On Location: the Great Room at Historic Savage Mill
Savage Mill is a 19th-century textile mill, in Savage, MD (outside Laurel), whose buildings are now filled with shops selling antiques, crafts, art, and other such items. One of the buildings has been turned into an event space called the Great Room, with vaulted ceilings, huge windows, a large dance floor, and a deck outside (supposed to be semi-permanently tented by about now).
The space is great. There's seating for over 250, with a huge dance floor, a beautiful room, lots of windows. As a mill, the complex is sited on a river, with woods around, so there's a nice view. There's also a low mill building below the deck area, which is run down in what Ellie feels is a picturesque and romantic sort of way. There's also a truss bridge crossing the river at one end of the mill complex - just the sort of backdrop people love for photos.
The catering is done exclusively by Putting On the Ritz. I don't really know how I feel about that, since we haven't had a tasting or gotten a proposal (they have prices on the menus they post but we would have to adapt the stations menu to our pescetarian wishes so it would probably change).
There are a few things that are odd. If you pull into the main lot and walk towards the building, the large and obvious entrance leads you into the mall and past all the stores to get to the greatroom. Now, they can walk down the side of the building, which puts you directly on the deck (where the ceremony would ideally be), but they'd be enjoying the sight (and sounds, presumably) of a ropes course set up among the trees. Could be a problem with an outdoor ceremony / cocktail hour, too; I'm sure the management know how to work around it, but we didn't think to ask while we were there.
The Great Room looks pretty good; it's reasonably priced, located within an appropriate radius, attractive setting. There are a few oddities, and the catering is an unknown, but it certainly has promise.