Venue Spotlight: The Athletic Club of Columbus

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

Photo credit: Caroline Hilty

With a handful of churches within walking distance, The Athletic Club of Columbus is a popular choice for Downtown wedding receptions. The Athletic Club-celebrating its 100th anniversary this year-averages about 50 weddings per year, noting Fridays and Saturdays as the most popular days. We chatted with Emily Knapp, assistant director of private events, to learn more about The Athletic Club and its wedding offerings. "We want people to view us as an upscale venue…getting that quality over quantity," Knapp says. Here, six things to know:

  1. The Athletic Club only hosts one wedding a day, so couples have the entire second floor (where ceremonies and receptions are held) to themselves. Brides and grooms can come as early as they want for set-up and stay as late as they'd like.
  2. A Downtown rarity: There's complimentary parking for guests.
  3. You can host both ceremonies and receptions at the venue-Knapp says about 50 percent of couples host both. If you're doing both the ceremony and reception, up to 200 people can be accommodated. For just a reception, The Athletic Club can seat up to 325 guests.
  4. Need spots to get ready, store your stuff or even entertain the kids? The Athletic Club has you covered with six parlor rooms, included for brides and grooms to use.
  5. The menu is a la carte focused, and the chef individually plates each meal. "We don't do buffets, only plated dinners," Knapp says. "Our chef feels it compromises the quality." There's a $15,000 food and beverage minimum for a Saturday wedding, and a $7,500 minimum for a Friday wedding. Couples are able to come in for a complimentary tasting for up to six people.
  6. You'll find a bowling alley in the lower level of The Athletic Club, which was recently renovated. Couples can rent it out for an after-party following the reception. There are five bowling lanes, so up to 30 people can bowl at once.

Knapp recommends contacting The Athletic Club a year in advance from your wedding date, and shares that June and October are the most popular months. For more information about The Athletic Club, visit

-Heather Weekley, @heather_weekley