Wedding Venues for Every Budget

Emma Frankart Henterly

Whether you want to go all out or get the look for less, we have a reception spot for you.

Central Ohio has an abundance of reception venues, and finding the perfect one can be a difficult process regardless of your budget. We rounded up venues at both ends of the cost spectrum for three popular themes to help you narrow the field.

Rustic Barn Bash

Skyrocketing to popularity in recent years, the rustic barn wedding has practically become a tradition in its own right. Mason jars and burlap are common, but not required, and prices can vary significantly.

Go all out: Jorgensen Farms

Couples who rent space at Jorgensen Farms get exclusive use of the property's front 10 acres and all indoor and outdoor spaces for 11 full hours, says owner Valerie Jorgensen. "It just makes the whole day more relaxing," she says. Couples and their attendants have plenty of time to arrive and get ready in the venue's two farmhouses, and indoor and outdoor spaces are available for everything from the ceremony to end-of-night dancing at no additional cost.

All events include the services of a professional event coordinator, who helps facilitate communication between vendors and acts as the day-of coordinator to execute the event, says event planner Heather Christopher.

Included in the venue's rental fee-which ranges from $3,000 to $13,000-are setup and teardown, tables and white-washed Chiavari chairs, basic linens and parking with attendants. For an additional fee, couples can hire Jorgensen's styling team to bring their decor vision to life. There's an on-site caterer, though couples can bring in any other option (and their own alcohol) for no additional fee.

Get the look for less: The Barn at Stratford

This historic barn is owned and funded by the Delaware County Historical Society, which provides for some unique experiential opportunities on-site. Among those is the chance to provide a historical background of the facility and a docent tour of its Meeker Museum, typically during cocktail hour, for an additional donation.

Events that take place inside the barn itself include free use of the facility's tables and chairs, a wireless microphone, a projector and screen, parking attendants and handicapped parking, a bridal changing room, bistro lighting and more.

"I know a lot of places nickel-and-dime brides," says venue manager Connie Hoffman. "We try really hard, if we have something that was donated to us … to include that in the use [of the space]."

You can choose your own caterer and bring your own alcohol to help keep costs down, so long as professional staff members are serving everything and insurance requirements are met. The venue will see some updates in 2017, so the rental fees will rise slightly, but events still will range from $2,500 to $3,500 for the space and its amenities.

Formal Ballroom Affair

Formal receptions in a classic ballroom are a wedding standard, and with good reason. They're elegant and carry an air of sophistication that's often associated with weddings.

Go all out: The Ohio Statehouse

Couples who choose the Statehouse for their reception ensure their event will have a timeless, refined feel. Wedding and special events coordinator Sophie Chase says many couples choose to upgrade from standard equipment offerings to items such as Chiavari chairs and uplighting to highlight the space's timeless Greek Revival architecture. Tall, dramatic centerpieces and champagne toasts are common, as is the use of the more upscale of the venue's preferred caterers.

"I think whether they say it or not, it kind of becomes [a black tie event]," Chase says. "People coming to the Statehouse think of elegance, [regardless of] whether it says black tie on the invitation."

Renting the Statehouse Atrium for your reception costs $4,500 and includes basic chairs, tables, a sound system, setup and teardown, parking and a projector and screen, among other amenities. Adding the Rotunda for your ceremony and the Museum Gallery for your cocktail hour brings the cost to $8,000, with additional amenities included.

Another value-added bonus? Yours will be the only wedding or reception at the Statehouse that day, ensuring that staff members' full attention is on you and your guests.

Get the look for less: The Ballroom at J. Liu

A restaurant may not seem like the ideal setting for a ballroom reception, but the upper level of J. Liu in Worthington is worlds apart from the modern fusion eatery underneath. It features an arched ceiling and globe lights that lend what Hilary McIntyre, director of special events and catering, calls an "eclectic and elegant feel" to the space.

What makes the Ballroom at J. Liu so budget-friendly is that it has no rental fee and a moderate minimum spend requirement ranging from $1,500 to $6,000, which can be met not only through food and beverage purchases but also through upgrades. Chairs, tables, basic linens, a sound system and even valet parking are complimentary.

McIntyre also created an "upgrade package," available for $12 per person, that includes chair covers and sashes, upgraded linens, centerpieces, table numbers, gold chargers, a champagne toast, dessert service, dance floor rental, additional A/V equipment and restroom hospitality baskets.

"It is quite affordable, and I personally have made it that way because I know how quickly those little things can add up," McIntyre says.

Vintage Garden Party

Another theme with a timeless feel, the vintage garden party motif naturally lends itself to an outdoor event. The same aesthetic can be achieved indoors with the right venue and decor.

Go all out: Bryn Du Mansion

Bryn Du can accommodate wedding ceremonies and receptions in both its 1905 mansion and the field house. To ensure exclusive use of the property, you'll have to rent out both spaces for a total of $4,900. You can add the garden as a ceremony space for an additional fee or wed on the patio of either the mansion (which overlooks the 30-acre Great Lawn) or the field house.

The mansion's multiple rooms make for an ideal cocktail hour area and need very little decorating, says executive director Bruce Cramer. The field house's large interior lends itself perfectly to use as a space for dinner and dancing. It has a lodge-like feel, Cramer says, with wood ceilings and a balcony that's perfect for a grand entrance. Or you can lean in to the garden theme by renting a tent and dining al fresco.

The venue's rental fee is just for the space, so you can go as elegant as you wish with rentals for tables, chairs, linens and the like. Cramer has a preferred list of caterers to choose from, though couples are welcome to use others at no additional fee, and bring-your-own-alcohol is permitted with proper insurance, again allowing for an event that's as upscale as you wish.

Get the look for less: Buxton Inn

With a fountain and the historic inn as a backdrop, this venue's courtyard needs little more than a few strings of cafe lighting and basic floral centerpieces to transport guests to the romantic English countryside. Instead of a rental fee, the courtyard has a moderate $8,000 minimum purchase requirement on Fridays and Saturdays and, like the Ballroom at J. Liu, all of your purchases (except gratuities) go toward meeting that minimum, not just food and beverage.

Because the Buxton Inn also has an on-site restaurant, you don't have to hire an outside caterer. "Our culinary team is very good at customizing dishes or working with our existing menu," says general manager Jennifer Valenzuela. Everything-from menus to tables and chairs-is priced a la carte (though setup and teardown are complimentary), making it very easy to stay within your desired budget. Your event coordinator will work with you in four planning sessions to help you design the event you want at a price you can afford.

"We can make suggestions and really customize the experience," says Valenzuela. "We have a lot of hands-on attention. You're very much going to get a specialized, individual product here."