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One of Ohio's little-known state mottos is: "The Heart of It All." For wedding planners, it's hard to miss the built-in romantic reference. Ohio usually doesn't warrant immediate consideration as a wedding wonderland, but just consider all the state has to offer, north to south and east to west. The state's northern tier is dominated by its Lake Erie region, with Cleveland as the crown jewel. A revitalized lakefront area, the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame and a bustling downtown are just some reasons why Cleveland rocks as a wedding destination. Further west, Put-In-Bay (a small island off Ohio's northern coast) and Toledo are fine locales for memorable matrimony. Heading south through Ohio's heartland, Columbus (the state capital and largest city) is mecca for young professionals and millennials. Travel to Ohio's southern border and you'll come across the Ohio River Valley, highlighted by the Queen City, Cincinnati. Cincy's riverboat heritage and modern flair offer wedding planners enticing possibilities. The western portion of Ohio has rolling farmlands and the city of Dayton, while the western part of the state, towards Youngstown, is punctuated by valleys and hilly woodlands near the Pennsylvania border.
Not many people outside of Ohio realize it, but the state is an amusement park paradise. From King's Island in Cincinnati to Cedar Point in Sandusky, you're never far from fun. If you're planning an unconventional wedding and want to celebrate with a few days of roller coasters (either pre-wedding or as part of your honeymoon), Ohio is an unbeatable option, assuming the weather forecast is clear. Speaking of weather, Ohio has been known to keep wedding planners on their toes. Not quite in the Midwest and not quite a Mid-Atlantic state, Ohio features a four-season climate, with unpredictable swings in the spring and winter. Snowstorms off of Lake Erie can impact Ohio on a statewide basis from November through March, while summertime temperature shifts can exceed 40 degrees in a matter of hours. Since it's a four season state, every color is in play for your wedding. From stunning fall foliage to sparkling lakefront summer weddings, Ohio is definitely a "64 color Crayola crayon box" state!
Let's talk wedding costs in the Buckeye State. While Ohio offers abundant variety in terms of natural beauty and sought-after Ohio wedding venues, it doesn't take a significant financial investment to host a wedding in the state. Ohio's sales tax is a relatively modest 5.75%, but certain municipalities, counties and communities require additional tax. According to the most recent wedding cost analysis, Ohio weddings are pricier in the urban areas, and less expensive in smaller cities and rural settings (this structure follows nationwide price trends). For Cincinnati, Cleveland or Columbus weddings, you're looking at a total cost of around $20,000 (approximately $150 per guest in those three cities). However, Dayton wedding average $15,000, and less populated Ohio areas will put an even smaller dent in your budget. Whichever Ohio location you decide on, the state doesn't lack wedding support to help you celebrate in style - and within your budget! For tasty menu options and affordable elegance, look in Dayton wedding caterers and Columbus wedding caterers.
Unlike other states, Ohio's marriage license fee is entirely dependent on the county issuing the license. The license is valid for 60 days after issue, and no blood test is required. Non-residents must apply for a license in the county where their wedding ceremony is scheduled to take place. Ohio residents must acquire the marriage license in the county where they reside.