Southern Illinois is a diverse area. It includes the Illinois cities of Marion and Carbondale, the suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri and the natural landscapes of Shawnee National Forest. Couples interested in having an outdoor wedding in the area have many options. Quaint mansions, log cabins and wineries are only a few of the places you can tie the knot.
Historic Bell Hill
The mansion at Bell Hill was built by James Hill, a local businessman who made his fortune delivering lumber to help fuel the construction boom in Southern Illinois after the Civil War. Bell Hill has accommodations for both large outdoor weddings and more intimate indoor gatherings. Outdoor ceremonies are held in the large, well-maintained field bordering a lush, forested area.
Historic Bell Hill 333 East Poplar St. Cobden, IL 62920 (618) 697-0326 historicbellhill.com
The Irish Inn
Couples looking for an Irish twist on their wedding can find it at the Irish Inn in Ozark, Illinois. Located on the banks of a pond in the Shawnee National Forest, this log cabin structure was built on top of a Frank Lloyd Wright wood foundation. For couples looking for a private wedding experience, the Irish Inn offers an “Elopement Package,” complete with a minister and the Inn’s owners serving as witnesses. The Irish Inn also can handle traditional small weddings and receptions.
The Irish Inn 600 Soloman Lane Ozark, IL 62972 (618) 695-5683 irishinn.tripod.com
Blue Sky Vineyards
Stretching along a 30-mile loop through the Shawnee National Forest, the Shawnee Wine Trail features 12 wineries, including the award-winning Blue Sky Vineyards in Makanda. This large estate features plenty of open space and beautiful scenery. Wedding ceremonies are often held in the outdoor gazebo near the front lawn or at the larger Tuscan Sun Pavilion.
Blue Sky Vineyards 3150 South Rocky Comfort Road Makanda, IL 62958 (618) 995-9463 blueskyvineyard.com
Field of Dreams Banquet Facility
Despite its name, the Field of Dreams Banquet Facility has nothing to do with baseball, and everything to do with attempting to create a memorable wedding experience for couples and their guests. Opened in 2007, the facility can handle wedding ceremonies and receptions of up to 150 people. The most popular location for ceremonies is the outdoor gazebo, which overlooks a two-acre pond. A large room is available for indoor ceremonies or receptions.
Field of Dreams Banquet Facility 145 Lexi Lane DeSoto, IL 62924 (618) 457-7888 fieldofdreamsbanquets.com/