Even more options, no matter what you're planning to spend.

Photo credit: Hillary Ferguson Photography

In our newest issue, you'll find a story called "A Venue for Every Budget," which looks at extravagant and budget-friendly venues with rustic, elegant and garden party themes. Today we're bringing you two more venues-one at each end of the spectrum-for those who want a more eclectic feel for their event.

GO ALL OUT: Via Vecchia Winery

Always a popular venue among Columbus couples, Via Vecchia combines a rustic, wood-and-candlelit vibe with the elegance that often accompanies wineries. Renting the space includes access to three 8-foot handcrafted, wooden farm tables; three full-size, decorative wine barrels; tables and metal Chiavari chairs, as well as fabric sweeps and LED cafe lighting, according to co-owner Michael Elmer. Add to that the venue's stunning chandeliers, and you've got a gorgeous venue that needs very little additional decor.

"One of the things we always tell people is to allow the space to speak for itself a bit," Elmer says. "It's got a lot of historical charm … when you see it other places, there kind of duplicating that look, but this is the real deal."

The venue's rental fee starts at $3,500 and does not include items like linens or catering, which are arranged through outside companies. To have your ceremony on-site, you'll tack another $400 on to the bill. Another cost to consider is parking, which is managed through an outside company; Elmer says that couples typically pay in advance so their guests can park for free.

Finally, couples must meet a $4,000 beverage minimum; given the options available, this can be met with ease. House wines include a Sangiovese/pinot noir blend and a cabernet sauvignon blended with merlot and cabernet franc, as well as a Chardonnay and a house sangria, all made on-site.

For beer, base-level offerings typically include a few craft options in addition to the standard Bud Light, and base liquors start with such labels as Jack Daniel's, Captain Morgan, Three Olives, Burnett's gin and more. (Want to upgrade? You'll get Bulleit, Crown Royal, Gray Goose and Bombay Sapphire, to name a few.)

In addition to quality offerings and decor, a wedding at Via Vecchia includes personal contact with Elmer or the venue's other co-owner and head vintner, Paolo Rosi-one of them is always on hand at each event. Elmer also makes himself available to couples via his cell phone and through a private Facebook group for those planning their weddings at the winery.


When it comes to this campus staple, don't be fooled; events inside amount to much more than a typical college house party. For a mere $2,500, you can rent the building's Performance Hall and adjacent Potter's Plaza, providing plenty of room for ceremony, cocktail hour and reception. That rental fee includes all in-house tables, chairs and basic linens, says Elaine McLoughlin-Overholt, the venue's event planning coordinator.

"We try to be as inclusive as possible, without having to add on nickel-and-diming fees as well," she says. "For the most part, we can set up your whole reception with all in-house inventory, none of which should be an extra charge." Of course, McLoughlin-Overholt and her team are happy to help couples choose upgraded options, even going so far as to coordinate any desired external rentals to reduce stress for the to-be-weds.

But renting outside linens, chairs or other elements is far from necessary.

"The rooms do have some beautiful features [so] you can really go simple with any additional decor or florals," she says. "The spaces tend to always kind of speak for themselves and don't necessarily need anything else."

When the time comes to select your menu from the in-house caterer, you get to choose every aspect of your hors d'oeuvres and dinner a la carte; there are no pre-packaged wedding options. "I believe, before I started [working here], we did have something like that," McLoughlin-Overholt says. "And it ended up really being more cost-efficient for our wedding clients to just look at our standard menu offerings and use that to piece together exactly what they're looking for."

There's no food or beverage minimum, and bar tabs are always consumption-based. To keep the alcohol cost down, McLoughlin-Overholt recommends a drink ticket system. She estimates that $20 to $25 is a good average price per person for dinner, with an additional $10 per person for light appetizers.

Guests who drive to the venue can park for a small fee in the garage adjacent to the Ohio Union, or couples can choose to buy vouchers for their guests to use.