There are many reasons why people choose to visit the beach communities that make up coastal Delaware, among them the summertime fun, the great locally owned restaurants and the always exciting fall festival season.
But did you know the Delaware beaches have also become popular destinations for weddings in recent years? And it's no wonder why, with 26 miles of Atlantic coastline and an abundance of places at and near the beach to hold the perfect ceremony.
In today's Oldfather Group blog entry, we're going to explore some of the more popular wedding venues in Delaware's coastal region and paint a picture as to why the area has become such a hot spot for so-called "destination weddings."
There are many great spots in the area, both indoor and outdoor, to plan your special day. And we'll tell you all about many of them in just a moment.
But first, a little information about holding a ceremony on the area's public beaches, regardless of where along the coastline you choose to do so. We'll begin at the northern tip of Cape Henlopen and work our way south to the Maryland state line in Fenwick Island.
Exposed Branches Photo
Lewes. The two most popular outdoor wedding locations in the "First Town in the First State" are at Cape Henlopen State Park (CHSP) and on Lewes Beach.
If you choose CHSP, you'll need to acquire a special-use permit from the state and plan your date well in advance, while a ceremony on Lewes Beach requires a Wedding Ceremony Request to be filed with the city. That request can be downloaded HERE and turned into the city office on East Third Street.
Rehoboth Beach. If you want to get married on the beach in the "Nation's Summer Capital," you'll need to send a formal request with your requested date to the city manager's office on Rehoboth Avenue. Be sure to leave your contact name and number so someone can get back to you as soon as possible.
Dewey Beach. Holding your outdoor ceremony in Dewey Beach can be a little trickier, at least if you want to hold it during the traditional Memorial Day to Labor Day summer season. During the busy time of the year, weddings are not allowed to block off any area of the public beach, so it's probably best to plan your ceremony for early to mid-May or wait until mid-September.
When you've decided on a date, you'll need to send a formal letter to the town manager with the date, time, ocean block and expected number of guests expected. Someone will get back to you with an answer and further instructions.
Bethany Beach. There are several wedding options in Bethany Beach, including one of our favorites in the Addy Sea Bed and Breakfast (read more below on this option). But if you want to get married on the public beach in Bethany, you'll need to call the town clerk's office at 302-537-3771 for more information.
Fenwick Island. The town of Fenwick Island is generally a little more lenient when it comes to holding wedding ceremonies on its public beaches. Ceremonies are usually permitted, as long as neither pedestrian or vehicular traffic is obstructed.
You will need to acquire a permit and pay a fee, however, and larger weddings (more than 75 guests) must be approved in advance by the town council.
Whether you're getting married on the beach and need a separate venue to hold the after party, or you need an alternate location in case of bad weather, or if you just prefer an indoor ceremony, coastal Delaware is teeming with fantastic destinations for your special day.
There's no way we can go over everything the coastal region has to offer in one lone blog entry, but we have picked some of our favorites. These should give you a good place to start, if you're searching for the perfect location to hold your wedding ceremony.
Here are a few of our favorite options, in alphabetical order:
Addy Sea Bed and Breakfast. This historic bed and breakfast is a popular choice in coastal Delaware and one that gives you the option of having a beach wedding and a reception at the same location. The Addy Sea features 13 rooms and the staff is extremely adept at putting together the perfect ceremony for you and your party.
The Addy Sea can host up to 110 people for a ceremony and all wedding packages include not only the ceremony and reception, but also the wedding cake, the flowers and the rental of the entire Inn for the day and evening of your wedding.
Weddings are held each year in May, June, September and October. Call the Addy Sea at 302-539-3707 for more information.
Atlantic Sands Hotel & Conference Center. This hotel on the Boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach can accommodate up to 275 guests for receptions and the banquet rooms on-site are perfect for either intimate or large wedding ceremonies.
Options include the Swan Ballroom, which features vaulted ceilings and magnificent ocean views, and a rooftop sundeck overlooking the beach and the Boardwalk.
All-inclusive packages are available that include oceanfront bridal suites and the possibility of holding your ceremony on the beach in front of the hotel.
Call 302-227-2511 or email [email protected] for more information.
The Beards Photography Photo
Baywood Greens Golf Club. Named by Brides Magazine as one of the best wedding venues in the mid-Atlantic in 2015, Baywood Greens offers a multitude of both indoor and outdoor spaces that will help make your wedding day as memorable as possible.
Weddings at Baywood Greens are all-inclusive, with a floral design team that helps you find the perfect arrangements and a chef that prepares a variety of unique menus to meet anyone's tastes.
Whether it’s an intimate ceremony or the largest wedding and social event of the year, Baywood Greens can accommodate you.
From the indoor clubhouse, to the more than 4,700-square-foot ballroom, the incredibly scenery and much more, Baywood Greens is the perfect spot for the wedding of your dreams.
Visit www.baywoodgreens.com for more information.
Wedding Wire Photo
Cape May-Lewes Ferry. Whether you want to hold your ceremony on the ferry grounds nestled against the Delaware Bay, or actually plan an event on board one of the vessels, the Cape May-Lewes Ferry (CMLF) is an interesting option.
There are plenty of indoor and outdoor venue options on the Delaware side of the bay, and the CMLF has party planners on staff who can help you every step of the way.
Inn at Canal Square. Resting on the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal, the Inn is a fantastic setting for holding both wedding ceremonies and receptions.
It can host events for up to 100 people, and offers packages that include preferred room rates, all tables, linens and chairs, use of the outdoor deck area, a courtyard area, a dance floor and banquet room options for you and your guests.
The Inn at Canal Square offers an intimate setting for wedding ceremonies and receptions. Based on the property layout, the Inn is capable of hosting weddings for guests numbering 100 or less, depending upon the size and style of your wedding.
It is important to note that the Inn at Canal Square DOES NOT schedule weddings between Memorial Day and Labor Day, so you'll definitely want to plan accordingly.
Call 302-644-3377 or visit their website for more information on weddings at the Inn at Canal Square.
Lavender Fields. If you want a special wedding in a special location, you really can't go wrong with Lavender Fields at Warrington Manor, located in Cool Spring.
With the ability to accommodate up to 200 people, options at the five-acre Lavender Fields farm include several unique gardens, an exact duplicate of the Labyrinth embedded in the floor of the Cathedral of Chartres near Paris and plenty of room to erect a tent or other temporary structures for your ceremony and/or reception.
For most events, a refundable deposit will be required.
For scheduling, pricing or further information, call 302-684-1514 or visit Lavender Fields Online.
Nassau Valley Vineyards. What was once simply Delaware's first winery has now morphed into a popular multi-purpose venue holding several special events every year.
Nassau Valley has many venues available for on-site weddings, including Claret Hall, Grand Cru Hall, Bacchus Grove and the Side Lawn. As many as 450 guests can be accommodated on the grounds of the historic winery.
Management of Nassau Valley does have limitations in regards to what caterers you can use and a $300 security deposit is required for all events, so be sure you're aware of all the necessary facts before signing a contract for your event.
Call 302-645-9463 or visit Nassau Valley Vineyards online for more information.
Rehoboth Beach Country Club. Located on the picturesque Rehoboth Bay, the Rehoboth Beach Country Club is a magical place to hold your wedding.
The Grand Ballroom on-site can comfortably seat 240 guests and there are several packages available.
No outside caterers are permitted, but the country club does provide tables, chairs, glassware, silverware, china and linens, as well as a selection of hors d'oeuvres for most events.
Something to keep in mind, however, is that a current club member must act as your sponsor when making the reservation.
Call 302-227-3811 or visit the Rehoboth Beach Country Club online for more information.
Salero on the Beach. Combine a wedding on Rehoboth Beach with a magical reception at the award-winning Salero, which can accommodate up to 200 guests at its oceanfront location.
A variety of packages are offered by the facility, with staff members committed to working closely with clients for a truly memorable day in Rehoboth Beach.
Each package features a selection of customized gourmet dinners and are all inclusive. Salero provides a disc jockey with state-of-the-art projectors, a high quality sound system and an open bar.
For more information on Salero, call 302-841-2229 or visit Salero online.
As mentioned before, this is certainly not meant to be a comprehensive list of wedding venues in Delaware's coastal region. It's merely some of our favorites that we feel are worth considering.
We suggest contacting your local Chamber of Commerce or visitor's bureau for a more comprehensive list of local facilities that host weddings and similar functions.
And if after your special day, you need to find that perfect beach home to begin your lives together, please give the Oldfather Group a ring at 302-260-2000. We'd love the chance to help you along your new journey, and welcome you into our family as well.