Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

213 North Talbot St.
St. Michaels, MD 21663

View their website

Average Base Cost: $25,000

Our average base cost for a Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum wedding is calculated by figuring a 100-person guest list for a Saturday ceremony/reception using the Small Boat Shed and Bandstand venue options, and a food/beverage cost of $125/pp. Entertainment, flowers, additional decorations and rentals, transportation, and photography are NOT included. Price is rounded up to the nearest thousand. Gratuity and sales tax is included in our average base cost.

*Prices subject to change

How it breaks down:

Facility Rental Fee: Their venue rental fees break down as follows:

Navy Point

  • Water views
  • Ideal May through October for a tented event up to 350 guests
  • $9,000 for 5 hours
maryland wedding venue
Photo by Krista A. Jones

Small Boat Shed and Bandstand

  • A rustic venue that houses the museum’s fleet of small craft boats, with sliding barn doors and Edison style lighting.
  • Accommodates 100 guests for a seated dinner.
  • The Tolchester Beach Bandstand serves as the ceremony site for this venue.
  • $8,000 for 5 hours
maryland wedding venue
The small boat shed. Photo via CBMM

Fogg’s Landing Grounds

  • Waterfront decks and grass lawns which allow for tents
  • Private entrance for guests within close proximity to museum parking lot
  • Accommodates 300 guests under a tent
  • $6,000 for 5 hours
maryland wedding venue
Photo by Perry Vaille

Van Lennep Auditorium Only

  • Indoor reception
  • Includes the use of prep kitchen
  • Private entrance for guests within close proximity to museum parking lot
  • Accommodates 80 seated guests or 150 standing
  • $5,000 for 5 hours

Navy Point Add-On Venues

  • The Tolchester Beach Bandstand area can be added as a ceremony site when securing Navy point for your wedding reception. Can accommodate 20 people standing inside or 350 seated guests on grassy area surrounding bandstand:
    $2,000 for 1 hour.
  • Add the Small Boat Shed for a rehearsal dinner the night before your event ($3,500 for 5 hours) or as a ceremony venue the day of your Navy Point Event ($2,000 for 1 hour). Accommodates up to 100 seated guests and 250 standing.
maryland wedding venue
Small boat shed. Photo by Krista A. Jones.

Fogg’s Landing Add-On Venues

  • Oystering on the Chesapeake exhibition deck for ceremony or cocktail hour: $2,000 for 1 hour
  • Van Lennep Auditorium for indoor ceremony or cocktail hour: $2,000 for 1 hour

What’s Included: 

  • All pricing is for the venue rental only. Wedding tent rentals are additional.
  • As the contracting party’s event will take place after CBMM’s operating hours, the fee to cover staff security is included.
  • Weddings at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum include one staff member on premises for the duration of the event.
  • Rehearsal walk through is included as well.
  • Each venue offers electric and indoor restrooms.

Extra Costs:

  • In addition to the rental fee, a refundable security deposit of $1,000 is due and payable at the signing of the agreement.
  • $2,500 if you use a caterer or tent rental outside of their preferred list
  • Additional hours are charged at $1,500 per hour
  • If, in order to supervise the caterer and its cleanup of the premises following the event, it is necessary for CBMM staff to be present after 11:00 p.m., you would be responsible for CBMM staff overtime at a rate of $150 per hour.
  • Portable restrooms need to be brought in for functions with 200 or more guests.

Food and Beverage: The venue has a preferred partner list for caterers. If you do not use a caterer from their list there will be an extra fee of $2,500, and the caterer must be pre-approved by them at least 90 days in advance. You can view a list of their exclusive catering partners here.

Other Vendors: You must use their preferred tent vendor. Same as with the caterer, if you do not use the tent rental company on their list there will be an extra fee of $2,500, and you must be pre-approved by them at least 90 days in advance. Any other vendors (i.e. Photographers, Florists, Musicians , etc. ) are allowed and must provide a certificate of insurance no less than 60 days prior to the event.

More Stats:

Space Type: Inside/Outside.

A typical wedding set-up at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum would be…

  • For weddings with 200 or more guests, a ceremony and tent on the grass of Navy Point with the decks of the At Play on the Bay Exhibit for cocktail hour, or a ceremony at the Bandstand and decks of the At Play on the Bay Exhibit for cocktail hour.
  • For smaller weddings, a ceremony on Fogg’s Landing Boardwalk with a tent on the grass of Fogg’s Landing Grounds with the decks of the Steamboat building for cocktail hour, or the Bandstand for your ceremony with the Small Boat Shed for the reception.
maryland wedding venue
Photo by Krista A. Jones


  • Navy Point: Up to 350 guests under tent
  • Small Boat Shed: Up to 100 guests for a seated reception
  • Fogg’s Landing Grounds: Up to 300 guests under tent
  • Van Lennep Auditorium: Up to 80 guests for a seated reception

Bridal Suite: The venue does not have a bridal suite or any rooms for getting ready. However, they do have various exhibit spaces to “stage” the bridal party before proceeding to the ceremony.

How Will Grandma Get There? The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is located within walking distance of the historic town of St. Michaels. There are waterfront vacation rentals and Bed and Breakfasts as well as hotels such as The Inn at Perry Cabin across the marina. There is also the boutique hotel, Tidewater Inn, in downtown Easton, which is a 15 minute drive away. The closest major airport is Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, which is approximately 1 1/2 hours away from the venue.

Check out this gorgeous wedding video from the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum…

Parking:  There is a very large parking lot available on the Museum’s grounds where wedding guests may park at no extra charge. They also provide a golf cart shuttle to pick up any guests that may have disabilities. Arrangements for this to be made ahead of time. Shuttles that are not over 36 passenger may drive onto the grounds to drop guests off.

Party On! Couples may add on time prior to their reception but ALL events have to conclude by 10 p.m.

The Report:

Located on 18 waterfront acres in historic St. Michaels, Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a nationally recognized institution dedicated to preserving the heritage of the Chesapeake. Founded in 1965, the Museum’s floating fleet of historic Chesapeake Bay watercraft is the largest in existence. With views of the Miles River, there are 35 buildings, 10 of which house exhibitions that trace the geological, social, and economic history of the Chesapeake Bay.

Woman Getting Married Says:

Chesapeake Bay is a stunning destination wedding location, and this venue has a great rustic charm and lots of history. The venue rental fees are not that rustic, however, so you might find the prices at this location add up quickly. Considering most weddings would here need a tent, it would be great if they included one in the cost along with tables and chairs. The early 10 p.m. curfew is also a bit of a bummer. With all of that said, the views at this location, the charming venues, and the idyllic location (your guests can literally walk to the venue from their hotel in the super cute town of St. Michaels), make this a great venue overall, even with the slightly elevated venue rental fees. I would definitely plan on having an after-party back at your hotel or a local bar to keep the fun going after 10!

Click here to learn more about my wedding venue review process.

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Amenities/What’s Included 7
Convenient for Grandma 8
Layout 8
Location 10
Overall Charm 10
Venue Value 7

WGM Rating

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