Believe it or not, February is National Weddings Month. Whether you are hosting a wedding in February or getting ready to plan a wedding for another date, ILLINOISouth has a wide array of amazing options to celebrate the occasion.
REGENCY CONFERENCE CENTER, O’FALLON
If you are looking at inviting a lot of people, one of the largest spaces in ILLINOISouth can be found at the Regency Conference Center in O’Fallon. The 20,000 square foot convention center can be used as a whole or broken down into smaller spaces to meet specific needs. The Regency has catering on-site and of the many stories that guests have shared about the venue, the one constant is the quality of the staff.
FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON, FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS
Another popular event space in St. Clair County can be found at the Four Points by Sheraton in Fairview Heights. This facility boasts 10,000 square feet worth of flexible space at the Fountains Conference Center, which is attached to the hotel.
The City of Belleville has a plethora of options for event space to fit any number of needs. The Belle-Clair Fairgrounds & Expo Center usually specializes in large events like train show, RV and Camper shows, and flea markets, but they have a ton of space if you’re needing it for a large wedding. Elsewhere in Belleville, the St. Clair County Event Center boasts over 28,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space and has played host to everything from swap meets to concerts and performances – it’s another venue that would be for those large crowds. For smaller gatherings, Bellecourt Place and Bellecourt Manor are great. Bellecourt Place seats 25-150 guests and is in a historic church! Bellecourt Manor seats up to 300 which features an adjoining bar, lobby, and library that can be used in a variety of ways.
OLDE WICKS FACTORY, HIGHLAND
Aside from the always reliable conference centers, there are also several other venues spread throughout ILLINOISouth that provide their own unique flavor. Some of these event spaces specialize in weddings, and book months or even years in advance! There is a one-stop shop for a wedding venue, and reception hall all in one can be found at the Olde Wicks Factory in Highland. This is a huge facility that can host outdoor weddings, as well as indoor ceremonies. Olde Wicks used to be Wicks Pipe Organ Company where you guessed it, pipe organs were produced. Now the building features three different halls, an awesome cocktail area, suites for the bride and groom, a huge patio – and an overall AMAZING experience.
The City of Columbia has become a beacon for wedding parties as well because it is home to two great venues. Main Street Abbey in Columbia is truly a sight to behold. “Main Street Abbey is an absolutely gorgeous space,” admits Ian Dahlstrom. “The high vaulted ceiling and arches, the magnificent stone structure, and the splendid terrace are all picture-perfect locations. We booked Main Street Abbey as our reception venue as soon as we saw it without visiting any other venues. Our photographers also loved every angle of it and the pictures we got were beautiful. The venue seriously speaks for itself,” Dahlstrom adds. The Falls Reception & Conference Center is the other venue in Columbia that is fantastic for weddings. True to its name, The Falls features a 25-foot waterfall which is the perfect background for the perfect day. There are also several areas to choose from when hosting a reception after the ceremony!
CASTLE RIDGE, CENTRALIA
One of the newest venues of the group can be found in Centralia, and it is unique in so many ways. First, Castle Ridge is exactly how the name sounds - the façade is the shape of a castle. This facility hosts wedding ceremonies and receptions on the same site! Second, Castle Ridge is more than just a wedding space. Not only do they have accommodations for corporate meetings and events, but they also pride themselves on food. Castle Ridge boasts three different restaurants, all with different offerings. So even if you’re not attending an event, you can still head to Castle Ridge for an amazing meal – including one at their rooftop restaurant.
If you have an interest in hosting an event in a barn, there are actually a few of facilities in ILLINOISouth that can take care of that for you! The Barn at New Leaf in Lawrenceville is a rustic yet elegant escape from other event venues. It features hardwood beams and wine bottle chandeliers with enough seating inside to accommodate 150 people, but there is also a wonderful outdoor area as well. The Big Red Barn is the other venue that offers up a lovely country atmosphere and rustic charm, which is perfect for reunions, weddings, banquets, and other events. The facility is in McLeansboro and features a covered bridge, which is a very popular spot for pictures. Another popular barn venue can be found in Monroe County! Sugar Spring Ranch has TWO locations, a barn that they’re rebuilding near Columbia, and Sugar Springs South in Waterloo. Each can accommodate 300 guests and provides a farm-inspired dream wedding experience.
WILLOW CREEK VENUE, WAYNE COUNTY
Not far from McLeansboro there is another event venue that has become very well known for beautiful weddings. Willow Creek Venue sits south of Fairfield on Route 45, and although they host an array of events, weddings are their specialty. This newly renovated facility sits on 50 acres, with 15 acres open to the venue. There are inside and outside areas available for wedding ceremonies and receptions but let us not forget about the Bridal Suite and the Grooms Room – two awesome areas for people to get ready for the big day!
FIFE OPERA HOUSE, PALESTINE
The oldest and most historic venue of this group resides in Palestine. The Fife Opera House is an authentically restored theatre that was in operation until 1912 and has since been renovated and is now used for everything from engagement parties to tiny tea parties. There is no question that if there is a wedding, a party, a reunion, or any other type of gathering – ILLINOISouth has the venue for you!
For more information on many other venues, visit ILLINOISouth.org/Meet/Meeting-and-Banquet-Facilities.