A Love Story featuring the Best Wedding Venue in Maryland

Throughout every season we have the opportunity to work with so many lovely couples when they host their special day at our outdoor wedding venue in Maryland. Each one filled with so much love and excitement as they walk through our doors to plan their I Do’s. As wedding season swings into full effect, we would love to highlight one of our amazing couples, Courtney McGlynn and Ryan McBride, who recently shared their amazing celebration with us.

How It All Started


Bride and groom first look at Maryland wedding venue

Fate had its way when Ryan met Courtney’s father, Don McGlynn, at an Alpha Tau Omega alumni event while attending the University of Maryland. After talking for a while, Don mentioned he had a daughter who also attended the university and was in the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. Ryan thought her name sounded familiar but couldn’t put a face to the name. Later that night, Ryan went out to the Cornerstone Grill & Loft located in College Park, and guess who happened to be there? Courtney! One of Ryan’s friends pointed her out and Ryan decided to go introduce himself to his future bride. He bought her a drink, and as Courtney recalls “When he clinked our glasses, he made the cheers to my dad I thought, who the heck is this guy?”

A couple of years after college they reconnected when they wound up on the same kickball team. Ryan had tried to take Courtney on a date for months before she finally agreed. They went to Sala Thai in Bethesda for their first date where Ryan eventually found out she wasn’t the biggest fan of Thai food. They continued the night at Caddies on Cordell to watch a UMD basketball game and eventually finished the night by showing off their knowledge of the Old Testament and Lord of the Rings.

The Proposal


McBride wedding couple celebrating at Great Oak Manor

After 5 years of dating, Ryan popped the question! To set the stage for the perfect proposal, Ryan took Courtney to the National Zoo, knowing her love of animals. His brother helped tape off the Komodo dragon area of the zoo and hired a photographer to capture the moment. Courtney recalls being caught off guard, “I had no idea. I didn’t do my hair. I was in sneakers. It blew my mind. I loved that it was in an obscure area of the zoo. That’s our spot at the zoo now.” After Courtney said yes to forever, they kicked off their engagement at Duke’s Counter across the street. Ryan surprised her with a reserved room filled with friends and family.

The Fairytale Ending


McBride Ceremony at Great Oak Manor on the lake

Last June, the couple said their vows at our Chesapeake Bay wedding venue. While couples have the option to choose anywhere on the grounds to get married, they chose to say “I do’s” close to the water under an arbor Ryan made. They chose our large wedding package and welcomed 210 guests to celebrate their special Saturday event. After the kiss guests took a short walk to the outdoor reception space where everyone enjoyed a delicious piece of cake made by both of their mothers. They enjoyed a pleasant summer night dancing to the Nightsong band under the stars. We love helping couples customize their day and in this case, they wanted an after party! After enjoying their gorgeous Maryland wedding, they danced the night away with all of their guests.


Big thank you to Courtney and Ryan for choosing to share their special day with all of us here at Great Oak Manor. We loved making your day one to remember for a lifetime!