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Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center

Utica , IL

LOCATION

Route 71 & Route 178
Utica, IL US 61373 (map)

PHONE

815-220-7332

WEBSITE

View website
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ABOUT US

Discover the rustic elegance of this historic and spectacular setting for your special day! Unsurpassed by beauty, service and cuisine your wedding will take place in the timeless... Read more
Discover the rustic elegance of this historic and spectacular setting for your special day! Unsurpassed by beauty, service and cuisine your wedding will take place in the timeless splendor of the 1930’s built lodge located in Starved Rock State Park. Ceremony (if applicable) and dinner take center stage in our one of a kind Great Hall with its magnificent stone fireplace and massive log timbers. Later on, let the private Starved Rock Room be transformed into a reception and bar area when dancing takes place.

Relax and enjoy! Let our trained and professional staff take care of the details such as setup, clean up, tables, chairs (outside chair rental not included), linens, china, tableware, stemware, white privacy draping, dance floor and bar set up. For your comfort we can accommodate up to 225 guests.

Allow our chef’s to dazzle you with their culinary talents. Choose from our package menu which include four hours of open bar, hors d’ oeuvres and entrée at a per person charge or customize your menu from our ala carte selections. Service with a smile! Our professional banquet team will pamper your guests with your choice of served or buffet style meals.

Want an outdoor ceremony in a picture perfect setting followed by an elegant intimate dinner - we have that also! The Courtyard was created for our wedding couples that want to be surrounded by the beauty of nature on their special day. Nestled along Fox Canyon, this outdoor ceremony site can accommodate up to thirty of your closest family and friends. Leading you and your guests to the ceremony site is a winding paved walkway and several natural stone benches. Once you enter the Courtyard, flagstone steps lead to an elevated stone terrace with antique lighting. If your ceremony is planned for the Courtyard and the problem of inclement weather arises, your ceremony will take place in the charming and rustic Canyonside Cabin. In the Cabin your ‘I Do’s’ will take place in front of a cozy log and stone fireplace. Also, in Canyonside Cabin is a dressing room for the bride complete with full-length mirror and vanity plus a guest restroom. Both Canyonside Cabin and the Courtyard are handicapped accessible.

Need transportation to and from the ceremony or local hotel? Rent Rita or Ranger the Trolley. Able to accommodate up to 30 people, our trolleys will make your special day truly unique. Contact our Activities Director, Edna Daugherty at (815) 220-7386 for pricing and availability.

Mark your calendar for our annual Bridal Expo in January, which includes some of the best wedding vendors in the area. Visit our website at www.starvedrocklodge.com for date and more information.

Discover the difference in Starved Rock Lodge! Please call 815-220-7332, if you have any questions or would like to book you event.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW BEAUTIFUL PHOTOGRAPHS OF OUR WEDDINGS! Read less
Wedding Venue

PHOTOS

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INFO FOR WEDDING VENUE

When was your venue built?
1932
Describe your venue:
Banquet Hall, Historic Site, Hotel
Describe the style of your venue
Rustic, Vintage
What wedding services does your venue provide?
Bridal Shower, Ceremony, Engagement Party, Reception, Rehearsal Dinner
What is the maximum capacity of your venue?
200
How many event spaces or rooms does your venue offer?
6
Does your venue offer an indoor space?
Yes
Does your venue offer a covered outdoor space?
No
Does your venue offer an uncovered outdoor space?
Yes
Does your venue have on-site accommodations?
Yes
Number of guest rooms
91
What is the minimum rental fee for your venue?
75
Bar Service
Offered in-house
Is bar service included in the minimum rental fee?
No
Beverage Service
Offered in-house
Is beverage service included in the minimum rental fee?
No
Catering
Offered in-house
Is catering included in the minimum rental fee?
No
What is the average catering price per person at your venue?
30
Event Coordination
Offered in-house
Is event coordination included in the minimum rental fee?
No
Event Rentals
Offered in-house
Are event rentals included in the minimum rental fee?
No
Lighting and Sound
Offered in-house, Outside vendors welcome
Are lighting and sound included in the minimum rental fee?
No
Linens
Offered in-house, Outside vendors welcome
Are linens included in the minimum rental fee?
Yes
Seating
Offered in-house, Outside vendors welcome
Is seating included in the minimum rental fee?
No
Shuttle / Transportation
Offered in-house, Outside vendors welcome
Is transportation included in the minimum rental fee?
No
Wedding Cake
Offered in-house, Outside vendors welcome
Is wedding cake included in the minimum rental fee?
No

REVIEWS

4.8
out of 5.0
4.8/5.0
4.9/5.0
4.9/5.0
4.8/5.0
4.4/5.0
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Amy
Wedding:
5/3/2014
5.0/5.0
I couldn't be any happier with Starved Rock as my wedding venue/caterer! Jenny was FABULOUS to work with- always very responsive, talked me through the process, and made sure everything went just how it was supposed to- even things I never would have thought of. The food tasting was great, I loved that it was only us and not a big group of other brides/grooms at once. We got personalized attention from both Bear and Moe (the chef and the baker) and Jenny sat with us the whole time.

The day before, day of and day after were a dream come true. Everyone at the lodge treated us like royalty and made sure things ran smoothly. I can't think of one thing that they dropped the ball on- if anything, they went above and beyond. The fact that we had up until 11am the day of the wedding to decide if we wanted the ceremony indoors or outdoors made me so much less stressed about the weather situation.

A lot of people mentioned a con is that you have to have a 2 night stay if you stay at the lodge. While this is true, I found that the majority of people loved spending the whole weekend for the wedding and took advantage of a mini getaway. The others stayed at one of the many other hotels that are in the area, and weren't bothered at all.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Kellie
Wedding:
5/2/2014
5.0/5.0
I could not have asked for a better place to get married at! The wedding staff was very responsive and helpful. They were easy to communicate with prior to the wedding. They handled everything so perfectly the day of the wedding. There were a few hiccups and they handled them no problem. I was able to enjoy the day and not stress! The food was delicious and the cake was beautiful! Thanks Moe! The whole experience was great!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Sara
Wedding:
2/22/2014
5.0/5.0
Beautiful place for a wedding. It was well run and organized. Margie was amazing and made me feel comfortable. The food was amazing and the service by everyone was great! They did a great job of making our day very special and a day to remember.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Michael Anderson & Carolyn Slapansky
Wedding:
12/14/2013
5.0/5.0
Tiffany was wonderful to work with and Starved Rock was beautiful! We had a unique winter wedding thanks to her help. She was so flexible with our request, great with organization, and our rock on our wedding day making everything perfect. Starved Rock was surprisingly very affordable and a beautiful setting providing great food and a very fun unique atmosphere for our guest. We are very grateful!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Jen
Wedding:
11/24/2013
4.8/5.0
Great venue! They were very accommodating within their set perimeters. Guests loved the venue and it provided a cozy atmosphere for late November. Also found great photographer (mcConville) and DJ (Joe Beck). And great cupcakes done by lodge pastry chef, Mo.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Maura
Wedding:
10/11/2013
4.8/5.0
Starved Rock Lodge is a wonderful venue. From start to finish, it was a great experience planning and having a wedding day as close to perfect as possible. I can't say enough wonderful things about our sales consultant, Tiffany. She was always super responsive to emails and answered all the questions I could think of. In the final few weeks, I was emailing her at least once a day as new things came up - she was always helpful and super nice which is invaluable in the final stretch! On the day of, she was there to make sure things went smoothly with everything. All our other vendors seemed to integrate into everything very well and I know it's because Tiffany was there to coordinate everything. Any other time I had to contact the sales staff when Tiffany was off, I always had a great experience so I know their staff is really top-notch. They really care about their work and making sure everything goes well.

The food was fantastic. It was even better on the day of our wedding than when we went for the tasting which was pretty hard to do as it was amazing then as well. We got nothing but praise from our guests. The portions were great. The drinks were also awesome and they were very accommodating when we wanted to exchange certain kinds of liquors for others. The cake (by their pastry chef) was great and we did cupcakes - even a custom flavor - and they were delicious.

The venue itself is gorgeous. We looked around the Chicagoland area (where we live) for something a little off the standard banquet hall beaten path and just couldn't find anything we loved as much as Starved Rock. They have the option of having an outdoor ceremony if the weather is nice or having it indoors - don't have to decide until the day - of which was great. The dinner and dancing are in separate rooms which was awesome. The veranda that over looks the river was much beloved by guests too - great for mingling. It was really a dream wedding from start to finish! Thanks so much!!!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Anonymous
Wedding:
1+ year ago
4.6/5.0
This place was amazing! My guests loved the venue. Plus the view is phenomenal! The food was great and the place was good size for my guest list. They were very professional!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Marleny
Wedding:
10/5/2012
5.0/5.0
The location could not have been more perfect and the team was fantastic! Every guest raved about the food. We will be going back many times for anniversaries.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Anonymous
Wedding:
1+ year ago
5.0/5.0
My husband and I could not be more pleased with having our wedding and reception at Starved Rock State Park. At first, I must admit, we were not sure how everything would pan out seeing as Starved Rock is a State Park; let me assure you, we were blown away and so were our guests. The moment we had our tasting, we knew Starved Rock State Park was a strong competitor in wedding venues.

Our wedding coordinator, Jenny, was phenomenal. She made it possible for us to have every detail we imagined. The staff bent over backwards to make our day perfect. The baker, Mo, personalized our cutting cake, cupcakes and dessert table. Chef Bear allowed us to add a course to the menu to help follow through our theme. When we couldn't chose between twice baked potatoes and garlic mashed - he offered to make garlic mashed and then double bake them! While we were responsible for decorations, the possibilities were still endless. They set up extra tables for us, they put out the linens I brought, and even followed meticulously drawn out diagrams of where I wanted the runners laid on the table. Every detail, they were as concerned about perfection as I was – they did not cut one corner.

When we were bringing carloads of decor in the venue, if there was a staff member walking by the door, they quickly stopped and opened the door for us. Even if we were at the end of the path up to the door, there they were, standing there, waiting to open the door for us! A lot of venues you hear, “once they have your money and commitment, they downgrade their attentiveness” – NOT STARVED ROCK! In fact, as the day grows closer, they are just as committed – if not MORE – in continuing to reassure you that they are completely on board in making your day perfect.

I wish I could post every email – my anxious desire to obtain perfection on each plan – along with Jenny’s quick and understanding responses. I had to have sent her over 100 emails over the year of planning and she responded to each one as if it were the priority of her day!

My wedding plans were nothing less than meticulous, and Starved Rock State Park made sure I was able to have my Fairy Tale wedding come to life. Our guests were blown away and so were we.

I have to add – we were originally trying to find a venue in Chicago. We thought this would be “easier” and it was almost expected seeing as this is where we live. In the end, we were not really happy with the quality/price value. In fact, one venue in particular could not even guarantee that I would have a room to get ready! Starved Rock is an AMAZING value. The quality of service you receive will blow you away; the food quality will have you craving your wedding meal. Trust Starved Rock with your big day; you will be so pleased and so will your guests.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Bethany
Wedding:
11/6/2011
5.0/5.0
We had our rehearsal dinner, wedding, and reception at Starved Rock. The wedding ceremony and reception took place in the Great Hall. We were working with Jill and she was amazing! She listened to what we wanted and helped make our dream a reality. And the food was so good! They were very cooperative when we inquired about ingredients for guests with dietary restrictions and they made helpful recommendations. The friendly and professional staff helped ease any worries we had about our big day. This venue is absolutely beautiful with rustic charm and the overall value is fantastic. We highly recommend Starved Rock Lodge and Conference Center for your next event!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Anonymous
Wedding:
2+ years ago
4.7/5.0
Starved Rock Lodge and Conference Center was an amazing place for our wedding. We had our ceremony and reception in the Great Hall and it was a beautiful setting and PLENTY of room for the 160 guests that we had. The price was very reasonable for the food, bar and cake. The food was delicious and our cake (made by the in-house baker) was gorgeous! The outdoor scenery made for perfect pictures (even in early November) and there were plenty of places for gorgeous pictures inside the rustic lodge. The event staff was very helpful and always responded immediately to any questions that we had. We planned the wedding from 1000 miles away and had no issues. Our guests loved staying at the lodge and we were able to use the trolley service to transport guests to/from 2 seperate offsite hotels. The only reason we give 3.5 stars for flexibility was because ceremont/reception times for Sat. weddings is pretty set in stone, but they do let you decide day of if you want an indoor or outdoor wedding. Overall an amazing experience and a great place for a rustic wedding!
Services Used: Catering, Wedding Venue
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Mindy
Wedding:
10/7/2011
4.8/5.0
Starved Rock Lodge was wonderful. From the very beginning, our consultant was extremely responsive and helpful. Everyone raved about the food (we just did appetizers and the premiere sweet table). You can't get a more beautiful location, either.

The only downer was the lodge told our friends they could park their RVs in the lodge parking lot and then our friends almost got arrested for parking their RVs in the lodge parking lot. Our wedding was on the second busiest weekend of the year and all the campgrounds were booked.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Ann
Wedding:
7/3/2011
4.6/5.0
When we began looking at wedding venues, we wanted a beautiful outdoor setting with a good plan B in case of inclement weather. Starved Rock offered a beautiful indoor/outdoor venue, with excellent food and very supportive wedding staff for a price that was very affordable compared to other venues we looked at. We were very happy with our ceremony and reception at Starved Rock Lodge.

Throughout the months of planning, Starved Rock's staff were patient and accommodating in handling our questions and requests. On the day of the wedding, their staff was available and helped make everything run effortlessly, down to arranging my train just before I walked down the aisle in their outdoor wedding space.

The dinner in the Great Hall was outstanding; we received many compliments from our guests. Initially we were concerned that there are restrictions on bring in a wedding cake from off-site. These concerns were banished at the cake tasting we had at the lodge during our planning. There was a huge variety of cakes, frostings and fillings to choose from, and all were delicious! The pastry chef Maureen "Mo" Stabler even designed a cake to go with our cake topper.

During the reception in the Starved Rock Room, guests were able to stay inside and enjoy our band, or go out to the veranda to watch the sunset and visit.

When we looked at other outdoor venues, the prices at first seemed comparable, but did not include catering, bar service, tables, chairs, linens, etc, which greatly inflated the price, as well as the number of vendors to deal with. Starved Rock offered a tremendous value, providing venue, dinner and bar package (with linens and china), cake, and chair rental (for ceremony site) on one ticket. For the quality of food and service, the price could not be beat.

Starved Rock scores lower on flexibility because they have a very strict, non-negotiable timeline. Ceremonies are at 5 pm, cocktails 5:30 and dinner at 7. The reception must be done by 11pm. However, our guests appreciated not having to wait around between the ceremony and the reception and the convenience of having both in the same place.

Most of our guests stayed at the lodge and were very comfortable. However, we did receive a few comments about cleanliness of guests rooms on arrival. Perhaps this was due to the rush on a holiday weekend at full capacity, but it is an area for improvement.

Overall, we are delighted with our experience at Starved Rock and wouldn't hesitate to recommend this wedding venue.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Lindsay
Wedding:
5/29/2011
4.7/5.0
My family had a long history with Starved Rock State Park before I ever decided to get married. In fact, during a visit to Starved Rock when I was 8, I informed my mother that this was where I would be getting married. Fourteen years later.... I got married at Starved Rock. It is an absolutely beautiful venue! The outside ceremony location is breathtaking. Due to weather, we moved inside the lodge for the ceremony, but I wasn't disappointed at all, because the Great Hall is equally as beautiful. The SR wedding coordinator we worked with was Jenny. She was quick to respond to our questions and give us any information we needed. The chef at SR was great, and was careful to prepare several specialty meals to suit the needs of sensitive guests. My only complaint is that Starved Rock is very inflexible in terms of setting up your wedding. The start time and end time are set for you and you absolutely cannot change them. After we fussed about it, they agreed to push back the reception by 15 minutes so we could do a receiving line. Their SAVING GRACE (in terms of flexibility) was this: I wanted my dog (who I grew up with) in the wedding. Outside, that wouldn't be a problem. However, dogs are NOT allowed in the lodge. When we had to switch the wedding inside, my mother explained to Jenny the importance of having the dog in the wedding. Jenny agreed to allow her inside for the before pictures and the ceremony. THANK YOU JENNY!
In conclusion, Starved Rock is a perfect place to have a wedding. It is so convenient for guests (and the wedding party!) since the hotel is right there. Additionally, many of my guests made it a whole weekend and explored Starved Rock. There is a pet resort nearby (Paws Here Pet Resort) and it is top-notch, so if you have any furry family members in the wedding, you are covered. :)
Services Used: Catering, Wedding Venue
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paula
Wedding:
3/18/2011
4.4/5.0
We got married on a Friday night in the Great Hall and it was perfect. If you get married on a Friday the food minimum is lower than a Saturday. All of our guests said the food was excellent. We loved that the staff did almost everything for us, so we could relax and enjoy our day.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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jdieter
Wedding:
5/7/2010
5.0/5.0
Starved Rock Lodge was the perfect setting for our wedding. Jill Jacobs and her staff at the lodge are so amazing. They made it so easy. I didn't have to worry about a thing. The value you get and the options avialble are fantastic. I don't think anyone had a better time than me at my own wedding because everything was taken care of by the great staff at the lodge.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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rmb3smom
Wedding:
4/24/2010
4.6/5.0
Margie was very accommodating, but there are a few things that I would have changed. I was not a fan of the fact that my guests had to rent their room for 2 nights. It made it way to expensive for many of them to stay there. I do have to say that the food was fantastic!!! They were very large portions as well. My guests were all very pleased.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Mlpsk8r
Wedding:
9/5/2009
4.9/5.0
We found Starved Rock by chance and fell in love the first time that we saw it. Jenny was our planner and she was wonderful to work with. We booked about one year and 3 months in advance.

We were excited and a little nervous for the tasting, because we were unsure of the quality of food that we would be getting. All nerves were gone by the end of the tasting, we chose the Chicken Florentine and the New York Strip and had a very difficult time narrowing down to those.

Joyce the baker on site, is absolutely amazing. Not only did she help me out in a bind the day of the wedding (i forgot the ribbon for the cake) but she made an exact replica of my husbands snare drum. He is a drummer and had a custom snare drum that he absolutely loves. She got every single detail down to a T. Amazing.

The day of the wedding was perfect. We had been planning an indoor wedding for a year and a half and then the night before decided to change to an outdoor because the weather was absolutely perfect. The Starved Rock staff was perfect in getting is set up and making sure that the guests were made aware of the change.

I have three situations for giving the quality of service a 4.5 out of 5, not because the service was bad, but it is an opportunity for improvement. One, the servers were serving cake and many of the guests had yet to get their dinner plates cleared. Rather then clearing then, they just pushed the dinner plates to the center of the table and set the cake down. My husband saw this and took care of it immediately. The staff then made one swoop to clear any remaining dinner plates before serving the cake.

Two, two of the guys on staff were rolling a table after the reception was over and rolled it into one of our tall center pieces, which then took a nose dive and broke and they did not say a thing to any body. Not a huge deal, but the center pieces could have easily been moved out of the way and I would not even have mentioned it in the review if they had said something to me about it.

Third, when we booked the room for our wedding night we were not told about rooms 111, 211 & 311. Though they are on the east (older) side of the lodge, they are more spacious then the west wing kings (they do have smaller bathrooms though). We ended up finding them at the Bridal Show in January and rebooked our room immediately.

Other then the minor things that i mentioned, Starved Rock is a beautiful setting for a rustic, elegant or any other style wedding. Very affordable with good service and responsiveness to go with. I can't wait to go back on our one year anniversary!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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ckelly4677
Wedding:
5/9/2009
4.4/5.0
Everyone was so great and our wedding was beautiful! We had an outdoor wedding and it was breathtaking. I couldn't have asked for a better location or day. The food was outstanding and my guests raved to me saying it was one of the best weddings they'd ever been to and that it was such a unique location.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Lizz
Wedding:
7/26/2008
4.1/5.0
Starved rock was a great place to have a wedding because everything is right there. It is absolutely gorgeous and there is so much for your guests to do and see.
Services Used: Wedding Cake, Catering, Rentals & Photobooths, Wedding Venue
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T
Wedding:
10/26/2007
4.7/5.0
We would not change a thing out our wedding at Starved Rock. The assistance professionalism that we received were outstanding and it did not go unnoticed by our guests. The cake was gorgeous and all of the food was excellent, not at all the bland wedding food that most venues serve. I can't say enough good things!!

As the previous reviewer pointed out, all receptions must end promptly at 11:00. We also would have liked to have had a longer reception. However, they made a point of keeping the bar open late and we all just moved there to continue the party!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Sara
Wedding:
12/10/2006
4.7/5.0
The minute I walked into the lodge, I knew that I had to get married by the big stone fireplace. We wanted a December wedding, and it was the perfect time of year. Jill Jacobs is so amazing. She made planning my wedding fun - not stressful. The food was incredible. The cake (made by their pastry chef) was beautiful and very delicious. Everyone still talks about how much fun they had at our wedding. As other reviewers have noted, they are very strict about the timing of the weddings. That didn't bother me so much, but It can be a deal breaker for some people. I look forward to bringing my children to the lodge to show them where "mommy and daddy got married".
Services Used: Wedding Cake, Wedding Venue
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Dana
Wedding:
8/26/2006
4.5/5.0
We loved having our wedding at Starved Rock, as it is where we got engaged. Our guests loved the unique location. Everything went smoothly on our wedding day. The food was great, and people are still talking about how awesome our wedding cake was (a cupcake cake). The value was great - we had a [relatively] inexpensive wedding, mainly because of Starved Rock's reasonable prices.

We also booked our transportation through the Lodge. Everything went smooth as can be with that as well! The trolley was a cute alternative to the typical limo.

The only thing I would have liked better is if the reception could have gone later than 11:00 - but the hall backs up to sleeping rooms, so they have a policy that the DJ must stop at 11:00.
Services Used: Wedding Cake, Catering, Transportation, Wedding Venue

DEALS

Winter Wonderland Special
Print Deal
Redeem In-Store  
Book your wedding during the months of January, February and March and receive special savings! Call us at 800-868-7625 for details.
Deal #WW853424398dd8012d
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MAP

 
Route 71 & Route 178, Utica, IL 61373 See On Map
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