Coming Soon to Central Ohio: A Retreat-Style Wedding Venue and Winery/Cidery
Vue Columbus owners plan to break ground on destination wedding venue northeast of Dublin later this month.
You might say Carl and Liz Seiley are always looking for their next adventure. After successfully launching a cancer prevention nonprofit in 2010, the Seileys were ready to explore another passion: hospitality. Inspired by the urban wedding scene growing in Columbus, the couple opened Vue Columbus, a modern event space in the Brewery District, in 2013. Vue specializes in meetings, conferences and weddings, and serves as the home base for the Seileys’ nonprofit, FLIP.
Soon after Vue opened, the couple knew they wanted to expand and began brainstorming for a bold venue concept that had never been done before in Columbus. Building on their love for the outdoors, the Seileys dreamt up a retreat destination full of unique experiences.
Now, that dream is set to become a reality. Breaking ground later this month and set to open next spring, Retreat 21 will be an immersive, 64-acre destination and event space located 25 minutes from Downtown.
"We just felt like Columbus was the right market to do something bold and ambitious," says Carl Seiley.
Truly a modern retreat for the 21st century—hence the name—the complex will house indoor and outdoor venue spaces, garden patios, cabins, a natural swimming pool, hot tubs, meeting rooms, adventure courses, an on-site winery and cidery, and access to an 18-hole golf course. In addition, a fully operational vineyard and orchard will be planted next spring.
"Whether you're having a small, private event, a large wedding or just getting away for the night, [Retreat 21] allows people to feel this sense of escape," says Carl. "It's a unique experience you can't really get anywhere else in the Midwest."
The property will be divided into two sections: a side for the public to explore and another for private events. Still, the Seileys designed the complex as an entire weekend experience for weddings, with a contemporary indoor event space connected to various outdoor settings.
Couples hoping for an outdoor ceremony can choose from several scenic areas, including the edge of a natural swimming pool—a pond with the clarity of a chlorine pool, achieved through plants and chemical-free filtration systems.
There will be various areas for the wedding party and guests to explore, including the winery and cidery, where friends can toast around a bonfire while sipping on hand-crafted ciders, wines, local beers and cocktails.
"We thought a winery and cidery would be a fantastic way to offer private event folks a differentiated experience,” says Carl.
For couples making their wedding celebration a weekendlong experience, guests will have access to the property’s modern lodging, ranging from traditional cabins to treehouse yurts and geodesic domes.
At the heart of the ambitious project is the property’s staff, which the Seileys say is dedicated to providing incredible experiences and to whom they credit early excitement for the project.
“We love seeing people light up when they have an awesome event,” says Carl. “We love working with people and providing them an experience and service that goes above and beyond.”
SIDEBAR: Boozy Bliss
Across Columbus, breweries and wineries offer event spaces ranging from renovated barns to contemporary spaces with lush gardens. All are perfect places for hosting a wedding or reception, with the added bonus of readily available, better-than-basic beverage options.
Combustion Brewery & Taproom
Winner of multiple Ohio Craft Brewers Cup awards, Combustion houses an extensive draft list, rotating food trucks and a venue space perfect for weddings, social gatherings and more.
Henmick Farm & Brewery
Constructed on a 100-year-old farm, Henmick is a craft brewery and event venue opening this summer, featuring various beer styles from its 15-barrel brewing system.
Rockmill was built on a 19th-century horse farm and houses a selection of fresh beers and many event space options across 23 acres.
This 1,300-square-foot cidery offers dry and semi-dry hard ciders on-site, with guest ciders, craft beers, cider-based cocktails and slushies rounding out the menu.
Via Vecchia Winery
With wine made through the traditional Tuscan heritage process, the winery imports premium whole grapes directly from Lodi, California, every fall. Via Vecchia is the perfect blank canvas for events, with an industrial space and an outdoor garden area.
Wolf's Ridge Brewing
Since 2013, Wolf's Ridge has won local and national awards, making it one of Columbus' premier drinking destinations. Visit the taproom or dining room for quick bites and sit-down service, or host a private event in The Hickory Room.