Book Your Wedding with The Columbus Athenaeum
A BALLROOM IN COLUMBUS, OH
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
Civil Union, Commitment Ceremony, Elopement, Interfaith Ceremony, Non-Religious Ceremony, Religious Ceremony, Same Sex Ceremony, Second Wedding , Vow Renewal Ceremony
Ballroom, Historic Venue
Bar + Drinks, Food + Catering
Nate & I just had our reception at the TCA on November 4th. We were living out of town during the engagement so I was a little nervous to plan an out of town wedding, but Jackie (my coordinator) made everything so easy! I met with her a couple of times and we emailed frequently. She kept me on track with the planning process and made sure I had my dream reception. We had our reception in the Ballroom. Our total guest count was 350 and everyone had enough space. The food was excellent! I keep hearing from our guests that it was the best "wedding food" that they have ever had! All the staff are very friendly and you can tell they are compassionate about what they do! You are all awesome and if I had to do it all over again I would do everything the exact same! I cannot thank you enough!
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 venue is beautiful and a great value! But I give it a 4 star rating because I think there is room for improvement. I found when working with the staff, there was a lot of miscommunication. I would talk to my coordinator and then come in and speak to someone else and they would have no idea what I'm talking about or contradict what I was told by my coordinator. They also provide a great packet of information and instructions but then look at you confused when you actually follow the instructions. I think too because they do so many weddings that they forget that for most people, this is their first one and forget to communicate some details and instructions. I was scrambling before my wedding to find some people to help set up the reception (because you can only enter the room 2 hrs before the start time) and then I went in 2 days before the wedding to drop of decor and mentioned that some people would be coming in to set up and the manager, again, looked confused. She proceeded to tell me that they will do all the setup. However, my coordinator never asked for any pictures, instructions, etc about how I would like to room to be set up. The manager also scoffed and said "Well we do 100s of weddings to most people just trust us," when I questioned the fact that I was never asked for details on how I wanted centerpieces displayed, etc. Well that is fine if you think that but you should never say that to a client. I thought it was rude and unprofessional. That's great that you have that experience and one of the reasons I chose the venue. But that doesn't mean that you know exactly what I specifically want for my wedding. On top of all that, I walked in for the rehearsal and was told I would have a completely different coordinator than who we had worked with the whole time. The new coordinator was good. The day went as planned. It was just odd that there was no communication or explanation as to why they sudden switch. Overall, I would still recommend this venue but just think there is room for improvement when it comes to communication.
Our reception was in the Oak Room (apps 110 guests). The staff at the Athenaeum is incredibly helpful and made the process so easy (Jackie is amazing)! They helped us figure out all the details, stay on track with our timeline, clearly communicated information, and our reception ran so smoothly thanks to them! The food is amazing - our guests keep raving about it! As far as weddings go, everything is reasonably priced for the great services and products you get.
Definitely had the best reception I could imagine! But the planning process was a struggle with the venue itself. But other than that, the food was amazing, the staff the night of the wedding catered to us to make it as simple and help us have as much fun as possible!
Definitely just like all the reviews say! Beautiful venue. They take care of everything for you and it was so nice to have food/alcohol/decor all from one place. It's a bit pricey and they have very strict rules that can be a pain. However, overall we had a great experience. I wish they allowed more time for the reception - that's my only gripe! It would be nice to be able to add on an extra hour or two for those who want a longer event. But Jackie was wonderful to work with and she helped the day of go smoothly! The food was really delicious - short ribs are where it's AT! I loved that Jackie had food waiting for us at our seats when we entered the reception and she went through the buffet line and filled our plates right away so we could eat while the other tables were in line. You can tell they have weddings down to a science - everything like clockwork and they know what they're doing.
So, I am giving this venue 3 stars because I did have some complications with the venue. During the planning and looking over the totals for the money owed, I had a couple of questions in regards to paying a service fee on a deposit. When I spoke with the facility and got a response back from the financial coordinator, the e-mail was completely inappropriate. Text was highlighted and in multiple colors that didn't necessary apply to the questions that I had asked. Also, the venue that I chose for the reception had cabaret tables however the linens were just draped over and looked very unpolished (I was shown cabaret tables that had the linens tied at the bottom as a model). The food was good and the service the day of was good so that is why I am giving it a 3. For a place to be all about customer service, there are definite areas of improvement.
We are still so happy with our experience at the Athenaeum. Our wedding reception was in the Olympian ballroom, and we worked with Jackie. She could not have done more for us and we are so thankful to her! She made the process seem easy and answered questions for us quickly and patiently, any time we asked (and we had a lot!). She met with me and my husband, my parents, and even let us check out the room throughout the year. She was organized, friendly, flexible, and accommodating, and even helped my parents pull off an outrageous surprise during our reception. I would recommend the Athenaeum to anyone looking for a large wedding venue. Everything was perfect, the food was great, and the initial list of approved vendors was so helpful! Thank you for everything!
When we were unsatisfied with reception locations in our hometown of Erie, PA, my now-husband and I began searching for venues here in Columbus completely "blind" -- we'd never been to a wedding here and the vast majority of our friends are transplants, too. Finding the Athenaeum was a godsend. We looked at several different rooms, but knew instantly when we entered the Large Theater that it was "The One." Gina was a great, down-to-earth resource who guided us through the numerous decisions to be made. When neither the Station Menu or the heavy Hors D'oeuvres menu was exactly what we wanted, she worked with us to choose options from both, as well as some "unseen" options that ended up working exactly how we wanted. We enjoyed the food ourselves (Gina and an assistant made sure that in the chaos we got tastes of the cocktail hour offerings and plates of selections from each of our Italian, Mexican, and American dinner stations, so we didn't have the issue of not eating that you hear of from so many other brides and grooms) and we've heard nothing but good feedback from our guests. The bar arrangements/pricing was also one of the big draws and saved us considerably versus other venues we had looked at. The Athenaeum has some pretty strict rules about timing of set-up, take down, cookie tables, etc. but in fairness, they tell you about it all up front. We had a few disappointments along the way. Scheduling of appointments was a bit of a pain -- we were able to make it work, but my husband had to take time off of work to be able to meet with them during their business hours. We had questions about the menu but unable to speak with the Chef at the tasting reception after we had specifically been told they'd send him over. And I was a bit frustrated at a "standard" response when we'd finalized the order for everything (Food, linens, decor, alcohol, etc.) and I was told that if I didn't make pay our account in full on the same day they wouldn't be able to place our order and we could be responsible for "rush" fees. I understand that this is "normal", but our outstanding balance was approximately 1% of our total bill, and I believe the situation could have been handled with that in mind. Ultimately, though, these situations were minor in the grand scheme of the Big Day, which was just about perfect in all of the other ways.
The Athenaeum was everything I wanted an more. Our event coordinator, Gina, and the whole staff were so wonderful throughout the whole planning process and the day of the event. They really are event professionals and will make sure every detail is covered so your day goes exactly how you imagined it to be!
Our experience working with The Columbus Athenaeum (TCA) and our wedding were fabulous!!! Neither my husband nor I were very creative when it came to choosing a “look” for our wedding. Our amazing coordinator, Lori, helped us with every step of the process making it fun and easy! One of the many awesome things about the Athenaeum is it’s a one-stop-shop for many wedding essentials, including food, linens, table & ceremony décor and alcohol. This saved us a huge amount of time and stress! Lori made a number of suggestions to not only keep us within our budget, but to create an absolutely beautiful setting for our night. She had some really great ideas and we couldn’t have been happier with how everything looked. A number of our guests said they had never been there before and couldn’t believe how beautiful it was. We had several people tell us ours was the best wedding they ever went to and I will tell you: we did NOT spend an exorbitant amount of money! From the stringed lights overhead, to the character of the older building, to the perfectly set tables, it was stunning, elegant, and sophisticated without being “stuffy” or over the top. One thing that’s different from other venues: you are not invited to a food tasting until after you sign a contract. We trusted the reviews we read (and Lori!) which said they are known for their excellent food and not to worry about not having a tasting in advance. They were absolutely correct! We still went to the tasting, which was very helpful in our food selections. Everything we chose was absolutely delicious and the meal was very reasonably priced. One of our friends who is a very picky eater couldn’t wait to tell us she loved everything! We were not excited about one of the alcohol rules: if you order to little, there’s an upcharge to buy more the day of your event. If you order too much, you can keep unopened beer and wine, but not spirits. We didn’t like the rule about the unopened spirits, but they said the Ohio liquor laws do not permit them to let you take it. We followed TCA’s guidelines for ordering and were pretty close on the spirits. We had a lot of beer left and some wine, which was fine since we were able to keep it. Having enough alcohol without overspending was one thing we worried about, and it honestly turned out just fine. The overall cost of the alcohol was pretty reasonable considering our reception was 5 hours long with a full, open bar. We used a mix of TCA preferred vendors and those who were not and were really happy with all of them. If you choose a non-preferred vendor, my advice is to choose someone who is at least familiar with the Athenaeum. It is a big place, they have multiple events going on at the same time and have fairly strict rules for vendors related to load-in/load-out times, etc. This is necessary to keep things running smoothly for your event, as well as the others going on at the same time. Another recommendation: spend a little extra for the photo booth! We used TCA’s. The price was competitive with other vendors, everyone loved it and at the end of the night we had a memory book with notes and silly photos from our friends and family which is a really fun keepsake! I cannot overstate what an absolutely perfect night we had! The TCA staff did a superb job assisting us in the planning, keeping the night running smoothly and creating a truly beautiful setting and experience we will never forget. For value, quality and ambiance, I highly recommend them!
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!