We held our November wedding at the Frederick Douglass / Isaac Myers Maritime Park & Museum - what a spectacular spot! Ours was a small wedding, less than 30 people. The ceremony was in the Boat Room, with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out on the harbor. Cocktail hour was spread between the Boat Room and the exhibit room across the sky bridge, and dinner and reception upstairs in the Bearman Gallery. The venue offers unlimited indoor and outdoor photo settings, especially around sunset. Marsha Jews and her assistant were good to work with, especially when I dumped a table full of glassware trying to be "helpful." But most of our interface was through our caterer, the on-site Waterfront Kitchen, and their event planner, Sara Faulkner - highly recommended! You can't beat the combination of location, ambiance and water view!
Beware!! I wish we knew about WeddingWire when we started our planning process. It looks like they have the same on-going issues which is such a shame because it is a beautiful venue. In the beginning Marsha had an assistant and we had no problems. We then signed the contract and gave them our deposit and heard nothing. After multiple unanswered emails and voice mails, one of us physically went to the venue to hand-write a note. Still no response. Luckily, we found our caterer who started answering questions for us. We hired wedding planners 6 months prior to the wedding and they never had an event there, so they scheduled a meeting with Marsha. They waited over 40 minutes before telling the receptionist that they were just going to start walking around. Marsha saw them and was extremely rude asking them who they were and what they thought they were doing. I called the venue screaming a few weeks later again, because we weren't getting responses to simple questions. Marsha called me and made it a point to tell me that she was calling from her cell on her day off and said, "What can I do for you?" and lied about being rude and said that she was on the road. During our final walk-through which was a nightmare to schedule, I was extremely clear that I wanted the venue COLD. The Founders Room was so hot the night of our wedding that people left. My dad was so uncomfortable that our Father/Daughter dance lasted about one minute. The staff was a nightmare to work with in trying to fix the problem. One maintenance worker slipped and told my Dad that there was a problem earlier in the week and didn't think that anyone fixed it. 3 stars for value and flexibility because they were flexible about our plan B because of weather. The rental rates were comparable to other venues, but have an exclusive vendor list and a preferred vendor list, so this limits your ability to shop.They did give us some $ back for the air, but it doesn't fix the memories lost w/ people who left & dad.
I had a wonderful experience with Marsha Jews, the event Director at the Frederick Douglass Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum. The staff was responsive and helpful with all my questions and concerns. The venue itself is beautiful and made for a wonderful wedding reception. Of course when checking out venues be sure to factor in the cost of renting tables and chairs, as this venue does not provide them for you, however they are helpful with delivery, set up and break-down. I can't say enough great things about this venue. I had an incredibly special day. The setting was perfect. Parking is available close by for your guests as well (at a small cost), which is something to think about for a city wedding. Also there is a list of preferred vendors when it comes to catering, as this venue does not have a full kitchen. I used ROUGE fine catering and they were AMAZING as well.
While the view from this location is fabulous, we had a difficult time contacting them throughout the process. The air conditioner broke the morning of the wedding and we did not receive any notification of this problem until guests arrived that evening. There were no fans to attempt to cool it down, and we had a fairly large group in the dining area. Overa, the view was stunning and our pictures on the pier were terrific, but the service and responsiveness were terrible.
I want to start by saying that that we loved this location for the setting of our ceremony/reception. We saw this location and instantly fell in love with it as it had everything we wanted- a "back-up" location for our outdoor ceremony, on the water, close to hotels, near bars for a post reception celebration, and views that make you remember why you love Baltimore.
The rental fee goes towards the museum, which is part of the Living Classrooms Foundation- a great nonprofits in the Baltimore area. As someone who works in the nonprofit world, this was a huge plus for me.
Our main complaint about this location is the the lack of response from the venue contact. A day or two is understandable- however, sometimes is was closer to a week, if at all. Luckily, our Caterer (Atlantic Caterers) was there every step of the way. Having handled several events at this venue, they knew all the answers. Once the week of the wedding arrived, this did get better so it was able to relieve the stress that had been built.
We truly did love our venue so I, of couse, recommend it, but just be prepared going in. Know you're questions from the beginning and be flexible with them. They are willing to work with you on the rental fees, they provide you will a room on the second floor for the pre/post ceremony staging room, and let you hold your rehearsal at no additional cost (just be sure to work with the venue on this to make sure there are no other events taking place)
We picked this spot for our wedding because we fell in love with the breathtaking views of the harbor and long that pier that served as an idle aisle for our ceremony. We also like that we were giving our money to a museum rather than a conventional venue. In addition, the sales staff presented the venue in a positive light and while it was more expensive than comparable venues (Museum of Industry), we felt fine the added cost.
However, once we had signed the contract and paid our deposit, the venue's representatives became nearly impossible to get a hold of and they were unwilling to have our walk though on weeknights or weekends. For a period several months, they were unresponsive to our question and they didn't return our numerous phone calls. This was extremely stressful leading up to our wedding. When we finally got them to agree to a time for a walk through, their representative was condensing to us and our caterer. As a result, we had to struggle to do damage control to the relationship and felt worried that something would blow up (again) between them on our wedding day. As far as we know, there were no blow ups between the venue's representative and our caterer on the wedding day. However, during our rehearsal, the venue's representative snapped at our guests.
We think the essence of the problem at this beautiful location lies in the venue's representative's personality and lack of can-do attitude for even the most routine request that would promote a successful stress-free wedding.
While we're sure our pictures will be beautiful and the guests loved the site, we would strongly recommend against this site as it unnecessarily added a lot of stress to our wedding. If we had to do it all over again, we'd wait to get married at a time or date that the museum of industry had available.
There are a lot of great ceremony/reception sites in Baltimore but I think this one ranks near the top of the heap. It really has it all. We had a beautiful outdoor ceremony on the promenade at sunset overlooking the harbor. We used the third floor spaces for cocktail hour and the reception for about 200 guests. The views from the third floor are gorgeous in every direction and look incredible in our pictures. The staff was rally helpful and had great suggestions in terms of lay-out and decoration. Oh! Did I mention that this place is a much better value than many other sought-after Harbor sites?!
Beautiful location right on the harbor. It has 3 rooms you can use along with a large outdoor area and pier. Great back-up room for those brides who want an outdoor wedding but are concerned about what happens if it rains. The site coordinator has great suggestions on decoration options. The value in comparison to other options on the harbor is outstanding. We looked everywhere in the area and couldn't find more space with more beautiful views.