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Ocean Hall: An old home for a new beginning

Bushwood, MD – A wedding day consists of hundreds of details – the dress, the flowers, the food and the music, just to name a few. Each aspect plays an important role in the completion of the day. But it’s the venue, the home to where a couple promises each other forever, the foundation on which memories are built during the most special day of their lives, that truly brings that day together.

Ocean Hall, located in Bushwood, Maryland, owned by Jamie and Jennifer Boyd, has opened its doors to be that place for Southern Maryland couples.

A brick colonial home built in 1703, Ocean Hall is rich in history and beauty. The house sits on four acres of waterfront property on a cove of the Wicomico River. Couples have several choices for where they would like to hold the ceremony and reception.

“There’s different areas for different looks,” states Jennifer. “There’s the barn, they can get married on the back steps if they want, the whole yard, even down on the beach. They can set a tent up anywhere, get married anywhere they want. A lot of couples like to get married at the cliff overlooking the water and in the evening we have beautiful sunsets.”

It’s easy to see how couples quickly fall in love with the venue. Not only are the set-up options endless, but the personality of the house and its special charm give the extra touch to a magical wedding day.

“Old homes truly do have a personality to them,” Jennifer remarks. “I know this sounds crazy, but it’s like the house knows when I’m cleaning that something’s going to happen. When we have gatherings like weddings, it comes alive. I was trying to explain it to one of our couple’s families and the night of the wedding, the father of the groom comes up to me and says, ‘I didn’t believe you at first, but this is fantastic. It really did act happy, didn’t it?’ and I said, ‘I told you!’”

While ceremonies and receptions are held outside, the interior of the house is available for day-of preparations and photos. The lower level boasts high ceilings and large fireplaces in each of the two great rooms, divided by the hallway where the stairs are located. The front and back door face each other on opposite ends of the hall.

“There’s always a wonderful breeze through these doors. It makes a really cute picture, when the bride is getting ready to walk out for her entrance,” Jennifer explains. “Photographers can take a photo of her standing in the doorway and you see the view beyond her.”

On the upper level, the stairs open up to a landing with a bridal suite and groom’s room on either side. A full bathroom is also available for the wedding party’s use. Newly restored windows in both rooms overlooking the backyard and river make for a beautiful view and plenty of natural light. The bridal suite’s finishing touch is an oversized leaning mirror placed next to the door, ready and waiting for the bride to take a last look at her reflection before she becomes a married woman.

Jennifer smiles as she says, “She can have what I call the ‘Cinderella moment’ before she goes down to get married, where she double-checks that last little detail to make sure everything is all right.”

Ocean Hall will be hosting their first wedding-related public event, “Weddings on the Wicomico: A Wedding Workshop” Sunday, April 3,  from noon until 3 p.m. The grand prize for those who attend is a free wedding rental of the venue. Several vendors will be available to talk to brides about their big day, including florists, DJs, photographers, hair salons, make-up artists, officiants, caterers, rental companies, fashions by Today's Bride and Formal Wear and more.

“I try to tell the brides who are coming to be ready,” Jennifer advises. “Bring a pen to write notes on the backs of business cards so you can remember if you wanted more information, if you booked that vendor, and so on. You don’t want to get home and forget anything!”

Jennifer and her husband are thrilled to take the journey into the world of weddings and to have their home become a part of the start of a couple’s life together.

“We want to give them the experience,” Jennifer says. “We had our wedding here, we got married on the front steps, and it was a dream. It’s been the dream. The dream was always to share it.”

Ocean Hall is located in St. Mary’s County at 36889 Bushwood Wharf Road, Bushwood, Maryland. For more information, call 240-925-2163, email weddingsonthewicomico@hotmail.com, or visit the Ocean Hall Facebook pagePhotos used are property of Amanda Adams Photography, Stephen Dill Photography and Jamie Boyd. See gallery below.

Contact Barbara Muller at b.muller@thebaynet.com.

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