A bride and groom enjoy their first kiss during their Portland CT wedding at Saint Clements Castle.

Wedding Venue Feature: St. Clements Castle and Marina

Vibe and FeaturesWide open riverside grounds, unique architecture, ballroom reception
Guest Capacity650
Location1931 Portland-Cobalt Rd.
Portland, CT 06480
Similar VenuesThe Barns at Wesleyan Hills, Aria, Cascade Fine Catering, Castle Hill Inn

In the Middletown area, across the Connecticut River from that city, is a small town named Portland. While this town was once known as East Middletown, one of the things it’s now known is the highly-esteemed Saint Clements Castle wedding venue.

History of Saint Clements Castle

St. Clements Castle was built for Howard and Gertrude Taylor; construction ended in 1902. Architect Sidney Algernon Bell conceived the design, modeling it after 16th-centruy European castles. Unsurprisingly, the name is after Pope Clement I, supposedly the patron saint of sailors in the Christian religion.

In 1969, the property came under the ownership of Wesleyan University. Then in 1993, Saint Clements Castle came under the ownership of a nonprofit foundation, which continues to maintain it to this day.

Much more recently, a revitalized feature of Saint Clements Castle weddings has come into play. As of 2022, the property’s new Rivers Edge at Saint Clements Marina is now available for events.

Saint Clements Castle Venue Vibe and Features

A bride and groom post at night during their Saint Clements Castle wedding.

Obviously, we should start with the main aesthetic of this venue: it looks like a small castle. It has a very distinct tower visible from the front. Markedly, the property is huge at about 90 acres. Here are some details on how the property is broken up:


In many ways, the exterior details of St. Clements Castle are similar to those of Lion Rock Farm. There are statues, courtyards, gardens, and wide-open grassy spaces. The grounds are very well maintained and make for great photos.

A bride walks outside for her first look during her St. Clements Castle wedding.

Of course, weddings at the Rivers Edge at Saint Clements Marina portion of the property are right on the Connecticut River. The main property, however, does give you water views from the outdoor ceremony site.


A bride and groom enjoy their first dance during their Saint Clements Castle wedding.

As far as Saint Clements Castle wedding receptions go, the venue features its Waterford and Prince Edward Ballrooms. The former is the larger of the two, accommodating up to 250 guests. It includes a bar, a good-sized dancefloor, and plenty of room for tables. Plated catering is handled in house.

Note that with the two reception spaces, St. Clements castle sometimes has two concurrent weddings. It’s also important to realize, however, that you can book the entire venue for your wedding day.

Upstairs is a suite where one partner and their attendants can get ready. Downstairs (like the ballrooms), as the art gallery, a beautiful room for portraits. Surprisingly, this space can also be configured with two rows of 12 seats and standing room for another 100 people for an indoor ceremony.

Saint Clements Castle Cost

Here are some considerations regarding the cost of a St. Clements Castle wedding:

  • A signed contract, deposit of 2000, and a preservation fee of 550 are required to book the venue. Accordingly, the remainder of the fee is due in two payments before your date. The venue also charges an “administrative service charge” of 22%.
  • There are strict arrival and departure times for the getting ready suite, depending on the day of the week. You’ll want to factor this in while planning your wedding. If you have a planner, ask them to help you work on timing (venue access can make a big impact on your photography plans, for example).
  • On-site ceremony rehearsals generally aren’t allowed. What’s more, neither are fireworks, sparklers, or smoke machines.

Hotels Close to Saint Clements Castle and Marina

Always consider accommodations when coming up with your wedding plan! Here are some hotels close to St. Clements Castle:

  1. Inn at Middletown (Middletown, CT)
  2. The Bevin House Bed & Breakfast (East Hampton, CT)
  3. Holiday Inn Express Hartford South (Rocky Hill, CT)
  4. Sheraton Hartford South Hotel (Rocky Hill, CT)
  5. SpringHill Suites by Marriott Hartford Cromwell (Cromwell, CT)

Saint Clements Castle Wedding Reviews

St. Clements Castle has positive reviews all over the place. For example, Google, The Knot, and WeddingWire are great places to check.

By the way, one of my couples had this to say about their Saint Clements Castle wedding:

We looked into 50+ venues and toured at least 10…St. Clements had us completely informed from our very first meeting…At the end of the day, we just loved the beauty, elegance and location of St. Clements…They made the process fun.

A real St. Clements Castle bride and groom

Saint Clements Castle Wedding Photos

Here are some more wedding photos from weddings at St. Clements Castle:

Learn More

Here’s a Portland CT wedding I photographed at this venue. To get in touch with the venue, contact Saint Clements Castle using the links below.

I love working at this venue! Just use the links below if you’d like to learn more about my wedding photography..


I used the following references at different points in this post:

  1. “A Brief History of Portland,” Town of Portland Connecticut
  2. “Saint Clements Castle (1902),” Historic Buildings of Connecticut
  3. “Our Story,” Saint Clements Castle
  4. The View From Portland; A River Castle Changes Hands and Its Subjects Wax Nostalgic,” The New York Times
  5. “River’s Edge at Saint Clement’s Marina,” Hartford Business Journal
  6. “Frequently Asked Questions,” Saint Clements Castle
  7. “Layout & Room Capacities,” Saint Clements Castle

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