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The Top 10 Outdoor Wedding Venues in Illinois

As one of the most important days in your life, it is important that your wedding truly feels like a dream come true event. There are a lot of pieces that must come together to create the perfect day for a couple: food, flowers, photography, décor, and more. One of the most important factors of all is the venue, the location that will host your wedding party and all of your guests. Whether you’re hoping for grand elegance or a more rustic setting for your dream wedding, these top 10 outdoor wedding venues in Illinois can meet and exceed your expectations.

10. Hickory Knolls Discovery Center
The Hickory Knolls Discovery Center is surrounded by 130 acres of diverse landscape: woodlands, wetlands, and prairies make this one of the most interesting places to gather all of the people that are important to you. With a capacity of 160 guests, you can hold both a ceremony and reception here.

The Hickory Knolls Discovery Center is part of the James O. Breen Community Park. It is a center dedicated to educating the public at all ages and promoting conservation efforts in the community. This family-friendly venue has a lot to contribute to the local ecosystem and will continue to build on this tradition for many years to come.

This venue is not an all-inclusive location, and you’ll have to work with an outside caterer and alcohol vendor in order to provide a full meal and bar package to your guests. The staff at this venue will need to approve your vendor. There is a full kitchen on site available for prep.

A 20-foot ceiling in the lobby, floor-to-ceiling windows, interactive murals, live animal displays, and an indoor turtle pond make the Hickory Knolls Discovery Center one of the most unique and engaging wedding venues in Illinois. A rustic pavilion, outdoor fireplace, and towering oak trees characterize the outdoor space at this venue.

Check out more at their website:

9. Cantigny Park
Cantigny Park spans 500 acres and boasts seven extraordinary locations for ceremonies and receptions. The seating capacity ranges from 140 guests to 250 guests depending which location you book, and the many acres of gorgeous scenery ensure your wedding photos will be unlike any others.

The property that Cantigny Park resides on once belonged to Robert R. McCormick. He served as a Colonel in WW1 and dedicated his estate to the public upon his death in 1955. The space belongs to the McCormick Foundation and serves as a space for education, recreation, and events. On site, there is a museum, 30 acres of garden, a visitors’ center, an education center, walking trails, and Cantigny Golf (300 acres of golf courses, Cantigny Golf Academy, and a clubhouse).

Cantigny Park is an all-inclusive wedding venue that mandates all of the food and drinks for your wedding must come from the venue itself. The culinary team will work with you to find a menu that suits your tastes perfectly, and will also provide a full bar service the day of.

Combining a century of history, lush gardens, and a heart-warming gift from one man to the public of Illinois, Cantigny Park is one of the most scenic and versatile locations to hold a wedding. Cathedral ceilings in one location and lush gardens in another ensure every couple can experience their picture-perfect wedding day.

Check out more at their website:

8. Tuscan Hills Winery
With a main tasting room, stunning gazebo, and patios available for a ceremony and/or reception, Tuscan Hills Winery offers indoor and outdoor seating for weddings up to 250 guests in size. Their picturesque vineyard is also available for photoshoots.

Tuscan Hills Winery is a newer venue that was established in July of 2011. For more than a decade they have been producing handcrafted wine from locally-sourced grapes and creating a welcoming atmosphere in their Bistro. You can’t go wrong with a venue that advocates for ‘Come as a guest, leave as a friend’ hospitality.

While this venue does have a bistro restaurant on-site, they do not perform any catering for weddings. You will need to hire an outside vendor for your meals, but the alcohol and bar staff will be provided by the venue. You can choose to have an open bar, cash bar, or you can prepare a menu of drinks for your guests to choose from.

If romance and old-world charm is the feel you want for your wedding, there is no better venue than Tuscan Hills Winery. With dimmable lights indoors and twinkle lights, bistro lights, and wall sconces outdoors, this is one of the most intimate and secluded wedding venues in Illinois.

Check out more at their website:

7. City Cruises Chicago
City Cruises Chicago is the go-to cruise provider in Chicago. They have 6 stunning boats in their fleet that can accommodate guest lists ranging in size from 125 up to 749. Whether you’re looking for a more relaxed celebration on a single-level vessel or an extravagant party with multiple indoor and outdoor decks, City Cruises Chicago has the water-borne venue for you.

As a member of the Hornblower Group, City Cruises Chicago has history dating back to 1926. Since its inception, this group has been striving to improve the marine hospitality industry and has made quite a name for itself as a result of its efforts. You can experience their excellence for yourself when you book a vessel for your wedding.

City Cruises Chicago vessels are all suitable for functioning as all-inclusive wedding venues. As such, you and your guests will be able to enjoy full bar services and a multi-course meal customized to your satisfaction.

When you choose City Cruises Chicago for your wedding venue, you aren’t only choosing a location. You’re choosing an unforgettable experience. World-class skylines, impeccable service, and outstanding craftsmanship make these boats the ideal one-of-a-kind ceremony and reception locations. The possibilities for photo backdrops speak for themselves.

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6. Luthy Botanical Garden
Encompassing 5 sprawling acres of Glen Oak Park, Luthy Botanical Garden is home to eight different wedding ceremony and reception locations. The seating capacity ranges from 10 to 300 people, so this is the perfect venue for small intimate elopements and extravagant ceremonies alike. If you’d like to hold a reception as well, there is seating for 200 at the Zambezi River Lodge at the Peoria Zoo, a partner of Luthy Botanical Garden.

Luthy Botanical Garden was established in 1951 as an educational conservatory and event space. They offer floral shows and are open all-year-round for guests to explore the 15 stunning gardens. They have also built up a collection of sculptures that they display in a rotating sculpture exhibit.

As a ceremony-only venue, Luthy Botanical Garden does not provide any catering service. However, when you book a reception at the Zambezi River Lodge, you’ll have a full bar to take advantage of and the freedom to bring in any caterer of your choosing for the meal.

If you choose to have a reception at the lodge in addition to a ceremony at one of the garden locations, you will have the unique opportunity to explore the zoo’s African animals with your guests. Booking a reception at the lodge also gives you a 10% discount on your garden rental!

Check out more at their website:

5. Country Club of Decatur
With a 27,000 square-foot clubhouse and a spacious, beautifully manicured lawn and golf course, Country Club of Decatur is the perfect venue for indoor and outdoor celebrations. Each location can seat between 20 and 300 guests, so you won’t have to leave anyone off the guest list or invite extra people just to meet a minimum requirement.

Country Club of Decatur has been one of the most sophisticated and dedicated private golf clubs in central Illinois for more than a century. This multi-generational venue welcomes you into its original stone clubhouse steeped in tradition and excellence.

Weddings held at Country Club of Decatur will be fully catered by the in-house culinary team. Delicious flavors, memorable presentation, and expert waitstaff will be the key takeaways from any meal served at this venue. The bar service will also be provided by on-site staff, but you’ll have to coordinate a vendor for your wedding cake.

Professionalism and superior service are the names of the game at Country Club of Decatur. Every couple should feel like the most important thing in the world on their wedding day, and the staff at this venue will treat you as such. They are dedicated to providing exceptional hospitality and will do whatever it takes to make your day a smashing success.

Check out more on their website:

4. Makray Memorial Golf Club
Whether you’re looking for an open-air wedding on lush fairways or an elegant indoor ceremony and reception, the Makray Memorial Golf Club has a venue that you can personalize. You can welcome as few as 30 or as many as 250 of your friends and relatives. You will have plenty of space for stunning photos, too.

This golf club got its start back in 1962 with Paul Makray Sr’s wish to open a membership-free golf course to be enjoyed by absolutely anyone. He called it the Thunderbird. Ten years after his passing in 1999, his family completely renovated and remodeled the course and clubhouse to its current sophistication and dubbed it the Makray Memorial Golf Club in his honor.

The Makray Memorial Golf Club is a completely inclusive venue, and when it comes to catering, they have every aspect taken care of for you. A four-course dinner, bar package, champagne toast, complimentary wine bottle for every table, and even the wedding cake will be provided to you. Your menu is fully customizable and you can expect excellence in every bite.

With a wedding coordinator on site to ensure your day runs smoothly, you won’t have to think about anything except enjoying your day. Their outdoor spaces are highly flexible in terms of the floor plan and can accommodate live music, a dance floor, and more. The staff can even provide complimentary shuttle services to nearby hotels if desired.

Check out more on their website:

3. Oak Hill Farm
Occupying 170 acres of historic estate and farm space, Oak Hill Farm is one of the most peaceful and welcoming scenic locations to hold a wedding. This memorable space can accommodate as many as 250 guests without batting an eye. There are four outdoor ceremony locations plus a restored church, and two indoor locations for your reception. You can mix and match however you wish to.

Oak Hill Farm has belonged to the current family for 46 years, and when the father passed away, they had a church moved onto the property in order to lay him to rest where he wished to reside. His daughter was the first to get married in that church, and today, she and her husband help other couples experience the romance and joy of her family home.

Aside from providing licensed bartenders, Oak Hill Farm allows you to bring in any team of vendors that you wish to for catering and bar service packages. They have a kitchen available for prep work and multiple locations available for your cocktail hour. They don’t have a preferred vendors list, so feel free to work with any catering company that matches your vision.

Oak Hill Farm features a long list of unique services that make it the perfect rustic venue for most couples: a vintage car or horse-drawn carriage, donkeys and horses available for photos, a complimentary golf cart, a stream and winding forest paths, a rowboat, and 2 ponds, and free sparklers are only the beginning.

Check out more on their website:

2. Parker Run Vineyards
At Parker Run Vineyards, you have access to four different locations on the 10-acre property; in total, this venue can accommodate as many as 350 guests, or only a handful of your closest friends and family. The Big Red Barn, Brooder House, Grand Gazebo, and Prairie Chapel sites ensure that every couple can have their ideal indoor or outdoor wedding.

The Prairie Chapel is the most historic site at Parker Run Vineyards, and it didn’t actually originate on the property. Built in 1850, it was the first schoolhouse building in the Rivoli Township. It served as a church in later years and then was moved to Parker Run Vineyards and refurbished. It features antique pews and looks exactly like the original building.

Parker Run Vineyards only provides a prep kitchen on site, so you will need to hire an outside caterer to manage your meal and bar service on the big day. They have an alcohol vendor you must use, but as long as your meal caterer of choice is licensed, you can work with any company you want. This freedom is pretty rare in the venue world, so take advantage of it!

Getting married at a vineyard has its benefits. The main indoor and outdoor venues can each hold 350 guests, and you’ll have access to the entire property for photos. This means historic building backdrops, lush lawns, a six-acre lake, active vineyard, and white fencing to enhance the artistry of your wedding photos.

See more here on their website:

1. The Two Brothers Roundhouse
The Two Brothers Roundhouse venue is a highly versatile space that can suit wedding sizes ranging from 25 guests to 600. If you’re looking to hold an outdoor ceremony or reception, their courtyard and stunning gazebo make a perfect place to say I Do. They have a beer garden, too. For a split indoor/outdoor celebration, their banquet rooms are also available.

Two Brothers has also been featured on several other lists such as the Top 10 wedding venues in the Chicago suburbs. This place truly is a "hidden gem" in Illinois for places to get married.

As a notable name listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Two Brothers Roundhouse location brings a lot of history to your event. Timeless architecture and a defining story make this 162-year-old venue one of the most remarkable places in Illinois to get married. It’s previous life housing the Chicago & Aurora Railroad's trains gives it one of the most unique perspectives out there.

This venue is as all-inclusive as it gets: you’ll be treated to a multi-course dinner, full open bar, and they can even make your wedding cake for you. For every couple wanting a talented and experienced catering team that will take care of every detail for you, you’ll find it at Two Brothers Roundhouse.

If a dazzling, one-of-a-kind venue is something you’d like to check off your wedding planning list, you can end your search with Two Brothers Roundhouse. The history and architecture, on-site distillery, talented event-planning staff, and overall charm and character that distinguishes this 70,000 sq. ft property will work together to give you the best wedding day you could imagine.

While Two Brothers Roundhouse is our top pick in the state for outdoor wedding venues, there are hundreds of other locations in Illinois that can bring something special to the table. No matter what type of venue you’re looking for or what amenities you’re hoping to have included with the rental, these top 10 venues offer something for every couple. All that’s left for you to do is decide where you want to get married, and by now, you should have a pretty good idea what you’re looking for.

See why we’re quickly becoming the top choice for wedding venues in the greater Chicago area. We have more details on our wedding venue banquets page here.

Email us any time at or call us (630) 509-0215

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