When we went searching for venues here in Columbus last year, we were looking for the perfect spot to get married. I wanted to be near a lake or pond and Nick had one main ask: The venue had to have air conditioning, just in case it was a ridiculously hot day. We both knew that we weren’t going to be spending an substantial amount of money given that we were paying for the wedding on our own, so affordability was another big factor.
So the search began.
Note: This is a true review and I was not asked to write this nor paid. I simply just want to share my experiences for fellow brides-to-be!
All photos were taken by our extremely talented photography team: Chasing Eden Photography.
Big venues, small venues, I’m callin’ all venues…
We started off by checking out a new construction in Dublin, OH. It was absolutely gorgeous and would be done about 6 months before our wedding date. We loved it and I honestly was almost sold on it. But you shouldn’t go with the first venue you lay your eyes on, amirite?
The pricing came back at almost double what we were expecting. Plus, the caterers they required you to use were also ridiculously expensive. YIKES.
So we continued on our journey. We scheduled a tour at a venue in Hilliard, OH, along route 270. Well, we ended up getting a call about one hour before we were set to arrive and and were told the venue was struck by lightning and that we may or may not be able to come that evening. We were supposed to get a call back within half an hour but never did. Nor did we get a return call to reschedule.
We took that as a sign that we probablyyyy shouldn’t go with that venue.
We found a few other venues….ranging from a plot of land with an airplane hangar on it all the way to a VERY pricey venue in Columbus that was beautiful…but definitely not in our price range.
Nick’s coworker was looking online to help with our search and told him that she found a venue that we should check out in Lancaster, OH. Cheers was about 35 minutes from home it looked beautiful based on photos we saw on their website. We definitely thought it could be a contender.
Yet we wouldn’t know for sure until we went out to see the venue first hand. I put in inquiry in and we scheduled a tour.
When we met up with the owner, Penny, one evening after work…we were shown both venues that were on the property. Cheers is the upper venue and Lakeside was the lower venue.
Naturally, Lakeside had a lake next to it. It was gorgeous and the pricing was actually pretty darned affordable for being such a beautiful location.
They were reasonable and provided options…you didn’t have to do plated meals, you could choose a buffet style meal instead, if you preferred! We could tell they genuinely wanted couples to be able to afford a beautiful wedding.
Neither of us wanted to say anything to the other until we left the venue because we wanted to be sure we both loved it. When we hopped in the car, we both talked about how we were instantly sold and this was truly the perfect place for our wedding.
I texted Penny right away that night and told her that we wanted to book the Lakeside venue ASAP.
The Months Leading Up To The Wedding…
I had so many questions as our big day was approaching quicker than I anticipated. Our coordinator was always helpful to answer any questions that we had.
She got us signed up for two open houses since we wanted to try all of the different food options they offered. We also wanted to tour the venue a few more times and see the different head table configurations.
Spoiler alert: The food was DELICIOUS. Every single thing we tried was beyond scrumptious.
Best. Wedding. Food. Ever.
And there were sweets to try from different local vendors. The first time there were delectable cupcakes and the second time, we sampled some donuts. Nick was especially happy about the donuts…
We also wanted to talk about having our ceremony outside at a different location. Everything we requested, our coordinator took care of for us.
Note: Everything was set up beautifully outside on the day of the wedding but mother nature swooped in and we had to do a last minute switch up, which the venue handled amazingly. More on that in a bit…
Last Minute Coordinator Switch
A couple of months before the wedding, I received an email that our coordinator was taking a different opportunity and we would be working with Tanya, the General Manager, from then on out.
At first, I was a bit nervous…thinking that this could end up causing some issues since we still didn’t fully decide on our food/appetizer choices.
There was no need to worry, though – we set up a meeting with Tanya to be sure she had all of our wedding details and when we met up in person, my mind was instantly eased. She was awesome and I knew she would take great care of us.
I sent her more emails than I care to admit in the two weeks before the wedding. Tanya answered every single one at warp speed. She went above and beyond to be sure we had everything we needed for the big day.
When we arrived for the rehearsal the evening before the wedding, the Cheers staff took all of our decorations from us (they do the decoration set up and tear down for you, which is SO amazing.) It was pouring down raining but the staff was positive and kept me in good spirits while we waited for our crew to arrive. Once all of the wedding party members arrived, we went outside for the rehearsal because the rain stopped just in the nick of time. Woot woot!
Tanya and her team helped my officiant, who was a friend of ours, walk through the entire ceremony process and told everyone where they should be and when they should be there.
Piece of cake. (Wait – that was the next day. Ba dum bum, tsss.)
The Day We Have All Been Waiting For!
Well, at least the day Nick and I were waiting for!!
After my bridesmaids and I finished with hair and makeup at the hotel, we made our way over to the getting ready suite at the venue. We had some touch ups and my amazing makeup artist even came over to fix a makeup emergency (seriously, I was so thankful for her! Because I done messed up, A-A Ron.)
The staff even brought me and the gals our wedding flowers, as there was a slight incident at the florists and they had to rush to remake our flowers. Tanya and her team made sure that as soon as the flowers were delivered to the venue, we received them…which thankfully was right before our pre-ceremony photos! Alls well that ends well!
Then it was time for photos with my bridesmaids! The Cheers staff took me down the hill on a golf cart to the Lakeside venue, while Nick was tucked away inside. Honestly, I had a blast on the golf cart and recall one of the staff members telling me I was the most beautiful brides she has ever seen.
I mean, I know everyone looks beautiful and gets that on their wedding day, but it is still nice to hear. 😉
We were able to get some gorgeous photos taken outside at the spot we were originally planning to have our ceremony at.
After photos, we went back up to the bridal suite and waited for the next 45 minutes while the guys then did their “before” photos. The radar was not looking very happy and I got an alert on my phone that there was a flash flood warning. Ruh roh.
About 25 minutes later, Sarah, got a call from Nick. He was asked to make the call to flip everything to have the ceremony under the gazebo at the Lakeside venue (still outside, but fully covered) since the rain was coming.
We both already knew that this was a possibility and were fully okay with going with our Plan B option, if we needed to. Now was time to potentially execute on the plan.
It was still just as beautiful….but this option was dry. Dryness won.
I gave the thumbs up for flipping it…and the staff worked quickly to get everything turned over.
The gals and I took one last minute photo to reenact a photo we took at my bachelorette party outside of the bridal suite area! Then it was time!
One of my friends (technically Nick’s Wisconsin friend but they now are my friends, too…mwahaha) came in her truck to pick me and the gals up to take us down to the Lakeside venue since it started sprinkling.
We lined up in the back of the venue while we waited to start filing out. I was so excited that when it was time for me to start walking, I had to ask Tanya at what point I start walking. I was just so in the moment…it was amazing.
As I walked into the reception area to file through the back, I didn’t even notice at the time how stunning the reception space decorations were. The stark contrast of our colors really made the place pop.
I walked up to my best friend’s dad, Bob, who was walking me down the aisle (my father passed when I was 8 years old and Bob has always been like a father to me growing up) and we began our journey down the aisle.
The decorations and everything just looked like a fairytale. A legitimate real-life fairytale. But the funny thing?
I didn’t notice any of it in that moment. I didn’t hear the music. I didn’t notice anyone in the crowd. I didn’t even notice our photographers or videographers.
All I saw was Nick.
I was just so happy to see the love of my life waiting for me that I walked straight up and was grinning from ear to ear. Shelley, our officiant, began the ceremony.
I can’t explain how over-the-moon with joy I was in that moment. When people say it is “the best day of your life”…they aren’t kidding!
After the ceremony, we did photos under the gazebo. Only then did I start to realize how eloquent all of the decorations looked. How beautifully Tanya and the staff decorated the ceremony area in such a short amount of time.
Our guests then threw river rocks into the lake and made a wish for us! We thought that was a little more unique as opposed to the typical unity ceremonies!
We went out on the property since the rain was much lighter by that time to get some photos by the trees and by the lake. The trees were adorned with beautiful lights and when I say fairytale-esque…I mean it. It was beyond perfection.
After photos, Justin Markle with Platinum Music Productions, introduced the wedding party…and of course, us! Dinner commenced and we headed out to the buffet line to get our food first. One of our main goals was to make sure we actually got to eat on our wedding night. We had a small ceremony with only about 55 people, so figured this wouldn’t be a hard feat.
We ate and the ham was so good. As were the mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese. My belly was happy and full, even with a wedding dress that was slightly constricting!
Nick and I started making our rounds to the guests before the toasts from our best man and maid of honor.
When the best man started his speech, the staff brought out a special drink: Triple Black Smirnoff Ice.
Chris, the best man, has a longtime story about Nick and Triple Black that he told me he would be mentioning in his speech…so I emailed Tanya about a month before the wedding to see if they could get that drink in for the toasts. Of course, Tanya said that wouldn’t be a problem and made sure the drink would be handed out as Chris started his toast.
The dance floor at the Lakeside Venue is right outside under/near the gazebo. After we cut our cake, we all made our way out.
Our DJ played our first dance song, Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran, and we enjoyed the moment with each other.
It was perfect.
Then, the tunes started flowing. Everyone was digging the atmosphere and having a blast.
Our photographers snuck us away to get some sparkler and evening photos of the two of us then we went right back to dancing with our family and friends.
The End Of The Night
Once the DJ gave the final announcement that it was 10:50 and it was time to leave, Tanya and her crew were already getting everything cleaned up for us. We did our sparkler exit and by the time we were done, we were ready to load up our vehicles and get everything out of there.
It was painless and the staff was phenomenal in taking care of everything.
All in all, Nick and I are SO happy that we went with Cheers & Lakeside Chalet for our wedding. The staff was phenomenal at making sure our day was perfect. Even with the slight switch up due to the weather, they went above and beyond to make sure we were taken care of. If you are still looking to book your wedding, check out Cheers. You won’t regret it.
Oh – and did I mention they have an emu?
Note: You cannot touch the emu or get too close for safety concerns but still pretty darned cool, if i do say so myself. 😉