Illinois is as diverse as the United States itself, with Chicago being the cultural hub of the north while the more southern parts boast agricultural wonder. Dubbed both the Land of Lincoln and the Prairie State, weddings in Illinois come in all themes, sizes, and services. Rich with culture, history, and Midwestern charm, this large, centralized area can accommodate any budget, wish list, and event specifications.
Illinois is commonly regionalized as two parts: Chicago and “everything else.” Urban weddings can feature skyline views from floors well in the double digits, as well as lakeside or river views for spectacular entertaining. Rural options have rustic, humbled charm for escapist retreats and sprawling natural backgrounds.
Downtown Chicago has far and wide the most wedding venue options, as well as the most diverse selection of services from design to food. The Chicago Suburbs also boast an exceptional selection with similar themes and styles. Central Illinois and Southern Illinois offer both minimalism and extravagance in pastoral surroundings in addition to more urban environments with the likes of Peoria and Springfield.
The Windy City is a world famous destination for any and all events, and weddings are no exception. Downtown Chicago may be the priciest option, but the quality is of a level close to unrivaled. With historic venues unchanged since the golden age of American romanticism, complete with sweeping ballrooms with ornate high-hanging chandeliers and luxury services, the day will turn into night in a truly unforgettable way. Lake Michigan can also be the backdrop, with bed and breakfast styling and lawn seating for a getaway feel without leaving the downtown area.
Evanston, Rockford, Glen Ellyn, Oak Brook, Oak Park, Orland Park, Lombard, Barrington, the list goes on and on when it comes to the number of Chicago Suburbs. Each a great choice in their own right, country club and ballrooms with banquet halls create the perfect balance of city and country ingredients. Natural landscapes alongside contemporary luxury services, accommodations, and venue spaces make Chicago Suburbs a twist on Downtown and a change of pace from the southern prairie.
Antique décor and ranch estates provide an awe-inspiring collaboration of old-world meets new. Central Illinois can provide the outdoor chapel atmosphere in historically significant spaces, as well as resort-style amenities that feel like a slice of Downtown Chicago. Whether it be Springfield, the state capital, or Galena, Sycamore, Rockford, Monticello, Chapin, Champaign, or any of the cities that make up the heart of the state, Central Illinois is always brimming with exciting possibility.
Southern Illinois’s largest city is Peoria, which features hotel ballrooms and banquet halls on top of rural settings. The latter becomes even more common when couples book venues in Troy, Mt. Vernon, Homewood, Effingham, Columbia, and Carbondale, other notorious wedding hotspots. Celebrate true love under an enormous and ornate gazebo, in front of a trickling waterfall, or surrounded by a vineyard that offers an exclusive wine selection.
Wedding Venue Prices in Illinois
Illinois boasts all of the seasons in the most impressive fashion, so the peak times for prices and availability are standard to that of other northern states. The most popular times of year are June, August, September, and October, while discounts, more venue availability, and special deals can be found in December, January, February, and March. November, April, and May can still have cold days, while July has a reputation for sweltering heat, putting them right in the middle.
The average cost of a wedding in Central and Southern Illinois comes in at around $150 per guest. In the Chicago Suburbs, this increases a bit to around $200 per guest, while you can expect to pay around $300 to $400 per guest in Downtown Chicago.
The initial cost of the wedding will also be subject to sales tax. The Illinois sales tax is 6.25%, but the city of Chicago’s sales tax is 10.25%. Service fees are normally at the standard 21% rate.
Information and Resources for Weddings in Illinois
When applying for an Illinois marriage license, you will only need a valid ID (Drivers License, Birth Certificate, Passport, Military ID).
The marriage license fee is $60 in cash in Cook County (Chicago), and $35 cash in the majority of its other counties. The waiting period is only the next calendar day and there is no residency requirement.