A bride and groom pose during their Graduate Providence wedding day.

Wedding Venue Feature: Graduate Providence / Biltmore

Vibe and FeaturesDowntown city, classic Gatsby feel, tasteful ballrooms
Guest Capacity500
Location11 Dorrance St.
Providence, RI 02903
Similar VenuesThe Society Room of Hartford, Castle Hill Inn, Providence Public Library

In the heart of downtown Providence is The Biltmore, now known as Graduate Providence. Combining historic charm with modern amenities, this premiere Providence, RI wedding venue is where it’s at. Read on about the possiblities of your dream Providence Biltmore wedding.

(This post contains images taken by me while working with Massart Photography.)

History of Graduate Providence

Originally opened in 1922 as The Providence Biltmore, Graduate Providence is a landmark hotel. Warren and Wetmore, the architects behind New York City’s Grand Central Terminal, used a Beaux-Arts style when constructing the 18-story hotel.

The hotel has seen various roles, from hosting high society events in its early years, to serving military functions during World War II, to being a part of, well, Rhode Island folklore.

Interestingly, what is now Graduate Providence has actually had about half a dozen names over the years. You’re here reading about Providence Biltmore weddings, however, because that name evidently has the most staying power.

So much staying power, in fact, that the original “Biltmore” neon sign on the roof remains despite the venue’s Graduate chain ownership.

Graduate Providence Venue Vibe and Features

Simply put, Graduate Providence became a premiere Rhode Island wedding venue because of its old-money stylings. The basics of Beaux-Arts architecture are prominent here, from symmetry, ornate decorations, and a mezzanine.

These aesthetic details, coupled with the venue’s interesting history, make a it a draw if you’re into eclectic New England city charm.

Similar to The Society Room of Hartford in neighboring Connecticut, you can get some Great Gatsby vibes at The Biltmore.

Location, Location, Location

A bride holds the train of her dress while holding hands with her groom on their wedding day at the Rhode Island State house.

One of the great parts of a Graduate Providence wedding is the venue’s convenient location in downtown Providence. More specifically, the front entrance is on Dorrance Street. It’s only a 15-minute drive from T.F. Green Airport.

There are plenty of nearby restaurants and bars for rehearsal dinners and other wedding-related events. Also, nearby wedding photo locations and attractions like the RISD Museum, Biltmore and Burnside Parks, Providence Public Library, and the Rhode Island State House are close.

The groom looks at the bride while they both sit in front of a red curtain in the hotel lobby of their Providence Biltmore wedding.

This part of downtown Providence has several parking garages within walking distance of The Biltmore (not to mention an abundance of Uber rideshares). Graduate Providence offers self-parking options, too.

Graduate Providence Layout

Here are some details of how you might utilize the hotel’s spaces during your Graduate Providence wedding:

First Floor

The mezzanine and first floor are ready for a Graduate Providence wedding day.

Entering the hotel through the main doors with everything from your wedding dress to your reception d├ęcor, you’re greeted by The Biltmore’s epic lobby. Believe it or not, this area has a few photogenic spots for portraits. The beautiful staircase to the second floor is probably the highlight.

Second Floor and Mezzanine

The groom in a black tux walks and buttons his jacket on the mezzanine before his wedding at Providence Biltmore.

On the second floor, you’ll find The Biltmore mezzanine. This is the default location for cocktail hour. You two and your guests can have a great time here; the space is really quite fancy.

If you booked the Capital Ballroom, it’s actually on the same level as the mezzanine and located a few steps away. If you’ll be in Biltmore Ballroom, elevators will take you upstairs.

The Biltmore’s Ballrooms

The mainstays of Graduate Providence weddings are The Biltmore’s two grand ballrooms. You can choose between these event spaces based on the size and layout of your wedding day.

On the second floor (next to the mezzanine) is the smaller Capital Ballroom. This space is about 3500 square feet and can host a guest count of up to 300 for a wedding reception.

On the 17th floor is the grand Biltmore Ballroom. This one is over 4000 square feet in size and can hold 500 guests for a reception.

Catering services at Graduate Providence are top-notch, making you and your guests feel like you’re in a fine dining establishment during your wedding.

Wedding Ceremony Options

A bride is talked down the aisle by her father during the ceremony before her Graduate Providence wedding reception.

The Biltmore has a few options for ceremony locations, including the aforementioned ballrooms as well as other smaller spaces.

It’s common for couples to book their wedding reception at Graduate Providence after hosting their ceremony elsewhere. Naturally, this fits well with The Biltmore’s reputation is an awesome reception venue.

My personal experience involved a church ceremony (at Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in the city) before a Providence Biltmore wedding reception.

Hotels Near Graduate Providence

The groom poses in his black tuxedo and smiles before his wedding while in a room at Graduate Providence.

As with any other urban hotel venue, part of Graduate Providence’s attractiveness is the opportunity to get room blocks at your wedding venue. For the two of you (at minimum) and your wedding/bridal party, this makes getting ready options (i.e. “bridal suite” access) really easy.

If you or your wedding guests prefer some separation, there are several other hotel options near Graduate Providence, including Hotel Providence and Omni Providence Hotel.

The groom gets help from his father with putting his tuxedo jacket on before his Providence Biltmore wedding.

And now for a wedding photographer’s perspective: the rooms at Graduate Providence are quite nice!

Rhode Island State House Wedding Photos

Conveniently located in downtown Providence, your wedding at The Biltmore gives you the chance to explore photo opportunities in the city. Rhode Island State House is just a few minutes away from the venue and is a great location for wedding day portraits in the city!

Learn More

Here’s how to inquire about your own wedding at The Biltmore / Graduate Providence:

For more info about my work as a wedding photographer, just use these links.

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