Tips for hosting a Picture-Perfect Chesapeake Bay Beach Club Wedding
Location, location, location! This adage applies to more than real estate. In fact, choosing a venue for your wedding is one of the most important decisions you’ll make during the planning process. As soon as your guests walk into your wedding venue, they’ll experience the specific style and visual vibe of your wedding.
That’s why we’re writing these blog posts for you! In this series, trusted experts will share tips for hosting a picture-perfect wedding at unique venues around the Washington, DC area. From monumental properties like Hotel Monaco in Washington, DC to countryside destinations like River Farm in Alexandria, Virginia, we’ve got you covered.
In this post, we’ll share tips for brides and grooms who are hosting their wedding at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club in Stevensville, Maryland, just a quick trip over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge from Baltimore and DC. There are also plenty of photos included to help you visualize your own wedding!
Tip One: Take Advantage of this Venue's Versatility and Views
The Chesapeake Bay Beach Club is an excellent place to host your entire wedding since there's no shortage of space. In fact, it's one of the most versatile venues in the DC area! The Club has dedicated spaces for every part of your wedding – from comfortable bridal rooms for preparation, to gorgeous outdoor spaces for ceremonies, to beautiful ballrooms for receptions and cocktail parties. There is also an area on the lawn for corn-hole and other fun games to entertain guests during cocktail hour – always a huge hit! Plus, there are plenty of pretty rooms that are perfect for Ketubah signings. Needless to say, The Chesapeake Bay Beach Club is well-appointed for weddings of all styles and sizes.
"We are really blessed to have such a beautiful property. All three of the ceremony sites and the beach face West, which not only allows for those amazing sunset pictures, but also as the sun moves around the buildings in the afternoon, allows for great lighting for photography on the lawn spaces. Our landscape is mature and very well maintained providing pops of color year round to help bring out the main focus – the bride and bridal party.
Each of the venues has an amazing spot for a first look. Whether it is be on the walkway under the pergola, in the Tavern Bayside framed in the enormous windows, or on the shaded lawn of the Sunset Ballroom all are so romantic. We even have some really great indoors spots as well – inside the cased windows of the Garden Room, in front of the fireplace in the Beach House or in the window of the cozy Tavern Ballroom." -Erin Janes, Weddings and Events Director, Chesapeake Bay Beach Club
- Sunset Ballroom: This area of the Club faces west and boasts a wonderful wall of windows that offer you and your guests stunning views of the bay. It's simply breathtaking at sunset and also allows natural light to fill the room. This part of the Club also includes the Garden Room with indoor and outdoor fireplaces, and a lawn area that is ideal for cocktail hour and portraits. If you're considering hosting your ceremony here, the ballroom offers a canopied rooftop deck, which makes for an unforgettable ceremony location. The Sunset Ballroom is truly a gem; you'll have great options here for your wedding.
- Beach House Ballroom: Slightly smaller than the Sunset Ballroom, but still architecturally-stunning and lined with windows offering lots of light, the Beach House Ballroom includes a sunken garden. The garden is steps away from a private beach and Chesapeake Bay. This is a private, poised place to host your ceremony. You and your guests will have a superb vantage point, with sweeping views of Chesapeake Bay's beauty. Adjacent to the Beach House Ballroom is the Tavern Bayside, which is a spacious waterfront terrace and deck area, perfectly-suited to classic cocktail gatherings. It's also an area for your guests to enjoy fresh air while taking a break from the dance floor. It's simply surrounded by natural beauty.
- Private Beach: Have you always wanted to host your wedding close to the water, surrounded by natural grace and lovely views? Since the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club is located on the bay, they have their own strip of private beach which we recommend for portraits. Don't be afraid to kick off your shoes and get a little sandy! Carve out some time in your wedding day schedule to visit this gorgeous spot for portraits and group shots, especially at sunset, as you'll have the most amazing backdrop. (For helpful tips on planning portraits on your wedding day, check out this previous blog post!)
- Here's a bonus insider tip: couples are assigned a staff member to serve as an assistant! It's like having your own personal concierge during your wedding. They're extremely helpful and will ensure you have everything you need and stay on track with your timeline. Plus, they'll make sure you don't accidentally glimpse each other before your first look or ceremony. As if that wasn't fabulous enough, they will even be waiting with champagne and hors d'oeuvres after the "I Do's"! This is one of the many reasons our team loves this amazing venue!
Tip Two: Good Timing Means More Fun!
It sounds simple, but it's true: a carefully-planned timeline is one of the most important aspects of your wedding. Having a good timeline ensures everyone is on time and each element of your celebration goes smoothly. That means more fun for you and your guests. When planning your ceremony and reception times, think about the time of day and the lighting. With an outdoor ceremony, you need to be mindful of the sun, especially during the summer months when it's hot and humid. We suggest scheduling your ceremony for early evening, so you can enjoy (you guessed it!) – the golden hour! If you are planning to host your ceremony on the Bay, the sun can be especially strong. That's often very difficult for photos; you don't want to miss any important moments due to lens flare or highlights being too bright. Time your ceremony carefully, so it occurs closer to sunset. That means you'll have beautiful, glowing light surrounding you during your ceremony. After all, beautiful light makes moments more magical for photos!
Tip Three: Bring out the Sparklers!
The team at the The Chesapeake Bay Beach Club is very helpful in executing a fun sparkler exit. They have years of experience making this type of grand finale happen flawlessly. As you're preparing for your exit, the team will be gathering guests and helping get everyone's sparklers lit. More good news: both sides of the Club work for this type of exit, and will create compelling photographs that capture the last moments of your wedding day!
Those are just a few tips for throwing a picture-perfect wedding at the gorgeous Chesapeake Bay Beach Club! Stay tuned for the next venue post for more inspiration for planning your own dream wedding!