Sandy beaches, stunning waterfront views, picturesque gardens and resort stays might sound out of reach if you’re planning a wedding close to home, but if you live in or around Maryland, you need not look any further than your own backyard. Whether you want extravagance or an intimate ceremony, a weekend away or one big day, here are five Maryland wedding venues that will make your destination wedding dreams come true.
Turf Valley Resort – Ellicott City, MD
At Turf Valley, Maryland’s only full-service hotel resort between Baltimore and Washington, DC, you and your wedding guests can make a vacation of your stay with dining, golf, tennis, indoor and outdoor pools and a spa before dancing the night away at one of eight venues on site.
Indoor venues range from mid-size gatherings among crystal chandeliers, balconies and private bridal suites for up to 120-250 guests to a lavish soiree in the resort’s 9,472 square-foot Grand Ballroom for up to 600 guests. If a picturesque outdoor gathering is more your style, Turf Valley also offers a romantic garden venue.
Nestled in Ellicott City, the resort is also about 15 minutes to the southeast of historic downtown Sykesville (which also has a railway park for the kiddos) and 15 minutes west of old Ellicott City, offering plenty of shopping and dining. Head west for about 30 minutes to explore Baltimore’s Inner Harbor or Guinness Open Gate Brewery (the first U.S. brewery for Guinness in more than 63 years.)
Glen Ellen Farm – Ijamsville, MD
Find farm and country charm for your nuptials at Glen Ellen Farm in Frederick County. The historic outdoor venue in Ijamsville includes the backdrop of an 1850s Greek Revival manor house (where the bridal party can get ready or family can relax in the parlor before the ceremony) and more than 30 acres of gardens blooming year-round.
You can say “I do” at the venue’s stone patio overlooking a spring-fed pond before sending guests to the stone walled barn ruin for cocktail hour or to meander through the grounds to the cut flower garden, wildflower meadow or Adirondack chairs on the beach ahead of a tented reception for up to 300.
Ijamsville is less than 20 minutes from downtown Frederick, known for good food, drink and vintage shopping. Cunningham Falls State Park, home of the highest cascading waterfall in Maryland and a 43-acre manmade lake among the Catoctin Mountains is about 40 minutes northwest of the venue.
Annapolis Maritime Museum – Annapolis, MD
If you’re looking to tie the knot amid waterfront views, you can find them in Maryland’s state capital. For an intimate ceremony among 50-150 guests, the Annapolis Maritime Museum easily transforms into an elegant wedding venue. The museum’s beachfront area and dock provide a beautiful setting for the ceremony, and the couple can later depart from the pier by boat following the Bay Room reception.
A private detached barge house is available for the wedding party, and guests can board one of the last remaining skipjacks, the Wilma Lee, for rehearsal dinner or brunch.
The museum is less than 10 minutes away from downtown Annapolis, with attractions such as music venue Rams Head On Stage. Explore the U.S. Naval Academy or get some shopping and dining in along the charming downtown streets. About 15 minutes west of downtown, guests can also check out the local cat cafe, Kittens in Cups.
Blue Moon Rising at Deep Creek Lake – McHenry, MD
If an intimate wooded ceremony with close family and friends is more alluring than a big to-do, plan to bring your loved ones to Blue Moon Rising. This Deep Creek venue provides for a rustic outdoor wedding reception (recommended for 45-75 guests) with 10-foot barn tables and no curfew!
The private setting allows the party to continue into the night. Designed so you can spend some quality time with your guests pre-wedding, the facility is rented for a minimum of three nights.
Wedding guests will have ample time to explore the area, including Deep Creek Lake State Park, about 15 minutes southeast, which has a mile-long shore line with two swimming beaches, 20 miles of hiking and biking trails, boating, camping and a learning center.
Those looking for more adventurous excursions can try ropes courses and axe throwing at Monkey Business Adventure Park or a guided zipline Flying Squirrel Canopy Tour at Wisp Resort — both just a few minutes from the venue. More family friendly activities are also minutes away at Deep Creek Fun Zone, which has laser tag and seasonal offerings such as mini golf, go karts and bumper boats.
Strathmore – Rockville, MD
Strathmore offers three venues in one: a historic mansion, a live music venue and music center. If you choose to get married in the late-1800s Georgian Mansion, you will have the luxury of having the whole space to yourself for the big day.
For up to 100 guests for dinner or 200 for a standing reception, you can enjoy a setting of beautiful manicured lawns and Palladian windows of the Rockville home. For a more modern and industrial vibe, live music venue AMP just a mile from the main Strathmore campus can seat up to 150 guests with a dance floor or 250 theater-style, or for standing reception. The space also has a built-in bar and stage. The Strathmore’s Music Center offers a 6-story glass wall overlooking a 16-acre site of green hills, an outdoor terrace and banquet seating with a dance floor.
Capacity ranges from 100-275 guests. In the area you can explore new hot spot Pike & Rose, a neighborhood brimming with shopping, dining and entertainment. Strathmore also sits in a central location about 20 minutes from Bethesda and Silver Spring and 40 minutes from Washington, D.C.
Lead Photo: A wedding at Blue Moon Rising Cabins on Deep Creek Lake in McHenry, MD. Photo Credit: Jackie Q Photography