Book Your Wedding with Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center
A BALLROOM IN UTICA, IL
Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center is a beautiful venue in Utica, Illinois—about a 90-minute drive from the Chicago area—on land which is part of Starved Rock State Park. This out-of-the-way rustic retreat is a true hidden gem that provides a welcoming location for couples to host a wedding, reception or both in a lovely 1930s-era lodge.
Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center is rustic and beautiful all at once with its gorgeous interior spaces and spacious outdoor areas surrounded by the beauty of nature. To-be-weds looking for an affordable and charming venue want to pay Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center a visit.
Great Hall. This lovely ceremony and reception area can host parties of up to 200 guests. The focal point is the towering stone fireplace that makes a romantic backdrop for exchanging vows. This area is Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center’s all-in-one space—receptions and cocktail parties can be held in the adjacent Starved Rock Room, keeping your whole celebration under one roof. The high ceilings, wooden beams and elegant lighting give the room a very chic lodge look. Couples using the Great Hall for their ceremony are required to use it for a reception as well.
Canyonside Cabin. Smaller ceremonies with close family and friends call for a spot just like the Canyonside Cabin. It can host up to 30 guests for events in a charming room with knotty pine details and a beautiful stone fireplace that gives the room a very woodsy ambience. Rentals of this historic space also come with a wedding lunch or dinner option in one of the private dining rooms.
Sunrise Shelter. During warmer months, many couples who love the outdoors want to say "I do" surrounded by natural beauty. The Sunrise Shelter is ideal and definitely unique. Guests cross a footbridge over Fox Canyon and walk down a lovely wooded path to where the ceremony space is located under a canopy of towering pines. This area also has breathtaking views of Starved Rock, so staging amazing photos is no problem. The Sunrise Shelter can accommodate up to 200 guests.
Canyonside Courtyard. An intimate outdoor wedding of up to 30 people can be hosted in this location overlooking Fox Canyon. Natural stone benches line a paved walkway that takes couples and their guests to this site. Canyonside Courtyard’s natural beauty is a romantic setting for exchanging vows.
What You Should Know
Couples wishing to hold their ceremony at the Sunrise Shelter don’t have to worry about their plans being ruined by bad weather. In that situation, the staff of Starved Rock Lodge gladly move your ceremony inside in front of the beautiful fireplace in the Great Hall. The indoor alternative for Canyonside Courtyard is inside Canyonside Cabin in front of the cozy log and stone fireplace.
Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center has several options for wedding menus, whether your plans include a sit-down dinner or buffet. Couples may choose to customize their menu to fit their particular tastes. You can even include some delicious add-on options, such as its themed breaks—Death by Chocolate, Campfire S’Mores and Chip and Dip just to name a few.
Although there’s plenty of free parking at Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center for your guests, many couples choose to rent Bella, the official wedding trolley. Bella—and another named Ranger—make great bonding and photo opportunities for the bridal party and wedding guests. Wedding trolleys can be used to bring guests from their hotels to the event facility, for getting the bride to the ceremony or for taking a special family tour as part of your wedding weekend.
Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center's staff strives to make each couple feel like their own family throughout the wedding planning process. From your first visit to the day of your event, it is there to ensure things run smoothly so you can enjoy your day with loved ones. Other noteworthy perks at Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center include:
- Hot Date discounts for new bookings in either the Great Hall or at the Sunrise Shelter
- Beautiful bridal dressing area
- Late-night munchie menus: sliders, chicken wings, fried mini tacos, pizza
- Explore the beauty of Starved Rock State Park—voted one of Illinois’ "7 Wonders"
From the Vendor
Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center
Discover the rustic elegance of this historic and spectacular setting for your special day! Unsurpassed by beauty, service and cuisine your wedding will take place in the timeless splendor of the 1930’s built lodge located in Starved Rock State Park (LaSalle County, Illinois). Ceremony (if applicable) and dinner take center stage in our one of a kind Great Hall with its magnificent stone fireplace and massive log timbers. Later on, let the private Starved Rock Room be transformed into a reception and bar area when dancing takes place. We offer ceremonies and receptions for both large (200 guests) and small (30 guests) weddings.
Amenities + Details
For more details about amenities, please message the Venue.
$$ – Affordable
Ballroom, Historic Venue, Hotel
Bar + Drinks, Cakes + Desserts, Food + Catering, Planning, Rentals + Equipment, Service Staff, Transportation
I could not have been happier with my experience at Starved Rock! Our big day was 5/5/2017 and I would definitely recommend a Friday wedding to anyone considering one here. Honestly, I would recommend ANY kind of wedding at the lodge, but there were a few more park patrons on the Saturdays I visited beforehand. Of course, trust me, on the day of the wedding you won't even realize there are any other people around; so please don't let that sway you. In the end, I don't think our wedding would have gone as smoothly anywhere else. I know most every bride says things went off the rails at some point, but for every failing my crew and party presented the staff at Starved Rock Lodge and Conference Center got us back on track. To start the day off, all the girls met at the Hennepin room for mimosas and a wonderful breakfast spread which the lodge provided. I'll admit I had no idea where this room was at until the day of, so FYI it's on the 3rd floor, but there's an elevator so no worries. Jenny checked in on us a few times and got all the last minute changes sorted out and yes you will probably have some too. For instance, a printing mishap made the colors on the meal diagram different than the colors on the escort cards and on top of that several guests refused to sit where they were assigned (in order to get the right food) but in the end, everyone was fed and everything was AMAZING. I'm serious, the food tasting before the wedding was almost as memorable as the reception. The penny was when the trailer full of decorations along with my brother (the groomsmen), was MIA until about 45 minutes before we were supposed to board the trolly for photos. This derailed us the most because prior to his tardiness we were supposed to have the wedding outside, but between the extra time transporting and the fact that it was pretty windy I conceded and asked Jenny to move the ceremony inside. She was more than accommodating with this request, literally saved the day with our ceremony music, and we even got refunded for the chairs that were supposed to be set outside. Furthermore, the staff was crazy fast helping us out where they could and then changing the great hall out after the ceremony; I was truly impressed. Finally, the reception! I had so much fun at my reception I can't even believe someone didn't tell us to settle down. The bartenders, bussing crew, and servers really deserve a hand, everything was clean, organized, and events just flowed from one to the other. Also, and most importantly, all of my guests were in awe of the lodge and its staff. I've received so many compliments on your behalf, so thank you! If I could just leave you with a few bullets of advice it would be this: • Check out the bridal expo AT Starved Rock in early January. • Definitely, go do a tasting, your taste buds will thank you! • Taste the cakes when you go - if you don't want Mo to make your cake after, you're crazy. • Use the chat option on their website, they're always speedy with a reply. • RENT THE TROLLEY! My album would just not be the same, and chances are most of your guests will stay at a nearby hotel; don't give them the option of being stupid, and just load them up at the end of the night. • Respect the people that are helping give you the best day of your life and you will get exactly that. <3
We had a beautiful outdoor ceremony in July at Starved Rock. It was great to have the wedding and reception in the same place and have guests stay the weekend with you. Jenny was our coordinator and made sure everything went smoothly. Loved it!
I had my wedding here October of 2015, (& rehearsal dinner) unfortunately it rained on my wedding day so we had the ceremony indoors, however the staff (from the waiters to management) was extremely helpful, caring and compassionate about making sure everything went smoothly and on time. I felt like the most relaxed bride because everything was taken care of so wonderfully. Everyone not only loved the hor dourves & dinner but the cake was to die for from their baker Mo! Tiffany was my wedding planner and she definitely made sure everything was perfect. I would more so apologize to her for dealing with my crazy family!! To top everything off for the night, we got to our hotel room with a personal card from Tiffany on her behalf as well as Starved Rock with chocolate covered pretzels! 100% recommend this gorgeous venue to any of my friends or family!!
Almost everyday sine we have gotten married I have been telling people how happy I am that we had our wedding at Starved Rock. The day was absolutely perfect. I worked with Jenny R. for the majority of the planning. She is VERY attentive and helpful - gives her opinion without being pushy. The staff was outstanding and our wedding photos are so unique and breathtaking. Would recommend this venue to anyone looking for an intimate, mini getaway and nature surrounding location.
We had the most perfect wedding day at Starved Rock. We had an outdoor ceremony and our reception in the lodge. The tree-filled patio for the ceremony was beautiful and quiet. We loved having everything on site too - ceremony, cocktail hour, photos, dinner, reception, and hotel. We planned the wedding from Oregon, so having a lot of these details already laid out and in one place was very helpful. Our coordinator, Jenny Roulston, was super helpful as well. She filled us in on all the important details right away when we booked and kept us updated with reminders about upcoming needed information or payments. She gave us some great resources for finding our vendors (photographers, flowers, DJ, etc.) that were tried and true for the Starved Rock venue. She also quickly responded to all of our tedious questions in a kind and encouraging manner. During the actual day, we felt like we were in good hands when Jenny checked in to help us stay on time for the ceremony and made sure we had all we needed for cake cutting, dinner, and more. Basically, she appeared just when we needed her and was otherwise invisible behind the scenes. The site itself provided great options for affordable entertainment and hiking that many of our guests arrived early or stayed late to enjoy. We lucked out with the most perfect weather! Our day and night went off without a hitch! The only possible downside I can think of was a strange dripping/thumping noise in the wall of our hotel room that kept me awake at night. The front desk explained that it was simply part of staying in a historic building and offered earplugs - not ideal, but we had a different room the next night that had no issues. Overall, we are very happy with our experience at Starved Rock for our wedding. It was a beautiful day in a beautiful place and we can't imagine having it anywhere else. We would highly recommend it to anyone.
I loved our wedding at Starved Rock. The staff, namely Jenny, was incredible to work with and made it so easy for us to enjoy our special day. It was fun for guests to stay at the lodge and many spent the weekend hiking and exploring beautiful Starved Rock. The outdoor venus is absolutely gorgeous and private and the great lodge is stunning for the reception. The food was excellent and the staff was very professional. I would highly recommend Starved Rock for a wedding.
I can't say enough wonderful things about Starved Rock Lodge! I got married here on June 24, 2017 and our wedding was a dream come true - it was better than I could have ever imagined! Jenny was our sales consultant but I worked with the entire sales department and everyone was so helpful - they were always answering questions (I asked them A LOT of questions, especially the last few months before the wedding) and they had great advice and input. They all went above and beyond for us- especially Jenny when our arbor broke 30 minutes before the ceremony. She had it fixed without anyone even knowing! We decided on the combo meal for dinner, chicken and beef, and people are still talking about how delicious the meal and the appetizers were. The banquet staff were all very friendly! We had about 40 friends and family stay the weekend and they all had nothing but great things to say. Starved Rock Lodge is an absolutely beautiful venue to get married at and I would highly recommend it! Thanks Jenny, Amber, Jennie, Peggy and all of the banquet and kitchen staff for helping with the wedding of my dreams.
We got married at the Starved Rock Lodge in May of 2017. I am so happy with how my wedding turned out! Looking around at different venues, I was getting discouraged because I could never find the right fit. Paying for the wedding ourselves, we needed something affordable, but not tacky. I went to visit Starved Rock during their bridal expo. Despite how busy it was, one of the coordinators was more than happy to show us around, go over pricing, and answer all of our questions. We fell in love, and booked then! We were initially assigned the coordinator Tiffany. She left a few months before our wedding on Maternity leave, and we were transferred to Peggy. I was very afraid of a fumbled hand-off, but there was none. Peggy picked right up and kept the ball rolling. Peggy even helped us finish our place cards on the day of the wedding. Although sadly I did not have enough time to eat our hor d'oeuvres, cake, or too much of our meal, I've only heard great things about the food. The dance room is really great, and provided for great times after! As always, the photo opportunities are great, since you are in the great outdoors. And your guests who stay the weekend have great hiking opportunities. Being the groom, I am potentially biased here, but this place provided me the best wedding I have ever been to! I recommend everyone take a look at Starved Rock Lodge for your wedding.
Starved Rock was the absolute perfect venue for our wedding reception!! The entire staff was FANTASTIC to work with - especially Jenny our wedding coordinator!! :) The food and service were both AMAZING - food was delicious and the bartenders worked so hard, no one ever had to wait for a drink! We also received great hospitality & service from the staff at the Backdoor Lounge (Bar located inside starved rock hotel) after the reception was over! The hotel prices were also great compared to all the other hotel/reception venues in the area! Future brides, I can't recommend this place enough - but call now, they book fast!!
We could not have imagined a more perfect wedding day! Starved rock is absolutely gorgeous and the staff went above and beyond to make sure everything went smoothly from the time we booked with them all the way through our wedding day. We received so many wonderful compliments on the food from our guests, and the service was very well organized and prompt. We had our cake made at starved rock as well, and it was such a hit! Every flavor tasted delicious and it looked just as good! I was able to give Mo a picture of exactly what we wanted and she copied it to a T. Starved Rock helped us to get our dream wedding! I can't imagine a venue any more perfect!
My husband and I had our ceremony and reception at Starved Rock Lodge in March, and we couldn’t be happier with how everything turned out. The management and staff took care of everything that day and it went very smoothly. Jenny and Peggy were our coordinators and they were great to work with throughout the entire process. The lodge is a great place to have your wedding – décor is awesome, food is tasty, reasonably priced, and the hotel is connected right to the venue! We had a great time at our wedding and I am so glad we went with Starved Rock. Starved Rock Lodge is a beautiful place and I would highly recommend it to anyone considering them.
I absolutely LOVED my experience with Starved Rock! When I first started planning our wedding, it was difficult finding a location that would actually get back to me. I reached out to Starved Rock, and I heard back from someone in the Sales office within a day or two. When we went for our consultation, we just fell in love with the location. The lodge is absolutely beautiful with the fireplace and exposed wood. One nice feature with Starved Rock is you have the option to do an outdoor or indoor wedding (we did an indoor wedding). You can also do your ceremony and reception at Starved Rock, so you don’t have to worry about your guests getting lost traveling from one location to the next. We did setup a block of rooms for guests that wished to stay at the Lodge, and we also setup a block at a nearby hotel. You can rent a Trolley from Starved Rock that will not only take you around the park for pictures, but will also go to a couple of the nearby hotels to pickup any guests. The staff was very professional and there with any questions/concerns we had. I cannot say THANK YOU enough to the staff at Starved Rock for making us feel at home and helping make our day perfect!
PERFECT, PERFECT, PERFECT!!! We had our wedding on Friday October 21st, and we had a beautiful fall wedding. From the ceremony, to the reception, to the overnight accomodations, everything went as flawless as possible. From Tiffany, and Abby, and everyone who assisted us during the beginning stages of confirming the venue, up to the night of. We couldn't have picked a better place to get married. All of our guests were completely blown away with the food, and the decorations we had set up. Just magical ;-)
My husband Josh and I were married at Starved Rock on 6/5/16. It was seriously the BEST DAY EVER! From day one, Jenny made the process as pain-free and enjoyable as possible. I live in WA so I was planning the wedding (with lots of help from my mom in IL) from miles and miles away. Jenny was so accommodating to this challenge with distance and was always available by phone/e-mail whenever I needed her! The actual wedding day could not have gone any better then it did. My bridesmaids and I had mimosas delivered along w/ lunch as we got ready in the Hennepin Room. This was the perfect room to get ready in, plenty of space and good lighting! Only downside is that there is no bathroom near by, but we knew that ahead of time (my sister also got married at SRL) and booked a room on the third floor and used that as our restroom for the day. Everything that day went off without a hitch, people are still talking about how amazing our food was and how unique our cake was! We wanted to do a "naked cake" and although nervous, the pastry chef at SRL did an AMAZING Pinterest worthy job on our cake. Not only did it look amazing, it tasted SO good! We also ordered food from the late night menu (i believe it was called) and had pizza and sliders delivered to the reception near the end of the night. I know our guests were very appreciative of this since they worked up an appetite dancing all night long. One of the most fun things we did was have all of the bridal party rent the pioneer cabins so that we were all very close to each other and we enjoyed a great evening by the outdoor fireplace the night before the wedding. This was a great way for members of our wedding party to connect before the big day. I could go on and on about what a great experience we had at Starved Rock Lodge. I wouldn't have changed a thing!
This is perfect place for a wedding. We were able to book a small wedding within a month because of the amazing organizational skills of Tiffany Sigala and staff. It is hard to believe that you can plan a wedding in a month, but we were able to book the location at the beautiful canyon side courtyard/cabin designed for weddings smaller than 30 people, choose the menu, have a cake designed, and book the lovely Utica room for the dinner party afterward, all because they know exactly what they are doing. They set up the chairs for the wedding, they set up the room for the dinner party how we wanted, and they made sure our champagne was ready as we walked in after the ceremony. The delicious cake (made by pastry chef Mo) was cut and boxed up for us to take home and the waitstaff made sure our food was on time and plates were cleared immediately. I was so impressed with their staff. They had four weddings that day, but they took care of each of us. To top it off - Starved Rock is absolutely beautiful at any time of year. We had ours in the fall, but you will find great deals in the "off-season" times. Although I don't plan on getting married again, I would do it here again!
First, and foremost I would like to say that Starved Rock and Tiffany completely went above and beyond our expectations! She was an absolute treat to work with, and she ensured that everything went as smoothly as humanly possible during our amazing wedding day. She even allowed my husband to have his fantasy football draft the day before our wedding! Everything was just perfect, we received countless compliments on the food (which we both agreed was absolutely amazing!). The service and bar tenders were personable, kind, and overall fantastic. Let's talk about the cake for a moment. We used Mo, who is the in house pastry chef. We were blown away with the end result which was way better than we could even imagine. THANK YOU! Every aspect of the wedding seemed to flow seamlessly throughout the entirety of the day. With the fantastic ambiance, perfect scenery, and outdoor ceremony, we simply could not have asked for a better result.
We just had our wedding there about 2 weeks ago and we couldn't be happier with everything. The staff was amazing from the sale & transportation department to the staff working on our wedding day. The scenery definitely makes it easy to decorate and the lodge itself is just beautiful. It ended up raining on our wedding day so at first I was bummed that we had to move it inside but after seeing it all set up I was just amazed at how beautiful they made it. We also had our rehearsal dinner there and the food and staff where amazing. Everything about Starved Rock made my wedding day and I couldn't have asked for anything more.
My husband I were married at Starved Rock almost a year ago. We worked with Tiffany and she was incredible. She ensured everything was taken care of and always responded to any of my questions. All of the staff on the day of the wedding were super friendly and made sure everything went smoothly. It was almost like having a wedding coordinator. The food was great, as well. Not only is Starved Rock beautiful, but it is also affordable. I highly recommend anyone to get married at Starved Rock.
Friendly and helpful staff. Awesome scenery. Unique venue. Decorate it yourself if you are crafty. Our photos turned out amazing.
Starved Rock is a beautiful, unique alternative to the cookie cutter banquet hall. We used their ceremony site and held the reception in the Great Hall, and it worked really well to have everything in one location (including hotel rooms), no worries about getting a limo to the reception and a bus to the hotel. Starved rock fully caters the wedding, and we chose to get our cake from their baker as well. The food was average and the cake was amazing and beautifully decorated. Overall the day was amazing and I couldn't image getting married anywhere else!
We had a beautiful February Wedding. everyone was truly amazing and made our wedding day perfect. All the staff went above and beyond to keep everything flowing nicely. My husband and I truly feel we made the best choice having our wedding at Starved Rock. They made our evening truly amazing!
Everyone at Starved Rock was so helpful and amazing! Huge thank you to Tiffany for answering all of my questions even if I already asked 6 in 1 day. Thank you to Dani, Jenny, and staff for making sure everything was perfect for our special day.
This was a great place to have a winter wedding. Nothing was too much trouble, even on the day. Jenny helped usher to the proper places and it was a great experience. All our guests loved the accommodation and had a great time with the walks. I would definitely recommend it.
Beautiful and Absolutely Worth Every Penny!!Reviewed on 11/02/2015 Shelby Z
We just had our Halloween wedding at Starved Rock Lodge in Utica, IL. Originally, we planned to have the ceremony outside, but with heavy rainfall all day, we agreed to move it indoors. The entire staff was so helpful and organized, the changes went through without a hitch. After the ceremony change over, the dinner was HOT and delicious, just like our tasting. Our reception was gorgeous and there is ample room for their 200 guest limit. Between the use of the Great Hall and the Starved Rock Room, everything moved swiftly and organized throughout the whole evening and the celebrating was never put on pause. We have always loved coming to Starved Rock for hiking and a small getaway, hence why we chose it for our wedding location! I could not have been happier as a bride if our wedding coordinator, Tiffany, and the entire staff had not been so accommodating throughout the entire process! I HIGHLY recommend this venue, for weddings, meetings, picnics, and everything inbetween!
Starved Rock is the perfect place for an outdoor wedding, and even if the weather does not cooperate the interior is a beautiful back up. The setting and the scenery is beyond belief for Illinois, the food is superb, and the onsite pastry chef made beautiful and delicious cakes and cupcakes to our own design. My husband and I had a very nice cabin on site, and several guests chose to stay at the Lodge for the event. The staff, from the sales consultant, Tiffany, to the servers and everyone in between were extremely accommodating. Our guests were impressed and people continue to compliment us and choosing such a unique and beautiful setting for our wedding.