A City of Love: Romance in the ‘Creative Capitol’

The Providence skyline after dark. (Photo by Marianne Lee)

People fall in love with Providence for a myriad of reasons: it’s small enough to get around in and get to know, but big enough to still have all of the possibilities big cities can offer; it is beautiful in its historical splendor and it looks great in any season; and when you fall in love with something (or someone), you want to share it with your friends and family for them to appreciate as much as you do. Luckily, Providence is a city that is welcoming to visitors of all varieties. It offers the arts, big business, lots of locales for physical activity, is child-friendly and is one of the most important food cities in the country. It is also very romantic, which is why people choose it as a destination for their wedding. While it’s terribly easy to fall in love with the city, it’s even easier to fall in love (all over again) in the city.

The city holds on to its historic charm.
(Photo courtesy of the Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau)

Spring and summer in Providence are hands-down the most dynamic seasons for romantic activities and weddings alike. Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Providence/Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau Kristen Adamo offers some spots that are popular for couples getting married in the area: “Prospect Park provides a sweeping view of the city as a scenic backdrop. Westminster Street and the shops along it are becoming popular for quirky photos. At night there are ropes of lights strung above the street that make for a unique setting.  The Rhode Island State House is a classic, as is Roger Williams Park.”

Roger Williams Park offers a botanical garden which is open for weddings, swan boat rides, a museum and even an impressive zoo. And Prospect Park is small and private for a more intimate gathering. Not only a great place for photos, city-centric couples and their guests can spend a lazy weekend afternoon perusing the shops on Westminster Street downtown after filling up on Brunch at Tazza, a hip eatery in a convenient spot.

Also during the summer months, couples have the prime opportunity to take their group to dinner in one of the many restaurants on Federal Hill (don’t miss the fountain) and walk the short distance to Waterplace Park downtown for WaterFire, a Saturday night Providence tradition that involves fires on pyres in the river, gondola rides, romantic music and street vendors.

Christine Elingwood, owner of Planned to Perfection LLC., a local wedding planning company that coordinates 15-20 weddings per year, prefers to plan romantic weddings and events that coincide with WaterFire. “I like Café Nuovo. They own the rotunda with the walkway out to a view of the river. It’s great to have a wedding on the weekend of a WaterFire because it’s so different to do. Couples should know about it because it’s unique.”

But summer isn’t the only time Providence shines. Fall offers a more collegiate feel around town, with all of the returning students and the trees blazing with that triumphant New England color that shows off the city at its best. The cobblestone streets and historic charm offer great backdrops for both dates and weddings. Russell Morin Fine Catering and the Providence Public Library recently teamed up to host chic weddings inside the stately downtown library itself.

Winter in the city offers out-of-towners and their guests ice skating at Kennedy Center Plaza, an endless variety of coffee shops to warm up in and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) museum to add color to an otherwise gray and white expanse. Wedding day or engagement photo ops abound on snowy days with all of the city’s red brick as a romantic backdrop.

No matter the season, Providence is a city that has something for everyone. Couples and their guests will come away from it having had an experience that seemed custom tailored to them. And that’s why we love it.

**This article was printed in the 2012-2013 Southern New England Weddings Destination Edition.

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