By: Briget D’Antonio, Co-Owner of Anchor Productions
Governor Raimondo recently gave engaged couples who plan to wed in 2020 a little hope when she announced that, at the start of Phase 3 in early July, Rhode Island would allow small weddings and gatherings up to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors with a licensed caterer. Those numbers are slated to increase in Phase 4, however, we do not know when Phase 4 will open.
While this is positive news, the restrictions surrounding wedding protocols (dancing, table spacing, buffets, etc) are still undefined at this time. We do know that public health guidance must still be followed: mask-wearing, social distancing, sanitation, and screening.
Given the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, many couples have been opting to move forward with intimate weddings or mini ceremonies, now defined as minimonies. A minimony usually involves an officiant, a small group of loved ones, and select vendors (ie, photographer). They can also be referred to as micro weddings or elopements. Sometimes minimonies replace the original wedding, and other times they act as a prequel to the postponed main event.
In either case, Corilyn Henault, Co-Owner of Anchor Productions, suggests to make your minimony into an unforgettable experience. “You could include handwritten vows, a first dance under the stars, or your favorite entrée (maybe something that you weren’t able to afford in large quantities before, like lobster),” says Henault. “Remember, good things come in small packages!”
From Providence to Newport (and few places in between and outside), I’ve compiled a list of venues & vendors that are now offering minimony/micro wedding/elopement packages. The beauty of these types of weddings is that they can be spontaneous and planned in a short amount of time. But intimate weddings have become very popular in this state, so call or email soon to reserve your special day!
Blueberry Cove Inn (Narragansett, RI) – The Blueberry Inn, a Bed & Breakfast in Narragansett, offers an Elopement package that includes an officiant (performed by the Innkeeper), wedding flowers, a two-tier wedding cake and champagne toast, and a one-night stay in their Whirlpool Suite including breakfast. The couple has a choice of cake flavors, champagne or sparkling juice for the toast, and flower colors. Flower type may be limited to roses and seasonal selections. The cost of the package for the one-hour reception is $850 (taxes included). Two witnesses may attend for no charge. Additional guests (up to 10) are allowed for a fee of $25 per person. For more details, please contact Seely Gerraughty at (401) 792-9865 or email@example.com.
Harbor Lights (Warwick, RI) – Harbor Lights is the perfect marriage of land and sea – a breathtaking backdrop for ceremonies, celebrations, and photographs! Harbor Light’s 1.5-hour Mini-Mony package includes a ceremony on their seaside terrace, an officiant, a champagne toast, an on-site event coordinator, scenic views for photos, a bridal suite, and a round of golf for the wedding couple. The cost is $600, plus tax and a 21% administrative fee. A professional photographer can be added for $350, and includes 1.5 of shooting and a USB of photos. For more details, call 401-737-6353 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hammetts Hotel (Newport, RI) – Hammetts Hotel is Newport’s newest, boutique hotel on the Newport Waterfront. It boasts a variety of stylish event spaces ranging from 400-800 square feet. The Sullivan Room and The Murray room overlook the Hammetts Wharf Courtyard and can open up to the deck for fresh air, but also offers privacy as needed. Other options include a private lounge (Rain’s room) or a patio on the west end of the hotel away from the foot traffic of the Wharf Deck. Room rentals range from $500-$1,500. For more details, please contact Dyanna Darezzo at email@example.com or (401) 216-8081.
Hotel Providence (Providence, RI) – Hotel Providence was one of the first venues to introduce a Micro Wedding package in this state. The hotel’s romantic elopement package includes (1) hour of time on its Blackstone Terrace or in its Main Stage Dining Room (seasonally offered) for up to 20 guests, an officiant (Greg Nawrocki, Justice of the Peace), champagne toast, and overnight accommodations in a King Suite. The initial package is $500.00, plus taxes and 22% administrative charge. A three-course plated meal can be served immediately following the ceremony set at a per person price ranging from $28-35++ dollars each. Adding a meal also adds an additional 1-2 hour(s) of time. For more details on Hotel Providence’s Micro Wedding package, please contact Kate Heemsoth, Catering Sales Manager, at 401-490-8105 or KHeemsoth@HotelProvidence.com.
South County Museum (Narragansett, RI) – The South Museum is a hidden gem nestled on a remote, 7-acre wooded campus on Canonchet Farm Park (only a 5-minute walk to Narragansett Beach). Its ivy-covered stone stable provides a majestic backdrop for up to 25 guests to share in your special day. South County Museum’s Minimony package includes a 1.5-hour private rental, a custom ceremony, a wedding officiant and ceremony coordinator, ample free parking, restrooms, and photography anywhere on the 7-acre property (except inside the animal farm). Guests will also have full access to roam throughout the museum, school house, blacksmith barn, and the antique carriage barn. The total cost is $750, and includes all taxes and fees. For more details, please contact Corilyn Henault at firstname.lastname@example.org or (508) 846-0893.
Tamarack Lodge & Indie Glamping Resort (Voluntown, CT) – Although this unique venue is not technically in RI, it’s located right over the state line in CT – just 10 minutes from Exeter, and 45 minutes from Providence. Tamarack offers many cool services worth mentioning including Drive-In Weddings, Minimonies, and indoor & outdoor Micro Weddings.
The Drive-In package includes a one-hour rental for parking guest cars, exchanging of vows, and a short portrait session. This package is available now through mid-August 2020, and accommodates up to 25 guests. The Drive-In package costs $907 (plus tax) and includes a Justice of the Peace, photographer, popcorn for your guests and much more!
Tamarack’s Mini Mony package is almost identical to the Drive-In package, but it does not require you to be in a parked vehicle and it does not include a photographer. The cost of the Tamarack’s Mini Mony package (a 1.5 hour rental) is $710, plus tax.
Lastly, Tamarack Lodge offers indoor ($1460) and outdoor ($1350) Micro Weddings for up to 50 guests. Fun features include lawn games, fire pit, and a rustic wine barrel bar. It’s important to note that clients must rent a tent, tables, chairs and linens from a licensed rental company for the outdoor Micro Weddings.
For more details, please contact Amylu or Valoree 860-376-0224 or visit www.tamaracklodgect.com
Queen Anne’s Loft (Newport, RI) – Queen Anne’s Loft Micro Wedding package includes a ceremony on site, 4 passed hor d’oeuvres, champagne toast, and a three course dinner. Queen Anne’s Loft is offering this special now through November 2020, and it is a two-hour rental block. 14 guests (including the couple) are currently allowed – this number may increase, per the state’s guidelines. This package also includes tables, chair, ivory linens, gold votives, house sound system for your playlist or full entertainment license, wireless internet for zoom or streaming capabilities. The cost for 14 guests is $1750, including tax and gratuity. Additional bar pricing is available. A one-hour rental, with ceremony and champagne toast only, is $750. Please contact Amanda Roderick at email@example.com or (401) 524-0286 for more details.
Additional Vendors & Services
Kristin Greene & Company (Makeup Artists & Hair Stylists) – For a limited time, seasoned makeup artist, Kristin Greene, and her team are now offering bridal hair and makeup for $125, and non-bridal hair & makeup for $85. They will travel to you! Kristin and her team follow RI’s health guidelines, and will teach their clients how to apply their own lipstick. Please email Kristin at Kristin@kristingreeneandcompany.com for more details.
Makeover Artistry by Donna Sousa (Makeup Artists & Hair Stylists) – Donna Sousa, an award-winning make-up artist and owner of Makeover Artistry, is packaging together makeup and hair for the bride for $300. This includes an anti-aging eye mask, lashes, flawless airbrush, and any hair style. Wedding party members are $185 per person, which is inclusive of hair, makeup, lashes, and a flawless airbrush. If you want to separate the services, Donna is charging $85 for hair and $85 for makeup ($100 with lashes). If you are interested, please contact Donna Sousa at (401) 440-7503, on Instagram @makeoverartistry, or visit makeoverartistry.com.
Nicole Gesmondi Photographer, LLC (Photography) – From now through December 31, 2020, Nicole Gesmondi is offering 2.5 hours of wedding photography for $650. This package includes images on USB, in-studio viewing session and 20% off a la carte products plus an online gallery to share. For more details, please contact Nicole Gesmondi at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.nicolegesmondi.com
Sail Away Inc Photography (Photography) – Sail Away Photography, centrally located in Warwick, is offering 2 hours of photography coverage for $400. This special runs through December 2020. Please contact Lynne Damiano at (401) 787-2914 or Sailaway521@gmail.com
Sheila Drakeley Photography (Photography/Videography/Live Streaming) – Sheila Drake Photography is offering a variety of micro wedding and elopement packages through December 2020. Their photography package includes 4 hours of coverage with 1 photographer, and rights to all the photos for $1200. The videography package includes 4 hours of coverage with 1 videographer, 2 highlight videos with audio from your day, and a DVD copy for $1800. They also offer a combined photography/videography package (which includes everything listed above) for $2500. Lastly, their Live Streaming package includes 2 hours of coverage, 1 videographer, and a DVD copy for $500. For more details, please email email@example.com.