The Bushnell Event Center offers wedding, event space in Downtown Springfield

When newlyweds Kaitlyn Sherman-Moore and husband Jacob Moore, of Columbus, were exploring venues for their August wedding, their search led them to Clark County and the Bushnell Event Center at 22 North Fountain Ave. in Springfield.

Though the couple has no direct ties to Springfield, they were attracted to the Bushnell Event Center for its atmosphere and competitive pricing; they scheduled a tour.

“We went to the venue, and fell in love with it,” says Kaitlyn. “We had been to several other venues for tours, and nothing compared to Bushnell's space, pricing and hospitality by the staff.”

Kaitlyn says many of the venues she considered require event minimums and catering and bartending services through them.

Kaitlyn says several factors the couple considered when looking at venues included price, spacing, amenities like chairs and tables, catering and bar options, parking, nearby hotel accommodations, access to the venue for set up, as well as the overall aesthetic.

“Bushnell Event Center allowed us to check off all of these boxes,” she says. “The Event Center allowed us to bring in whomever we wanted for catering and bartending services, which was great. We were able to set up the Thursday prior to the big day, and we could get into the venue (on a flexible schedule) each day and were able to have access to the venue from 10 a.m. until midnight the day of the wedding.”

Kaitlyn says another thing they loved was the different spaces in the center.

“There was not only one event room at Bushnell, but three rooms with plenty of space,” she says. “This allowed us to utilize one room for the ceremony, one for our cocktail hour, and the largest room for our reception. This was a great feature that allowed guests to stay in one location, and nobody had to worry about traveling in between the ceremony and reception.”

Another factor that weighed on their decision to hold their wedding at the Bushnell Event Center was its proximity to the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel and ample free parking lot directly across the street from the venue at the Park at the 99 parking garage.

The couple was also thrilled to be able decorate how they wanted and with the numerous unique features in the event center, including a historic brick look featured in the main ballroom, hardwood floors in the cellar, enchanting tea lights strung over the dancefloors, two bridal suites, amenities like chairs, tables and linens, and an rose mural alleyway, which is great for photos or an outdoor ceremony.

Lisa Abshear, general manager for the Bushnell Event Center, says the Bushnell Event Center was renovated in 2021, with updated space that include  restrooms, three venue rooms, the main entrance, the foyer, and two wedding suites for couples. The Bushnell Event center is centrally located between Dayton and Columbus and can accommodate up to 300 guests.

“Ceremonies have been a big hit at the Bushnell, most taking place in the Edward Wren Room,” says Abshear. “I think being Downtown makes all the difference - especially with the hotel only one block away, restaurants, coffee, snack shops, a bakery and more right at everyone’s fingertips. We are historic, yet modern.” 

Abshear says the Bushnell Event Center has what it takes to make an event unique and is priced well. She says her favorite event thus far was a 1940’s big-band-themed wedding. 

“We had a 16-piece orchestra arrive with two singers,” she says. “It was simply the most memorable event of the year. I have had many others that I have loved as well - roaring 20’s, winter wonderland, Christmas-themed and much more. Honestly, the possibilities are endless. Coming soon will be a Viking-themed Wedding.”

In addition to the attractive venue, Theresa Hartley serves as a Wedding Planner exclusively at The Bushnell Event Center. She's an option for brides and grooms looking for additional support and assistance to ensure their big day runs smoothly.

“She isn’t here to make your day her day; she is there to make your dream day come true,” says Abshear. “First and foremost, you have someone in charge. From managing the vendors to making sure everyone shows up in a timely manner to following the wedding day timeline so everything takes place when it is scheduled. 

"Lastly, and almost most importantly is pricing. She isn’t doing this for a huge profit, she is doing this because she loves weddings and she loves the Bushnell.”

Hartley can assist with vendors, dress alterations, a caterer, florist, decorations, bartenders, bakers, a DJ, videographer, hotel accommodations, photographer and more.  She is well connected and has vetted all vendors before hiring them.

“The Bushnell Building is one of the most historic buildings in Downtown Springfield,” says Hartley. “It has been restored into a modern venue while keeping some of the history preserved. In recent years, the Downtown area has been growing and having events, and The Bushnell supports our Downtown and local businesses.”

The Bushnell Building was built in three stages in 1893, 1903 and in1939. The Bushnell Building remains one of the most impressive original structures to flank the city’s central square. It is a monument not only to the days of booming business in Springfield but also to the civic involvement of one of Ohio’s great leaders.

Kaitlyn and Jacob say they would recommend the Bushnell Event Center to anyone looking to host special events.

“It is a very pretty event space with an industrial city vibe, with plenty of amenities and accommodations,” says Kaitlyn. “Each of the three days we were there - for set-up, our rehearsal dinner and for the day-of (the wedding) - it felt like we were right at home and could have a great time and celebrate with those we loved, without being too restricted by the venue itself.

"We made sure we were respectful of the venue and its rules, and they in return made sure our special day went smoothly.”

Kaitlyn says today's wedding costs are astronomical, and finding a space that allowed the couple to cut costs on certain aspects was amazing.

“We were able to do a lot of things ourselves and hire the vendors we wanted,” she says. “It was amazing that you have the choice to rent out one event room at Bushnell or do what we did and do a total buyout of the place. This allowed us to really decorate the whole venue how we wanted, gave us access to the bridal suites, and it allowed us to celebrate privately with our family and friends.”

Kaitlyn says the couple had a memorable and amazing wedding thanks to family and friends.

“Being able to have the wedding at Bushnell Event Center was amazing, and they were able to make our dreams become reality,” she says. “I hope more couples book with The Bushnell Event Center and are able to have their dreams become reality, too.”
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Read more articles by Darci Jordan.

Lifelong Clark County resident Darci Jordan is a freelance writer and former staff writer/columnist for the Springfield News-Sun. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a bachelor of science degree in Agriculture Communications. She currently also serves as a writer for the Clark State Community College marketing department. She enjoys time with her family, horses and Ohio State football. Go Bucks!