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When we decided to get married in Ocean City, we knew there would be a lot of venues for us to choose from. There are tons of hotels, golf clubs, restaurants, etc. that host receptions in the area. We started with a list of about 40 options and were overwhelmed. To narrow it down, we started out looking at venues that released their banquet menus online and ran some numbers. That helped us to cross some options off our list since they were already out of our price range. We narrowed our list to a few different locations (we were able to cross almost 30 off our list because of price or availability) and started our visits to the following places (hoping this is helpful for other Ocean City, MD brides):

Ocean Pines Yacht Club – We might have ended up here if they had a date available. The price was right, the staff was helpful, and the room was very nice with a great view.

Princess Royale – I didn’t care for the décor here at all, very 80s, both in the hotel and their banquet room. I also feel like the space would have been way too big for our wedding of 75 or fewer.

Princess Bayside – Pretty much ditto on the décor (sister hotel for the Princess Royale), the price was right, but it just didn’t feel like us and the banquet room had no windows.

Dunes Manor – We really liked this venue, the room was classy and open (though, no windows again). The price was right and the hotel itself is very nice so our guests could move from the reception right to their rooms. Unfortunately, the date we thought they had that worked for us was booked (the site manager thought they wouldn’t be booking).

Harrison’s Harborwatch – The restaurant has a great view and is convenient to our church. However, after running the numbers, we decided they were probably not in budget. They also would have pushed our timeline forward by about a month which might have caused other issues for us.

Sunset Room – We liked this venue, it’s a blank slate and has a great view as well (bay side with sunset views, hence the name). However, it took us a while to get in touch with the manager and once we did, they no longer had any dates available. They also have pretty much zero web presence – I knew about it mostly from a neighbor and high school friend having their receptions there.

Coconut Malorie – This was a nice space, but we were worried because you only get the room for $1000 and then you have to do catering and everything on your own. We weren’t interested in taking that on in addition to everything else.

After a lot of searching we ended up booking The Atrium at The Golden Sands Club. The Golden Sands Club is a high rise condo in uptown Ocean City. The room is on the 22nd floor with windows that run the entire wall facing the beach from the floor to ceiling providing a great ocean view for our guests:

The wedding we saw set up had a large head table in front of the windows. We are doing something different to maximize the views for our guests. We also want our wedding party to be able to sit with their date.

 

  The ceiling of the dance floor is also all glass. Love the natural light and the sky view!

All images via me (iPhone pics, hence the quality)

Here are a few other reasons we feel great about our choice:

  • We had a great rapport with Eileen who is the catering/site manager. She was friendly and helpful and ready to answer our (many) questions. She also agreed to pencil us in while we double checked the date with our priest. We met with her a few weeks ago and got to see the room set up for a wedding, the relaxed vibe of the bride that day made me hope that I can be just as relaxed as she was and that the crew at The Atrium will make that possible.
  • Part of the reason we decided to get married in OC was that the majority of our guests were going to have to travel no matter where we chose. When we thought of cooping them up in a banquet room with no windows, we didn’t like the feeling that created. The Atrium room gave us the fantastic views we craved when we saw the rooms at other venues. The room felt open and airy, not dark and stale!
  • They had our date available – October 27, 2012 (a little less than 5 months to go now!)

Budget Friendly Reasons:

  • Offer a variety of food options and we know Eileen will help us put together a great menu that works for our budget (link to previous post)
  • Offer a consumption bar option (more details on that later!) which should save us some money!
  • Will not charge us a fee for cutting the cake, almost every other venue charged for that. Plus, Nick’s cousin is making our cake as a gift – aka free cake and cutting!
  • Provided linens in a variety of colors for free – we are going with black and white. I’ll be creating table squares out of a damask fabric to go under our center pieces. Tutorial coming soon!
  • Abundant parking for our guests so if we decide to forgo offering transportation outside of the bridal party, we won’t feel bad
  • Nearby hotel options for our guests to stay in following the reception that are not outrageously expensive for our guests
The list goes on and on, but we’re quite happy with our choice to book The Atrium room. I am looking forward to starting a lot of DIY projects to make the room more us, once the school year raps up on June 8th!!
What led you to picking your reception venue? What were your must haves?
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About Erin

I'm Erin, a 29 year old teacher living in Baltimore, MD. I am marrying Nick who is obviously the love of my life, after 8 years together, Nick proposed on December 29, 2011 and we're getting married on October 27, 2012 in Ocean City, MD.

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