A Special Day Deserves a Special Location

Kristin and Greg Hincke were married May 28, 2005, at Naval Air Station Patuxent River.

Southern Maryland’s list of wedding venues has something sure to appeal to any bride’s style
Writers: Judy Colbert and Angela Mattingly Breck
Cover Photo: Historic St. Mary’s City by Shiloh Hills Photography
 
There is one thing that Southern Maryland does not lack, and that is an inventory of beautiful venues where happy couples can celebrate their nuptials.
Whatever is planned for that special day, there’s sure to be a place that will welcome couples, whether they’re looking for the waterfront view, a reclaimed barn, a winery, a historic building or nature’s welcoming acreage.
Candy Farren of Leonardtown says her daughter Faith Annabelle had her heart set on a ceremony on the water.
“She really wanted a waterfront wedding,” Farren says, but the pandemic and crowd-size restrictions threw a wrench in the plans to have the ceremony on the Patuxent River Navy base. They were lucky instead to find a Calvert County location that met their needs.
Candy and her husband Jef, both Southern Maryland born and bred, were faced with some logistic problems. “You have to have a backup to a backup plan,” Candy says. “A friend’s daughter was having her wedding at the Holiday Inn Solomons, and we decided to take a look.” The Farrens found the venue very accommodating.
“The original shutdown limited events to 10 people, and we have 11 in our two families,” Candy says. “Then, the restriction was increased to 50 people, but that was barely the bridal party. We could have had 150 to 160 people but limited it to 100.”
In choosing the Holiday Inn Solomons, she says, its staff was able to handle everything
“They arranged for the ceremony to be on the deck overlooking the Back Creek, they’ll have some food outdoors, and then the reception will be inside at tables set for six (instead of eight or 10) people with all the ballrooms opened to allow for social distancing,” she says.
In between the activities, it is planned for Faith Annabelle, Ryan and the photographer to slip out to take the iconic, romantic picture of the sunset behind the Gov. Thomas Johnson Bridge, complete with a long veil being thrown into the wind.
The past year has been a trying time for many couples on just about every level, with particular stress on deciding where to have a special event.
Fortunately, Southern Maryland venues seem to be able to answer every need.
 

Courtesy of Town of Leonardtown

THE JOURNEY BEGINS WITH A LOCATION
Choosing a location and setting a date is usually the first big decision that needs to be made.
Desi Smith of Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum in St. Leonard says couples chose a venue for its amenities, atmosphere and location. And JPPM can offer that at its scenic spot. The park sits on 560 acres overlooking St. Leonard Creek and the Patuxent River.
“We are considered an outdoor venue, and that’s more desirable during a pandemic,” she says. All guests must follow all state, county mandates, and we work closely with the Calvert County Health Department. We also have a reputation for being flexible and budget-friendly.”
JPPM clients get to work with their desired vendors, and the park’s price point includes more amenities than other local venues such as rental equipment, additional set-up hours and get-ready spaces, she says.
“At JPPM we provide the venue space, but do not provide event coordination. This season, so far, we have had one early spring wedding, and have several upcoming. We had a few reschedule for later in the season or 2022,” Desi says.
Across the Patuxent River in St. Mary’s County there are many waterfront historic homes that host weddings. The list includes Lower Notley Hall Farm in Chaptico on the Wicomico River, once home to an early Colonial governor in the 17th century, and nearby Ocean Hall in Bushwood.
Ocean Hall is also a National Historic Landmark on four acres at the mouth of the Wicomico.
Brides drawn to spots rich in history might want to consider Historic St. Mary’s City, which visitstmarysmd.com calls the “jewel of Southern Maryland.”
HSMC, along the shores of the St. Mary’s River, is the site of the first capital of Maryland. It is also a National Historic Landmark.
A replica of the Maryland Dove, one of the ships that sailed to the New World from England in 1634, is moored at a nearby dock. The Historic State House, Brick Chapel of 1667, the Inn at Brome Howard and a gazebo, too, make for desirable spots for wedding photos.
Farther south in Ridge, Woodland Farm is a historic estate with views of the Potomac River.
 

Cove Point in Lusby, Courtesy of Lisa Kelley

SO MANY PERFECT ONES
When Carrie Lovejoy of Newburg was looking for a location for daughter D.J.’s wedding she chose Swan Point Yacht & Country Club along the Potomac River in Issue.
Having planned her own wedding many years ago, Lovejoy says she was glad someone else was responsible for taking care of all the minute details of her daughter’s wedding day.
“You are already stressed out enough,” she says. “Why not let someone else handle the details?”
She says she was happy to hand over the planning duties.
They are so many things you don’t think of, she says, and the venue has a wedding specialist devoted to helping you.
“They are thinking of all of the aspects. It’s good to have someone do that for you,” she says.
As for the location, Carrie says, “It’s just beautiful.” The wedding was held creekside, and then the guests moved inside to the clubhouse.
Carrie, a wedding photographer, has shot weddings at many different kinds of locations, including backyards and church halls. Each has its own aesthetic benefits, she says.
She has also photographed weddings at Swan Point, which she says is a photogenic location. There are opportunities to take pictures along the water, at the yacht club’s pier, and on the golf course.
“Lots of natural spaces,” she says.

Weatherly Farm in Newburg, Courtesy of Lisa Kelley


 
FINE WINERIES
Southern Maryland is now home to several fine wineries and many of them offer beautiful backdrops for special ceremonies.
Those who know about the Port of Leonardtown Winery, probably know that it’s a cooperative of 12 vineyards from St. Mary’s, Calvert and Charles counties that’s been around for 10 years. Growers contribute the grapes to the winery to produce award-winning beverages. The location also has become a popular venue for smaller events.
As with other places, many events were canceled or postponed during 2020 and early 2021. However, Sharon Fondren, the wine club and the assistant manager for the tasting room, says over the past year, they have reached out to organizations that sponsor events.
The winery, situated along Mcintosh Run, is available for special events.
Set in a repurposed historic commercial building surrounded by the Port of Leonardtown Park green space, the venue, Sharon says is fortunate that the town has given the winery permission to spread into their space. The park has a walking trail, picnic tables, a gazebo, and a canoe and kayak launch. In other words, plenty of room to be socially distant.
“That walk-around option is something restaurants can’t offer,” she says.
“The winery doesn’t provide the food, so lots of outside providers do,” Sharon says.
As dismal as last year was, Sharon says she already has bookings through September 2022. In between, the first two weeks of May 2021 were busy with a wedding reception, rehearsal dinners, and wedding and baby showers.
Also in the county seat, many have discovered the Leonardtown Wharf Park for waterside weddings. The park has open space for outdoor receptions, but best of all – a gorgeous view of Breton Bay.
 
CLOSE TO HOME
Pandemic restrictions have loosened and families are now able to gather in large groups once again to help couples start their lives together.
Where the event is held very often sets the tone for the rest of the event’s trappings — from the menu, the flowers, the cake, the attire and more. With a selection of beautiful and unique locations, there’s a good chance to find the perfect place that fits your style.
What better place to start your planning than close to home!
The tourism departments in Calvert (choosecalvert.com), Charles (explorecharlescounty.com) and St. Mary’s (visitstmarysmd.com) counties can help get you started on the journey.
What follows is a list of some of the most popular venue places.
Please know that this list is not all inclusive, these are the venues that responded to us when we reached out to them.


Courtesy of Lisa Kelley


CALVERT COUNTY
 
Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center, Solomons
Contact: Stacey Ruff at 410-326-4640; rentals@annmariegarden.org;
AnnmarieGarden.org
Type of venue: Outdoor sculpture garden and indoor art gallery.
Number of guests: Up to 500.
Included in rental: Selection of indoor or outdoor space or a combination of both, including Main Gallery, Mezzanine Gallery, Hungerford Patio or sculpture garden lawn.
Details: The Arts Center building features soaring windows that overlook the surrounding woods and sculpture park. Flexible space inside the building allows for small or large weddings.
 

The Barn at Cage Stables


Barn at Cage Stables, St. Leonard
Contact: 410-586-0801; thebarnatcagestables@gmail.com
The Barn at Cage Stables Facebook Page
Type of venue: Barn
Details: The barn is a simple structure with elegant fixtures. We have limited dates, but please call or email to check availability! It is a waterfront venue with lots of room to expand, for all types of events. A blank canvas!
 

Barn at Pleasant Acres, St. Leonard
Contact: 443-624-3333; info@thebarnatpleasantacres.com;

thebarnatpleasantacres.com
Type of venue: Indoor temp controlled/outdoor
Number of guests: Up to 200.
Included in rental: Hand-built wooden tables/ Chiavari chairs; lighting: string lights, waterfall light backdrop, chandelier and party lights; day-of coordinator, parking services, dance floor, guest care services; ceremony seating; complete setup and cleanup; trash removal.
Details: The Barn at Pleasant Acres is family owned and operated to bring you a unique kind of care. This venue only supports one event per weekend, so you will have exclusive access to all of its services.
 

Courtesy of Lisa Kelley

Calvert Marine Museum, Solomons
Contact: Facilities and events coordinator at 410-474-0302

calvertmarinemuseum.com
Type of venue: Outdoor waterfront and indoor museum event space.
Number of guests: Up to 150.
Included in rental: Waterfront or indoor ceremony reception space.
Details: Located at the mouth of the Patuxent River, the Calvert Marine Museum offers outdoor, waterfront wedding and reception settings in the Boat Basin at Drum Point Lighthouse; aboard the historic sailing vessel William B. Tennison; or under the 30-by-40 foot Corbin Pavilion. The Harms Gallery is an exquisite meeting and event room located inside the beautiful waterfront Calvert Marine Museum. The recently remodeled space includes a prep kitchen and state-of-the-art audio and video equipment. A removable wall opens the Harms Gallery up to the museum lobby and gives the space the capability of accommodating large functions. The Harms Gallery can accommodate up to 150 guests seated.
 
The Hall at Huntingtown, Huntingtown
Contact: Carole Fonfara; 410-535-4439; cfonfara@hallathuntingtown.com
hallathuntingtown.com
Type of venue: Banquet hall.
Number of guests: Up to 275.
Included in rental: Tables/chairs, dance floor and audio system; linens, choice of preferred food and beverage caterers plus full commercial kitchen.
Details: Located above the Huntingtown Volunteer Fire Department, the Hall at Huntingtown is a 3,000-square-foot indoor ballroom complete with a sparkling chandelier. Neutral décor and intimate lighting make this space perfect for both weddings and receptions, from small and cozy to large and extravagant.
 

Courtesy of Jax Photography


Holiday Inn Solomons Conference
Center and Marina, Solomons
Contact: Gail Perry at 410-394-3608; gperry@hisolomons.com;
hisolomons.com/Weddings
Type of venue: Waterfront ceremony site, outdoor/indoor reception spaces.
Number of guests: Up to 480 banquet-style.
Included in rental: Tables/chairs, linens, china, glassware, flatware, full-service food and beverage catering and event planning services.
Details: The Holiday Inn is a nine-acre waterfront hotel, special event center and marina located on beautiful Back Creek in Solomons. Charming outdoor sites for ceremonies and two beautiful ballrooms that can accommodate weddings small or large, rehearsal dinners. Spacious waterfront guest rooms compliment any visit.
 

Starella Photography


Jefferson Patterson Park, St. Leonard
Contact: Desiree Smith at 410-586-8501; desiree.smith@maryland.gov;
Jppmevents.com
Type of venue: Historic Barn “The Pavilion”
Number of guests: Up to 200.
Included in rental: Pavilion, expansive lawn, picnic tables with benches, round tables, white bistro chairs for 200, decorative barrels, caterer’s kitchen and covered courtyard.
Details: This spacious open-air pavilion with over 4,000 square feet of sheltered space, connecting outdoor courtyard, and large lawn area with seasonal water views will create a natural and peaceful setting for any special event.

 

Courtesy of The Barn at Ogden Commons


The Barn at Ogden Commons, Port Republic
Contact: Laurie Hall at 443-975-3637; Facebook @TheBarnAtOgdenCommons;
Ogdenbarn.com
Type of venue: Indoor/outdoor rustic barn.
Number of guests: Up to 99.
Included in rental: Tables/chairs, two buffet tables, cocktail tables, two bathrooms, rustic décor outdoor patios.
Details: The newly built barn features large wooden beams and offers a charming and rustic backdrop for celebrations, whether intimate, elegant, casual or something in between. The grounds surrounding the barn can offer guests a intimate ceremony site or an extension of the party.
 
Running Hare Vineyard, Prince Frederick
Contact: Cheryl Keys at 410-414-8486; events@runningharevineyard.com;
RunningHareVineyard.com
Type of venue: Outdoor vineyard ceremony site with Tuscan styled events building.
Number of guests: Up to 280.
Included in rental: Chivari chairs/table, dance floor.
Details: This 300-acre private farm with an eight-acre vineyard and winery features a Tuscan-styled events building with 8,400 square feet of covered porch and indoor ballroom for dining and dancing under a seven-foot crystal chandelier. A romantic vine covered tunnel delivers a charming entrance into the private ceremony site surrounded by vineyard.
 

Courtesy of Rod & Reel

Rod ‘N’ Reel Resort, Chesapeake Beach
Contact: Sarah at 410-286-2104; sarah.komar@rnrresortmd.com;
RnRResortmd.com
Type of venue: Outdoor waterfront ceremony and reception site.
Number of guests: Up to 200.
Included in rental: White Chiavari chairs, tables, white floor-length linens, bridal suite, new dance floor and bar, white drapes to line tent, chandelier and white lights.
Details: Have your dream waterfront wedding ceremony and reception on
the Chesapeake Bay at Rod ‘N’ Reel Resort in Chesapeake Beach. Your full
service wedding package includes venue, food, bar, service staff and on-site amenities. A wedding team will help you plan your perfect wedding day on
the Chesapeake Bay!

 


CHARLES COUNTY
 
Bliss in the Barn, La Plata
Contact: 301-659-9164;

www.BlissintheBarn.com
Type of venue: Indoor/outdoor.
Number of guests: Up to 200.
Included in rental: Packages are available for Micro and Standard weddings.
There are also many add-on options such as custom florals, appetizers, extra time and catering options.
Details: Bliss in the Barn is a rustic, authentic tobacco barn with more than
1,700 square feet of space with another 1,000 square feet of covered portico.
This private, welcoming property will be the perfect venue for any family
gathering, wedding or reception.
 
Hilton Garden Inn, Waldorf
Contact: 240-222-0000 or 240-222-0001
Type of venue: Hotel.
Number of guests: Up to 180.
Included in rental: Tables/chairs.
Details: This hotel that overlooks a serene man-made lake has 2,500 square
feet of modern banquet space to choose from with three smaller rooms that
open up into one large room. The on-site restaurant offers professional
catering services for all your wedding events.
 
Indian Head Pavilion, Indian Head
Contact: Karen Lindquist-Williams at 240-375-4061.
Type of venue: Indoor, with outdoor options.
Number of guests: Comfortably seats 220.
Included in rental: Set-up for tables/chairs.
Details: The Village Green Park and Pavilion can accommodate both the ceremonies
and receptions. Outdoor sites include a fountain or gazebo setting. The hall is equipped with a commercial kitchen and full-sized stage to meet all entertaining needs.
 

Courtesy of Port Tobacco Courthouse

Historic Port Tobacco Courthouse/ Historic Port Tobacco Village, Port Tobacco
Contacts: Joyce Edelen, 301-934-9056;

keechjoyce@aol.com or Mary Fenton 301-375-7892
marysfenton@yahoo.com
Type of venue: Historic indoor/outdoor.
Number of guests: 99 indoor, larger guest count accommodations outdoors.
Included in rental: Historic courthouse building and grounds.
Details: The Village and lovely grounds surround this historic courthouse to create a quaint atmosphere for wedding parties. Discover the reconstructed 1800s courthouse and the beautiful marshlands of Port Tobacco in this picturesque site.
 
Mattawoman Creek Art Center (MCAC), Marbury
Contact: 301-743-5159; mattawomanart@aol.com;

MattawomanArt.org
Type of venue: Outdoor waterfront and indoor art gallery.
Number of guests: Up to 100.
Details: Mattawoman Creek Art Center is a fine art gallery located within
Smallwood State Park overlooking the beautiful Mattawoman Creek. This is
the ideal venue for small gathering and intimate weddings.
 

Courtesy of Serenity Farm

Serenity Farm, Benedict

Contact: Theresa Robinson at 301-399-1634; serenityfarm1@gmail.com,

SerenityFarmInc.com
Type of venue: Waterfront outdoor and indoor tobacco barns.
Number of guests: Up to 200.
Included in rental: Indoor bathrooms, dance floor, staff.
Details: For a real country wedding venue, Serenity Farm is the perfect place with the only USDA-certified, walk-in petting zoo in Southern Maryland on site. Couples can choose to have the ceremony overlooking the Patuxent River and then head to one of the large tobacco barns for a reception.

 


 
ST. MARY’S COUNTY

Courtesy of Bowles Farm


Bowles Farm, Clements
Contact: 301-475-2139,
BowlesFarms.com
Type of venue: Indoor/outdoor.
Number of guests: Up to 300.
Included in rental: Tables and chairs.
Details: The farm is 70 acres so there is plenty of space for your special event! The event barn, which features rich tongue and grove wood from the wall to the ceiling, creates a charming rustic space. Catering is prepared by the amazing staff to make your day as seamless as possible.
 

Courtesy of Flora Corner Farm and Brigitte Renee Photography

Flora Corner Farm, Mechanicsville
Contact: Harold and Diane Burroughs, owners, and Heather Zeolla, wedding coordinator, at 301-848-3248; diane@floracornerfarm.com;
FloraCornerFarm.com
Type of venue: Outdoor with heated/air-conditioned barn.

Number of guests: Up to 150.

Included in rental: Tables/chairs, linens and decorations, outdoor lawn furniture, picnic tables and bistro tables; custom-designed items are available.Details: Flora Corner Farm is nestled between rolling hills and fields of crops with an enchanting barn. It includes an extensive lawn area with gardens, patios, a fire pit and lawn games, as well as a special area for outdoor ceremonies. The bride and groom can even enjoy an Amish cart ride around the farm! Arrangements can be made for an indoor wedding in case of inclement weather.

 

Historic St. Mary’s City, St. Mary’s City
Contact: 240-895-4991; events@digshistory.org
Type of venue: Indoor/outdoor, waterfront historic site.
Number of guests: From 70-300.
Included in rental:  Varies by site – 4 wedding venues to choose from.
Details: St. Mary’s City offers two main venues – the reconstructed State House of 1676 and The Inn at Brome-Howard, an 1840s bed and breakfast. Receptions at the State House take place under the pavilion – a beautiful 45’x90’ pavilion with the ceremony taking place overlooking the St. Mary’s River. You have two rental options at the Inn – you can rent the entire Inn for the weekend or just the outdoor lawn. Additional venues for smaller weddings include the Margaret Brent Gazebo and The Dove dock. With our beautiful venues, a private tour is always recommended in order to see all the options. A packet with all the costs and details are provided at the tour.  All our wedding venues overlook the St. Mary’s River.
 
Jubilee Farm, Leonardtown
Contact: Jim Grube at 301-247-8800; jim.woodlawnfarm@icloud.com;

JubileeFarmWedding.com
Type of venue: Outdoor, waterfront, historic site.
Number of guests: Up to 140.
Included in rental: Tables/chairs, dance floor, restrooms.
Details: The formal gardens and vineyards at the peninsula of Jubilee Farm form a very private enclave for ceremonies and receptions. The Winer Barn, a temperature-controlled, rustic Amish-built barn sets the tone for an authentic winery wedding.
 
Lower Notley Hall Farm, Chaptico
Contact: 301-769-2030,

LowerNotleyHallFarm.com
Type of venue: Outdoor, waterfront (barn and manor house).
Number of guests: Up to 150.
Included in rental: Tables and chairs, as well as some decorative pieces.
Details: Lower Notley Hall Farm is an award-winning and family-owned historic waterfront wedding venue with reception barn located in Southern Maryland, just 50 miles south of Washington, D.C.
 
Olde Breton Inn, Leonardtown
Contact: 301-475-2699; oldebretoninn@gmail.com;
OldeBretonInn.com
Type of venue: Indoor with deck/outdoor.
Number of guests: 150 indoors and 350+ outdoors.
Included in rental: Catering, bar service, dance floor, tables/chairs, linens, china, stemware and flatware. Bridal suite for preparation and separate hors d’oeuvres room. Optional tent for outdoor events.
Details: Once known as Society Hill, Olde Breton Inn is a renovated 1793 manor house with a breathtaking ballroom overlooking Breton Bay, St. Clement’s Bay and the Potomac River. The ballroom opens to a 2,000-square-foot deck. The grounds include a gazebo for wedding ceremonies.

Courtesy of The Belmont Farm


 

The Belmont Farm, Clements
Contact: Missy Bailey at 301-904-3641; ritabcatering@yahoo.com
VisitStMarysMD.com/directory/the-belmont-farm/
Type of venue: Indoor/outdoor farm venue with 30×60 stamped concrete patio.
Number of guests: Up to 200.
Included in rental: Chairs, tables, dance floor, lights.
Details: The Belmont Farm is an intimate farm venue located on
100 beautiful acres in Clements. This venue is climate controlled,
has indoor restrooms, WiFi, bridal suite and more! This family-owned venue will provide you with that family kind of care featuring Rita B Catering.
 

Courtesy of Town of Leonardtown

Leonardtown Wharf, Leonardtown
Contact: Brandy Blackstone at 301-475-9791 or brandy.blackstone@leonardtownmd.gov
VisitLeonardtownMD.com/planning
Type of Venue: Outdoor, waterfront.
Number of guests: Up to 400.
Included in rental: Park amenities.
Details: Leonardtown Wharf is a beautifully landscaped park that offers a spectacular waterfront view. Featuring a charming gazebo and the elegant Compass Rose, it’s no wonder that Leonardtown Wharf has become such a popular location for weddings and special events.
 
Port of Leonardtown Winery Park, Leonardtown
Contact: Brandy Blackstone at 301-475-9791 or brandy.blackstone@leonardtownmd.gov

VisiLeonardtownMD.com/planning
Type of venue: Outdoor/winery.
Number of guests: Up to 400.
Included in rental: Park amenities.
Details: This lush green park, located off of Newtowne Neck Road next to the award-winning Port of Leonardtown Winery, is quickly becoming a not-so-hidden gem in Leonardtown with its beautifully manicured lawns, elegant landscaping and the drama of a grand pavilion. It’s the perfect location for any wedding or special event.
 
The Riverview Restaurant at Wicomico Shores Golf Course, Mechanicsville
Contact: Darrell Erskine at darrell.erskine@stmarysmd.com or 301-884-0399.
Type of venue: Indoor with patio and golf course/water views.
Number of guests: Up to 140.
Included in rental: Tables/chairs, catering.
Details: The spacious Riverview banquet room overlooks the scenic Wicomico River and the 18th hole of the golf course. Serving the community for over 40 years, this spacious venue offers guests a beautiful and relaxing experience.
 

Courtesy of Summerseat Farm and Jessica Tennyson Photography

Summerseat Farm, Mechanicsville
Contact: 301-373-6607; info@summerseat.org;

Summerseat.org.
Type of venue: Outdoor.
Number of guests: 150 wedding, 200 reception.
Includes: Dressing room in manor house, on-site volunteer staff.
Details: Summerseat is a laid-back, informal venue. It’s has been an old working farm since the 18th century. The grounds include a gazebo for ceremonies, beautiful gardens and a fishpond with a fountain.
 
White Rose, Callaway
Contact: Mellanie Teed at 301-373-3253; info.ptcatering@gmail.com;

www.pt-catering.com
Type of venue: Newly renovated banquet hall.
Number of guests: Up to 400.
Includes: Bridal suite, tables/chairs, catering, linens, china and bar.
Details: French country-style facility with acoustic ceilings and crystal chandeliers. The White Rose is a large hall with on-site catering by Personalized Touch catering and will be ready for rentals in January 2022.
 

Courtesy of Lisa Kelley

Woodlawn Farm, Ridge
Contact: Jim Grube at 301-247-8800; jim.woodlawnfarm@icloud.com;
Woodlawn-Farm.com
Type of venue: Outdoor, waterfront, historic site.
Number of guests: Up to 250.
Included in rental: Tables/chairs, dance floor, restrooms.
Details: Located on Calvert Creek, this 400-year-old historic property has a private and spacious site for ceremonies and a fully temperature controlled barn for receptions. Suites and rooms are available on site to give guests a chance to enjoy this beautiful property even more.