Franklin Park Conservatory – Columbus Wedding Venue

The Franklin Park Conservatory is absolutely one of Columbus Ohio’s best wedding venues. You would also likely say that it is one of most unique in Columbus. Filled with all of the tropical ambience that you could ever want, mixed with beautiful Victorian-era architecture, and formal enough for the most luxurious weddings. There are multiple grand spaces to choose from, including the soaring glass ceilings of the historic John F. Wolfe Palm House to the sophisticated rustic Wells Barn.

Address: 1777 E Broad St, Columbus, OH 43203

Website: www.fpconservatory.org

Sun beams coming though the windows of the John F. Wolfe Palm House, illuminating the newly engaged couple.
Photo by Storyteller Adams

History of the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus

The 88 acres of Franklin Park was purchased in 1852, to host the Franklin County Fair. Eventually the the land became the official site of the Ohio State Fair. In 1895 the iconic John F. Wolfe Palm House was built, inspired by Chicago’s World Fair and the city beautiful movement. The John F. Wolfe House is connected to the Dorthy M. Davis Showhouse. These two buildings of the conservatory are the oldest structures on the property. The conservatory and botanical garden is home to over 400 plant species and 43 species of palms (some considered endangered), thus making some of these palms a rare sight to see.

More information on the Ceremony & Reception spaces

At the Conservatory in Columbus there are three main areas that are our favorite for weddings, including the John F. Wolfe Palm House, the Grand Atrium and Zen Terrace, and the Wells Barn. Each of these areas offer a different unique design and backdrop for your wedding. Here below is information on what to expect from each of the spaces:

Couple wearing luxurious clothes in front of the John F. Wolfe Palm House in Columbus.
Photo by Storyteller Adams

John F. Wolfe Palm House

The Palm House is the iconic and highly recognizable greenhouse like structure that you see in all the photos from the Conservatory. Tropical plants and many different species of palms fill this part of the Conservatory. One of the best features of the Palm House is the natural light that comes from all of the windows and the amazing natural light creates amazing wedding photographs. Some of the other notable features are the double grand staircase, the iron gazebos, and fountains. During the evening, you will get to see the incredible LED installation created by the light artist James Turrell. Capacity of the Palm House is as follows: Theater – 200, Dinner – 190, Cocktail – 250.

Grand Atrium and Zen Terrace

This Asian inspired design has incredible high ceilings filled with a beautiful skylight, perfect for a full wedding or just the reception. The Grand Atrium also includes the rooftop Zen Terrace with the rental of the space. Other key features of this area is the infusion of bamboo, a wall of bonsai, and the beautiful fountains. Capacity of the Grand Atrium is as follows: Theater – 200, Dinner – 250, Cocktail – 320.

Beautiful wedding reception with tables and decor at the Wells Barn in Columbus.
Photo by Storyteller Adams

The Wells Barn

This venue is quite unique and contrasts well with the Palm House. If you are looking for a more rustic style event, the Wells Barn is perfect. The barn is built from the reclaimed wood of an old Richland County Barn. Some of the highlight features of the building are the overhead framing and the stone fireplace. Also, there is the four acre garden that is just next to the barn. It is ideal location for cocktail or an outdoor reception space. The Wells Barn has the greatest capacity of all the venues at the Conservatory: Theater – 300, Dinner – 250, Cocktail – 320.

Included items and services.

The Franklin Park Conservatory is a venue that is great for those who wish to fully customize the space to fit their dream wedding. The conservatory does not require you to use any specific vendors, however there are approved caterers and alcohol must be purchased and served by the Conservatory. Here’s a list of what you can expect to be included:

  • Free Parking
  • Self Guided tour of exhibits (except for the Wells Barn)
  • Tables and chairs
  • Security
  • Onsite Facility Representative
  • Two hour pre-event set up time
  • Event Representative – Who will contact you 45 days away from your event to help with coordination and planning.
  • Preferred vendors list for catering and others.

Pricing Considerations for Weddings at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus

Wedding ceremony set up in the John F. Wolfe Palm House at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus.

Here is a breakdown of the pricing for each of our favorite spaces for weddings at the Franklin Park Conservatory:

John F. Wolfe Palm House

For daytime hours from 10a to 3p you can expect the rate for Sundays at $3500, Monday through Friday at $3000, and Saturdays at $4000.

For evening hours from 6pm to midnight you can expect the rate for Sundays at $5500, Monday through Thursday at $4500, Fridays at $7000, and Saturdays at $8000.

Grand Atrium and Zen Terrace

For daytime hours from 10a to 3p you can expect the rate for Sundays at $2500, Monday through Friday at $2000, and Saturdays at $3000.

For evening hours from 6pm to midnight you can expect the rate for Sundays at $3500, Monday through Thursday at $3000, Fridays at $4000, and Saturdays at $5000.

The Wells Barn

For daytime hours from 10a to 3p you can expect the rate for Sundays at $3500, Monday through Friday at $3000, and Saturdays at $4000.

For evening hours from 6pm to midnight you can expect the rate for Sundays at $5500, Monday through Thursday at $4500, Fridays at $7000, and Saturdays at $8000. You can also add on the 4 acre garden at a rate of $2500

Wedding decor including plates and floral at the franklin park conservatory in Columbus at the Wells Barn.
Photo by Storyteller Adams

Additional Information

Worth mentioning is their quite respectable and generous cancellation policy (many venues do not have such policies):

  • If you cancel before 180 days before event – Full refund minus $2000
  • Cancel between 180 and 90 days before event – 50% refund
  • Cancel after 90 days – no refund.

There are a few other pricing considerations that you should know. The alcohol selection is very good with great brands. The pricing of alcohol is quite reasonable and multiple options are available for purchase. The Conservatory does require you to purchase alcohol directly from the venue. Bartenders are required at your event, the Conservatory will help you choose the perfect number for your event so that no one is waiting around for their drinks. Servers will be provided to you by the venue. If you decide to have your wedding ceremony here, there will be a $1000 fee. There are a few other minor fees for events as well, such as the preservation fund fee of $200. To reserve this incredible venue expect to pay a 50% deposit up front.

Recap

LGBTQ+ couple at the franklin park conservatory in Columbus.
Photo by Storyteller Adams

What’s not to love about the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus? It’s famous for a reason. The Conservatory has multiple options for style and design, as well as indoor and outdoor options. The pricing is also quite reasonable for all that you get for your wedding celebration. The Conservatory is a perfect fit for those who are looking for, a beautiful place to be married, love history, and want incredible architecture as their backdrop. To contact the venue check out their website page for weddings here. Looking for a photographer? Look no further, click here to chat with me.

To see more amazing venues, click here to read more from our best of wedding venues in Columbus page.

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