Galena is one of northwest Illinois' most picturesque small towns, known for its preserved 19th-century buildings, including the Italianate-style Ulysses S. Grant Home and the historic 1826 Dowling House. Many of the city's restored historic buildings have been converted into public special event spaces, which offer indoor and outdoor ceremony sites and amenities such as onsite catering and lodging. Gorgeous restored farmhouses showcase the region's rolling countryside landscapes, offering all-inclusive wedding packages complete with transportation to and from the venue from the city's downtown district. Elegant hotels also offer wedding packages, including the Irish Cottage Boutique Hotel, which can provide traditional Irish officiants and ceremony needs.
1.Oak Hill Weddings
Oak Hill Weddings is a cozy country estate venue tucked away on 170 acres in the city of Apple River, home to a complex of preserved 19th-century historic buildings. All of the lovely buildings on the venue's grounds are available for use as wedding venues, including a fully-restored 1851 one-room schoolhouse, a renovated 1890s-era barn, a recreated 19th-century general store, and the beautiful 1868 St. John's Chapel, transferred from nearby Guilford Township. The venue's outdoor lawns are also available for ceremony and reception use, offering striking views of surrounding gardens and forested areas. Up to 250 guests can be accommodated at the property across all event spaces. Facility staff are on hand to help with all aspects of weddings, including event planning, setup, and cleanup.
8044 N Gabel Ln, Apple River, IL 61001, Phone: 815-541-2348
2.Chestnut Mountain Resort
© Chestnut Mountain Resort
Chestnut Mountain Resort has been one of the Midwest's premier resort destinations since it opened in 1959, known throughout Illinois for its striking views of the Mississippi River. This hillside resort offers several beautiful wedding venue options, including an outdoor tent option within its romantic Sunset Gardens. Up to 250 people can be accommodated at all venues, many of which make use of the resort's location and offer a scenic and romantic backdrop for ceremonies and wedding photography. Catering is provided onsite, with many customization options to help fit each couple's tastes and budget needs. Lodging is available at the resort's 100 well-appointed rooms and suites, which offer access to amenities such as two onsite restaurants.
8700 W Chestnut Mountain Rd, Galena, IL 61036, Phone: 800-397-1320
3.DeSoto House Hotel
© DeSoto House Hotel
DeSoto House Hotel is an historic 19th-century hotel in beautiful downtown Galena, located on the city's bustling Main Street. The hotel has played a large part in Galena's history, hosting noted luminaries such as President Abraham Lincoln, who delivered a seminal speech in the city in 1856. Several wedding rental options are available at the hotel, ranging from two-person elopement ceremonies to large 120-guest receptions held within its beautiful grand ballroom or striking four-story atrium. Interior details such as high-beamed ceilings and exposed brick walls provide romantic wedding photography spots. Professional event staff are on hand to help couples design unique festivities and organize all vendors and details, taking the stress out of special event planning and putting the focus back on making romantic memories.
230 S Main St, Galena, IL 61036, Phone: 815-777-0090
4.Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa
Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa is a luxurious lakeside resort set on 6,800 acres overlooking beautiful Lake Galane, nestled into the surrounding Illinois rolling hill landscape. The resort boasts a lovely 300-guest ballroom for wedding ceremonies and receptions, complete with a wraparound deck offering striking views of the grounds and lake. For smaller, more intimate weddings, the Galena Room offers a romantic stone patio that can accommodate outdoor cocktail receptions. Catering is provided by the resort, which also offers professional event planners that are on hand to help couples customize all reception details. After the wedding, guests can stay in style at 80 upscale rooms and suites, which offer world-class amenities such as whirlpool tubs and pillowtop mattresses.
444 Eagle Ridge Dr, Galena, IL 61036, Phone: 815-777-5000
5.Ehrler Ranch Wedding Barn and Special Events Barn
© Ehrler Ranch Wedding Barn and Special Events Barn
Ehrler Ranch Wedding Barn and Special Events Barn are beautiful and unique Galena event venues located on working ranches throughout the city that are home to livestock and rolling farmland pastures. Both the special event barn and wedding barn can be booked separately or reserved together depending on event size, accommodating up to 299 guests in total across both spaces. Both locations offer stunning views of the region's countryside hill landscape. Wedding parties can make use of the venue's onsite bunkhouse, which can serve as additional event space or as a lodging space for overnight wedding party stay on the property. Onsite catering options include full bar service. Couples can also make use of free transportation services between locations and to sites in downtown Galena for wedding photography sessions.
11866 W Chetlain Ln, Galena, IL 61036, Phone: 815-281-1780
6.Galena Wedding Chapel
© Marco Tiberio/stock.adobe.com
Galena Wedding Chapel is a lovely historic chapel located at Bernadine's Stillman Inn in Galena's quaint downtown district. The chapel makes an ideal site for intimate ceremonies, accommodating up to 70 guests maximum. Memorable interior design features include striking decor details such as hardwood floors, antique brass mirrors, fabric-draped walls, and a lovely grand chandelier. Couples who book the chapel can also make use of the inn's other facilities for wedding festivities, including spaces for receptions and rehearsal dinners. Outside, two acres of lovely gardens and courtyards can be used for wedding photography or outdoor ceremony sites. Unique amenities offered by the venue include unity candles, in-house harpists, and bed and breakfast accommodations for the happy couple the night following the wedding.
513 Bouthillier St., Galena, IL 61036
7.Little White Church on the Hill
Little White Church on the Hill is a cozy country church on the outskirts of Galena that was originally constructed in 1894. Today, the beautiful building has been carefully restored to its original splendor, seating up to 100 guests for intimate wedding ceremonies and receptions. Notable decor elements include stained-glass windows, hardwood pine flooring, and the venue's original preserved church pews. Couples looking to host outdoor ceremonies at the venue can make use of its lawn and outdoor chapel spaces, which are home to an arbor, a landscaped walkway, and lovely wedding benches. After saying vows, couples can ring in their marriage on the chapel's historic restored bell. Dressing rooms are available onsite for wedding party use, along with a unique vintage-style restroom for guests.
6603 Council Hill Rd., Scales Mound, IL 61075, Phone: 608-325-8697
© Ramada Galena
Ramada Galena is a relaxed modern hotel located near Galena's historic district that is home to luxurious amenities such as the full-service Indulge Day Spa. Wedding ceremonies and receptions at the hotel can host up to 300 guests across several indoor or outdoor spaces, including a lovely outdoor wraparound terrace that serves as a popular spot for cocktail receptions. Upscale receptions can be held within the venue's spacious grand ballroom, while outdoor ceremonies can be hosted on its well-landscaped lawn and lovely garden areas. Wedding spa packages are available to help pamper couples and their wedding parties prior to the big day. After the wedding, couples can take advantage of discounts on the venue's gardenview suites, which offer lovely amenities such as whirlpool tubs and cable televisions.
11383 W, Hwy 20, Galena, IL 61036, Phone: 815-777-2043
9.The GoldMoor Inn
© The GoldMoor Inn
The GoldMoor Inn is a beautiful estate inn located near Chestnut Mountain in Galena, offering picturesque hilltop views of the majestic Mississippi River. The historic inn makes a romantic setting for memorable wedding ceremonies, receptions, and engagement events at sites such as its 150-guest outdoor pavilion, which is surrounded by lovely landscaped meadows of flowers. Intimate indoor weddings can be held at the venue's 48-seat Grand Hall or its onsite restaurant, which can seat up to 56 reception guests. Catering is available from executive chef Joshua Robert, with customizable menus available to meet all couples' individual tastes and budgets. All-inclusive wedding packages include the assistance of professional wedding planners, along with complimentary lodging, beauty services, and reception essentials such as cake and champagne.
9001 W Sand Hill Rd, Galena, IL 61036, Phone: 815-777-3925
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10.The Irish Cottage Boutique Hotel
The Irish Cottage Boutique Hotel is a unique boutique hotel in Galena located just minutes from the city's Main Street shops, restaurants, and attractions such as the U.S. Grant Home. The warmly-decorated hotel emphasizes Irish customs and traditions throughout its well-designed spaces, which are themed according to different Irish regions. Couples can create their dream wedding with the assistance of professional event planning staff at the hotel, who can incorporate family traditions into standard wedding ceremony festivities. Licensed Irish officiates are available for all ceremonies. Catering is provided by the culinary staff of the hotel's onsite Irish pub, Frank O'Dowd's Pub and Grill. Additional services include massages for the wedding party and a discounted onsite honeymoon suite for the happy couple following the wedding.
9853 U.S. 20, Galena, IL 61036, Phone: 815-776-0707
10 Best Wedding Venues in Galena, IL
- Oak Hill Weddings, Photo: bodiaphoto/stock.adobe.com
- Chestnut Mountain Resort, Photo: Chestnut Mountain Resort
- DeSoto House Hotel, Photo: DeSoto House Hotel
- Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa, Photo: olegparylyak/stock.adobe.com
- Ehrler Ranch Wedding Barn and Special Events Barn, Photo: Ehrler Ranch Wedding Barn and Special Events Barn
- Galena Wedding Chapel, Photo: Marco Tiberio/stock.adobe.com
- Little White Church on the Hill, Photo: PhotoKD/stock.adobe.com
- Ramada Galena, Photo: Ramada Galena
- The GoldMoor Inn, Photo: The GoldMoor Inn
- The Irish Cottage Boutique Hotel, Photo: MNStudio/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Ian/stock.adobe.com