Planning a Wedding in the Great Rivers & Routes

You said “Yes!” and now it’s time to plan your dream-come-true wedding in the Great Rivers & Routes region. Below are a list of tips and tricks to planning a wedding in Southwest Illinois.

Happy couple after getting marriedBook Your Lodging Early
With over 40 area hotels and numerous guest houses, you can find the perfect fit to accommodate every group size and match every budget.  If you need more than 25 rooms, the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau sales team can help collect quotes for your room blocks.

Climate & Seasons 
Situated in the Midwest, the Great Rivers & Routes region has four distinct seasons with average annual temperature swings from 40-89 degrees.  Check out the weather page to help settle the debate between an outdoor versus indoor venue and how to pack for your stay. 

Imagine the Possibilities
Need a theme to spark some creative wedding inspiration? Or looking for an inspired shot for engagement photos? Here are a few suggestions:

“Get Your Kicks on Route 66”
Whether you are standing underneath the towering statues at the Pink Elephant Antique Mall, walking the aisles of a former opera theater, or gathering in the gazebo in Carlinville’s Historic Square, you can celebrate the spirit of Route 66 at several attractions in the region.

“Go with the Flow”
Incorporate the majestic confluence of the Missouri, Illinois and Mississippi rivers with riverside ceremonies at the Liberty Bank Alton Amphitheater, Riverview Park or Argosy Casino. Enjoy breathtaking views of the river high atop the bluffs at Aerie’s Resort and Tara Point Inn. Or host family-friendly rehearsal dinners and receptions at Raging Rivers Water Park and Collinsville Aqua Park.

“Monumental Memories”
Embrace the region’s history and capture unforgettable photo moments at the Robert Wadlow Statue, Lincoln -Douglas Square, Elijah P. Lovejoy Monument, Piasa Bird, Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower and many more.

“It’s for the Birds”
Let your love soar at Bremer Wildlife Sanctuary, Aududon Center at Riverlands, and The Nature Institute. 

"Naturally Green"Bride & Groom under a stained glass window
With the largest state park in Illinois, Pere Marquette State Park, and several outdoor venue options including Willoughby Heritage Farm, Nan Elliott Rose Garden, Watershed Nature Center, and Grafton Winery the Vineyards, you can create a serene environment for your ceremony and reception.

"Historic Charm" 
Host an intimate ceremony at the opulently restored BEALL Mansion, walk in the footsteps of famous explorers at the Lewis & Clark State Historic Site or travel back in time at the Village of Elsah. 

Invite Your Guests to Explore Great Rivers & Routes
Greet your out-of-town guests with a complimentary welcome bag including the Great Rivers & Routes regional visitor guide.  Bursting with insider tips, maps and lists of activities to enjoy during their stay, your guests can make the best use of their free time before and after you say “I do.”

Think Local
Need inspiration on how to sprinkle some local flair into your happily ever after? Look for unique reception and ceremony venues celebrating the rich history of the region or your fond memories of previous visits. Work with a local caterer focusing on farm-to-table menus to ensure ingredients will be local and fresh. Give your guests gifts and special treats from local makers including Mississippi Mud Pottery, Goshen Coffee, Old Herald Brewery & Distillery, Buena Vista Art, Kruta’s Bakery, the options are endless.


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