When it comes to wedding venues in Central Illinois there is NO shortage of options. From venues with a deep and rich history to ones that provide a wholly unique experience, there really is something for everyone if you know where to look. Where and how exactly do you start your search for the venue that’s right for your wedding day? That question is what inspired this article, which is why today we’re going over everything you need to know to find the wedding venue that fits you and your vision as well as take a look at some of my favorite venues in Central Illinois!
Before we can take a look at my favorite venues we first need to know exactly what we’re looking for. This varies from person to person and couple to couple, so it’s important to realize there is no one size fits all answer for what your wedding venue should be. There are SO many different factors to consider. That’s why being open and honest with your partner about what you want and what you need to have on your wedding day is so important. That way you are both on the same page when searching for a venue and when you do decide on the one for your big day.
The first factor you’ll want to consider is how many guests you plan on having to attend your wedding. Are you looking for something smaller and more intimate, or do you want a massive party with ALL of your favorite people present? There is really no wrong answer here, but having a rough number is crucial when finding a venue for your date.
Some venues are only able to host a certain number of guests, and on the flip side some only allow weddings with a large enough guest count to reserve the space. The great thing about wedding venues in Central Illinois is that there is no shortage of great ones for every size of wedding. Talk with your partner about what size of wedding day fits your vision, and then make a list of everyone you plan on inviting so you have a rough number to go off of.
This might seem obvious, but it’s honestly very easy to overlook and get caught up in the craziness of planning your wedding. You might be tempted to book the first venue you find that is able to accommodate your guest count. Take a little time though and look through ALL the different options you have. Every wedding venue has its own distinct feel and style to it, just like how every couple is unique and different, so are these venues. That’s why it is so important to really take your time and find the venue that fits the vibe you’re going for. Does your venue have to have an indoor space, outdoor space, or both? Are you looking for something more historic or something more modern with a unique spin? Be sure to choose a wedding venue that is true to you AND your vision.
The next thing you’ll want to take into account when planning your wedding and deciding on a venue is when exactly you want to have your wedding. What season speaks to you? Do you want a wedding where you’re able to spend time outside, or are you looking to have your wedding in a winter wonderland? Keep in mind that some Central Illinois wedding venues book out farther in advance than others. So depending on their popularity, how set you are on a certain venue, and what season you want to have it in you may have to book out further in advance.
Your vendor team is a massive aspect of what makes your wedding day special to you. It’s the team that you’ll rely on to help you put together the day and experience of your dreams. Some venues have restrictions on which vendors you’re able to use though so keep that in mind as you plan. Always do your research on if a venue has a preferred vendors list and if they have any flexibility with it. If you have a vendor that you absolutely must have for your day you’ll want to decide on a venue that is flexible when it comes to the vendors you can use. While most venues only have restrictions when it comes to the food as they want you to use their kitchen, there are some that restrict all types of vendors to their preferred list, so keep an eye out!
Last but certainly not least, factors in deciding which wedding venue in Central Illinois is right for you is to determine your budget and make sure the venue you choose gives you enough bang for your buck. Venues often take up the largest chunk of your budget and for good reason! They’re the space that you’ll be using for all or most of your wedding day festivities.
I always recommend my couples find a wedding venue with character as well as spaces for them to fit everything they plan on doing on their wedding day. Nobody likes traveling from location to location on a wedding day, so having a space you can get ready, have your first look, your ceremony, your cocktail hour, and your reception is huge. In addition, make sure the space fits your style so your photos turn out how you envision them. That’s why finding a venue that both fits your wedding day vision is SO important.
The Cannery is by far one of my favorite wedding venues in the Central Illinois Region. Built in Eureka Illinois in 1895 this historic venue was a functioning pumpkin canning factory until 1960. The building was later renovated into the state it is today which is a beautiful wedding venue in Eureka Illinois. I love weddings at the Cannery as the unique history of the venue and its timeless rustic feel adds SO much to a wedding day. It really has such an incredible feel and charm to it that other more modern venues you’ll find in Central Illinois are just missing.
Destihl Brewery is one of the coolest venues and event spaces in central Illinois. The original smaller location was built in Normal Illinois in 2007. After much success, Destihl expanded and built a much larger facility on six acres of land in May 2017. I LOVE Destihl for many reasons, one of the biggest reasons though is that there is so much space in the reception hall for your wedding festivities from the ceremony through the end of the evening. The reception hall has barrels stacked up to the ceiling, string lights hanging throughout the space and so much thought and care to every aspect of the space.
Reality on Monroe is a wedding venue in Central Illinois that is as beautiful as it is historic. Inside the venue behind the ceremony space are the remnants of a mural painted by the famous Illinois politician and artist, Thomas Cusack which is such a cool touch. The tall ceilings of the venue give the space and in turn your wedding a wide open and spacious feeling. In addition to the venue itself, I also love taking photos in the alleys and bars that surround Reality on Monroe, which gives your wedding album a ton of variety!
Allerton Park and Retreat Center was originally built as the home of artist and philanthropist, Robert Henry Allerton and was then donated to the University of Illinois in 1946. The property now serves as an event center and research space for the University of Illinois. This garden wedding venue in Central Illinois is a beautiful space for a wedding, you’ll love spending your entire day wandering the grounds with all of your friends and family. With a variety of spaces available for your wedding day Allerton Park and Retreat Center has you covered for your wedding day whether you’re having an intimate wedding or a gathering of everyone you know!
Built in 1874 the Legacy building served as a headquarters for so many businesses and even served as an opera house until it was then transformed into what it is today. The Legacy Building has earned its name, by providing and cultivating a space that honors and showcases its legacy, making it one of the coolest wedding venues in Central Illinois. If you’re looking for a venue with a truly rich history and has that history on full display The Legacy Building is for you. From the incredible brick walls with paint chipping off it to the timeless and classic decor there is just SO much to love about this space.
The Trailside Event Center is a wedding venue in Central Illinois with a lot of unique features that set it apart from other venues in the state. Found in Peoria Illinois the venue is located on the second story giving you gorgeous views of the city for your wedding day. With its original hardwood floors still intact and restored to their former glory as well as a ton of exposed brick you can really feel the history of the building on your wedding day. The venue also has an outdoor portion to it for you to use for your ceremony weather permitting!
As you can see Central Illinois is home to some really unique and historic wedding venues that are all incredible options for your wedding day. It honestly might be hard to decide between the venues listed! If you need help deciding and would like a professional opinion and you still need a photographer for your wedding day head on over to my contact page. I’d love to hear from you and we can start planning your dream wedding day together!