Courtesy of Tricia Warrell / photographer Cody McNulty
Fandom comes in many forms. For some, it’s wearing collegiate gear, touting Ohio State bumper stickers, cheering on the sports teams or jumping in a lake on a chilly November night. And for others, it’s marrying their significant other on campus.
Tricia Warrell and her husband, Chris, were two of these people. At 5:30 p.m. on May 29, the couple began the ceremony that would combine two of the things they love the most — each other and OSU.
Warrell said the couple chose to marry at the OSU Faculty Club because of the emotional connection and the importance that the school has in her relationship. “I just thought, “Oh gosh, what could be more perfect for us?”” she said.
Warrell, who graduated from OSU in 2007, said she met her husband while she was a senior and he was working at the medical center. He proposed three years later and she started planning the wedding soon after their engagement.
“It was a little bit out of the ordinary,” Warrell said of her Buckeye-themed wedding. “It was Ohio State, but it wasn’t in your face. It wasn’t super overwhelming.”
Among the newlywed’s OSU-themed touches, were engagement photos of the couple wearing OSU gear, save the dates that resembled football tickets and a Buckeye-themed wedding cake and party favors.
“Our recessional song after our ceremony was an instrumental of “Seven Nation Army,” Warrell said. The couple and their 105 guests also danced to “Carmen Ohio” and “Hang on Sloppy.”
“I didn’t even think of getting married on campus as a student,” she said. Warrell said she didn’t know having ceremonies or receptions on campus was an option until she began searching for venues.
Laynie Fulks, the catering and events sales manager for the Faculty Club, said the building hosts weddings on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with outdoor or indoor ceremonies, a cocktail hour, dinner and reception.
“Our brides and grooms are typically huge OSU fans, or he popped the question at Mirror Lake, so our location is special to them for that reason,” Fulks said in an email.
The cost to rent out the Faculty Club is $1,500 for club members or those sponsored by a member and $2,000 for others. Not included in the cost is catering, which is done by the club’s own executive chef.
Cody McNulty. a second-year in French and political science, didn’t know it was possible to wed on school grounds until he photographed the Warrells’ engagement and wedding photos. “I thought it was a lot more fun than your stereotypical church wedding,” McNulty said.
He said it was his first time attending a wedding or photographing a couple tying the knot on campus, but that he understands why people choose to do it at the university.
“You feel like it’s already engrained in you, so you want to have some of your biggest events there,” McNulty said. “There’s a big love for Ohio State.”
The Faculty Club is not the only place for wedding ceremonies or receptions on campus. In fact, several locations are available for those wishing to celebrate their special day at OSU.
Browning Amphitheatre, located next to Mirror Lake, is an outdoor venue that is free of charge for couples to use as long as they can secure a University sponsor. David Schneider, assistant registrar for the scheduling office, said that sponsors are typically an academic or administrative department or student organization and will take responsibility if any damages or problems incur during the ceremony.
Schneider said that he isn’t positive how many people fit into the amphitheatre, but would estimate it’s around 200. He said that four or five weddings occur in the venue a year, but the office usually receives between 12 and 20 inquiries.
Schneider said interested couples are often deterred by the possibility of inclement weather, as there is no rain location available. “It’s really what you see is what you get,” he said.
The Fawcett Center
The Fawcett Center rents out a 46,000 square-foot grand ballroom, Alumni Lounge, outdoor patio and lobby for weddings, according to Ann Daugherty, the director of sales and marketing for the Fawcett Center. The ballroom can accommodate up to 240 guests and the ceremony space can hold 120 guests.
Daugherty said the cost ranges based on number of guests, type of package, menu and bar and whether they’ll be using the venue for both the ceremony and reception. She said it is more commonly reserved for just the reception only.
Amanda Perry, the Fawcett Center’s wedding coordinator, thinks having wedding receptions or ceremonies at the university are unique. “It’s neat to get married on a campus,” she said.
Perry said one of the more memorable weddings at the Fawcett Center was when the entire bridal party wore matching shoes. “The bride had glittery red Tom’s Shoes on,” Perry said. “That’s really kind of stepping out of there.”
The Longaberger Alumni House
Located on Olentangy River Road, the Longaberger Alumni House has four different wedding packages available and holds a maximum capacity of 200 guests, said Jennifer Russell, marketing and sales manager for conference services. “We like to think we’re small but mighty,” she said.
Package price ranges from $1,600 to $3,000 with specials, and $2,100 to $3,500 regularly. Couples can choose from an approved list of eight caterers for their big day.
She said eight or nine receptions or ceremonies happen in the building on average per year, with the busiest time being late spring and early summer. The venue is typically reserved a year before the couple’s big day. “We’ve done them in as short as a few months before though,” Russell said.
“Every event is memorable in its own way,” Russell said. One wedding that stood out to her was Hawaiian-beach themed. “It was pretty intense on the casual end,” she said.
In contrast to the other venues, the Ohio Union is only available for weddings during the summer or during school breaks. “We’re the student union, we want to keep the space open for student events,” said Eve Esch, assistant director at the Union.
“In the summer we have at least one every weekend,” Esch said. She said since its reopening, the Union has had four or five ceremonies and 15 to 20 receptions.
Esch said the Union gets calls and emails every week for couples inquiring about the space, ranging from current students, past and current employees, alumni, fans and people with no affiliation to the university.
“It’s a real exciting cross-section of diverse people that choose the Union for their weddings,” Esch said. “It’s all over the place.”
Cost and guest accommodation varies by room. “It totally depends on the size of the space,” Esch said. According to the Union’s website, room rates run from as low as $125 to as high as $4,000.
Ohio Stadium is available to use for pictures, ceremonies and receptions. According to the OSU Official Athletics website, cost for wedding and engagement photos is $150, a wedding ceremony at the flag pole is $3,000 and inside auxiliary facilities run from $2,500 to $3,500 per room, depending on time length needed.
Options include the Recruit Room, Huntington Club rooms, Varsity O Club, University Suite and others. Accommodation capacity for the rooms ranges from 150 to 300 people.
The Blackwell offers a wedding package that can accommodate up to 250 guests, discounted hotel room rates for guests and the use of a personal wedding coordinator. According to the Blackwell’s website, the package includes three reception areas, overnight accommodations for the bride and groom, a tasting with the hotel’s executive chef and more. Wedding ceremonies can be arranged for an additional $500 set-up fee.
There is a food and beverage minimum for the space that ranges from $8,000 to $
12,000 on peak dates. The venue is not available on home football game dates.