Founded in the late 1960’s, Columbia, Maryland is one of the most successful planned communities in the country. Columbia attracts many families in the Baltimore–Washington corridor in search of good schools and businesses hungry for educated employees.
If you are planning to host your same sex wedding in Columbia, Maryland, here are some fun ideas on where to stay, where to play and where to tie the knot. Baltimore as well as Maryland in general is consistently ranked as one of the top gay friendlies cities in the United States.
Where to Stay
Sonesta ES Suites Columbia is completely redesigned and has over 118 newly renovated oversized suites for you and your guests.
Columbia Inn at Peralynna is a private estate turned into a boutique hotel.
Where to Eat /Top Restaurants
Stanford Grill – With live jazz most night this restaurant is fun and flavorful.
Cava – fresh local ingredients, their food tastes as good as it looks.
Cravin’ Food Done Right – Charbroiled chicken and fresh salads will keep you in tip top shape for wedding day.
Things To Do
Lake Kittamaqundi – This man-made reservoir stretches out into 27 acres or 1110,000 square meters of natural beauty. It is adjacent to The Mall in Columbia and the Howard Hughes Company’s offices, and visible from US-29. Created by the Rouse Company in 1966, and allegedly named after the first Indian settlement in Howard County, Lake Kittamaqundi actually means ‘Friendly Meeting Place’, and was the title of a Piscataway village in the 1600s that was named after its ruler Kittamaquund. The surrounding 23 acre park offers a trail encircling the lake for a hike with a gorgeous view, as well as a picnic pavilion for post-exercise fuel.
Merriweather Post Pavilion – Tucked away in the 40 acres of forested beauty that are the Symphony Woods, the Merriweather Post Pavilion was originally designed by famously unconventional architect Frank Gehry to be the home of the National Symphony Orchestra.
Columbia Art Center – This community-focused art center offers year-round art classes for participants of all ages, rotating gallery exhibitions, a gift shop, summer camps for children, birthday parties focusing on art, studio rentals, a Japanese Garden, lectures, and more. A functioning arts school since 1983, Columbia Art Center has workshops like ‘Learn to Draw Comics’. Visitors can tour the galleries, which are free of charge during normal business hours, or visit The Gallery Shop, which sells handcrafted and affordable artwork, some of it by students, as well as regular art ranging from functional pottery to decorative glass works.
Fell’s Point – A historic waterfront neighborhood established around 1763 in the southeastern part of Baltimore, Fell’s Point was named after the Englishmen who founded here a ship-building company. Even today, Fell’s Point is vigorously nautical in spirit and visage; many of the buildings lining the harbor retain their original structure from the 18th or 19th century.
Historic Oakland Mansion – in the heart of downtown Columbia, it has stunning veranda, beautiful gardens and a tented patio. You can tour the the venue but be sure to call ahead to arrange and schedule your tour.
Where to Tie the Knot
Historic Oakland is a Federalist mansion that was built in 1811 which is now used for meetings and special occasions such as weddings, corporate events, showers and other parties. Historic Oakland Manor has hosted many same sex weddings and proudly serves the LGBT community of greater Maryland and beyond. They are warm and welcoming and excited to work with gay and lesbian couples looking to spend their special day at the Mansion.
Historic Oakland’s manor offers three levels of entertaining space that can fit up to 180 throughout the manor house with free parking and exclusive personal service. The main level ballroom can accommodate up to 80 guests. The sprawling landscape provides several options for an outdoor ceremony. On the back lawn sits an open patio that is covered with a beautiful tent, which can accommodate up to 180 guests, from March to mid-November – great for large receptions.
The rates to rend Historic Oakland range from $1250-$2800 depending on the length of time and day of week you want to get married. Friday and Sunday weddings have lower pricing than the typical Saturday weddings to be sure to inquire about all days if your schedule is flexible.