Annapolis Wedding VenuesAnnapolis, Maryland
Less than an hour outside of Washington, DC proper sits the historic Maryland capital of Annapolis, a scenic waterfront town known for its sailing, bricked streets and the United States Naval Academy. An easy “destination” getaway for many DC-area brides, Annapolis marries all of the charm of a seaside wedding without any of the destination planning fuss – it’s easy to visit sites, meet with planners, and arrange for vendors, many of which will even travel from DC for the occasion.
We’ll feature an itinerary and Annapolis wedding gift bag suggestions in a later post, but first, you’ll need to choose your venue. As an Annapolis native, we found this post particularly difficult – it’s hard to narrow down our favorites to just a few choices. Here’s what we’d choose:
United States Naval Academy Chapel
Securing one of the city’s most beautiful wedding venues isn’t easy – you’ve got to have connections. Use of the Chapel for weddings is limited to Naval Academy alumni, military staff and faculty members; active-duty military members assigned to Naval Station Annapolis and active-duty military personnel living in the immediate vicinity of the Chapel who also regularly attend Chapel services. Good news if you’re a native Anapolitan – not so great news otherwise. Of course, there are several other churches in town, including St. Mary’s and St. Annes as well.
Your guests have traveled far and wide to Annapolis, one of the country’s most historic and beautiful cities. Make sure that the rehearsal dinner takes place in an equally scenic location that show’s off the city’s best feature- the waterfront – and its most famed attraction – the United States Naval Academy. There’s no better choice than the Severn Inn, the waterfront restaurant offering panoramic views of the Severn River. Depending on the time of year, schedule a sunset cocktail hour for a particularly picturesque setting before sampling dishes like “no filler” Maryland Crab Cakes, Eastern Shore Crab Dip and entrees like Pan Seared Milk Fed Humane Veal Scaloppini Topped with Mozzarella and Prosciutto.
Like any small town, Annapolis is somewhat limited in its choices for wedding receptions – we have just a few favorites, but each is spectacular in its own way.
Annapolis Yacht Club
Even if your’e not a member of this historic yacht club on the city’s waterfront, you can still host your wedding reception of up to 150 in this beautiful private club – you’ll simply need sponsorship from a member. Take photographs on the expansive outdoor decks, group shots walking across the historic Eastport Drawbridge and enjoy a cocktail hour al fresco before hosting a party in one of the private rooms or the “Skipjack” , which features a restored ship that is used as a bar. We can safely say that this is one of the town’s prettiest venues for weddings.
The city’s newest hotel is located on historic West Street near many of the town’s most happening restaurants and bars. Offering a wide variety of ballroom space and spacious, modern guestrooms, this is an ideal venue for someone looking to host their reception in a hotel. The hotel isn’t on the water proper, but does offer a free shuttle to downtown for guests on a regular basis. Enjoy a 6,500 square-foot ballroom and 3,200 square-feet of pre-event space with amenities like 18′ arched windows overlooking the luxurious Park Place condo development. This is an ideal venue for someone who loves Starwood hotel properties – those holding weddings here get SPG points that can be used towards honeymoons and overnights at hotels like W, St. Regis and more.
The city’s only true waterfront hotel, the Annapolis Marriott is probably the town’s grande dame of wedding locations. Offering a beautifully scenic deck overlooking the town harbor and the Naval Academy, well-equipped rooms and one of the city’s most popular bars, Pussers, the Marriott is an ideal choice for those wanting a wedding in true “Annapolis” style. We’d reserve the main second-level ballroom for dinner and host a pre-dinner cocktail hour on the outdoor terrace at sunset, which can be partially tented in case of inclement weather. We have attended events ranging from our high school prom to company holiday soirees to weddings here and can safely say that it’s the town’s most popular waterfront venue – so book early if you’re interested!
Chesapeake Bay Beach Club
While not technically in Annapolis proper, the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club is just about 15 minutes outside of town (just across the Bay Bridge on Maryland’s Eastern Shore) and is arguably the area’s best wedding ceremony and event venue. Once a restaurant and now strictly a special occassion venue, we’ve been to no less than five unique weddings and events at this versatile venue, which can accommodate receptions and indoor and outdoor ceremonies alike. Picture massive glass windows framing panoramic views of the Chesapeake Bay and Bay Bridge, plus a grassy ceremony area and pristine beach, perfect for photo shoots. The venue was also the 2005 choice for the Today Show’s “Hometown Wedding.” Another advantage? You can choose your own vendors, including catering.
Love the nautical feel of these photographs of the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club!
Just outside Annapolis proper sits the historic London Town mansion and gardens, a 23 acre venue overlooking the scenic Severn River. Choose a dramatic water arrival up the 185′ pier. Enjoy a glass pavilion ballroom, covered deck a 40′ x 40′ draped white organdy tent and tables and chairs for 150 included in all wedding offerings. The onsite William Brown house can also accommodate smaller weddings and rehearsal dinners. Of course, the beautiful onsite gardens make for great photos.
Want more information on planning an Annapolis wedding? Great wedding gift bag ideas for Annapolis weddings coming soon!
Written by McLean Robbins