Best of Columbus Weddings Winner: Strongwater

This year, Strongwater wins the Reception: Industrial/Urban category for the third time, though this is the first year it's tied for the spot

Rylan Lee

Nestled in Franklinton’s industrial-chic 400 West Rich complex, Strongwater leverages the rich history of the former porcelain factory to create an elevated, urban event space.

“Our venue is so unique,” says Stephanie McGlone, community director of 400 Square, a collective comprising 400 West Rich, Strongwater and Chromedge Studios. “We’re built inside of a hundred-year-old warehouse, and the space that we have carved out of there still retains so much of that authentic industrial feel.”

Indeed, weddings at the site are framed by exposed brick, natural lighting and century-old steel beam framing. It’s a space that can speak for itself or, says McGlone, one that can be reinvented with just a few personal touches. And whether clients decide to re-invent the space or utilize its natural aesthetic, Strongwater’s approach to events always prioritizes the personal. Take, for example, their food.

“We’re big foodies,” says McGlone. “[And] people with dietary restrictions, folks who don’t drink alcohol, all of that is equally important to us. … So all of those mocktails or those vegetarian options, those gluten-free options, are going to be really special still and very intentional in order to still keep an elevated experience.”

The venue features fully several stocked bars and trained bartenders on staff. Plus, the venue’s location in Franklinton means collaborations with neighbors BrewDog and Land-Grant Brewing Co. are always on the table.

One other big perk of the venue, says McGlone, is that couples who book at Strongwater get access to the space for 12 hours, leaving plenty of time for prep and party alike. Plus, a venue coordinator will be on hand starting six months prior to the wedding to help facilitate the execution of the day and take some of the stress away.