The industrial-chic venue at The Fort on the South Side is a blank slate for your dream wedding.
Recently, Columbus Weddings had the opportunity to tour the new Via Vecchia, which opened last month. The combo winery-and-event-venue relocated from its former Brewery District digs, bringing with it a fresh aesthetic and tons of space.
“We kept things really, really raw. That was one of the things that we really wanted to do,” says Michael Elmer, who runs Via Vecchia with business partner and vintner Paolo Rosi. “It’s fun to watch your place kind of transform. … If you keep it raw and you keep it neutral, then every weekend it’s a completely different [space]. Every wedding can be a completely different wedding.”
Indeed, it’s not hard to imagine the possibilities afforded by the wide-open, concrete-floored, white-block-walled main room. When we visited, Got Ya Covered Linens and Madison House Designs had transformed the space with oh-so-trendy touches of gold, marble and greenery. But equally elegant would be warm wood paneling and succulents in ceramic planters; mercury glass vases and dangling Edison bulbs; or brass details with candles providing a soft glow throughout.
The entire space is flooded with natural light, thanks to massive garage-door-style windows along the room’s west side. (We can just imagine how stunning the room must be in the golden hour, just before sunset.) The interior accents consist of a moss wall and crystal chandeliers; outside, a ceremony arch is intentionally left bare, ready for your personal touches. There’s also a movable, rustic metal backdrop that can be paired with wine barrels for added ambiance.
The 13,000-square-foot outdoor space includes a 3,000-square-foot patio with the aforementioned arch and benches for guest seating. The veranda connects the indoor and outdoor spaces and is strung with charming café lights.
Head to the back of the main room, past the bar, to find the bridal suite, complete with its own private restroom. There’s also a parents room, with a changing table and a comfortable chair and bottle warmer/cooler for nursing mothers.
“To me, a wedding is about the guest experience,” Elmer says. “The first time you have a wedding and you don’t have a place for a nursing mother, it’s pretty embarrassing. So I know that it’s not a requirement [to have a parents room], but it’s something that we really wanted to have.”
Upstairs, the open mezzanine level features some soft seating and spaces for both the house photo booth and the couple’s DJ of choice. Being upstairs, overlooking the crowd, gives the DJ access to better acoustics and a better view of the crowd, allowing him or her to know exactly when to amp things up or slow them down.
“We’ve had a bride throw her bouquet from up here,” Elmer notes. “Another thing I love about this—and I heard this from a photographer friend of mine—is there’s so many different angles to take photos [from], because you can get up high.”
Via Vecchia can seat up to 300 for dinner. It’s booking now for events in 2019 and 2020; the on-site winery is slated to open early next year.