Here’s What It’s Like To Get Married At A Columbus Metro Park

Photo by Sara Moore

My wedding was the happiest day of my life. Planning a wedding, on the other hand, can be pretty intimidating.

We were so fortunate that we were married back in 2018, which means we didn’t have to experience planning a wedding amidst a pandemic. Although the average wedding planning process can be overwhelming, our wedding ended up being absolutely spectacular for two reasons: I had a great planner and we got married at a Metro Park.

In a former life, aka the job I had before this, I worked as a wedding videographer. I had the chance to see dozens of weddings play out at various venues around the city, so when it came time for our big day, I just knew I wanted it to be somewhere special.

That’s when our planner suggested we check out Scioto Grove Metro Park. We went out on a cold, winter day. The park was basically empty as we drove back to a modern building along the banks of the Scioto River. We peeked in windows and walked around, thinking of all of the potential the space held.

Photo by Sara Moore

The next day, we made the call to Metro Parks, thus beginning the least stressful, most accommodating portion of the wedding planning. First of all, the venue was affordable, which was crucial for us. We knew we were expecting about 100 guests. We wanted someplace simple, yet elegant, and the Grove Lodge at Scioto Grove checked a lot of boxes.

There’s no deposit system when renting the facility from Metro Parks, so once we had paid the total rental fee, it was off to the races. The wonderful staff talked us through all of the things that would be included in our rental, like chairs, tables, set-up/tear-down services, plus all of the info involved in securing our alcohol permit.

Photo by Sara Moore

No matter how many questions I asked (“How many round tables are there?” or “Can we execute this crazy idea I have?”) the Metro Parks staff was ready to answer my phone calls and assure me that they would do everything they could to make our day perfect.

The most time-consuming part of the entire process was applying for the alcohol permit. First, we had to visit the Metro Parks offices in Westerville to sign some paperwork. After that, we had to take that paperwork to the ranger at the park and have him sign off on it, as well as go over the rules and responsibilities involved. Once that was done, we just waited for the call to tell us whether or not we were approved. After the call came, we paid the $250 fee plus a $250 refundable deposit and we were all set.

Photo by Sara Moore.

We were able to get in and decorate the lodge after our rehearsal the night before, which was an amazing advantage for our planner. By the time I arrived on Saturday, I was stunned at the transformation. This beautiful, open room was always pretty, but after all was said and done, it truly looked like a million bucks.

A Metro Parks staff member was onsite all day, busting her butt changing trash, setting up chairs for our outdoor ceremony and then inside for our reception, and just generally being awesome and helpful.

I honestly can’t say enough good things about the way we were treated and the unforgettable experience we had on our wedding day. Of course part of that was the fact that we were surrounded by the people we care about most. But I know it wouldn’t have been the same if we had done it anywhere else.

Photo by JD Arney

If you’re planning a wedding and you can’t seem to find the perfect location, please consider checking out one of the many Metro Parks options here.

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