Recommended by 97%
16 User photos
Rachel · Married on 08/30/2015
Everyone loved our ceremony and reception site! (My mom had her wedding here too!) We were very happy with our choice and it was a beautiful location and we had perfect weather. It's a very busy place, but the staff made it seem like you were the only wedding going on. The food was awesome and the cake was amazing. The drinks were strong too. If people needed something to do, they could hike or go to the bar (which was fun), swim in the pool, or stay in their rooms. I think if you're looking for an all-in-one place, Starved Rock is great! It was in the middle for both our families to travel. I would choose them again and again. Jenny was very responsive and and on top of everything.Sent on 10/04/2015
Kristy · Married on 11/15/2014
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.Sent on 12/23/2014
- 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!
Brittany · Married on 08/23/2014
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.Sent on 09/02/2014
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!
Jen · Married on 11/24/2013
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.Sent on 12/08/2013
Maura · Married on 10/11/2013
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.Sent on 10/23/2013
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!!!
Mindy · Married on 10/07/2011
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.Sent on 10/25/2011
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.
Sharon · Married on 08/08/2015
Everything about this venue is amazing! Not a single thing went wrong on the big day and planning was simple.Sent on 09/23/2015
Laura · Married on 11/05/2011
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!Sent on 11/29/2011
Lindsay · Married on 05/29/2011
My family had a long history with Starved Rock State Park before I ever decided to get married. In fact, during a visit to Starved Rock when I was 8, I informed my mother that this was where I would be getting married. Fourteen years later.... I got married at Starved Rock. It is an absolutely beautiful venue! The outside ceremony location is breathtaking. Due to weather, we moved inside the lodge for the ceremony, but I wasn't disappointed at all, because the Great Hall is equally as beautiful. The SR wedding coordinator we worked with was Jenny. She was quick to respond to our questions and give us any information we needed. The chef at SR was great, and was careful to prepare several specialty meals to suit the needs of sensitive guests. My only complaint is that Starved Rock is very inflexible in terms of setting up your wedding. The start time and end time are set for you and you absolutely cannot change them. After we fussed about it, they agreed to push back the reception by 15 minutes so we could do a receiving line. Their SAVING GRACE (in terms of flexibility) was this: I wanted my dog (who I grew up with) in the wedding. Outside, that wouldn't be a problem. However, dogs are NOT allowed in the lodge. When we had to switch the wedding inside, my mother explained to Jenny the importance of having the dog in the wedding. Jenny agreed to allow her inside for the before pictures and the ceremony. THANK YOU JENNY!Sent on 06/28/2011
In conclusion, Starved Rock is a perfect place to have a wedding. It is so convenient for guests (and the wedding party!) since the hotel is right there. Additionally, many of my guests made it a whole weekend and explored Starved Rock. There is a pet resort nearby (Paws Here Pet Resort) and it is top-notch, so if you have any furry family members in the wedding, you are covered. :)
T · Married on 10/26/2007
We would not change a thing out our wedding at Starved Rock. The assistance professionalism that we received were outstanding and it did not go unnoticed by our guests. The cake was gorgeous and all of the food was excellent, not at all the bland wedding food that most venues serve. I can't say enough good things!!Sent on 01/23/2008
As the previous reviewer pointed out, all receptions must end promptly at 11:00. We also would have liked to have had a longer reception. However, they made a point of keeping the bar open late and we all just moved there to continue the party!
Sara · Married on 12/10/2006
The minute I walked into the lodge, I knew that I had to get married by the big stone fireplace. We wanted a December wedding, and it was the perfect time of year. Jill Jacobs is so amazing. She made planning my wedding fun - not stressful. The food was incredible. The cake (made by their pastry chef) was beautiful and very delicious. Everyone still talks about how much fun they had at our wedding. As other reviewers have noted, they are very strict about the timing of the weddings. That didn't bother me so much, but It can be a deal breaker for some people. I look forward to bringing my children to the lodge to show them where "mommy and daddy got married".Sent on 12/29/2011
Debra · Married on 07/13/2019
It was just the rustic setting the bride & groom wanted. Everyone liked that it was something different and beautiful. If the weather wouldn't have been hot & humid, it would have been perfect and we could have enjoyed the scenery more.Sent on 07/31/2019
danielle · Married on 09/02/2016
I live in the Chicagoland area. So from that aspect it was difficult trying to plan things with not always being able to see the venue. But the staff was very helpful in helping in any way that they could.Sent on 11/16/2016
There was something's I wish I could change like the schedule like having the ceremony start at 530. One due to we had to set up ourselves and then do photos prior to the ceremony. But second due to everyone was having to come from Chicago for our wedding.
Overall we had an amazing wedding atStarvedRock and all of our families enjoyed it!
User2858858 · 2+ years ago
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!Sent on 07/21/2013
Ann · Married on 07/03/2011
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.Sent on 08/29/2011
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.
Riann · Married on 04/24/2010
Margie was very accommodating, but there are a few things that I would have changed. I was not a fan of the fact that my guests had to rent their room for 2 nights. It made it way to expensive for many of them to stay there. I do have to say that the food was fantastic!!! They were very large portions as well. My guests were all very pleased.Sent on 07/01/2010
Dana · Married on 08/26/2006
We loved having our wedding at Starved Rock, as it is where we got engaged. Our guests loved the unique location. Everything went smoothly on our wedding day. The food was great, and people are still talking about how awesome our wedding cake was (a cupcake cake). The value was great - we had a [relatively] inexpensive wedding, mainly because of Starved Rock's reasonable prices.Sent on 11/06/2007
We also booked our transportation through the Lodge. Everything went smooth as can be with that as well! The trolley was a cute alternative to the typical limo.
The only thing I would have liked better is if the reception could have gone later than 11:00 - but the hall backs up to sleeping rooms, so they have a policy that the DJ must stop at 11:00.
Rachel · Married on 08/24/2013
Starved Rock itself is set in a beautiful location and the sales team does everything they can to provide couples the weddings of their dreams. Our wedding was elegant with a vintage-rustic feel. The best day of our lives for sure. My complaints are few but will be noted: the reservation desk was difficult to deal with. When our guests would call in to make their reservation many were told there was no "Gagliano/Nichols" wedding, or they were told there were no rooms left so they would have to stay somewhere else. We talked to Margie about it and she made sure the issue was corrected (and it was). The day of the wedding my bridesmaids and I were up on the third floor in the Hennepin room getting ready. I advised the front desk that 2 photogs and 1 videographer would be showing up between 10-11 and to send to Hennepin room. When they arrived the front desk would not tell them where to go. It was about 11:30 and I sent my MOH down to try to find them. Sure enough there they were completely lost because the front desk reps would not assist. Other then these two situations we had such an amazing weekend and are beyond pleased with our venue choice!Sent on 08/29/2013
paula · Married on 03/18/2011
We got married on a Friday night in the Great Hall and it was perfect. If you get married on a Friday the food minimum is lower than a Saturday. All of our guests said the food was excellent. We loved that the staff did almost everything for us, so we could relax and enjoy our day.Sent on 04/05/2011
Carolyn · Married on 05/09/2009
Everyone was so great and our wedding was beautiful! We had an outdoor wedding and it was breathtaking. I couldn't have asked for a better location or day. The food was outstanding and my guests raved to me saying it was one of the best weddings they'd ever been to and that it was such a unique location.Sent on 05/11/2009
Lizz · Married on 07/26/2008
Starved rock was a great place to have a wedding because everything is right there. It is absolutely gorgeous and there is so much for your guests to do and see.Sent on 08/27/2008
Chloe · Married on 04/18/2014
This is an amazing location for photos! Highly suggest this location! Just make sure the coordinator stays to coordinate with the rest of the wedding.. and tell the photographer ( me) what is going on, what is happening next, not on her phone or looking off into space before the ceremony.... and not walking in front of my brides entrance photos and forgetting the knifes for the cutting of the cake...ekkk that was by far my worst experience with a coordinator... we have been doing this for many many years to give you an idea.Sent on 09/02/2016