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Weddings Through a Time Machine

Mount Harmon Plantation, located near Earleville in Cecil County, is a gorgeous wedding venue, filled to the brim with astonishing scenery and historical charm. Its 200-acre estate is packed with unique features, from the historic manor house built in 1730, to its incredible views of the Sassafras River. Between the pastoral beauty of the site and the impeccably-preserved Georgian architecture, Mount Harmon is the perfect wedding location for those who enjoy stepping back in time and enjoying the peace and quiet of the scenic upper Chesapeake region.


Mount Harmon features a wide variety of locations to host a ceremony, including the pristinely-kept boxwood garden, the sweeping front lawn of the manor house and the phenomenal waterfront. With so many options to choose from, the venue provides ample opportunities to craft your dream wedding just as you envision it. Wedding Coordinator Kim Isaacson, who describes Mount Harmon as a “timeless, magical setting,” works with couples throughout the planning process; her expertise is invaluable, as can be seen from the dozens and dozens of stunning ceremonies she has assisted in planning.

As Paige Howard, Mount Harmon’s Executive Director, puts it, entering the grounds through the two-mile private driveway is like “stepping into a time machine.” The setting celebrates America’s early history and guests are able to relax and set aside the stresses of modern life to soak in the idyllic atmosphere of simpler times. In addition to the calm environment, the preservation of the traditional architecture makes one feel as if they have truly stepped back in time.


Originally, the land of Mount Harmon was granted to Godfrey Harmon by Lord Baltimore in 1651. It then operated as a tobacco plantation, owned by the Louttit and George families, until the early 1800s. The plantation was staffed by a mixture of enslaved people, indentured servants and tenant farmers. The property was practically abandoned for over a hundred years before being acquired by Marguerite duPont de Villiers Boden, an heir of the Louttit and George families, who restored the manor house and other buildings to their former glory. After her passing, her daughter, Kip Kelso.


Boden Crist, founded the nonprofit Friends of Mount Harmon to ensure the preservation of the site.


Mount Harmon is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Friends of Mount Harmon still own and operate the facilities, and their mission is to ensure “the preservation and interpretation of Mount Harmon, for the public’s education and enjoyment.” The educational programs at the site focus on both the colonial period and the role of the duPont family in renovating the property.


“Not only is it a beautiful manor house in the Georgian style, but it also supports the tradition of preservation,” Howard said.


Traditionally, the groomsmen prepare for the ceremony in the carriage house loft, while the bridal party gets ready in the bridal suite connected to the manor house. Both parties are sure to enjoy the unique character of these spaces. For the ceremony, not only are there a multitude of locations to choose from, but each of them can be organized and decorated in myriad ways to allow for couples to implement their own creative vision. Receptions are usually held adjacent to the manor house.


On average, Mount Harmon hosts 10-12 weddings per year; due to the outdoor location, their most popular seasons are spring and fall, although the venue is also available in the summer as well for those who prefer the warmer weather. They offer a “go-to” list of local vendors for catering, photography, floristry and tents to ensure that each aspect of the ceremony and reception are of the highest quality. Fresh local seafood is a focus of the catering companies that typically work with Mount Harmon.


While Mount Harmon does not permit ceremonies or receptions inside its manor house, it does offer guided tours of the house during the cocktail hour. Many patrons have enjoyed this opportunity to learn the historical background of the venue through its three-story collection of artifacts of American, English, Irish and Scottish origins.


“We have clear expectations,” Howard said. “The manor house is a museum, not a party house, but it serves as a fantastic backdrop.”


Tours of the carriage house, colonial kitchen and smokehouse are also available.

The standard price for a ceremony, reception, and rehearsal is $4,500. The price includes the site rental, day-of coordination, an on-site engagement photoshoot, and more. Additional packages are available for vendor services and tented receptions. Mount Harmon also offers a complimentary oneyear membership to the bride and groom, giving full access to the grounds for those who wish to revisit and reminisce about one of the most special days of their lives.


Aside from weddings, Mount Harmon is also available for private parties, corporate retreats and other events. Numerous public events are also hosted throughout the year, such as point-to-point horse races, colonial festivals, a yuletide festival and holiday market, and even revolutionary war reenactments. Day passes and yearly memberships are also offered for those who would like to explore the natural beauty of the landscape or use the boat launch to enjoy the beautiful Sassafras River. With all these features, Mount Harmon is sure to be the perfect location for you and your loved ones to create fond memories. CBW


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