Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center
Route 71 & Route 178
Utica, IL 61373  | map
Services: Bridal Shower, Ceremony, Engagement Party, Reception
Catering: Offered in-house
Maximum capacity: 200
 
 
 
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4.8 out of 5.0
4.8
out of 5.0
Quality of Service:
 (4.9/5.0)
Responsiveness:
 (4.9/5.0)
Professionalism:
 (4.9/5.0)
Value:
 (4.8/5.0)
Flexibility:
 (4.4/5.0)
 
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4.9 out of 5.0
4.9/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  4.5
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  5.0

Private User 2 Reviews
Starved Rock is a beautiful setting for an outdoor wedding. Tiffany and Jenny worked together to ensure everything ran smoothly. The cake, appetizers and dinner were perfect also. Wait staff was very attentive and courteous. Very happy with the overall service and how well it was organized. Only glitch was that the road leading to the lodge was closed that day due to downed trees. The lodge staff was unaware of this and a lot of my guests got lost because they were not familiar with the back entrance. Park staff should have notified the lodge of the road closing. Even though this was not the lodge's fault, there needs to be better communication between the park staff and the lodge. Detour signs should have been posted.
Wedding: Recently Married
Services Used: Wedding Cake, Catering, Ceremony & Reception Venue
4.8 out of 5.0
4.8/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  4.0

Brittany 1 Reviews
We were so lucky to have secured a date for our wedding at Starved Rock having jumped on an early cancellation, and we could not have picked a better location. Margie was our wedding consultant, and she provided us constant guidance throughout the past year as we went through the planning process. Even when she did take some well deserved time off, Tiffany and others were available to answer questions so there was hardly ever a delay in the process.

We found the venue to be a great balance between having a unique rustic location and incorporating traditional elements of a wedding. The Lodge does have a pretty standardized setup so if you are really looking to create everything from scratch, this may be too limiting, but for us it turned out to be a very happy medium. We worked with a few of the local vendors from their preferred list and we were very satisfied with their services as well. We are so grateful to the Starved Rock staff for making our wedding an amazing success!
Wedding: 08/23/2014
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
5.0 out of 5.0
5.0/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  5.0
The Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center is the best place to have a wedding ceremony and reception!!! The staff is very quick to respond to my calls and emails....They made sure our day was perfect!!!
Wedding: 06/29/2014
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
5.0 out of 5.0
5.0/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  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.
Wedding: 05/03/2014
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
5.0 out of 5.0
5.0/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  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!
Wedding: 05/02/2014
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
5.0 out of 5.0
5.0/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  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.
Wedding: 02/22/2014
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
5.0 out of 5.0
5.0/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  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!
Wedding: 12/14/2013
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
4.8 out of 5.0
4.8/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  4.5
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  4.5
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.
Wedding: 11/24/2013
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
4.8 out of 5.0
4.8/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  4.0
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!!!
Wedding: 10/11/2013
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
4.6 out of 5.0
4.6/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  4.5
  • Responsiveness:  4.5
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  4.0

Private User 6 Reviews
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!
Wedding: 1+ year ago
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
5.0 out of 5.0
5.0/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  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.
Wedding: 10/05/2012
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
5.0 out of 5.0
5.0/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  5.0

Anonymous 5 Reviews
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.
Wedding: 2+ years ago
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
5.0 out of 5.0
5.0/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  5.0

Bethany 2 Reviews
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!
Wedding: 11/06/2011
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
4.7 out of 5.0
4.7/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  3.5

Private User 5 Reviews
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!
Wedding: 2+ years ago
Services Used: Catering, Ceremony & Reception Venue
4.8 out of 5.0
4.8/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  4.0
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.
Wedding: 10/07/2011
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
4.6 out of 5.0
4.6/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  4.5
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  3.5
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.

Wedding: 07/03/2011
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
 815-220-7332
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