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The Top 10 Unique Wedding Venues in Illinois

You only get married once. At least, that’s the dream. If you’re looking to say your vows in style and create a memorable event for you and your guests, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve gathered the top 10 unique wedding venues in Illinois for you to peruse. The venues in spots 2, 3, 4, and 6 are also featured on our Top 10 Unique Wedding Venues in Chicago article. Whether your ideal venue location is in the heart of Chicago, in Chicago’s suburbs, or in central or southern Illinois, we’ve rounded up dazzling selection of the most distinctive venues out there. You may not find your perfect fit on this list, but we have a feeling you might.

10. Trailside Event Center
Trailside Event Center is a great location for an indoor/outdoor wedding. Their indoor space can accommodate ceremonies and receptions, but if the weather is good, their backyard can turn into your wedding ceremony oasis. Their 6000 square foot banquet space can seat as many as 250 guests.

The Trailside Event Center building was built in 1895 and is known as the Trefzger’s Building. The original pine floors and brick walls are still in place today. This space is located on the second floor above Trefzger’s Bakery and has been hosting weddings since 2016; they’ve already seen hundreds of couples pass through.

Trailside Event Center comes with a list of 11 preferred vendors for you to choose from; if you’d prefer to use a different company, you’ll just have to pay a $500 fee. The venue provides all bartending services and even offers an espresso station and an optional barista. Your guests can enjoy a tasting from the lower level bakery, too.

Trailside Event Center is a warm and romantic industrial space. Wood floors and ceilings are contrasted by brick walls; classy string lighting creates an inviting and intimate atmosphere. With access to the Rock Island Trail, you’ll have a marvelous location for photos all year round and plenty of space to explore.

Check out more at their website:

9. Cedarhurst Center for the Arts
Cedarhurst Center for the Arts is a gorgeously welcoming 80-acre location for weddings. There are four unique spaces at this venue that can accommodate weddings varying in size from only 10 guests to parties with 400 people. Sculpture Park has a nearly limitless capacity, Mitchell House can seat 75, Schweinfurth House accommodates 150 guests, and Mitchell Museum offers the largest indoor capacity of 400.

This 80-acre museum and cultural center belonged to John and Eleanor Mitchell. In 1965, they established the Mitchell Foundation and built a museum to house their collection of artwork. The museum opened to the public in 1973; neither of them lived to see the opening day. Mitchell House has been standing since 1936 and is maintained by the museum staff.

Cedarhurst does not provide any meal catering for events, so you will have to work with one of their preferred caterers or hire a different outside vendor that can sign a contract to work on the premises. Unless you are booking at Mitchell Museum, your caterer can provide the bar package as well. At Mitchell Museum, Cedarhurst staff will supply and serve the alcohol for the event.

Each space at this venue has something unique to offer for your wedding. Mitchell Museum has three unique sections offering a wall of windows, high ceilings, and a gorgeous view from the patio. Schweinfurth House is a peaceful, intimate setting with a water feature and small stage. Mitchell House is the perfect location for a wedding with indoor/outdoor flow, and Sculpture Park is home to 60 large sculptures, walking trails, wildlife, and two ponds.

Check out more at their website:

8. The Grove Redfield Estate
The Grove Redfield Estate is a component of The Grove Nature Preserve. This venue can accommodate anywhere from 2 to 125 seated guests, and you have multiple areas available to you. The estate house, grounds of the estate, gazebo, and stunning pavilion are all yours for the duration of your event.

The Grove Nature Preserve is a National Historic Landmark measuring more than 150 acres in size. It was established in 1929 by George Elmslie. This venue has won many awards as an event center and offers many stunning elements of its historic past to elevate modern day celebrations.

The Grove Redfield Estate does not have in-house catering on offer. You’ll have to work with one of their eight preferred catering companies to take care of your meal and bar package. They can each customize a menu for you or supply a pre-determined selection that fits your budget and flavour preferences.

The Grove Redfield Estate has a long list of exciting features that set the atmosphere for romantic and elegantly serene weddings. A fireplace in the stone pavilion, a 125-year-old oak tree, a pond and meadow, a gazebo surrounded by forest, and the Redfield estate home itself all create stunning photo backdrops and an unforgettable wedding day.

Check out more at their website:

7. Havisham House
Havisham House is a venue that offers wedding parties the option of staying overnight. The Havisham House and Carriage House each sleep six guests to ensure everyone important can be included. With their gorgeous lawns and large pavilion, this venue can host up to 200 guest for a ceremony and/or reception.

The Havisham House was constructed from 1888 to 1892 from bricks made on the property. The home and carriage house passed through a number of hands until it was partially destroyed by a tornado roughly a decade ago. The house was repaired in 2015 and then purchased by the current owners in 2017 who completed the renovations and restored the two beautiful houses.

Although this venue lacks on-site catering, there are absolutely zero limitations when it comes to hiring outside vendors. You can either supply your own alcohol and food or hire a catering company to take care of those details for you. The venue staff can supply a list of vendor recommendations if needed.

Havisham House and the Carriage House can be rented for weddings for up to 4 nights. This venue is the ideal blend of vintage charm and modern elegance: chandeliers, stone archways, mature trees, and stunning landscaping create a beautiful indoor/outdoor wedding venue. Their pavilion can be fully enclosed or remain open to the fresh air. You won’t find a property like this anywhere else in Illinois.

Check out more on their website:

6. Ignite Glass Studios
There are three unique venue spaces at Ignite Glass Studios that max out with guest counts of 220 and 350 depending on the layout and amenities chosen. Their indoor event space measures 3290 square feet, but they also have two outdoor locations for ceremonies and receptions: a 2400 square foot Urban Garden and the 3290 square foot Rooftop Garden.

Ignite Glass Studios began as a small gas-blowing facility and has now grown to host a whole team of resident artists, a gift shop, and rotating art exhibits featuring pieces from local artists. This is a true one-of-a-kind space to hold your historic event.

There is no on-site catering at this venue, so you will need to look at outside vendors for your food and drink requirements. Ignite Glass Studios does not have a preferred vendors list that will limit your choices, so you are free to bring in any caterer that you’d like. They have a list of recommendations for you, though, if you need some guidance.

With three unique spaces available for ceremonies and receptions, this venue offers the ideal indoor/outdoor flow for a wedding. The indoor industrial space is perfect for creating a unique floor plan, and their wall of glass artwork makes a perfect photo backdrop. You can wow your guests with a glass-blowing demonstration and even send them home with handmade favors.

Check out more at their website:

5. Oak Terrace Resort & Spa
Oak Terrace Resort & Spa was featured on our Top 10 Wedding Venues in Central Illinois article. This venue puts a whole new spin on the mundanity of golf course wedding venues. With an 18-hole golf course, indoor banquet space, two outdoor ceremony locations, and extensive lodging on-site, this venue is the perfect indoor/outdoor venue for as few as 10 or as many as 350 guests.

Oak Terrace Resort & Spa has existed with its current grandeur for over forty years. The owners have cultivated a space where individuals and large groups can gather to get back to nature and center themselves. With two decades of experience as a wedding and event venue, this classy space and experienced staff can makes your dreams come true.

A company called Angelo’s is the exclusive caterer for events held at Oak Terrace Resort & Spa. They have many years of experience catering large and small events and are willing to create a custom food and drink menu that works with your palate.

If elegant serenity is the theme you’re going for with your wedding, this is the venue to book. Lakeside villas, townhomes, and a stunning inn are available for you and your guests. Their ceremony-on-a-pier location is a once-in-a-lifetime experience: a 66 acre lake with a fountain and tree lined shore are the highlights. Their gazebo is immersed in natural greenery if you’d prefer a more secluded ceremony.

Check out more on their website:

4. Café Brauer at Lincoln Park Zoo
Café Brauer is a stunning venue located within the Lincoln Park Zoo. The open floor plan and two-story ceilings create a spacious venue large enough to accommodate 500 guests for a cocktail style event or 250 seated individuals. You and your guests will also have the freedom to enjoy an open air terrace and Nature Boardwalk.

Café Brauer is an historic site. It began as the Lincoln Park South Pond Refectory in 1908 and evolved over the years into the stunning restaurant and event space of today. Much of the original architecture is still in place including stained glass windows and the original wood.

At Café Brauer, there are three options for catering. A preferred vendors list can be provided to you if you are wanting an outside vendor. If you have a specific company in mind that does not fall on their preferred vendors list, they are welcome as long as they can satisfy certain regulations. Their in-house exclusive event company Tigerlily Events can also provide the catering to simplify your planning process.

In addition to the divine indoor setting characterized by warm lighting, green beams crisscrossing the ceiling, and Tiffany chandeliers, guests will also be able to access the surrounding lily pond and gardens to appreciate the biodiversity of the area. A portion of the proceeds from rentals will be used to support the care and maintenance of the zoo itself; you can both celebrate and make a meaningful impact.

Check out more on their website:

3. Adler Planetarium
Adler Planetarium is one of the largest wedding venues in all of Illinois. This space can hold as many a 1200 guests comfortably, but the space can also be sized down for more intimate weddings with 50 guests. In total, there is 60,000 square feet of exhibits available for bookings; whether you book a small section or spread out is entirely up to you.

The Adler Planetarium space has existed since 1930. It has grown into a vast space full of unique exhibits that surround families, event guests, researchers, and school children in the expansive magic that is our universe. Its main function is an education center, but in truth, it is a place where people make connections with each other and the greater world around them.

No outside catering vendors are needed when you book your event with the Adler Planetarium staff. They have a full culinary team to dedicate to your event, and they will work with you to produce a fantastically personalized meal and bar package no matter the size of your event.

With majestic views of the famous Chicago skyline, full access to all of the exhibits, and a list of activities that can be staff-directed or open to individual leadership, Adler Planetarium is a universally-renowned event location. Your wedding day will make you feel like the most important person on the planet; it seems fitting that your venue adds a little perspective to your momentous day.

Check out more on their website:

2. WhirlyBall Chicago
WhirlyBall Chicago is a sizeable venue that can host up to 500 wedding guests. This two-story building has multiple activity spaces and a large dining room to bring the party together. A terrace and patio add a wonderful outdoor element to this fun and distinctive wedding venue.

The WhirlyBall group has been around since 1993. There are four locations in addition to WhirlyBall Chicago scattered throughout Colorado, Wisconsin, and of course Illinois. WhirlyBall is a game of their invention that has already amassed a wide fan base; you and your wedding guests just might be next.

WhirlyBall Chicago has a culinary team on staff that is able to provide exceptional catering for your wedding event. They have a number of bar/beverage packages that you can select from, and with their specialty in elite American cuisine, every guest will be able to enjoy a favorite meal.

WhirlyBall Chicago is all about fun. In addition to WhirlyBall, a game that mimics lacrosse and basketball but is played on bumper cars, guests will also have the opportunity to bowl and play laser-tag at this venue. There will also be a number of lower-energy pop-up games. This venue even has the capability of offering shuttle services, a photographer, and a DJ.

See more here on their website:

1. The Two Brothers Roundhouse
The Two Brothers Roundhouse venue rests on 70,000 square feet of history and gorgeous architecture. Whether you’re hosting an intimate wedding of 50 or a raging party with 600 guests, this venue has the space to accommodate your event. Their offerings include a restaurant, café/beer bar, courtyard, and beer garden to make a completely different and unique venue experience for everyone.

The main roundhouse building that is home to Two Brothers Roundhouse has been around since 1856. As the oldest limestone roundhouse in the USA and a member of the National Register of Historic Places, the Two Brothers Roundhouse venue has a lot of depth to offer its guests. Before it became a restaurant and event venue, it served the Chicago & Aurora Railroad.

Two Brothers Roundhouse is more than capable of handling the catering for your event, and they don’t allow outside vendors for the meal or bar package. The culinary team has years of experience crafting delicious and personalized menus for weddings; you’ll be in great hands.

An on-site brewery and distillery adds an incredibly unique space for photos and an extension of your celebration. The blend of historic architecture and modern décor at Two Brothers Roundhouse creates a perfect space for every couple. Plus, you won’t find a more passionate staff anywhere in Illinois.

Finding the perfect event space for your wedding will likely be the most challenging task when it comes to the planning process. While we think Two Brothers Roundhouse is the best unique venue overall, the other 9 venues on this list all have something special to offer the wedding couple and all of their guests. Don’t settle for anything less than spectacular.

See why we’re quickly becoming the top choice for events and gatherings of all types in the greater Chicago area. We have more details on our weddings & banquets page here.

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

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