The Armour House at Lake Forest Academy is an absolutely beautiful venue to hold a wedding ceremony and reception! It made us feel as though we were in a fairy tale. We had the ceremony in the outdoor gardens, the cocktail hour was on the outdoor patio, and the reception was indoors inside the mansion itself. The whole affair felt like a fancy dinner party with different parts of the night occurring in different settings/rooms of the grounds/house. The main dinner reception was in the Great Hall complete with a gorgeous marble staircase where my bridal party and my husband and I walked down when we were introduced. We had a buffett which was in a separate room. The dancing was held in the Garden Room adjacent to the Great Hall. Coffee and after-dinner desserts were held in the Library. Our event was completely private and we had the whole grounds and mansion to ourselves.
Grace and Julie (the event managers) were extremely hospitable and very helpful during the whole wedding planning process. They were very flexible in helping us to modify our buffett menu items to suit our tastes. I had some cultural traditions that I had wanted to incorporate into the wedding and Grace and Julie were able to accomodate my needs/wants as best as they could (I am Vietnamese and part of my tradition was to have bottles of cognac at each table and during our table meet and greets, the groom is supposed to take shots of cognac with the guests at each table - We weren't allowed to have the cognac at each and every table but we were allowed to have a server follow us around to the tables that we wanted to partake in this tradition which was a fair trade-off). They both were very prompt with answers to any questions/comments/concerns that we had during the wedding planning process. They both were very easily reached by telephone or email and made time available if a personal meeting was required.
The food was absolutely delicious! We had chef-carved beef tenderloin, garlic shrimp, baked salmon, and various pasta dishes as part of our buffett. My guests raved about the food. The cake was to die for! The Armour House has their cakes done by Rolf's Patisserie and their cakes are absolutely amazing! They have many designs to choose from and will work with you to suit your tastes/preferences. There were 2 bars - one outside on the patio and another inside in the Garden Room where the dancing was. This was great because there was never a line for people to wait in for drinks.
Overall, I would have my wedding at the Armour House again in a heartbeat! The ambience, the staff, the food, everything was absolutely fabulous!
I had the wedding of my dreams at the Armour House. Actually, it was so much better than anything I ever imagined. People kept coming up to me all night saying "This is the most seamless wedding I have ever been to! Has anything gone wrong at all?" And to my knowledge, nothing did! Grace is committed to detail, and as long as you have your act together, you will love working with her. If you are not an organized person, I could imagine that you might have some issues. But, for us, it was an incredible experience. I would recommend this to anyone and everyone!
What a beautiful place to have your reception. The grounds are absolutely beautiful. Grace, who coordinates the weddings, is so amazing to work with. She takes care of so many of the details and is great to work with. Anything that we wanted she made happen and she was there the entire night taking care of everything.
The planning process was a bit loose in my opinion, and as such, the coordinator had to ask me many of the same questions Id already gone over with her or put in writing. Details of set-up and small day of stuff was missed in my opinion. For instance, she didnt put out some of things Id bought and requested to be put out for our guests.. They didnt have ushers at the front directing people around to the back of the house and consequently people marched right through the reception area. Also, bathroom signs should have been posted including the downstairs one so guests werent coming upstairs moments before me and my bridal party were going to walk or primping. Also, she had to come up to me at dinner and ask where the vegetarian cards went since I failed to write the table name inside BUT I did have a master document which she obviously didnt read. It was all small stuff like that, BUT the food and service were excellent and we got many compliments on the food and the House itself. Id definitely recommend it, but get your own coordinator.
I absolutely loved The Armour House at the Lake Forest Academy. My husband had attended the high school there so it had sentimental value to marry there. We married in January in the dead of winter, so they gave us a wonderful discount and were so incredibly flexible when it came to the alcohol package, so we could stay in our budget (though I wouldn't expect it in their high season). It's a beautiful, classy venue with a stunning long-winding road to the mansion. Another big sell: it's main staircase, which I walked down into my ceremony in pure candlelight. It was a lovely, dramatic entrance. The staff there was excellent, the food was amazing, and the service impeccable. There is also a stunning garden and lake in the back, which is great for photos and a cozy 2nd floor for the wedding party to get ready in.
I don't know if they've changed it, but I wouldn't recommend using their house sound system. The room is rather long for a ceremony, so the people in the back couldn't really hear the sermon (which was so beautiful and profound). I would definitely use a DJ's sound system, if possible.
Lindsey Ryan Design
What a breathtaking ceremony and reception site!
Everything you could imagine and more for your special day--perfect setting, amazing photo opportunities, delicious food, event coordinator who is amazing, and the charming elegance of Armour House. Highly recommended!