THE SETTING YOU CHOOSE FOR YOUR WEDDING AND RECEPTION WILL establish the mood you and your guests will remember forever.
Museums, hotel ballrooms, formal gardens and historic mansions are among the many choices in the following list of area wedding and reception sites. Use them to help you to set the perfect stage for your wedding.
BABE RUTH BIRTHPLACE AND BALTIMORE ORIOLES MUSEUM, 216 Emory St., 727-1539. Reserve one month in advance. Accommodates 125 people standing. Available evenings only. Cost: $200 for facility plus $2 each person.
Just two blocks away from the new ballpark in Camden Yards, the Babe's birthplace still contains all the near-and-dear
memorabilia that draws the sports-minded, such as displays on Maryland baseball and Orioles uniforms dating to 1954.
B&O RAILROAD MUSEUM, 901 W. Pratt St., 752-2463. Contact: Stacey Eagan. Reserve as far in advance as possible. Accommodates 950 seated, 2,400 standing. Available Tuesdays to Sundays after 4 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. Basic rental includes security, on-premises staffing and secure parking for 240 cars.
Located at the birthplace of American railroading, the B&O Railroad Museum houses an unparalleled collection of locomotives and rolling stock. Its 1884 Roundhouse is a 22-sided building, measuring 240 feet across, with a spectacular 123-foot-high ceiling. In the center of this room is a wooden roundtable -- perfect for dancing. Authentic railroad lanterns are available for use as table centerpieces.
BALTIMORE GRAND, 401 W. Fayette St., 727-5678. Contact: Lyn Southerland. The Loyola Ballroom accommodates 160 seated with dancing, 250 standing. The Chesapeake Ballroom accommodates 400 seated, 530 standing. There are three fully equipped kitchens, one kosher. In-house catering by Grand Caterers.
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 ceremonies and receptions. The Chesapeake, the larger of the two, boasts 5,861 square feet of space, stained-glass windows and a 55-foot vaulted ceiling. The Loyola Ballroom offers a more intimate atmosphere, with crystal chandeliers, sconces and warm tones of champagne and beige.
Grand Caterers at the Baltimore Grand also offers off-premises catering for groups numbering five up to 3,000.
BALTIMORE MUSEUM OF ART, Art Museum Drive, 396-6078. Reserve three to six months in advance. Accommodates 520 seated, 1,000 standing. Available Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays through Sundays 7 p.m. until 1 a.m.; Thursdays 8 p.m. until 1 a.m. Unavailable Mondays. List of suggested caterers available, others subject to museum's approval Cost: $3,000 to $5,000.
Two areas are available for receptions. Schaefer Court, with the Antioch Mosaics, surrounds a glass-enclosed atrium. Classical Fox Court is a large space with a rosette-laced coffered ceiling. On either side of the court are the museum's modern and American art collections, which can be opened for receptions at an additional charge.
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: $600 for eight hours.
With its location on the Patapsco River and its state-of-the-art boathouse decor, the center is an ideal choice for couples who enjoy the water. Winter wedding guests can warm themselves by the fireplace, while spring and summer guests can stroll the outside deck.
CARROLL COUNTY FARM MUSEUM, 500 S. Center St., Westminster, (301) 848-7775. Contact: Dottie Freeman. 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 $2 per person for 20 or more. For fewer than 20, $3 per adult, $2 for 6- to 18-year-olds and those over 60. No charge for those under 6.
The Carroll County Farm Museum may be the ideal place for lovers of the outdoors to celebrate their marriage, with its 142 acres and 19th century rose and herbal gardens. Wedding guests are invited to tour the 1852 farmhouse decorated with Victorian furniture.
CHEF'S EXPRESSIONS AT HUNT VALLEY, 909 Shawan Road, Hunt Valley, 561-2433. Contact: Rebecca Curtis or Judy Edwards. Accommodates up to 350 seated, 450 standing. Cost: $600 Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays. Call for weeknight rates. Catering by Chef's Expressions only.
This just-built 4,000-square-foot ballroom features 18-foot-high ceilings and 10-foot-high arched windows overlooking the rolling hills of Hunt Valley.