much not to like about this location.
  1. The Towers_InteriorThe Towers in Narragansett. When Paul and I took the elevator to the second floor and I glanced down the long picturesque room, it took my breath away. Two rows of windows lined the castle-like space, with oceanfront views on both sides. As we stepped out onto a sunny deck and toured the adjacent Casino Courtyard, we found ourselves falling in love with The Towers. The fact that we could pick and choose our vendors from a pre-approved list was also a huge plus for me, as I knew I wanted to play a role in planning out all of the little details of our big day.

After talking things through, we signed a contract to book The Towers the next day, and just like that, the when and where questions were solved. More than anything else, the reception venue seems to really set the tone for a wedding day, and I’m so excited with these two decisions. We’re off to a great start.

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