Important information to know when choosing a date for your 2020 or 2021 wedding.

2020

Friday, Feb. 14, and Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020: We anticipate these being popular dates for weddings! If you’re on that train, better book your major vendors—venues, caterer, cake, photographer, DJ and florist—immediately. And speaking of flowers, Valentine’s Day always drives up the price of flowers, especially red roses. Opt instead for super-trendy arrangements featuring loose, leafy greenery, with select blooms worked in to fill gaps.

Saturday, Feb. 29: That’s right—it’s a leap year! Avoid Leap Day or book it specifically for the novelty … but know that you might not be the only one trying to do so.

Thursday, March 5 through Sunday, March 8: The Arnold Sports Festival at the Greater Columbus Convention Center will drive up hotel prices and bookings—not to mention general traffic—in the Short North and surrounding neighborhoods. Additional events at the Ohio Expo Center will do the same for the area just east of OSU’s campus.

Saturday, April 3: While the Short North Gallery Hop is a year-round occurrence, this is the first one of 2020 that has the potential for great weather. Photos in the Short North will be harder to snag and traffic will be dense, thanks to the increased crowds starting around 4 p.m. and lasting until 10 p.m. or later.

Sunday, April 12: Easter Sunday can cause scheduling problems, particularly among families that travel to enjoy Easter celebrations. Good Friday, on April 10, is a day of fasting and abstinence (no meat allowed) for some religions, so if you have a rehearsal dinner on this day, check to see that vegetarian options are available.

Friday, April 24: The first day of Ramadan, which lasts until Eid al-Fitr on May 24. During this month-long Islamic holiday, many Muslims fast during daylight hours. Sunset occurs between 8:20 p.m. and 8:50 p.m. during this time, so you may need to consider later dinner options for those observing Ramadan.

Saturday, April 25: The Cap City Half Marathon takes place throughout Downtown Columbus. Expect street closures late on Friday afternoon, lasting through midday Saturday. Downtown hotel rooms may also see a jump in price and/or decreased availability.

Saturday, May 2: The Short North Gallery Hop will make photos in the Short North will be harder to snag and will increase both pedestrian and vehicular traffic, thanks to the increased crowds starting around 4 p.m. and lasting until 10 p.m. or later.

Sunday, May 10: Mother’s Day makes brunch reservations hard to come by—good to know if you’re planning a May 9 wedding. Book your farewell brunch as soon as possible, or rent a conference room from your hotel and serve a  catered meal. This is another flower-centric holiday, so you may need to set a higher budget for your blooms—and be sure to book your florist early, too.

Mid-May: Typically, the Komen Race for the Cure takes place on a Saturday in mid-May; while the 2020 date hasn’t been announced, it’s safe to guess that it’ll take place on May 16 or 23. Expect Downtown crowds and a shortage of hotel rooms, as the Columbus Race for the Cure draws upward of 20,000 visitors.

Friday, May 22, through Monday, May 25: For many, Memorial Day weekend means travel or cookouts. If you’re planning a wedding this weekend, be sure to send a save-the-date four to six months in advance, so the event is on guests’ radars. You might want to send the actual invitations a week earlier than usual, too. The Sunday before Memorial Day is becoming increasingly popular among those looking to save a few bucks, so book your major vendors early to ensure their availability. Also this weekend: the Asian Festival at Franklin Park; expect increased traffic in that area.

Saturday, June 5: The Short North Gallery Hop will make photos in the Short North will be harder to snag and will increase both pedestrian and vehicular traffic, thanks to the increased crowds starting around 4 p.m. and lasting until 10 p.m. or later.

Friday, June 12, through Sunday, June 14: The Columbus Arts Festival turns the Scioto riverfront into a massive outdoor art gallery—complete with the crowds you’d expect.

Mid-June: The Stonewall Columbus Pride Festival dates haven’t been announced yet, but it’s likely to take place Friday, June 19, through Sunday, June 21. The Saturday parade closes down High Street from Goodale Park to RiverSouth, and the riverfront will be awash in rainbow-clad crowds. As the second-largest Pride event in the Midwest, expect a shortage of hotel rooms this weekend as well.

Late June: Dates for the 2020 ComFest are still TBD, but if 2019 is any indication, expect this “festival with a purpose” to take place the last weekend in June. Huge crowds around Goodale Park make the area difficult to navigate, especially for out-of-towners.

Sunday, June 21: Father’s Day doesn’t have the brunch or floral complications of Mother’s Day, but its summer timeline can cause scheduling snafus for those planning a weekend getaway for Dad. Golf course and country club weddings on both June 20 and June 21 may be impacted, however, especially if you were planning to book a pre-ceremony tee time for the groom and his men.

Friday, July 3: Red, White & Boommeans road closures starting July 2 and a giant block party Downtown on the 3rd. Look to the suburbs if you need hotel blocks, and don’t even think about booking a rehearsal dinner Downtown.

Saturday, July 4: The Short North Gallery Hop will make photos in the Short North will be harder to snag and will increase both pedestrian and vehicular traffic, thanks to the increased crowds starting around 4 p.m. and lasting until 10 p.m. or later. The added wrinkle of Independence Day drives us to say: just avoid this weekend if you’re planning a Downtown or Short North wedding.

Mid-July: The Jazz & Rib Fest will take over the Scioto Mile with hot ribs and cool jazz, typically in the middle of the month. While not as massive as some of the Mile’s other events, you can nevertheless expect traffic congestion in this area.

Late July/early August: The Ohio State Fairtypically takes place during these weeks, clogging up traffic along I-71 between the Short North and Clintonville. Hotel rooms may be harder to come by as well, especially in the city center.

Early August: Meanwhile, on the other side of town, the Dublin Irish Festivalwill result in traffic congestion along I-270 and routes 33 and 315. And forget about booking hotel rooms in the city during this weekend; unless you’re extremely early on planning details, you’re likely out of luck. Also this time of the month is Pelotonia, putting thousands of cyclists on the road between Downtown and Gambier to the northeast.

Saturday, Aug. 1: The Short North Gallery Hop will make photos in the Short North harder to snag and will increase both pedestrian and vehicular traffic, thanks to the increased crowds starting around 4 p.m. and lasting until 10 p.m. or later.

Friday, Sept. 4, through Monday, Sept. 7: Labor Day weekend faces many of the same challenges as  Memorial Day, with the added wrinkles of the Short North Gallery Hop and college football thrown in on Sept. 5. (The Buckeyes take on Bowling Green in the season opener at the ’Shoe.) We anticipate that Friday and Sunday of this weekend will book up quickly, as will tailgate brunch options on Saturday morning—especially if the game starts at 10 a.m. or noon.

Saturday, Sept. 19: Rosh Hashanah, or the Jewish New Year, is a two-day celebration that, for devout practicing Jews, means no work is allowed. Also this day: OSU vs. Buffalo at the ’Shoe.

Saturday, Sept. 26: Ohio State plays Rutgers at home; expect huge crowds and surges in hotel pricing and rideshares around the University District.

Saturday, Oct. 3: The first day of the Jewish harvest holiday, Sukkot, means that Jewish individuals who closely adhere to Judaic law are not permitted to work. The same applies for Shemini Atzeret the following weekend, on Oct. 10. Additionally, Oct. 3 could be one of the last nice-weather days for the Short North Gallery Hop, so crowds could be out in droves to enjoy it. And it’s the Buckeyes’ bye week, which has quickly become one of the most sought-after dates for a fall wedding … so book early if you want to nab it!

Saturday, Oct. 10: Ohio State plays Iowa at home; expect crowds and surges in hotel pricing and rideshares around the University District.

Mid-October: The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon and Half-Marathon typically takes place on a Sunday in mid-October, so expect road closures and congestion starting the day before throughout Downtown, the Short north, the University District, Grandview and Upper Arlington.

Saturday, Oct. 31: Halloween is on a Saturday this year! That itself shouldn’t impact your wedding plans too much, as most communities do Beggar’s Night on a different day. But OSU plays Nebraska at home, so factor that into your considerations.

Saturday, Nov. 7: Ohio State plays Indiana at home, so expect the usual slowdowns along 315 and 71 near the University District.

Saturday, Nov. 28: The *ichigan game is home in 2020, so we recommend avoiding this weekend altogether. Between the increased traffic, passionate fans and potential for higher-than-normal hotel pricing, it’s a headache waiting to happen.

Friday, Dec. 25: Christmas falls on a Friday this year, which could work in your favor or against it, depending on how much of your family travels during the holidays and to where.

2021

Saturday, Feb. 13, and Sunday, Feb. 14, 2020: We anticipate these being popular dates for weddings! If you’re on that train, better book your major vendors—venues, caterer, cake, photographer, DJ and florist—immediately. And speaking of flowers, Valentine’s Day always drives up the price of flowers, especially red roses. Opt instead for super-trendy arrangements featuring loose, leafy greenery, with select blooms worked in to fill gaps.

Early March: The Arnold Sports Festival at the Greater Columbus Convention Center will drive up hotel prices and bookings—not to mention general traffic—in the Short North and surrounding neighborhoods. Additional events at the Ohio Expo Center will do the same for the area just east of OSU’s campus.

Saturday, April 3: While the Short North Gallery Hop is a year-round occurrence, this is the first one of 2020 that has the potential for great weather. Photos in the Short North will be harder to snag and traffic will be dense, thanks to the increased crowds starting around 4 p.m. and lasting until 10 p.m. or later.

Sunday, April 4: Easter Sunday can cause scheduling problems, particularly among families that travel to enjoy Easter celebrations. Good Friday, on April 2, is a day of fasting and abstinence (no meat allowed) for some religions, so if you have a rehearsal dinner on this day, check to see that vegetarian options are available.

Monday, April 12: The first day of Ramadan, which lasts until Eid al-Fitr on May 11. During this month-long Islamic holiday, many Muslims fast during daylight hours. Sunset occurs between 8:20 p.m. and 8:50 p.m. during this time, so you may need to consider later dinner options for those observing Ramadan.

Late April: The Cap City Half Marathon takes place throughout Downtown Columbus. Expect street closures late on Friday afternoon, lasting through midday Saturday. Downtown hotel rooms may also see a jump in price and/or decreased availability.

Saturday, May 1: The Short North Gallery Hop will make photos in the Short North will be harder to snag and will increase both pedestrian and vehicular traffic, thanks to the increased crowds starting around 4 p.m. and lasting until 10 p.m. or later.

Sunday, May 9: Mother’s Day makes brunch reservations hard to come by—good to know if you’re planning a May 8 wedding. Book your farewell brunch as soon as possible, or rent a conference room from your hotel and serve a  catered meal. This is another flower-centric holiday, so you may need to set a higher budget for your blooms—and be sure to book your florist early, too.

Mid-May: Typically, the Komen Race for the Cure takes place on a Saturday in mid-May; while the 2021 date hasn’t been announced, it’s safe to guess that it’ll take place on May 16 or 23. Expect Downtown crowds and a shortage of hotel rooms, as the Columbus Race for the Cure draws upward of 20,000 visitors.

Friday, May 28, through Monday, May 31: For many, Memorial Day weekend means travel or cookouts. If you’re planning a wedding this weekend, be sure to send a save-the-date four to six months in advance, so the event is on guests’ radars. You might want to send the actual invitations a week earlier than usual, too. The Sunday before Memorial Day is becoming increasingly popular among those looking to save a few bucks, so book your major vendors early to ensure their availability. Also this weekend: the Asian Festival at Franklin Park; expect increased traffic in that area.

Saturday, June 5: The Short North Gallery Hop will make photos in the Short North will be harder to snag and will increase both pedestrian and vehicular traffic, thanks to the increased crowds starting around 4 p.m. and lasting until 10 p.m. or later.

Mid-June: The Columbus Arts Festival turns the Scioto riverfront into a massive outdoor art gallery—complete with the crowds you’d expect.

Mid-June: The Stonewall Columbus Pride Festival dates haven’t been announced yet, but it’s likely to take place Friday, June 18, through Sunday, June 20. The Saturday parade closes down High Street from Goodale Park to RiverSouth, and the riverfront will be awash in rainbow-clad crowds. As the second-largest Pride event in the Midwest, expect a shortage of hotel rooms this weekend as well.

Late June: Dates for the 2021 ComFest are still TBD, but if 2019 is any indication, expect this “festival with a purpose” to take place the last weekend in June. Huge crowds around Goodale Park make the area difficult to navigate, especially for out-of-towners.

Sunday, June 20: Father’s Day doesn’t have the brunch or floral complications of Mother’s Day, but its summer timeline can cause scheduling snafus for those planning a weekend getaway for Dad. Golf course and country club weddings on both June 19 and June 20 may be impacted, however, especially if you were planning to book a pre-ceremony tee time for the groom and his men.

Saturday, July 3: Red, White & Boom means road closures starting July 2 and a giant block party Downtown on the 3rd. Look to the suburbs if you need hotel blocks, and don’t even think about booking a rehearsal dinner Downtown. Complicating matters is the Short North Gallery Hop the same day. Our advice? Avoid this weekend if at all possible; there are a lot of logistics to plan around.

Mid-July: The Jazz & Rib Fest will take over the Scioto Mile with hot ribs and cool jazz, typically in the middle of the month. While not as massive as some of the Mile’s other events, you can nevertheless expect traffic congestion in this area.

Late July/early August: The Ohio State Fair typically takes place during these weeks, clogging up traffic along I-71 between the Short North and Clintonville. Hotel rooms may be harder to come by as well, especially in the city center.

Early August: Meanwhile, on the other side of town, the Dublin Irish Festival will result in traffic congestion along I-270 and routes 33 and 315. And forget about booking hotel rooms in the city during this weekend; unless you’re extremely early on planning details, you’re likely out of luck. Also this time of the month is Pelotonia, putting thousands of cyclists on the road between Downtown and Gambier to the northeast.

Saturday, Aug. 7: The Short North Gallery Hop will make photos in the Short North harder to snag and will increase both pedestrian and vehicular traffic, thanks to the increased crowds starting around 4 p.m. and lasting until 10 p.m. or later.

Friday, Sept. 3, through Monday, Sept. 6: Labor Day weekend faces many of the same challenges as  Memorial Day, with the added wrinkle of the Short North Gallery Hopthrown in on Sept. 4.

Saturday, Sept. 11: While it’s unlikely you’ll want to pick the anniversary of 9/11 for your wedding day, we have another reason why it might not be a great idea: OSU’s home opener, against Oregon, takes place today, meaning there will likely be lots of traffic and crowds around campus.

Saturday, Sept. 18: Ohio State plays Tulsa at home; expect huge crowds and surges in hotel pricing and rideshares around the University District.

Saturday, Sept. 25: OSU’s third home game in a row, against Akron, is not likely to be eventful; still, it could cause congestion issues for anyone traveling in the area.

Saturday, Oct. 2: This could be one of the last nice-weather days for the Short North Gallery Hop, so crowds could be out in droves to enjoy it.

Saturday, Oct. 9: Ohio State plays Purdue at home, so brace for heavy traffic and increased pricing on hotels and rideshares in the area.

Saturday, Oct. 16: It’s the Buckeyes’ bye week, which has quickly become one of the most sought-after dates for a fall wedding … so book early if you want to nab it!

Mid-October: The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon and Half-Marathon typically takes place on a Sunday in mid-October, so expect road closures and congestion starting the day before throughout Downtown, the Short north, the University District, Grandview and Upper Arlington.

Saturday, Oct. 30: It’s the Bucks vs. Michigan State at the ’Shoe! Avoid campus for your wedding weekend.

Sunday, Oct. 31: Halloween is on a Sunday this year! That itself shouldn’t impact your wedding plans too much, as most communities do Beggar’s Night on a different day.

Saturday, Nov. 13: OSU plays Maryland at home, so expect the usual campus-area headaches.

Saturday, Nov. 20: Ohio State vs. Penn State at Ohio Stadium; you’ll likely see higher-than-normal crowds and prices alike in the University District.

Saturday, Nov. 27: The *ichigan game is away in 2021, but fans—or family members of fans—will still want to avoid scheduling the wedding during game time. Football not your thing? This date could be easier to book, especially with its proximity to Thanksgiving two days prior.

Saturday, Dec. 25: Christmas falls on a Saturday this year, meaning you probably won’t want to book your winter wonderland wedding for the last Saturday of the year.

Friday, Dec. 31: On the other hand, you can schedule a sweet New Year’s Eve wedding at Friday-night prices in venues around town. Be wary of Downtown, however; many hotels increase room prices to accompany their VIP midnight events.