Essential Guide to Your Oceancliff Wedding in Newport, RI

When we shoot a wedding at OceanCliff in Newport, we know we’re going to have an easy day! This one venue provides so many different backdrops that our wedding photos almost look like we grabbed the couple, put them in our car and took them on a photo tour of Newport! Because we’re on their preferred vendor list, we are lucky to work here a lot. We know all the ins and out of this venue and lucky for you we are going to share some insider tips in this post!

Bride and Groom kiss at sunset with her veil blowing in the wind on the lawn of their Oceancliff wedding in Newport

The hotel has tons of great spots for dress and detail shots. It doesn’t matter which room a bride or groom gets at OceanCliff because they all have interesting features that make for great photos. Suite One is our fave, but if you have a lot of people you might want to think about getting the Gatehouse!

Detail shots are some of our favorites! Brides usually include their jewelry, shoes, maybe a fabulous bag. To make the detail shots tie in to the rest of your photos, ask your florist to pull a couple of stems from your arrangements for these shots.

We love mirror shots! They’re a classic bridal portrait — your mom probably has one in her wedding album — but we always give them a modern twist. Thankfully OceanCliff has tons of mirrors to choose from. As a matter of fact they have THEE mirror, but more on that later.

We also love a matching pjs shot! Most of the rooms at OceanCliff have huge beds that make the perfect stage for a toast picture.

Those big beds also can act as cozy spot for a pup to hang out on while you get dressed. The little show-stealer in the picture below is Lady. Have you ever seen a fuzzier little face?

For first looks, we like to use the front of OceanCliff. Early in the day, before the wedding ceremony, the light in front of the house is gorgeous. It’s better to save the back for later in the day. The early day light on the water can be a little too bright.

OceanCliff’s brick facade adds a ton of texture to photos, and the architecture and arch add fantastic drama and visual interest. There’s a ton of space for big groups, and if your wedding day is windy, the building will (hopefully!) block the wind coming off the water in the back of the house.

After first look photos or before the ceremony, we take our couples to this iconic OceanCliff mirror. We always jokingly say, “Did you even get married at OceanCliff if you didn’t take a picture in front of the mirror?”

The mirror is the size of the whole wall! We’d love to know how the hell they got it up the stairs!

OceanCliff has so many photo backdrop options that there’s absolutely no reason to leave the property. But! If you build a little time into your wedding day schedule, we know a great spot right off the street. You can see it in the photo below.

A lot of brides like to use this staircase for their bridal portrait, and we like taking photos from above and below. That’s the benefit of working with a duo like us! Emily, the bride in the photo below, had a removable train that she used for her ceremony to make it extra big. It draped down the staircase so elegantly! We love how the pattern on the carpet peeked through the lace on her train. Texture!

The ceremony spot is right on the water. OceanCliff has a little pagoda-style arch that’s beautiful, but plain. We always suggest to brides that if it’s in the floral budget, they add a few flowers to make their photos a little more interesting. Couples don’t have to be as extra as the photos below, but isn’t that a gorgeous display of flower petals by Sayles Livingston Design?

Stoneblossom is the genius behind the pedestals and arrangements in the photo below. The monochomatic look with lots of texture was so chic.

Bride and Groom walking down the aisle after their wedding ceremony on the lawn of their Oceancliff wedding in Newport

When the sun gets a little lower in the sky, we take couples straight to the back lawn. It’s absolutely amazing at sunset.

Lady liked the back lawn, too! Her sweet little floral collar was done by Sayles Livingston and although it was pretty, it did not upstage the pup.

We’ve talked about veil magic before. All it takes is an ocean breeze and a thigh-length veil. But with Emily, we were able to do a little cape magic! She saved this cape to add drama to her sunset and reception entrance shots. It worked so well!

We also loved Tyler’s super long veil. She looked like a goddess with it draped along the lawn behind her. These Adirondack chairs on OceanCliff’s back lawn are super popular during cocktail hour and our couples really like using them for photos, too.

Bride and Groom kiss at sunset with her veil blowing in the wind on the lawn of their Oceancliff wedding in Newport

In the background of this photo, you can see Castle Hill, another favorite venue of ours. We always laugh because Marisa gets the OceanCliff and Castle Hill mixed up. OceanCliff looks like a castle and Castle Hill is on a cliff. It makes no sense!

This table is always available for couples and it’s interesting to see how creative people can get with it. It’s a great spot for floral arrangements, seating cards or even a guest book. We are always excited to see what it’s going to look like!

The reception room at OceanCliff is neutral, so any color scheme fits well. OceanCliff might host a wedding during the day and one at night wedding. It always amazes us how the venue makes sure brides never see each other. And that’s the way it should be! That’s a big rule for us. No bride should see another bride on her wedding day because it’s Her. Day!

The photos above are a perfect example of how a mix of low and high flower arrangements add visual interest to the reception room. The flowers below were done by Sayles Livingston. The crystals dripping from the arrangements added a really creative element to the reception.

One thing we love about OceanCliff is how accommodating they are, no matter what kind of crazy request you have! Jess and Trevor entered their reception on these motorized cars because Trevor hurt his foot the week of the wedding. And OceanCliff made it happen!

Remember the table from earlier in this post that had flowers and place cards on it? It’s multipurpose. During the reception, couples usually switch it out and use it for desserts or favors. We love a candy table!

OceanCliff is a Newport classic. And we love it because not only is it fun to photograph, it is so well managed that couples don’t have to worry about a thing on their big day but having fun with their loved ones and sealing the night with a kiss!


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