The Inside Scoop
FROM THE KNOT EDITORS
The First Look
Built in 1896, the Columbus Athenaeum is conveniently located in the center of downtown Columbus, Ohio. Offering a long and successful tradition in hosting indoor wedding ceremonies and receptions of all sizes, the Columbus Athenaeum features several indoor venues for intimate to elaborate events.
features striking Corinthian columns spanning from the marble floor to the hand-painted ceiling. The room is wrapped in a 20-foot balcony and is adjacent to the main lobby and Oak Room. The first floor reception area is over 12,000 square feet and can accommodate 900 seated guests.
on the third floor features two tiers of windows, providing indirect lighting to complement the original chandeliers. It includes balcony seating, carpeting and a 25-foot stage. This space can accommodate 200 seated guests in its 3,000 square feet.
is a romantic and intimate oak-lined room with large, draped windows and fluted columns that rise to the painted ceiling. It is an ideal space for 230 seated guests and can be used in conjunction with the adjacent Olympian Ballroom and lobby.
features pendant chandeliers, neutral walls with large, draped windows and a multi-color coffered ceiling. The room features a small stage that is perfect a DJ or wedding cake table.
is located on the second floor and features two full walls of floor to ceiling windows, making it naturally lit and ideal for afternoon affairs.
is on the second floor adjacent to the Corinthian room. The carpeted room with a 9-foot raised stage is ideal for small events or ceremonies
is light and open, featuring high ceilings with stained-glass chandeliers. There is a 9-foot stage for intimate events and ceremonies or use in conjunction with another room for larger receptions.
features an Egyptian motif, large art-deco chandeliers and a 10-foot stage. It accommodates 120 seated reception guests.
is a perfect space for wedding ceremonies, since it features a cathedral-like atmosphere and theatre-style seating. The Priory’s 12th century interior provides a beautiful backdrop for the exchange of nuptials and formal wedding photography. It accommodates 160 guests.
What You Should Know
The Columbus Athenaeum offers ceremony and reception spaces that perfectly compromise between historical, traditional and modern. Each room is a different canvas that can take on a couple's vision for it, while still offering exquisite details to undeniably accentuate the rich traditions of the building.
Reception catering packages include hors d'oeuvres and either buffet, station or plated dining options. Guests are prohibited from bringing food and drinks, as all food and alcohol is provided by The Columbus Athenaeum, with the exception of the wedding cake that must be provided by a licensed bakery.
Couples who are hosting a wedding ceremony or reception at the Columbus Athenaeum receive the following additional benefits:
- Complimentary menu tasting after booking
- Complimentary event enhancement for reception
- Award-winning service; voted The Knot's 2013 Best of Weddings pick
From the Vendor
The Columbus Athenaeum
Historical architecture and a downtown location provide the setting for a wedding to remember. From our grand ballroom to our century-old Gothic wedding chapel, the Athenaeum offers a dozen rooms of varying size and décor. We also offer an extensive menu that can be tailored to your needs.
Amenities + Details
For more details about amenities, please message the Venue.
$$ – Affordable
Ballroom, Historic Venue
Food + Catering
Perfect Venue for the Perfect EventReviewed on 6/10/2014 Lauren B
Its almost a month after our wedding and we are still hearing about how wonderful our wedding reception was... The Columbus Athenauem was the perfect venue for our perfect wedding reception. We rented the Oak Room at TCA. The room has gorgeous woodwork and was more than enough space for our 205 guests. The day of our wedding the room looked gorgeous with the linens, centerpieces, and all of it... Working with TCA has been wonderful. I was planning our wedding from afar, so the fact that it was kind of a "one-stop" shop was really a blessing. Ann at the Athenaeum was awesome to work with. She was able to provide us with ample information to make an informed decision about our wedding reception and really guided us through planning, to make the perfect event. The food tasting was phenomenal... so much food... and it was so good and we felt confident that the food on our wedding day would be perfect for our guests. The days leading up to the event, I was in good order, thanks to Ann. Details were worked out. Food was ordered.... everything done in a timely manner, so I could focus on other things. The day of the event was perfect. The room looked impeccable. The food was delicious and a fun time was had by all. A 6-year old cousin raved that the water served from the bartender was the best he'd ever had. I've had really big, burly guys tell me how much they enjoyed their salad at dinner. I've had people tell me it was the best food they've ever had at a wedding.... and people cannot stop talking about the fun they had and how much they enjoyed the venue. If I had to do it all over again... I'd do it the same way. I wouldn't change a thing. Thank you all for your hard work and for hosting our perfect event!
The perfect fitReviewed on 6/24/2014 Kate P
The Columbus Athenaeum was the perfect fit for us. We couldn't have been happier with it. Our reception was in the large theater. The room itself was so beautiful and really had the wow factor we were looking for. The food was incredible. Our guests said that it was the best wedding food they had ever had. Most of them are still talking about it. Gina was incredible. She worked so well with us and really helped us achieve exactly what we wanted. One of the things I loved most of all was that almost everything was included. They took care of our centerpieces, and additional decorations, food, drinks, linens, and tables and chairs. We didn't have to go through a bunch of different places and it was all quality stuff. They didn't try to nickle and dime us as we found with many places. They were open and honest with us from the beginning about prices. It really was perfect! Thanks to the Athenaeum I can look back at my wedding day and have no regrets.
Loved this venue!Reviewed on 6/14/2014 Tara S
We worked with Trisha and then Danielle at the Athenaeum and had great experiences with both. They each were very responsive via email and helped us as we planned a wedding from out of town. On the wedding day, Danielle and other employees seemed dedicated to making our event a success. Everyone enjoyed the food and loved the space. We got married in the Priory - lovely spot for a wedding - and had the reception in the Oak Room. All we heard from the guests were compliments on the venue and the service. We would recommend the Athenaeum to others in Columbus for sure!
The staff at the Columbus Athenaeum are experts at customer service and hospitality. We had a phenomenal wedding at an affordable price in a historic and beautiful location! From the moment we inquired about having our wedding at the Athenaeum to the final load out at the wedding - every single detail was executed perfectly by their staff. The food is exquisite! We have a very "foodie" family and everyone raved about our wedding food. We had a buffet style diner but the staff served my husband and I and made sure we had drinks at all times. :) We were actually able to enjoy ourselves at our wedding. Every time I stopped in to make a payment or drop off a contract, the staff made me feel like I was their only client, when in fact they do hundreds events a year. We did lots of research on several types of venues including DIY style, and the cost for 160 guests at the Athenaeum was one of the most affordable options. And they did most of the work!
Had our ceremony and reception in the large theater, and it was the best decision. Guests were blown away, everyone just kept taking about how beautiful it was and how amazing the food was. I think the biggest thing for me was that the wonderful staff and venue takes care of most everything. You don't have to hire and coordinate a lot of different vendors, which is a blessing as you get closer to the day. Highly recommend, our wording was unforgettable.
Wonderful venue!! I had my bridal shower here last weekend (in the Hellenic Room), and it was amazing. The room was decorated beautifully, the food was delicious, and it was the perfect space for my shower. They had couches and chairs that made for a comfy spot to open gifts and chat. I did not plan the shower my self, of course, but my family and friends that did said that the staff was very friendly and easy to work with. During the shower the staff was attentive and helpful. It's also a great location, right downtown and easy to find, with a parking garage nearby. I highly recommend this venue!
Thank you to everyone at The Columbus Atheneum, especially Jackie, who played part in making our wedding day everything we could have dreamed of and more. Literally everything on the day of went smoothly, everyone raved about how incredible the food was, and how beautiful the Large Theater was for both our ceremony and reception. Jackie graciously worked around my ever changing work and nursing school schedule when planning and showing off the venue to my out-of-state family. She also was instrumental in bringing our (or my �) vision together to every last detail within our budget. I especially want to point out TCA was beyond accommodating to dietary needs. As the lone vegetarian in my family, it was nice to work with a group of people who made my dinner with my tastes in mind and not just "the vegetarian option" you would expect of other places. They also accommodated a guest with over 20 allergies needs delectably.
I cannot recommend the athenaeum highly enough! As soon as I walked in to tour it I fell in love with the building, but what I really want to rave about is how easy and fun they made the planning process. Due to my husband's military orders, we had to plan a wedding in just under 6 months, with him on the other side of the country and me with a full time job and graduate school, so I needed a full-service venue that would make this process as painless as possible. TCA exceeded all my expectations! It was affordable compared to many other venues I saw, but included way more for the money than I expected, and it was BEAUTIFUL. I got so many compliments from guests about how gorgeous and elegant the venue was, how delicious the food was, etc. They were so easy to work with, and so professional, it made planning the wedding a breeze. They nailed my vision perfectly, and both my husband and I are so incredibly happy with how everything turned out! Also, while I am certain any coordinator on staff would have been capable, I worked with Gina and she was AMAZING, so helpful and professional, with great tips and recommendations- she really made what could have been a pressured and stressful process seem easy and fun, and I cannot speak highly enough of her service. I could go on forever, but will end saying I would recommend TCA to any bride, you will not be disappointed!!
The Athenaeum was our first choice for venue and we were so happy that it worked out. We were married in the Priory and had our reception in the Small Theatre. The entire day went flawlessly. We worked with Lori and Gina and they were both so knowledgeable and helpful. There was not a single thing that went wrong on their end all day long and the staff made everything happen while disappearing into the background. The rooms were beautiful and gave us the most gorgeous photos. Definitely go to the tastings in order to decide on your menu. We ended up choosing the second most expensive buffet option because the prime rib and mashed potato martinis were must-haves. We are so terribly happy we chose the Athenaeum. They do have rules and the price is not the cheapest, but it is absolutely a value for what you get- a beautiful, perfect day.
While the venue is beautiful, the price was not worth the services we received. There was hardly any communication between the employees when it came to questions I had about my wedding. When they decided to not believe me about what I received as a customer, I decided to write this review. When the appetizers came to my husband and my table, they were cold and when we asked for a hot plate they said there were no more but she would double check. A lot of my guests did not even receive an appetizer. The kids meals we ordered were delivered to the wrong children even though I gave them the table that the children would be at. The Athenaeum would not refund us any more than $500 even though our total guest count was almost 20 people short of what they charged us for. My wedding planner had warned me of the tricks they like to pull and how much they would charge us for each little thing and I still decided to give them a chance. I wish I hadn't because my wedding day was much less than exceptional. It was rushed by the coordinator they assigned to me and the atmosphere was extremely unprofessional once the final payment was made.
I can not say enough about the Columbus Athenaeum- what an exceptional venue! Planning a wedding I initially felt very overwhelmed but they made it SO easy! We worked off of their list of preferred vendors and everyone they recommended was exceptional. Jackie was great about answering any questions that we had along the way and her expertise was much appreciated. My friend hired a wedding planner, but TCA is so organized that I didn’t feel like I even needed one! We were married in the Priory and had our reception in the Small Theater. What a cool venue! The Priory photographs really well and is perfect for a more intimate ceremony (we had just over 100 guests). The Small Theater is gorgeous with the twinkly lights hanging up everywhere- the evening felt magical and our photos are breathtaking. The décor is already so pretty that we only spent $150 for the tables which we used for artificial leaves and table numbers. In addition to the money we saved on decor, we also appreciated how reasonably priced everything was (food, alcohol, space rental) when we compared it to other venues that we looked at. Guests LOVED the food and they also liked that the dance floor was on stage. The stage isn’t so high that guests felt on display dancing there, but it’s high enough that everyone could see our first dances from their seats. The staff at TCA are exceptional. We gave them the items that we wanted placed on the tables and they did the rest. Everything looked beautiful and it was so nice just being able to enjoy the day without having to worry about anything because we knew we were in good hands!
Jackie was amazing!! She was so helpful and knowledgeable. She answered every question I had and was so nice. She was there with me the day of our wedding and was really fantastic. She took care of everything. The venue itself was perfect. We used the small theater and it couldn't have been better. The lights make it seem like a fairytale. The food was wonderful, not to mention the great bartender. Every staff member is so helpful and has a great attitude. Jackie and the rest of the staff made it so easy on me. I love them for making our wedding day perfect!!
Lori, Gina and the rest of the staff at the Columbus Athenaeum were nothing short of incredible. From our initial visit to leaving at the end of our reception, everything went so smoothly and beautifully. Gina did a wonderful job of keeping everything on schedule on the big day, but without being strict or pushy with us on the timeline - it was a perfect balance of allowing us to have fun but still making sure we got in everything we wanted to do. There was a great variety of choices for food, drink and decorations, and the venue was also super flexible in allowing us to bring in our own decorative items to give our personal touch to the big day (and they even set up those extra items for us). Overall, I could not have asked for a more perfect venue and staff for our wedding day, and I wouldn't change a thing! Our guests absolutely loved it as well!
The Columbus Athenaeum was PERFECT for our wedding ceremony (Priory) and reception (Small Theater). The spaces themselves were stunning- such beautiful architecture and character that not much additional decoration is needed. The rooms were spectacular- linens, chairs, candles, centerpieces, lighting, etc.- everything came together in the most perfect way. Gina was absolutely incredible. She answered questions, offered suggestions, and kept us in the loop every step of the way. I could not have asked for a better TCA coordinator to help put our special day together. AMAZING. My husband and I went back to TCA after the wedding just to say 'goodbye'. She's truly wonderful. Compared to other venues, TCA is super affordable, especially considering the high quality of the food (seriously, guest are still raving about their meal), the event enhancements, and general packages. Things like cake cutting, set-up, menu card placement, etc. are all included AND TCA provides a healthy list of reputable vendors for flowers, photography, cake, and music. Working with TCA makes all of the planning so much easier and less stressful. I honestly could go on about how wonderful our TCA experience was for a lifetime. My husband and I are so pleased with how everything turned out and will certainly look fondly on our wedding ceremony and reception for many, many years to come. We've already joked that we'll be back for a vow renewal in 10+ years. Seriously. :)
My husband and I visited over 10 places before we decided on TCA for our reception. We absolutely fell in love with the Large Theater. (However, they have several unique spaces.) Overall, it was very affordable and much cheaper than most of the places we had initially looked at for our reception. All the staff at TCA is very polite and professional (over the phone and in person). It was great to have everything in one place - food, alcohol, linens, centerpieces, etc. They literally take care of everything for you. We were even able to take the beer and wine back with us and had an after party. For our event, we worked with Jackie who was outstanding!!! She was very personal, organized, and accommodating. She made sure every little detail was in place and everything was perfect. The food at our wedding was phenomenal (even though we did not necessarily think that at the tasting). We did the platinum buffet. We had several people comment that it was the best food they ever had at a wedding. The donuts were a huge hit - would highly recommend! Absolutely everything was perfect, and we had such a fun time! Thank you so much Jackie and TCA staff!!! We cannot express our gratitude enough!
We cannot thank the Columbus Athenaeum enough for the PERFECT wedding! We had our wedding in the ballroom and it was a great size for our 200 guests. We worked with Jackie and she took care of everything; she is a saint! Quick to email you back, answer all questions, and give insights on what works best in the space. From food, to decorations, to alcohol, to linens the Athenaeum worked with us to get exactly what we wanted. They went above and beyond to make our wedding perfect and we are so grateful! Our guests are still raving about how beautiful the venue was and how AMAZING the food tasted!! You will not be disappointed by this venue!
Kudos to the Columbus Athenaeum team for an outstanding job they did to make Tracee and Elliott Keefer's wedding reception a regal and magical event! From the receptionist/hostess/bartender, Jessica Ellicott, to the sales and event planner, Jackie Kelley, to the customer relations manager, Lori Fiske, to the executive chef, Lynn Kirch and the GM, Susan Cassidy,and all who made this a night to remember, our many thanks go out! The room was splendid, the decor fine, the food delicious, and the atmosphere fun and elegant! It was a dream come true for the bride and groom! A fabulous time was had by all as reported by several of our guests!! We appreciate more than words can express how wonderful and memorable this day was made by all that you did!! God Bless you all!
We had both our ceremony and reception at The Columbus Athenaeum. The venue was absolutely perfect! We had a lot of guests coming from out of town, so having both events in the same place was ideal for our situation. We had our ceremony in the Macedonian Room which comfortably fit all 200 of our guests. We had our reception in the Olympian Ballroom which was the best choice we made throughout the wedding planning process. Not only is the room absolutely gorgeous, but it was also extremely spacious! We received many compliments from our guests about the beautiful set up. I am also extremely happy with the coordinating staff at the Athenaeum (big shout out to Gina!). There was not one thing that I had to worry about the entire night. The Columbus Athenaeum was the perfect venue for my husband and I. We recommend TCA to any bride who is looking for an elegant, spacious, and easy to plan venue.
Gorgeous Venue for a great price. Lots to offer to make any style wedding come to life!
I had a wonderful experience having my wedding at The Athenaeum! The ladies were excellent in helping with each stage of planning and the day of couldn't have gone any better. I got so many compliments from my guests on the flow from the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception, along with how beautiful and unique the venue was. I was also told by several guests that it was the best food they've ever had at a wedding. I'm so glad I had my wedding there!
The only complaint I have is with the hours it's really hard to work full time and get things done. Everything else was PERFECT. All night long I had people telling me how wonderful the food was and how beautiful it looked. We were in the Large Theater and they help advise me so that everything would look perfect and it did. I'm so very glad I pick to have my reception here.
I cannot thank Gina and the staff at The Athenaeum enough for creating the perfect ceremony and reception for our special day! They staff and especially Gina went above and beyond to ensure our wedding day was exactly what we envisioned! We had so many complements on the venue, food, and staff from our wedding guests. I would HIGHLY recommend this venue to anyone planning a wedding! You will not be disappointed! Thanks again Gina!! You are the best!
The Athenaeum was a great choice for our wedding! We went with the Large Theater Room and worked with Gina for most of the process. She was GREAT and very helpful with providing different options to accommodate our last minute changes to the big day. This venue is very unique and perfect for a downtown wedding. The food was soooooo good and the chef was able to provide amazing options for our guests with food allergies! We loved having our wedding here!
I couldn't ask for a better reception. Everything turned out perfectly!! Gina was absolutely amazing to work with and making sure that every detail was taken care of. Our reception was in the Olympian Ballroom and it looked amazing. Gina and the staff were fabulous to us and our guests and made sure that the entire night ran smoothly. We've received so many complements on the room, the food, the decor, etc. There isn't one thing that I'd change. Overall an amazing experience and day. Thank you Gina and The Columbus Athenaeum!!!
We got married on 10/17/15 at the Columbus Athenaeum. We used The Priory and The Oak Room for 100 guests. It was perfect. Gina was helpful and attentive and always kept things moving. I always felt like she had our best interests at heart (even if that meant TCA lost a few hundred dollars). The rooms are so stately that we used very little additional decorations. We received countless compliments on the food and atmosphere. TCA is upfront from the very beginning about rules and timing (when you're allowed in the room and when you have to be out). We also only used recommended vendors from the provided list from TCA. We did not want to risk a vendor new to TCA struggling with getting in and out of the room on time and causing us extra $$. We did not feel we needed to hire a 3rd party wedding planner since we had Gina and our DJ on site to keep everything running smoothly. Our banquet captain (Ben) did a great job and keeping my husband and I hydrated and taking care of anything we requested. We hand-picked 3 couples to help take decorations/cake/gifts home with them that night, and Ben worked with each to get them loaded out before our deadline. Overall, I would recommend The Columbus Athenaeum to anyone considering a Downtown Columbus wedding.