Offering rustic-chic barns, rooftop city skylines, posh hotel ballrooms, and the dreams of contemporary design lovers, Illinois is home to some of the most unique and fanciful LGBT-friendly wedding venues in the country. Let us help you find your dream wedding venue in the Land of Lincoln.
(Article by Meg Cale of Dopes on the Road)
Chicago’s DL Loft is a brilliantly lit, airy, Parisian-inspired dream, the ideal venue for an intimate wedding party. The 20′ glass window bathes the couple in ambient, natural light perfect for daytime photography. The venue is on the smaller side, only suitable for 30 seated guests or 50 guests for a cocktail event. However, it packs a major punch with sleeping arrangements for six people, a full-size professional chef’s kitchen, and a built in DJ loft.
For a quintessential big-city wedding, LondonHouse Chicago offers their 22nd-floor rooftop with city skyline views for couples who’d like to give their vows from above the city. You can also reserve the Juliette Grand Ballroom, with its floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the city’s riverfront and capacity to hold 300 seated guests. Slightly smaller parties of 180 or less can marry and dine in the stylish Whistler Ballroom, an open, bright setting with high ceilings. The venues are not the only part of LondonHouse Chicago that can elevate a wedding: the classic cocktails at LH Rooftop are inspired by the jazz age with a modern twist, which is perfect for a Gatsby– or art deco–inspired celebration.
Willoughby Farm in Collinsville is the perfect setting for couples craving a rustic-chic wedding worthy of Pinterest. Decorate the hay bales with twinkly lights, burlap, and lace to your heart’s content. For smaller weddings, Willoughby offers the bank barn and pavilion. For larger groups you can go full hog with a full-farm rental that includes both barns, the pavilion, and farm yard. Couples can get ready surrounded by their wedding party on the first floor of the 1930s farm house. A cute touch for your special day is ending your reception with toasted s’mores around a bonfire in the yard.
Salvatore’s restaurant is an award-winning Chicago wedding venue. An intimate and sophisticated interior along with an enticing menu of classic Italian favorites makes for the perfect venue for the foodie couple. The restaurant’s classic Chicago atmosphere features high ceilings, tall, arched windows and rich wood-paneled walls, plus a private outdoor patio which can be used to accommodate larger wedding parties or as an option for a cocktail hour before the reception. But the food options at Salvatore’s are its winning feature. And thanks to a superb waitstaff, the only thing you’ll have to worry about is not getting sauce on your fancy wedding duds.
The Blackstone hotel is part of Marriott's Autograph Collection. Marriott is consistently one of the most LGBT-friendly brands in the world. For its part, The Blackstone is an iconic landmark dating back to 1910, and its reawakened French Beaux-Arts style lends an air of distinction and magnificence to any wedding party. With 11,000 square feet of events space, The Blackstone has a space suitable to a wide variety of tastes. Create the night you’ve always dreamed of under the dazzling chandeliers of the Crystal Ballroom. Indulge in the magnificent atmosphere of local artists in the Historic Art Hall. Or choose the charm of iconic rooms like The English Room or The Barbershop.
The Mansion and Allerton Park in Monticello, IL is an unforgettable year round setting for weddings. The park has several settings for weddings of different styles and budget. A few to choose from are the Formal Gardens, Grand Gallery, a two-story Dutch hay barn, and a century-old, Georgian-style Mansion. Each area is has a separate and unique aesthetic ranging from modern to classic. If you’d like to have an outdoor ceremony they offer a beautiful tented garden package. If you’d prefer an indoor event there are several spaces to choose from. Allerton is ideal for events with 150-250 guests.
Built in 1929, the Grove Redfield Estate and grounds in Glenview, Illinois is the perfect setting for a modern vintage wedding. The architecture and gardens are a nod to the northern European manors of yesteryear. Host your reception in The Great Room and set a classical fantasy scene with the fireplace, cathedral ceiling, chandeliers and stunning two-story leaded-glass window. If you’d prefer a charming outdoor setting, Redfield Estate’s grounds are home to a premium covered stone pavilion with a fireplace and an elegant wooden gazebo that creates an ideal outdoor ceremony venue. The historic estate comfortably holds up to 125 friends and family members in a comfortable, warm atmosphere.
The Living Room is unlike any wedding venue you’ll ever see. The owners are an artistically minded couple who were inspired by greenhouses and the work of mathematical artist MC Escher. The max capacity for The Living Room is 80 guests, but it’s cozy size and adaptable decore allow you to configure the room in multiple ways. This space can be easily adapted to suit your needs, enabling you to craft the picture perfect wedding for the offbeat couple getting married in the Windy City.
Starved Rock Lodge in Utica, Illinois is a nature lover’s dream wedding venue. While they offer both indoor and outdoor wedding venues, the outdoor spaces are truly spectacular. Your guests cross a rustic wooden footbridge over Fox Canyon and stroll along a winding path through the woods. When they reach The Sunrise Shelter they will be stunned with an outstanding view of the top of Starved Rock. The Shelter is large enough to accommodate up to 200 guests. If you are having a more intimate ceremony, The Canyon Side Courtyard is available for up to 30 guests. Nestled among a pine grove, the courtyard features a paved walkway, bordered by several natural stone benches leading to an elevated stone terrace with antique lighting, where your guests will be seated among the natural beauty of Starved Rock State Park.
With its rolling hills and forested countryside, White Pines Resort is the picturesque location for an outdoor wedding. Just a two hour drive west of Chicago, White Pines Weddings offers nearly all elements necessary for a beautiful wedding complete with complimentary bridal consultants, and experience with nearly 1,200 weddings. Options include outdoor ceremonies at Wedding Canyon, indoor ceremonies and receptions for up to 220 guests , cabin and lodging amenities, a horse and carriage to make the grandest of entrances and wedding cake services.
Located in Elburn, Heritage Prairie Farm is an all-inclusive wedding venue that specializes in customized events. In May through November, the venue hosts weddings, family events, and showers. Ceremonies, cocktail hours, and photo sessions often take place outdoors among the verdant lawn and scenic backdrops, but a rustic barn with twinkling lights makes for a more intimate indoor ceremony. For larger receptions, the farm offers a spacious five-peak century tent. All in all, the venue holds up to 250 people.