Best of Columbus Weddings Winner: Hocking Hills Wedding Chapel
For the second year, Hocking Hills Wedding Chapel won first place in the Ohio Destination Weddings category.
Owners Eric and Karen Thompson created a woodland wedding retreat with this picturesque log chapel, which took the destination wedding category for the second year in a row. The Thompsons began their business with cabin rentals for weekend retreats, but were inspired by the log chapels they saw while visiting the Tennessee Great Smoky Mountains. In 2002, they created their own version less than an hour’s drive from Downtown Columbus.
“We focus more on the smaller weddings, like 25 to 50 [guests],” Karen says. “It works great for that laid-back couple that just wants something they can show up to and count on everything being done for them.”
Hocking Hills Wedding Chapel packages range from low-key to all the bells and whistles, with customizable add-ons like decorations, DJs, photographers or caterers to help you craft your perfect day. It’s no surprise that the minimalist “Elope to Hocking Hills” package was the most popular pick for the many couples who had to downsize bigger celebrations during 2020. During more traditional times, the “Bride’s Dream,” which includes ceremony, dinner, reception and more for up to 55 guests, is a frequent request. Many packages include a wedding planner, and a dressing cabin allows for an on-location site to style hair and makeup or host other pre-ceremony festivities.
“When they show up and they see everything that we do for them, I think that the brides absolutely love it,” Karen says. “It just makes them feel special.”
After the celebration, the couple can retreat to the Honeymoon Log Cabin and enjoy extra pampering such as a personal chef or in-cabin massages. With 13 cabin rentals available on the property through parent company Valley View Cabins, and nearby hiking, canoeing or other outdoor adventuring, many couples—and their guests!—opt to make the wedding a full-weekend event.