Marylandâ€™s gay and lesbian couples began legally marrying on Jan. 1 after the stateâ€™s marriage law was upheld in the November election. Couples all across the state are now making plans to tie the knot so weâ€™ve assembled a list of 10 fab places to either get married or to party after the ceremony.
â€˘Â Four Seasons Baltimore. Looking for an over-the-top, luxurious place to celebrate? The brand-new Four Seasons on the Inner Harbor offers everything from sumptuous rooms to stunning views. 200 International Dr., Baltimore, 410-576-5800, fourseasons.com/baltimore
â€˘ Antrim 1844. For a quieter and more pastoral setting, Taneytownâ€™s historic Antrim 1844 offers options for all wedding party sizes. Antrim has its own wedding planners on staff who will assist with everything from menus to flowers to stemware. The mansion sits on 25 acres dotted with rose gardens and plenty of romantic spots to say â€śI do.â€ť 30 Trevanion Rd., Taneytown, 410-756-6812, antrim1844.com/weddings
â€˘ Black Walnut Point Inn. This stunning gay-owned inn sits on its own private island. The owners were the second same-sex couple to apply for a marriage license in Talbot County and hosted a group of couples for a marriage ceremony on Jan. 1. You can get married on the Great Lawn with endless water views and the inn will connect couples with local caterers and work to accommodate all budgets. The inn sits on a secluded point about 90 minutes from the Bay Bridge on the Eastern Shore. 4417 Black Walnut Point Rd., Tilghman Island, 410-886-2452, blackwalnutpointinn.com
â€˘Â Hotel Monaco Baltimore.Â The Monaco is part of the LGBT-supportive Kimpton Hotel chain and housed inside the historic former Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Headquarters downtown within walking distance of the harbor. The dramatic Beaux Arts style dĂ©cor includes grand marble staircases, Tiffany stained glass windows and crystal chandeliers. The Monaco offers convenient wedding packages that include cocktail hour, dinner, Champagne toast, dining, dancing and more. 2 N. Charles St., Baltimore, 443-692-6170, monaco-baltimore.com
â€˘ Volt. When considering venues and destinations for your Maryland wedding, donâ€™t overlook beautiful downtown Frederick with its quaint setting, mountain views and historic Market Street area lined with restaurants and shops. Perhaps the best-known restaurant here is Volt, which hosts private events overseen by a dedicated staff coordinator. From elegant to relaxed, Volt makes for a memorable event and offers award-winning farm-to-table cuisine from Chef Bryan Voltaggio, who was a prominent donor to the Maryland marriage equality cause. 228 N. Market St., Frederick, 301-696-VOLT, voltrestaurant.com
â€˘ American Visionary Art Museum. If quirky is more your style, then a Baltimore wedding may be for you and the American Visionary Art Museum is among the quirkier places to wed. Known as the national repository for works by self-taught artists, AVAM has earned an international reputation for its award-winning exhibits and architecture. AVAM is located in Federal Hill and convenient to downtown and can accommodate intimate dinner parties and large receptions in multiple banquet rooms. The coolest space is probably AVAMâ€™s Sculpture Barn housed in an adjacent building that holds 125 for a seated dinner. A larger third floor banquet room can accommodate 400 guests. 800 Key Highway, Baltimore, 410-244-1900, avam.orgÂ
â€˘ Strathmore. Located in Bethesda, the Mansion at Strathmore offers on-site chefs, kitchen and staff. The hilltop Mansion holds 150 for a seated dinner and the space is spectacular with Palladian windows, a grand staircase and chandeliers. The grounds are equally stunning with 100-year-old trees and manicured lawns â€” all within short distance of the Beltway. 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda, 301-581-5255, strathmore.org
â€˘ Metropolitan Community Churches. Marriage isnâ€™t all parties and DJs â€” some couples, of course, want as traditional as possible a wedding day and thatâ€™s where Metropolitan Community Churches comes in. Maryland is lucky to have a handful of MCC locations, including Baltimore, Boyds, College Park and Hagerstown. MCC â€śproclaims Godâ€™s inclusive love for all people,â€ť according to its vision statement. Learn more and find contact information for all the Maryland churches at mccchurch.org.
â€˘ Westin Annapolis. Why not tie the knot in the city where lawmakers voted to make it legal? Annapolis is a historic, picturesque waterfront town and although there isnâ€™t a gay scene in the Dupont Circle sense, there are plenty of gay-friendly places to hold a wedding and/or reception. One of them is the Westin Annapolis, which offers world-class amenities, luxury rooms, spa services, indoor pool and more, including spaces for wedding parties large or more intimate. There are banquet and catering menus available for review online. 100 Westgate Circle, Annapolis, 410-972-4300, westinannapolis.com
â€˘ Married at sea. Maryland has a long and deep association with the Chesapeake Bay so what better way to honor those seafaring traditions than a ceremony aboard a sailboat? The Selina II is a historic 1926 yacht that provides an unforgettable setting for a wedding. The Selina II departs from quaint St. Michaelâ€™s with room for six aboard or many more for a dockside service. Staff will create a â€śpersonalized nautical event to treasureâ€ť and Captain Iris Clarke happens to be an ordained minister. Visit sailselina.com for more information and costs.