Urban Vows

Water views, city skylines and beautiful historic ballrooms…urban wedding venues offer couples and their guests the ability to see Southern New England cities while celebrating their big day. These six venues are a great way to take advantage of the urban landscape.


The chic bar and lounge at the Mariott Providence














“A city wedding can be a magical experience,” says Scott Connery of the award-winning Providence Biltmore. “By getting married in the city, one has all the features of an urban wedding, but with a cultural appeal.  In addition, your guests can make a weekend of the celebrating by enjoying all that Providence has to offer, including world-class shopping, dining, theater, museums, galleries, and nightlife.” The Providence Biltmore’s expansive city views and beautiful reception rooms are enticing to brides and grooms who want space and skyline within an urban environment.  “Our rooftop ballroom has sweeping views of the city and of Narragansett Bay,” says Connery. The hotel was built in 1922 and the charming historic details can still be seen throughout the hotel today. “We also offer a fabulous outdoor terrace with views of downtown Providence.”

urban_new england aquarium

A tented reception overlooking the water at the New England Aquarium.

The nearby Marriott Providence also offers the chance to see the city. “You can walk or drive to each destination in the city easily and historic Federal Hill is minutes away and offers a diverse array of cultures in specialty shops, food, and beverage,” says Donna DiOrio, director of catering at the hotel. Brides and grooms can use the Water Place Park, State House rotunda, or Prospect Park for beautiful backdrops to their photos. In addition to the Marriott’s ballroom, its outside venue, Aqua, complete with fire pits, cabanas and bar, is a great place to have the cocktail hour prior to the reception.

The Hilton Providence offers both a fantastic base to explore the city and host your wedding, too. “Providence is a small city but the night life, history, and entertainment make it exciting and fun. The Providence Hilton is a perfect location for a wedding as it is in walking distance to Federal Hill, which boasts some of the most amazing restaurants on the east coast,” says Sarah Bauerle, the area catering sales manager for the hotel.The Hilton’s ballroom features beautiful chandeliers and accommodates up to 200 guests with a dance floor. Many couples choose to have their cocktail hour in the nearby Roger Williams Room, which has an outdoor patio area overlooking downtown Providence.

In Boston, the New England Aquarium is a unique and interactive venue for a wedding reception. “The Harbor Terrace tent is located on the Boston Harbor and the waterfront view is like no other venue in the city,” says Debra Borgwardt, director of groups, events and reservations at the venue. “We offer a ceremony location and reception space where you can have cocktails in view of sea turtles, sharks, and tropical fish.” Couples can choose from a large menu of options from the aquarium’s exclusive in-house caterer. The aquarium’s proximity to the airport and the burgeoning waterfront area make it an idea location for a wedding. After the reception, guests can continue the night at nearby restaurants and bars in Faneuil Hall.


The Museum of Science, in Boston, adds drama and history to any wedding.

Some people might think dinosaurs and electricity when they hear the name Museum of Science, but couples host weddings there for the unique space and unrivaled views of the Charles River and Boston skyline. “Not only can you dine next to a dinosaur, but you can actually get married in the Theater of Electricity and take part in a lightning demonstration while in the cage with the presenter,” says Sheryl White Vincent, department manger of events and conference services at the Museum. Bridal guests can come back after the wedding day and spend time in the exhibit halls as part of the wedding package.

Across the river, The Charles Hotel offers the quiet charm of Cambridge and its shopping district and cozy cafes. “Whether you envision exchanging your vows beneath the blue skies in our courtyard full of seasonal flowers, or a lavish celebration in our sparkling ballroom, we offer the perfect setting for your wedding ceremony and reception,” says Carolyn Croisier, the director of catering at the hotel. “We’re an urban retreat that places your guests in close proximity to all of the best attractions in Boston and Cambridge. Wedding parties are encouraged to explore the area, and if they want to settle down after all of the Harvard Square festivities, they can relax with a treatment at our spa, Corbu.” In addition to the first rate spa, the hotel’s cuisine, with menus designed by award-winning executive chef Peter Davis of Henrietta’s Table, highlights local and sustainable ingredients.

Whether you want a glittering hotel ballroom or a backdrop of a school of exotic fish, urban weddings offer the ease of being in the city and endless possibilities for the big day.


**This article was published in Southern New England Weddings 2013-2014 issue.


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