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First off, let me be clear - I am NOT the bride. I was a bridesmaid! However, this is my 6th wedding as party of a bridal party, so I have LOTS to compare this one to!
Starved Rock's Lodge is a gorgeous space, with a homey, rustic feel - it is perfect for those in love with the outdoors, but can also be decorated to appeal to those with a more traditional taste. In short, the space is flexible & functional.
Throughout the day, the staff was incredible helpful, available, and ready to roll with anything that came up or that we unexpectedly needed. NO ONE, not a SINGLE person, rolled an eye or made us feel like we were putting them out. THAT, in and of itself, is KEY to this review. This was the FIRST time I have been part of a wedding in which I did not experience even one person acting rude or inconvenienced by a paying couple's requests or contracted rights. No joke, everyone was kind. EVERYONE. That just does NOT happen. It made the day that much more beautiful, easy-going, and enjoyable.
On to food & drink - I always say that "As long as the food isn't terrible, people won't care to complain. It just has to be acceptable - especially if the bar is open." Well, Starved Rock delivered again. The bartender & bartendress were friendly & warm, had no problem pouring doubles or giving you more than one drink at dinner call or last call, and were even willing to go grab the groom's favorite liquor from the main bar. For dinner, I had the Chicken Tuscany, and I was expecting average at best, but no - there was flavor! The meat was tender! The green beans were crisp! Twice-baked potato? Gorgeously piped AND yummy! The only downside? I ate EVERYTHING, so there wasn't as much room as I would like for booze. (Don't fret, I managed).
I cannot say enough about this venue, especially the staff. You will not regret your decision to celebrate your marriage, or any event for that matter, at Starved Rock.
Very helpful and professional
Absolutely excellent! They did so much for me on the actual day of the wedding, I couldn't have done it with out them. I worked closely with Margie, who kept me informed of everything and reminded me of due dates for payments, etc. Absolutely AMAZING!!!
Absolutely amazing! My husband and I were married here 12/12/14 and our experience was flawless! Jenny was fantastic about coordinating every last detail of our event and was even gracious enough to let me use her computer and printer when we had a placecard emergency. Our dinner was delicious (we had the Chicken Tuscany and Sicilian Pesto). Every guest complimented the food and the fantastic bar and staff. The entire staff, including the wait staff and bartenders were extemely attentive and helpful. I would recommend Starved Rock to anyone looking for the perfect venue for their wedding.
I had my wedding at Starved Rock Lodge on 11/15/14 and had an amazing experience! Since vendor reviews were so helpful to me when I was planning my wedding, I wanted to provide some information about Staved Rock to potential future brides.
- Unique and beautiful venue! Only one of my 160+ guests had ever attended a wedding ceremony & reception at Starved Rock! I loved that my guests had their "first" wedding experience there with me!
- Affordable! My fully-hosted bar (with keg beer, wine and hard liquor), appetizers, full meal AND Cake was approximately $65 per person (before tax and gratuity). In addition, there are not any separate rental fees for linens or dishes...everything was included! Starved Rock did have multiple options when it came to pricing, so you can definitely modify it to suit your budget.
- Food! The food was amazing! I had read a few reviews on Starved Rock before booking, and almost everyone commented on the food. I was thrilled at our menu tasting, and more importantly, the day of the wedding! In addition to how good it tasted, Chef Bear was great at customizing the menu and offering a vegan/gluten-free option for guests that needed it.
For reference, we served New York Strip, Chicken Italiano and Pasta Aja (a Thai Peanut Stir-Fry). The appetizers were fantastic, too! Bacon-wrapped filet with stilton, jumbo shrimp cocktail, caprese skewers, international cheese & crackers and fresh fruit, Several guests told me that it was the best food that they had ever had at a wedding!
The Wedding Cake by the on-site pastry chef (Chef Mo) tasted amazing! We customized each layer for no additional charge! I am still getting compliments! :o)
- Responsive and helpful event planner! EVERY e-mail and phone call was answered within the same day...most within an hour! As a stressed bride, this was a HUGE relief to me!
Check out Starved Rock...I am so happy I did!!! I was lucky to get a Saturday night, as dates go fast!
Starved Rock was the perfect venue for us. They were very helpful and nice and took care of everything we needed. The fact that they have preferred before they work with, along with a bridal show to meet all of them at made everything that much better. Everything was perfect for our special day.
Starved Rock Lodge is an outstanding location to get married!! Our sales consultant, Tiffany, was wonderful to work with! Chef Bear and the staff are absolutely amazing! Starved Rock Lodge provides 5-star service and food, at an affordable rate. I would recommend this vendor to anyone!
They were wonderful. Our wedding went off without a hitch. Everything went smoothly. They worked well with our vendors.
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.
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!
Everything was wonderful start to finish. Our wedding coordinator Tiffany made the planning process so much less stressful and was always ten steps ahead of me! The food tasting was great and I was thrilled when the food was even better the day of if that's possible. Head chef Bear works with you and tweaked some items when we couldn't decide between one or two things. We had cupcakes made by Mo, and people are still telling me how amazing they where 4 months later. The day went so smooth (and if it didn't I had no clue). The entire banquet staff was so polite and attentive and always had smiles on their faces. The transitions through the evening where so seamless. We are so thrilled we picked Starved Rock for our special day! Everyone commented on how unique and beautiful it was. We feel we picked the perfect venue!!!
We had such a great experience at starved rock! Jenny was our coordinator and she was awesome! Every email and phone call were responded to quickly and they were very accomidating! The good and cake were amazing too! I would highly reccomend starved rock lodge!
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!!!
The most beautiful wedding that I've ever been to. My daughter chose Starved Rock in memory of her father and it couldn't have been a more perfect place to have a summer wedding. The outdoor ceremony was breath taking and the reception hall was everything she had dreamed of. It was a perfect day and everything went without a hitch.
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.
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!