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Ohio-Columbus

HELP! Athletic Club or Athenaeum?

I am searching for a venue for a June 2012 reception. I really like both the Athletic Club and the Athenaeum (Olympian Ballroom), as they both have a similar romantic look I am going for. Both are very similar in price when you factor everything in. At The Athletic Club, you must use their alcohol, parking is free, and I've heard their food is top notch. At the Athenaeum, food is much less expensive and you may provide your own alcohol. You must rent a parking garage for guests. All in all, they are pretty similar in price. Has anyone worked with either of these places before? I have read mixed reviews about The Athenaeum (poor presentation and food, nickle and dimed people) andhaven't heard anything about the ACC. Please help!

I'm also looking into the Blackwell, but my fiance and I were both heavily involved in Ohio State and feel we want something "new". But there are so many great perks! I just don't like the ballroom's look.

Re: HELP! Athletic Club or Athenaeum?

  • edited December 2011
    Athletic Club all the way!!!!!!!!

    Granted, there was a different coordinator there when I had my reception, but things were PERFECT!!!!!  They take care of everything for you, w/o charging for every little thing like the Athenaeum. The food was wonderful. I've been to weddings at the Athenaeum and I was not a fan of the food.

    Let me know if you have specific questions about the ACC and I'll be more than happy to help!!  I was very pleased with everything they did and am so glad I chose them!
  • alyssmpalyssmp member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011

    I might be biased but Athletic Club.  I am having my wedding there on Sept. 3rd of 2001 and I love the space.  Kristin is who you will be working with and she is super nice and always gets back to you right away.  I think I sent her a million emails with even more questions and she was always so helpful.  I also attended an event there and it was amazing.  We all loved the potato bar.  Plus the ACC doesn't take on extra cost for every little thing.  I also attended an event at the Athenaeum and it was nice too.  It is more open there.  But from what I have heard the food is not that great and for your tasting you have to pick up a doggie bag while there is an event going on and you eat what they are eating.  I never made it this far so don't quote me on that one. 

  • edited December 2011
    Athletic club... but they are much more expensive... there is a $10,000 minumum and you have to rent the room for $1500 if you are not a member.  Im looking between there and the hyatt for my reception and even though i love the athletic club i just think its too expensive.

    Good luck
  • BAYB153BAYB153 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    How much was the Hyat? That may be a good option for me too....I was looking into the Blackwell only because it's a hotel and alot of my guests are coming from out of town.
  • edited December 2011
    depends on which hyatt you go with... the hyatt places are more affortable.  The Hyatt regency is the most expensive one and the hyatt at capital square is a good one... i Think i will have to go with the capital square since the regency is not available for my date. So sad about that by the way.
    The Captial square is about $65-85 per person including everything.
  • edited December 2011
    Oh and Crown Plaza is really nice too but they do have min's on there two reception rooms and one of the rooms is not very big.. I think there min for the nice big room is $8,000.
  • edited December 2011
    I didn't think there was a fee anymore at the ACC if you weren't a member? When I got married, it just meant that I had to pay 90% BEFORE my reception, instead of paying most of the balance afterwards. They certainly advertise now that you don't have to be a member to have your event there, so I think it's weird that they would charge for that. Hmmm . . . I also didn't have a $10,000 minimum -- those are TOTALLY negotiable!!!  (my minimum was like $6,000)

    Unless you have  a LARGE guest list, I would stay away from the Hyatt on Capital Square. If you don't have like 300 people (I don't remember the specific number) they put you down in a different room which was horrible. No windows, no character, nothing.
  • BAYB153BAYB153 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Thank you so much for all the great feedback. I'm going to meet with the Hyatt and check it out. The ACC does have a $1,500 fee for nonmembers, which is what I would have to pay. 
  • kco530kco530 member
    Third Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I'm having my reception at Columbus Athenaeum next April. FYI...They don't do the "doggy bag" food tasting anymore. They have scheduled food tasting events about once a month. I went a few months ago and I was pleased with their food. There is a post a while back about the food selections at the Athenaeum, and I wrote a pretty detailed review of the food there.

    We love that we can bring our own alcohol. My parents are making wine for the wedding, and we plan to incorporate a few of our favorite microbrews into the beer selection. This simply would not be possibly at many other venues.

    As for the "nickel and diming", they give you a detailed list of how much everything costs. There are no surprises. The only thing that I dislike about the Athenaeum so far are the strict time restraints. You can't get in to your room until 2 hrs before the reception. This makes it pretty impossible to do DIY flowers. You can drop off nonperishable decorations the day before, however.

    My room is the large theatre. We paid $500 to rent the room (1/2 off because we booked within 2 wks) and there is a $7000 minimum, which can include food, linens, upgrades, etc.

    For parking, the passes cost around $5-7 a piece, I think, depending on how many cars you will have. You can return and get a refund for any extra passes that aren't used.

    Just let me know if you have any questions =)
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • molly12oumolly12ou member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I had my wedding at the Athenaeum in April and think it worked perfectly for us.  I agree with everything above about the alcohol, time limits, and costs though.  Also, we just rented a parking lot about a block away and it cost less than $200 which you might want to check out! 
  • edited December 2011
    My vote goes to the Athenaeum, I just had my wedding in the Olympian ballroom on July 17th. I absolutely loved everything about it, I got so many compliments from my guest. When I first booked their I worked with Tiffany, then when she left, I began working Gina. Both ladies were great. I agee with the PP. If you have any questions or if you want to see pics, just private message me and I will be more than happy to help you.
  • edited December 2011
    After being a guest at both places, either would be nice. They each have their pros and cons. 

    Athenaeum cons- multiple events going on at one time, the parents of the bride I know who had her wedding there said they charge you for everything, strict time limits. Pros- many different rooms to choose from (I was a guest in the large ballroom), decent food (but I think they switched to in-house catering in recent years so not sure how food is now), nice room layouts, there's a lot of character to the building. 

    Athletic Club cons- the L-shaped layout of the room (where we were seated we couldn't see the bride and groom or the rest of the guests), cocktail hour outside the room didn't have enough space for all the guests. Pros- good food, beautiful room (not a lot of decor needed), more things included in the price, and has a very elegant feel overall. 
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