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Travel Photo Essay: Weddings and Receptions at Belcourt Castle Newport, RI
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Belcourth Castle photo, Newport, RI

Exterior photo of the Belcourt Castle, Newport, RI

Article and photos by Eric H.

Imagine having a wedding reception in a famous, grand Newport, RI, mansion where the Belmonts (not the group that hung out with Dion), Vanderbilts and Tinneys lived, and where movie stars and other celebrities from the past were entertained.

You'd think that having a wedding and reception at the 60-room Belcourt Castle -- a 17th century King Louis XIII hunting lodge replica built between 1891 and 1894 -- would cost a fortune. Having attended a fun-filled recent wedding there, we were told by a member of the wedding party that the cost of the rental (and the overall event) was much less in expense than other places they looked at -- remarkable given the presence of being in a historical, landmark mansion in America's most famous wealthy town from the Gilded age (beginning in the mid-19th century). 

The Belcourt Castle is simply a marvelous site for a wedding and reception with a fascinating combination of old-world, French-style charm and Norman, Elizabethan English and country German design.  You'll see lots of stained glass, carved oak wainscoting, grand staircases and a even replication of a coronation coach. The main reception room features Gilded Age "King" and "Queen" chairs for the bride and groom and an unbelievably beautiful Russian crystal chandelier with 13,000 prisms in the center of the room. It's not the only chandelier in town, however. In the very same room are eight smaller Czechoslovakian crystal chandeliers. The room sparkles, perfectly complementing the bride and groom.  

On a side note, we experienced a far-beyond-the-norm reception meal from Pranzi, of Newport and Providence, RI, featuring addictive homemade rolls, a nearly-perfect succulent pork dinner, a mouthwatering tender chicken and mushroom dish, a Caesar salad with just-right salad dressing and mixed greens, real mashed potatoes and farm-fresh asparagus. The staff was right on the ball, with the prep and wait staff crew pleasant and efficient, and the management staff attentive and no-nonsense, yet accommodating.

The Belcourt Castle chapel is equally memorable with high arched ceilings and intricately detailed stained glass. Upstairs, Thomas Edison had the bright idea in 1894 of installing indirect lighting to the Versailles Room, now a dining room with elegant French Empire columns and large mirrors, mirrored doors and mirrored shutters, the latter which open up to ocean views.

As the only mansion in Newport open to the public but with a private owner in residence, Belcourt Castle has been put to wonderful use, and beams with the ultimate pride in home ownership
. And if you think that there's a snob factor, holding a wedding and reception in a posh Newport mansion, think again. We found the staff and surroundings to be far more warm than some banquet hall facilities that seem to think they're at the apex of the universe. We highly recommend inquiring about a Belcourt Castle wedding and reception. Location-wise, it doesn't get any better than this!

For more information, contact:
Belcourt Castle
657 Bellevue Ave.
Newport, RI 02840
Tel. 401-846-0669

Belcourt Castle reception room photo, Newport, RI
The Belcourt Castle banquet room

Belcourt Castle chapel, Newport, RI

The Belcourt Castle chapel

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