Best of Columbus Weddings Winner: St. Mary Catholic Church

This is the first win in the Ceremony: Religious category for St. Mary Catholic Church

Nicholas Youngblood
St. Mary Catholic Church seen from the air

Dedicated in 1868, St. Mary Catholic Church in German Village is the third-oldest Catholic church in Columbus, but it’s No. 1 among our readers this year for religious wedding ceremonies.

The church recently completed an $8.5 million restoration, and the elaborate murals and carpentry are undoubtedly part of its appeal. Deacon Roger Minner, pastoral administrator for the church, says the building’s beauty attracts many new faces, but it’s the parish’s community that convinces them to stay.

“The beauty of our church is a bit of an evangelization tool. Sometimes people come, and they attend service here, and they feel not just the beauty, but the warmth,” Minner says. He has been part of the marriage ministry at St. Mary for 35 years.

The interior of St. Mary Catholic Church

Adding to the atmosphere is a range of musical options for the ceremony. The church houses a 120-year-old organ and a piano, with cello, violin and trumpet accompaniment available upon request.

St. Mary is in the early stages of another major overhaul: adding a reception venue, which is expected to be complete by 2024. In the meantime, the church’s proximity to Downtown Columbus makes it a short drive from other popular venues for wedding festivities.

St. Mary hosts between 30 and 40 ceremonies each year for up to 440 attendees, according to Minner. Bookings are open to any bride-and-groom pair, so long as at least one of them is a member of any Catholic diocese, and roughly half of the weddings are held for couples outside of the parish. Minner says they work closely with couples of mixed faiths to make sure all feel welcome, often inviting outside religious leaders to join the ceremony.