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Trying to decide on a fabulous location in Newport for pictures? We recommend wedding photos at The Elms Mansion as one of our favorite spots!

The grounds at The Elms have that historic Newport elegance that lends itself to classic, polished wedding photographs.

Bride and Groom stroll the grounds at the Elms Mansion

The gardens, in Classic Revival fashion, have terraces with sculpture, marble pavilions, magnificent trees, fountains, and a sunken garden.

The large trees provide the perfect open-shade lighting that is so important for your portraits. Notice in the photograph below that the bridal party is standing in a big shady area. See how the light on their faces is even and soft? This is the kind of light that we look for. Everyone’s face is evenly lit and all eyes are open because there is no squint inducing bright sun to deal with.

In addition, the background is lovely and textured, the two pavilions and the terrace and hedges provide a pleasing symmetry.  I love this wide angle of the property to show the “big picture” view.

Bridal Party Photos at The Elms Mansion

This is a different take on the same view. This time we are shooting with a more zoomed- in approach. It was a cloudy day, so placement of the groups in relation to the sun wasn’t a concern. We wanted to feel more “up close” to the marble pavilions, using just a section of the architecture instead of the whole scene for a more intimate view of the property and a hint of opulence.

Family Formal Photos at The Elms Mansion

Ooooh! Sun flare… one of my favorite tricks to add a fun, jazzy element to the photos!

I just can’t get enough of these pretty pavilions! Here’s yet a third take on them. The subjects are in the shade being cast by the building (even light on their faces), but the sun is coming into the lens and spilling around the edges of the photograph. You can feel the summer in this picture.

Bridal Party Photos at The Elms Mansion

My other favorite element on the property is the fountains. I love falling water in photographs.

Fountain Detail at The Elms Mansion

The turtles at the top of this fountain are so adorable!

Bride and Groom by the fountain at The Elms Mansion

Here is the same fountain on a sunny day and a cloudy day. They are both really stunning images, however they have a totally different vibe.

Sunny day vs cloudy day at The Elms Mansion

I think this fountain is my favorite. The light in this spot is always perfect due to the surrounding trees. Soft, pretty, romantic…

Bride and Groom and the fountain at The Elms Mansion

This is a wider view of the “turtle fountain” which is right in the middle of the garden terrace. There are so many ways to shoot this property! Although it’s expansive, you don’t have to go very far to get all of these different angles and looks in your photographs.

Groomsmen with the fountain at The Elms Mansion

If you were to turn your back on the turtle fountain, the mansion would be your new view. It’s actually REALLY far across a giant lawn, but we are using a telephoto lens here so the mansion appears to be close and right up against our formally posed bridal party. I love this camera trick, it makes far away things seem very close and intimate. Plus, the bridesmaids don’t have to trek across a giant lawn in their heels. Win win.

Bridal Party on the lawn at The Elms Mansion

Just to geek out a little about photography…

Here is the same group and relatively same spot. This photo was shot with a wide angle lens, which makes the mansion drop way off into the background (closer to what it actually looks like to the eye) and brings the bridal party into the foreground (making you feel more connected to them and their casual pose).

Both of these photos were taken with deliberate choices in lens and poses to achieve these desired effects.

This is one of the important differences between amateur and professional photographers, i.e. we know what we’re doing! LOL.

Wedding Party in Front of The Elms Mansion

On a sunny day the white marble facade of the mansion is really bright! We couldn’t have the couple facing directly into the camera- too squinty and too many shadows.

Trish came up with this fun super formal pose to get around that problem. Panorama in the album? Oh yeah.

Bride and Groom with The Elms Mansion in the background

This photo was shot in a stunning corridor of arborvitae. Love this spot! Cloudy day…

Bridemaids on the grounds at The Elms Mansion

…sunny day, same spot facing in the other direction.

Bridal Portrait at The Elms Mansion

I am CRAZY for photos under this canopy! I want to live under here.

Bride and Groom under a tree canopy at The Elms Mansion

This is a sunken garden at the back of the property. I was able to stand up near those marble pavilion buildings to get the birds eye view on this bridal party.

Bridal Party in the garden at The Elms Mansion

Lovely walls and ornate gates on the property. A wide view of the gate for a full length bridal portrait…

ornate Gates at The Elms Mansion

… and a close up on the gate just to add an interesting element to a romantic photo.

Bride and Groom with Ornate Gates at The Elms Mansion

So here’s the scoop on The Elms. You must rent it if you want to take your wedding photos here. I HIGHLY recommend it for a few reasons.

  1. It’s wonderful to have the grounds to yourself- no bumping into other bridal parties or competing for the best location.
  2. Stopping along Bellevue Avenue in your wedding trolley or limo to get “mansion” type photographs is now prohibited by the town so if you want the grandeur and architecture this is the authorized way to do it. We’ve been stopped twice and had to leave trying to just “pull over” in front of mansions so we are no longer going to do that! Don’t want to get ourselves kicked out of Newport permanently!
  3. The Elms has everything you could want in one lovely spot; shade, architecture, trees, lawn etc. etc.

Bride and Groom walk the grounds at The Elms Mansion You can contact the Preservation Society here: Newport Preservation Society

and download their PDF to book The Elms here: PDF

The fee to rent the grounds at The Elms is $300 for non members and $150 for members.

Rhode Island may be a small state, but it is loaded with secret spots for fabulous weddings. Exhibit A, Christie and Dave’s Weekapaug Inn wedding.

I’ve been photographing weddings for twenty years in Rhode Island, and I had never been to the Weekapaug Inn. I just asked Trish if she had been before and she said, “Yes, once a long time ago but they ripped it down and put up a new one.”

So basically, that means two Rhode Island wedding photographers with a total of 40+ years experience have been to the Weekapaug Inn a total of once. I’d call that a secret spot, though I don’t imagine it will remain a secret for long considering how perfectly gorgeous it is now.

Wedding Rings and Wedding Invitation

Christie gets ready at her parents home while Dave gets his bow tie perfect at the Inn.

Christie’s parents live in a beautiful rural setting. I fell in love with their mailbox and thought it a perfect place to photograph the invitation. I love scene setters like this.

The Bride and Groom get ready for their Weekapaug Inn wedding

We had time for a few portraits of beautiful Christie and her bridesmaids before the ceremony. The soft summer sunlight was absolutely beautiful in the front yard and the fields across the street made for a dreamy backdrop.

Christie’s gown is Pronovias.

The bouquets are by Blue Butterfly.

The bidal portrait and the bridesmaids in pastel colors

Dave and the groomsmen wait at the Watch Hill Chapel for the ladies to arrive. Trish had time for a handsome groom portrait and a “man photo” of the groomsmen.

The Groom and his Groomsmen at the Watch Hill Chapel

Dreamy little ladies and an ethereal entrance by our bride.

Flowergirls and The Bride make their way down the aisle at the Watch Hill Chapel Wedding

Christie and Dave pose for a formal portrait outside the Chapel after the ceremony. I do love a formal portrait with the wedding gown all arranged beautifully.

C&D chose this photo in black and white with an oval frame to hang in their home- a classic!

The Bride and Groom pose for a formal photograph outside the Watch Hill Vhapel after their wedding

The stunning Weekapaug Inn, such an idyllic setting for a coastal Rhode Island wedding.

A sweeping view of the Weekapaug Inn from the far end of the property

Stealing a little time for some romance and some late afternoon light, a perfect combination.

The bride and groom enjoy a moment alone, seated on adirondack chairs, at their Weeekapaug Inn wedding

Having a little fun with our setting.

The Bride and Groom enjoy the natural surroundings at their Weekapaug Inn Wedding

A peek inside the tent at the lovely decor.

Day of coordination for the event was by Jen Strunk Events.

Reception Tent details at a Weekapaug Inn wedding

First Dance under the twinkly tent.

First dance under the tent at a Weekapaug Inn Wedding

A gorgeous day and a beautiful evening at this fabulous property.

Evening party at a Weekapaug Inn wedding

We topped off the night with the cake cutting and a stunning full moon over the water. Perfection.

Cake Cutting and Moonlight at a Weekapaug Inn Wedding We’re so pleased that Christie and Dave’s wedding was also featured on the Carats and Cake Blog. You can see the post here: Carats and Cake.

Bride and Groom Stroll to the tent at their Rose Farm Inn Block Island Wedding

It was our absolute pleasure to be a part of Claudia and Adam’s sweet family soiree at Rose Farm Inn for their Block Island Wedding.

Block Island is one of our favorite places. It feels like it is a world away, yet it’s a part of  little Rhode Island just under an hour from the ferry in Pt. Judith. If you’ve ever spent time on the Block, then you know what a special place it is. We certainly feel lucky every time we get to go there to photograph a wedding. In fact, we’ve been lucky three times with this family because we have been their Block Island wedding photographers for all three of their weddings!

{Adam, his older brother Bill, and his sister Abby}!

Claudia got ready in a room at the Rose Farm Inn. Her adorable dress is by Jenny Yoo.

The Bride Getting Ready at her Rose Farm Inn Block Island Wedding

Mimosas while getting ready are a must!

Morning Details for the Bride at a Rose Farm Inn Block Island Wedding

Adam got ready at his parent’s beautiful Block Island home. The well dressed ring dog is sister Abby’s fur baby.

The Groom prepares for his Rose Farm Inn Block Island Wedding

Adam met Claudia at the Rose Farm Inn for their first look. Trish picked out this quintessential Block Island view for the occasion.

First Look for the Bride and Groom at a Rose Farm Inn Block Island Wedding

If you’ve ever ridden at bike on the Block, then you know it’s a wee bit hilly. Luckily there are plenty of stone walls to lean your bike against while you take a nap in the grass.

Adam and Claudia don’t need a nap, they’re too busy being lovey-dovey and shaking off the pre-wedding nerves. The first look is always a good remedy for the nerves.

First Look for the Bride and Groom at a Rose Farm Inn Block Island Wedding

I don’t know what’s lovelier, the backdrop for a Block Island wedding, or these Block Island bridesmaids in soft grey!

Bridesmaids in the field at a Rose Farm Inn Block Island Wedding

Having a little fun with the Bridal Party.

We feel like we are part of this family because we’ve shared so many special moments with them!

Family Portraits at a Rose Farm Inn Block Island Wedding

The sun was nice enough to stay behind the clouds so the guests would not bake in their chairs. The other relaxing thing about Block Island is there is usually a gentle breeze.

Ceremony Details at a Rose Farm Inn Block Isl;and Wedding

Time to get married!

The ceremony at a Rose Farm Inn Block Island Wedding

Sweet Relief and Pure Joy, a winning combination.

Husband and Wife Moment at a Rose Farm Inn Block Island Wedding

Adam and Claudia know how to spread the LOVE around.

Hugs from the Flowergirls Post Ceremony at a Rose Farm Inn Block Island Wedding

They also know how to steal a few nice quiet moments for themselves.

Enjoying the stone wall at a Rose Farm Inn Block Island Wedding

Cake cutting al fresco.

Cake Cutting at a Rose Farm Inn Block Island Wedding

Rustic cuteness for these Block Island wedding details.

Event decor and lighting by Ryan Designs.

Evening tent details at a Rose Farm Inn Block Island Wedding

Visiting the Blocks of Fudge store on Block Island is a staple, having it “to go” for your guests? Now that’s what we’re talking about! Block Island hospitality at it’s sweetest.

End of the Evening Party Favors at a Rose Farm Inn Block Island Wedding

No twinkly stars on this cloudy night? No worries, we’ll add our own sparkle to the evening.

Sparkler Send Off at a Rose Farm Inn Block Island Wedding


Hurray! These are our peeps! From left to right, Meredith + Bill married 6.22.09 at The Sullivan House, Claudia + Adam married 9.10.16 at the Rose Farm Inn, and Abby + Josh married 06.10.12 at The Cushman House. One Block Island wedding every three – four  years! They were all wonderful days, all different venues, and all in their {and our} beloved Block Island!

Adam’s parents have this cute print hanging in their home. There’s a little heart where each of the weddings took place and the dates at the bottom. Such a great idea!

Trish really would like to be the fourth sibling in this family. So… 2019 for Trish’s wedding Rena and Bill Sr?

Here’s the thing about the Rose Farm Inn, it’s got a REALLY big field. The number of blocks of fudge I at this day was of no consequence considering the number of times we had to traverse this field.

We are self sufficient on Block Island, we’ve been there so many times we know the drill… where to stay, how to get around… we’ve got it down to a science. This means we can be full service Block Island wedding photographers! Trish loves to chauffeur our couples around the island!

If you are planning a Block Island Wedding, you may want to read more about getting great photos on Block Island here at our Block Island Wedding Guide!

Bride and Groom enjoy the view at their Belle Mer Wedding

Blogging Natalia and Brian’s classic late summer wedding at Belle Mer is just the pick me up I needed on this frigid winter day!

Going back through these warm breezy photographs almost makes me forget the snow and ice outside Snap HQ’s door.

I hope that these pretty images warm you up too!

The Bride

Natalia is absolutely stunning. She has the MOST beautiful skin! I love her classic updo and her soft feminine makeup.

She enlisted Jennie Kay to help her with her perfect bridal beauty!

The Bride gets ready for her Belle Mer wedidng

Brian is looking pretty dapper. He’s very stylish. We learned that about him at their engagement session and his wedding suit did not disappoint either!

The groom gets ready for his Belle Mer wedding

One of my favorite things about this wedding was the sweet and loving relationship that Natalia has with her parents. They are truly the NICEST mom and dad and overall lovely people that we’ve had the pleasure of photographing! It was hard to pick just one image from this series there were so many cute iterations!

The bride has a first look with her father

When time allows, we really like to photograph a portrait of the bride and also of the groom prior to the ceremony. There’s so much anticipation and happiness at this point in the day, it’s palpable in the images.

Bridal portrait and Groom

The wedding ceremony took place at Jesus Saviour Church in Newport RI.

Photography Trick: I often like to make the images from the {church} ceremony into B&W for the blog and the wedding album. Black and White can help to cut down on distracting elements {like people and cell phones in the background}. It can also help with the wide range of colors in the church; reds, golds, greens, can all detract from the emotion of the images.

A wedding ceremony at Jesus Savior Church in Newport RI

Nothing says Rhode Island like a Dels Lemonade and a warm ocean breeze!

A Classic Late Summer Wedding at Belle Mer

The gorgeous view and the phenomenal bridal party on the lawn at Belle Mer.

In late summer the Rose of Sharon is in bloom at Belle Mer. I love how it coordinates with the hint of purple inside Brian’s suit!

The Bride and Groom enjoy the grounds at their Belle Mer wedding

Fun with the breeze!

A windy day at a classic Belle Mer wedding

Isn’t this what every Belle Mer bride dreams of? Cocktail hour in the late afternoon sun and strolling across the lawn?

Cocktail Hour at a Late Summer Belle Mer wedding

Stunning, elegant details in the Ballroom at Belle Mer.

Flowers by Golden Gate Studios.

Cake by Belle Mer.

Engagement Session Guest Book by… Yours Truly!

Classic Details at a Summer Belle Mer Wedding

Savoring the last bits of the late summer light before the guests are invited in for the reception.

The bride and groom enjoy the sunset at their Belle Mer wedding

A dynamic first dance with the Boss Band.

Sweet and sentimental toasts over dinner by the brother of the bride, the best man, and the maid of honor.

Taosts during dinner at a Belle Mer wedidng

Get your hankies ready for the parent dances. Sniffle. Sniffle.

Parent Dances at a Belle mer wedding

You don’t know how bad I’d like to taste test that cake, but eating the bride’s cake is a definite no no!

Cake Cutting at a Belle Mer Wedding

Natalia and Brian tearing it up on the dance floor! Brian’s father joined the band on the bass guitar!

Party and Dancing at a Belle Mer wedding reception

Late evening at Belle Mer, everyone enjoying themselves… on the lawn, by the fire pit, the bar, and on the dance floor.

What a fantastic night with Natalia and Brian!

Late evening at a Belle Mer wedding reception

PS. Our partner in documenting the day was the tireless Mike from Artistic Wedding Films, you can just make out his camera in the upper left hand corner of this frame! LOL!

  • January 12, 2017 - 8:55 pm

    Natalia Colantropo - Thank you Mariah & Trish for the lovely blog post! You are both absolutely AMAZING! You captured our day so perfectly. Thank you so much for exceeding our expectations!ReplyCancel

Bride and Groom pose for a wedding photo at their Linden Place wedding

Estefany and Stephen had a beautiful Linden Place wedding in Bristol RI. Have you ever visited Bristol? It’s a gem of a sweet little town, a picture perfect Rhode Island wedding location. It’s not only perfect for wedding photography but is also just as pretty but less crowded then its neighbor Newport.

Linden Place is a vintage jewel on Hope Street,  smack dab in the center of the historic downtown. Estefany and Stephen got ready in the mansion, the bride upstairs in the bridal suite and the groom downstairs in one of the beautifully appointed rooms. How lovely are the matching mirrors?

Bride and Groom get ready for their Linden Placce wedding in Bristol RI

We  set up Estefany and Stephen’s first look in the garden by having them walk around the side of this pretty little garden building and meet at the door step. Well executed E + S! We loved Stephen’s reaction to seeing his beautiful bride for the first time. You can’t beat joyful tears!

We chose this spot not only for the architectural detail but also because the light was soft and romantic, just like the emotions. Sigh…

Bride and Groom have a sweet first look at their Linden Place wedding in Bristol RI

I think everyone imagines this wedding photograph for themselves; happily making their way down the aisle and out of the church doors into the sunshine…pausing for a just married kiss on the steps of the church. A classic wedding photograph if ever there was one and one of my personal favorites!

This pretty spot is St Luke’s Church in Barrington RI.

Bride and Groom exit the church at their Linden Place wedding

After the ceremony, we took the bridal part to Colt State Park for the formal wedding photographs. Actually, to be more specific this spot is just outside the park at Coggeshall Farm.

It’s so picturesque, one of my favorite spots in Bristol. It’s a quick trip from Linden Place, just a mile or two and sooo worth the trip!

Wedding Party at Colt State Park in Bristol RI

I sacrificed my pants to the brambles for this shot!

Romantic Wedding Photography at Colt State Park in Bristol RI

I love brides. I love looking at brides. I love photographing brides. I love grooms looking at brides. I love photographing grooms looking at brides.

Gorgeous Bridal Portrait at Colt State Park in Bristol RI

During everyone photo session, there’s a point where we know- Yes! We’ve got it. Nailed it! The photo on the right was that moment.

Romantic wedding photography at Colt State Park in Bristol RI

I have to admit, I love photographing the details! While Trish is organizing group shots and extended family pictures during the cocktail hour, I get to sneak around doing pictures like this one.  Of course, when you have beautiful details like this wedding cake from Confectionery Designs, it makes the task that much easier.

Sparkly wedding cake reception detail at Linden Place

I’m not the only one admiring the handy work of Mark Soliday of Confectionery Designs.

Flower Girls admire the wedding cake at a Linden Place wedding reception

Trish took this sneaky shot during the cocktail hour. She stole Stephen and Estefany for a few minutes while I was busy doing aforementioned cake photos. What a nice surprise when I edited the photos to find this beautiful shot!

Bride and Groom pose for a wedding photo in the solarium at Linden Place

There’s nothing better than a summer evening at Linden Place, except maybe a cute sparkler send off!

You can see other beautiful Linden Place weddings HERE.

Reception with a sparkler send off at Linden Place weddingEstefany and Stephen- we LOVED being a part of your sweet day. It’s finally your turn of the blog! Enjoy! XO Mariah and Trish


Here we are in our “yes we nailed it moment!” More often then I’d actually like, I’m standing in a patch of brambles and poison ivy.

The Snap Girls at Work