Skip the traditional church wedding. Make the Hamptons your destination for a wedding that will be exceptional, unusual, and romantic. Destination weddings don’t have to be held in far-off places to be endearing, they just need to be in unique and distinctive.
If the bride and groom are horse lovers, the Hampton mansion is a great choice of venue for a wedding ceremony. Since it was established in the 1800s, the Hampton farm and mansion has become the epitome of equestrian experiences. Home to the Ridgely family, the original mansion was a sprawling horse ranch where some of the finest race horses were bred and trained. The Ridgely children learned to ride first on ponies and later on horses during a time when horse riding carried as much importance for the wealthy as reading or writing.
Hampton Interior Architecture
The Hampton mansion is one of the many archaeological sites scattered around the Chesapeake Bay area in Maryland. Most people see Hampton as a sedate Georgian mansion, elegantly furnished and settled amid gardens and shade trees. It personifies classic Georgian symmetry: a large three-story structure with smaller wings on either side connected by hallways. Built between 1783 and 1790, Captain Charles Ridgely’s dwelling rose with the new nation, yet was modeled after the aristocratic homes of another place and time.
Captain Ridgely was inspired by Castle Howard in Yorkshire, England, with its large octagonal cupola. The exterior is constructed of stone quarried on Ridgely property. Stucco was applied to the stone and then scored to resemble blocks of limestone. The iron oxide in the stucco compound gives it a rosy, pinkish color. Large and lavish rooms, such as the drawing room, showcase ancient Greek and Roman furniture purchased in 1832 by John and Eliza Ridgely. Throughout the mansion, furnishings accumulated by several generations of Ridgelys make up the splendour of this elegant setting.
Hampton Exterior Architecture
Take a moment to stand at an upstairs window and look out over the lawns, suburban houses, and woodlands. In its time, Hampton covered this land and more. The Ridgely property equalled half the area of present-day Baltimore, land that made its owners rich through iron production, agriculture, and investments.
A wealth of art and scenery recreates a world where, for the better part of three centuries, a community of hundreds of individuals played out the comedies and dramas of their own lives against the backdrop of America’s development as a nation.
The 19th century brought the exterior to its fullest glory. Italian-style gardens set on terraced earthworks were in place by 1802 on the south side of the mansion, while the north side cultivated an English-style landscape. In the 1830s and 1840s, John and Eliza Ridgely carefully enhanced the “natural” landscape with exotic trees, including the cedar of Lebanon on the south lawn reported to have made its way from the Middle East in a shoebox.
Small, outdoor, wedding ceremonies are allowed. Imagine your ceremony set against this spectacular backdrop of American history. You don’t just have to imagine it; it could be your dream come true.