The easy part is over -- that part about finding your life mate and all. Now comes the hard part: symbolically joining two families with one event: your wedding. What chaos! What disorder! What communication problems! And most painfully, what discrepancies in taste!
So clear your head, take a deep breath, and start making those plans as lucidly as possible. We hope that the following recep- tion site list will help point you and your loved one to a successfully negotiated location, so you can use that extra time for dealing with other matrimonial concerns: the dress, the flowers, the food, etc.
BABE RUTH BIRTHPLACE AND BALTIMORE ORIOLES MUSEUM, 216 Emory St., 727-1539. Reserve one month in advance. Accommodates 125 people. Available evenings only. Cost: $200 for hall rental, plus $2 each person.
Baseball fans can celebrate their marriage among a collection of Babe Ruth memorabilia, displays on Maryland baseball, and Orioles uniforms dating back to 1954, among other exhibits.
BALTIMORE GRAND, 401 W. Fayette St., 727-5678. Contact: Marlene Meyer. The Loyola Ballroom accommodates 150 seated with dancing, 300 standing. The Chesapeake Ballroom accommodates 260 seated, 600 standing. There are three fully equipped kitchens, one kosher. List of approved caterers available.
Baltimore Grand has turned business into pleasure by renovating two of Baltimore's turn-of-the-century bank buildings -- Western National Bank and the Eutaw Savings Bank -- into ballrooms suitable for receptions. A new, 4,000-square-foot lobby and grand staircase connect the two buildings. The larger of the two, the Chesapeake, boasts 5,861 square feet of space, while the smaller Loyola Ballroom offers a more intimate atmosphere. A 500-car parking garage is adjacent to the building.
B&O RAILROAD MUSEUM, 901 W. Pratt St., 752-2445. Reserve as far in advance as possible. Accommodates 950 seated, 2,400 standing. Available Tuesdays to Sundays after 5 p.m., Mondays any time. List of approved caterers available. Cost for basic rental: $2,100 for the first 200 guests, $6 per person over 200.
The roundhouse, located on the site of the first railroad station in the United States, is a 22-sided building, 123 feet high and 240 feet across, just shy of an acre inside.
BALTIMORE MUSEUM OF ART, Art Museum Drive, 396-6078. Reserve three to six months in advance. Accommodates 300 seated, 800 standing. Available for receptions only Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 7:30 p.m. to midnight. List of suggested caterers available, with firm subject to museum's approval. Cost varies from $2,000 to $5,000.
Schaefer Court, featuring the Antioch Mosaics, surrounds glass-enclosed atrium. Large, classical Fox Court features a coffered ceiling with rosettes.
THE BALTIMORE ROWING AND WATER RESOURCE CENTER, 3301 Waterview Ave., 396-3838. Reserve six months in advance. Accommodates 115 seated, 250 standing. Caterers must be licensed and provide their own insurance. Cost: usually $500 for eight hours.
With its location on the Patapsco River and state-of-the-arboathouse decor, the center is an ideal choice for couples who enjoy the water.
THE BELVEDERE, 1 E. Chase St., 547-8800. Reserve as early as possible. Accommodates up to 500 seated, 600 standing. Available seven days a week. Cost: from $37.
The Belvedere Hotel, built in 1903, offers a variety of rooms from intimate to elegant. Most of the ballrooms have crystal chandeliers and hardwood dance floors, with two boasting 50-foot ceilings.
CARROLL COUNTY FARM MUSEUM, 500 S. Center St., Westminster, (301) 848-7775. Reserve three months in advance. Accommodates 100 under a covered pavilion. Music and caterers subject to museum's approval. Alcohol prohibited. Ceremony must be performed elsewhere. Cost: $25 for pavilion rental and $1.50 per person for 20 or more. For less than 20, $2 per adult.
CHARLES LEVINE CATERERS AT SCARLETT PLACE, 250 SPresident St., 625-0900. Reserve as early as possible. The Harbor Terrace accommodates up to 500 for a cocktail reception; the Ballroom, 500 for cocktail reception, 400 seated .. with dancing; the Scarlett Room 250 for cocktail reception, 160 seated with dancing. Off-premises catering and valet parking available. Cost varies.
CHESLEY PLACE (formerly the Overlea North), 6908 Belair Road668-6060. Reserve as early as possible. Accommodates 200 seated. Cost varies. In-house catering only.
This self-contained banquet facility is decorated in a formal, Victorian style, in colors of mauve and gray.
CLOISTERS CHILDREN'S MUSEUM, 10440 Falls Road823-2551. Reserve as early as possible. Accommodates 80 seated, 175 standing. Available 6 p.m. to midnight every day of the week. List of suggested licensed caterers available. Cost: $700 from 6 p.m. to midnight.
DThe entire first floor is open to guests, including the main gallery (with an area for dancing), the entrance room and the library, all of which are filled with European and American antiques. Wedding ceremonies may be performed in the Great Hall.