The Inside Scoop
FROM THE KNOT EDITORS
The First Look
If you're planning a wedding in Champaign, Illinois, the Events at Refinery is something out of the ordinary, a unique venue for your reception. Located on a quiet tree-lined street west of the University of Chicago campus, Events at Refinery is a hidden gem, away from the hustle and bustle of downtown.
The soaring brick facade has a distinctly modern feel with a pitched roof silhouette, sculpted metal balconies, white pillars and geometric glass sculptures. There's plenty of parking and a discreet back entrance that protects your guests from traffic and pedestrians.
Banquet Hall. When you book your wedding at Events at Refinery, you have exclusive use of the venue. The banquet hall offers over 7,000 square feet of flexible event space featuring a highly polished maple hardwood floor that complements any wedding style and decor. There's also a one-of-a-kind, built-in sculpted, curved metal bar tucked into a nook with matching curved ceiling, an edgy oasis for your guests to mingle and enjoy a cocktail. The banquet hall also features modern light fixtures and banks of striking floor-to-ceiling windows with elegant draperies for evening events. The chic neutral furnishings and palette work equally well with a posh black-tie affair or a casual buffet reception.
Events at Refinery is a blank canvas you can design to create your ideal wedding. Although most couples choose it as a reception venue, it can be arranged to accommodate an indoor ceremony as well, with natural flow for cocktails, dinner and dancing afterward. Your event coordinator helps you create digital mock-ups showing you the different ways you can organize the space to suit your taste and celebration objectives. Events at Refinery can accommodate any wedding size, from an intimate event for 50 to a gala for 400.
What You Should Know
Reserving the venue requires a signed contract and a nonrefundable deposit. Your wedding package includes unlimited meetings and phone calls with your event coordinator, who literally handles every detail so your day is stress-free and beautiful. You also get a day-of coordinator to keep your reception running smoothly.
The staff handles all your decorating and post-event take down and cleanup; you just need to bring in your decorations the week of your wedding with instructions for display and the staff takes care of the rest. Your decorations are packaged for you to pick up the next business day.
All alcoholic beverages must be purchased through Events at Refinery and it provides bartending staff and glassware. Bar packages can be customized to suit your needs, including choice of spirits and custom cocktails. Other than bar packages, you are free to choose your own wedding professionals from the list of preferred vendors for all your outside services. Your reception can last until 2 a.m. at Events at Refinery, giving you a couple extra hours to celebrate with your guests.
Take advantage of these extra perks to make your Events at Refinery wedding celebration even more special:
- Host your rehearsal dinner; your coordinator helps you create a magical custom event
- Take advantage of special hotel partnerships to arrange accommodations and transportation for your guests
- Ramp up your decorations with custom-colored Chinese lanterns and dramatic uplighting
From the Vendor
Not just memorable... Unforgettable!
The difference between memorable and unforgettable is in the details. The staff at Events at Refinery knows that the details are what set them apart. Our ballroom features wall-to-wall maple floors, floor-to-ceiling windows, a gorgeous built-in bar, and space for nearly 500 seated guests.
Amenities + Details
For more details about amenities, please message the Venue.
$$ – Affordable
Bar + Drinks, Planning, Rentals + Equipment, Service Staff
Refinery WeddingReviewed on 5/10/2014 Kelly K
Wonderful. Michelle Murphy was efficient, inviting, kind, super fun to work with, and extremely classy + accommodating. You know it's a wonderful atmosphere, when those who work for the environment/venue are as near as the attendees. We had both the ceremony and reception at the Refinery, and it was a huge win for multiple reasons. I suggest it! Thanks so much to Michelle and to the Refinery in Champaign, IL. It was my first choice from the beginning, and there was never a comparison made to any other location or service which caused me to waver. Truly awesome. We are glad for you!
More than we ever dreamed of!Reviewed on 11/26/2013 Sabra B
We could not be happier with our experience hosting out Wedding Reception at The Refinery. Through out entire planning process of one year, Michelle and the entire team was readily accessible and helpful- even with my demanding work schedule out of town. When the week of the wedding came, The Refinery eased my nerves the day we dropped off our massive amount of decorations. It felt amazing that the weight was off of my shoulders and I had complete trust that they would make everything look perfect. AND THEY DID! Not only that, they made sure that all vendors were in place and everything was up to their and our standards. We were completely in awe of the decorations, service, bar service, and overall quality of our reception and could not have imagine a more amazing night. The Refinery ensure everyone was happy, from our grandparents to the rowdy bridal party! We highly recommend Michelle and the entire refinery staff (the bar tenders are awesome too!!!) and will continue to recommend them to all of our family and friends planning weddings and events!
Wonderful experienceReviewed on 6/07/2013 Sonia V
The Refinery helped guide us through the reception planning step by step. they were willing and able to help us create the reception we desired. The reception was beautiful and the service excellent. The Refinery banquet area is very classy on its own so didn't need extensive decorating. They helped make our day enjoyable and relaxing
I booked this location for my wedding reception 18 months before the date of the event. I checked many times to make sure the date was free, and was informed each time it was. When I went in saw the place, it was okay. It was really the package that made it seem like a good deal. I put my deposit down the day I saw the place to save the date (the date was very important to me and my fiancée). My check was cashed and I thought I could relax for a bit. However, I was informed a month later that the date “accidently” got double booked and when I was told the situation would be resolved by Friday. I did not hear back that Friday and was not informed until I contacted them, that I was just out of luck for that date. Trying to get my deposit back was another hassle. All in all, this was an extremely frustrating and disappointing experience, and I would never recommended this place to anyone.
Chose not to go with the venue, not great serviceReviewed on 10/12/2014
I had really high hopes for this venue since my hometown is Champaign-Urbana, and was excited to see that it was within my total wedding budget. I had heard and read great reviews, and even was impressed when talking with their preferred caterer. I was so sure I'd go with Events at Refinery. ...Then came my on-site visit/tour. Apartments are upstairs, and someone was moving in that day so furniture was spread throughout the lobby. Also, a child activity center is on the same floor and smelled liked a dirty diaper, and I was surprised a bit to see the venue was set up to be a multi-purpose gym room when I arrived. I knew the Refinery was a gym, but was hoping the floors would be at least buffed or cleaned before setting up an event. I sat there and saw a crew move machinery out and set up tables without cleaning the floor. I'm really hoping they cleaned it after table set up, but I didn't stay that long. I could have lived with the above, since the owner made it clear the moving in/dirty diaper situation was not normal. However, my fiancee and I sat in front of their office 15 minutes before our set time and they never acknowledged us. 5 minutes past our appointment, I asked if the person who made our appointment was there, and she was, but she only came out to get us then. The brochure she gave to me was the exact same thing as was emailed to me beforehand, and then I was instructed to look up photos of the venue online myself. (I was a little surprised by this since at other venues I've had people show me different room lay out possibilities and pictures.) We got about a 5 minute tour of the room. The total was still under my budget... but only $1000 cheaper than another venue that would provide more bells and whistles with a lot more professionalism, venue privacy, and service. Part of the reason it got expensive is because $1200 is the bar minimum, and since I have a small party and a morning/brunch reception, hitting $1200 wasn't possible for me. Additionally, when I asked about mimosas for a brunch, I was suggested to provide beer instead. It just wasn't a good fit for what we wanted. Both my fiancee and I drove from out of town (2+ hours), so we were disappointed that 95% of the information we received was already given to us online or we were told to look online. However, I still think the venue could be beautiful, and if the venue and location is what people want, I do think the staff can get the job done. They did care about getting things ready, and were just as upset about the diaper/furniture issues.
Wonderful night!Reviewed on 6/20/2014 Lauren W
Working with the staff at the Refinery was absolutely the best! I can't even remember the number of times I emailed them with a million questions and they were always there to offer advice and the help I needed. Especially the month before the wedding they were really helpful making sure all the specifics were taken care of and even helped me come up with a signature cocktail for the night. Absolutely everything looked amazing and I can't think of anything that I would have changed about my experience there.
Sean and Erin's WeddingReviewed on 5/01/2013 Erin V
Refinery did an amazing job helping our wedding day to be fantastic! They did everything for us so that we did not have to worry about a single thing at the reception the day of the wedding. It was a relief knowing that we could just focus on enjoying being a newlywed couple! The room rental was a little pricey considering that we had over 300 guests but it was well worth it knowing that the Refinery was taking care of all of our details for us! Thanks so much for making our wedding day such a blast, we had the time of our lives!
refineryReviewed on 10/23/2012 Elizabeth F
The refinery staff are amazing! They were so helpful and made my wedding so stress free. Not to mention they made the ceremony and reception so beautiful! 100% happy
Fantastic Reception LocationReviewed on 7/09/2012 Emily R
The Refinery is an amazing place to have your wedding reception. The staff is friendly, helpful, and flexible. I had a completely stress-free wedding because they did all the decorating, coordinating, and clean up for me. The banquet room(s) are a blank canvas that you can decorate to whatever color scheme/theme you have. I am so happy I chose this location over a country club and have the beautiful pictures to prove it!
Refinery ReceptionReviewed on 6/28/2012 Beth S
The Refinery was absolutely amazing. They coordinate everything for you, and just make everything easy and relaxing so that you actually get to enjoy your day!