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Don't let Maryland's relatively small size fool you: as far as wedding planning goes, the state provides abundant options. Maryland includes Appalachian hills and mountains, Chesapeake Bay seaside charm, Ocean City boardwalks and even capital appeal - Washington, D.C. is right next door. So what should soon-to-be newlyweds focus on with their Maryland wedding? WeddingWire's team has done some of the legwork for you - and here's what we found!

A Tour of Maryland Wedding Venues and Points of Interest

Maryland - it's where Dixie begins, where seafood is a state treasure, and where the perfect wedding awaits! This tour of Maryland begins in Baltimore, the state's largest city and home to numerous top-end attractions for weddings, including the Inner Harbor area. Baltimore's sizable downtown area includes excellent venues for your reception, and the city's revitalized waterfront area draws couples from all over the state (and even across the country). Fort McHenry, which inspired Francis Scott Key's Star-Spangled Banner, provides a historical focal point for wedding photos. Maryland's Atlantic Coast area includes Ocean City - one of the great beach towns in the United States - which holds many treasured vacation memories for MD couples. The OC boardwalk area is like a seaside carnival - food, fun & a festive atmosphere - and makes an ideal place for newlyweds and wedding guests to unwind and relax. Assateague Island's windswept shores and wild horses attract wedding planners from all over the United States, and this unspoiled paradise is just a short ferry ride from Ocean City. Annapolis is an underrated wedding destination. The city boasts a busy and beautiful dock area, maritime intrigue and much more. The National Harbor is located near Washington, D.C. and includes attractive amenities along the Potomac River. It's an excellent launching pad for wedding activities and excursions into the nation's capital. Maryland's western region is a true hidden gem. Higher elevations present elevated wedding planning possibilities, especially in Garrett County. Far away from the hustle and bustle of Baltimore and other urban areas, Maryland's mountainous east is like an escape to another world. Appalachian ridges, crystal-clear lakes, beautiful forests and gorgeous sunsets define Maryland's "up country" region. Two top attractions for couples here include Deep Creek Lake and Wisp Resort.

Four Seasons, One Perfect Wedding

With Maryland weather, four seasons are at your disposal. WeddingWire recommends strategic planning to take advantage of the state's varied climate. Maryland is one of a few select states that have four "real" seasons. Spring showers, sweltering summer temperatures, crisp autumn breezes, snowy winter scenes - with Maryland, your wedding can take place in pretty much any type of weather. May and October are two of the more popular months for Maryland couples, with high temperatures topping off around 70 degrees. Regarding wedding dress colors, there isn't a "go-to" choice of tone. Most couples make their decision based on the location and season. For example, rustic Deep Creek area weddings usually use more green and auburn colors, while Atlantic shore celebrations utilize yellow, light blue and white.

Planning for Maryland Wedding Expenses

Location in Maryland determines how much you'll ultimately pay for your wedding. A recent pricing study shows that Baltimore weddings average about $252 per guest, higher than the national average of approximately $215 per guest. The Baltimore / Washington D.C. area drives up the state's high overall wedding costs. However, other towns and cities throughout Maryland have considerably more affordable Maryland wedding venues, entertainment, catering, transportation and other services. One notable exception is the Deep Creek / Garrett County area, where ritzy mountain resorts can cost a bit higher than you'd expect. Maryland wedding caterers utilize the state's tasty local seafood - including the "state dish," fried soft-shell blue crabs - to bolster traditional American fare. There's something for everybody when it comes to wedding food options. Likewise, Maryland wedding music and DJ choices offer great variety, from Deep Creek to the Atlantic shoreline.

Maryland Marriage License Cost

Maryland doesn't have a single price point for marriage licenses. Much like the overall cost of your wedding, the fee for a Maryland marriage licenses varies from county to county. Circuit court clerk offices handle the application process and issue licenses. There's only a 48-hour waiting period. For advance planners, WeddingWire recommends using the state's generous marriage license validity period - 6 months - when planning your wedding. Apply early, and you'll still have half a year to plan your wedding and get married!