When Jaap first contacted me about his proposal idea at the Chinese Tea House, I was excited because this would be a new proposal spot for me. However, it would entail a 3-mile out and back walk from the parking area at Narragansett Avenue–not a big deal in itself, but I would be carrying a bunch of heavy camera gear.
Most photoshoots on the Cliff Walk occur between the 40 Steps and the Ochre Point overlook–directly in front of The Breakers mansion. This was the first time my client wanted to walk further, but who could blame him? It is stunning!
Behind the incredible Marble House in Newport, Rhode Island, stands a little treasure: the Chinese Tea House. Built in 1892 as part of a hilltop estate belonging to Alva Vanderbilt and her husband William K. Vanderbilt, it cost approximately 11 million dollars to build–and it was given to Alva by her husband on her 39th birthday.
. An ardent crusader for women’s equality, she gave thousands of dollars to the National Women’s Party to advance women’s rights. After her second husband’s death in 1908, she re-opened Marble House and had the Chinese Tea House built on the cliffs. It was here that she held her rallies for women’s right to vote.
With this rich history in women’s rights, it was pretty cool that Jaap proposed to Amanda, at this location, on International Womens’ Day, 2023.