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Country Wedding Location

Old Oct 10th, 2004, 11:38 AM
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Country Wedding Location

We are hoping to marry next spring at a bed & breakfast, farm or historic site that is nestled in a rustic and lush country setting preferrably in Illinois, Wisconin, Michigan or Indiana. Although, we are open to other spots if something is just too wonderful. We live in Chicago and love to travel to small towns staying in B&B's and would love to share this passion with our friends and families. Advice and suggestions are welcome and appreciated. Many thanks!
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Old Oct 10th, 2004, 04:02 PM
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We plan for an intimate wedding. We'll invite a maximum of 75 people with the hope of hosting a wedding for 50. At this moment we are leaning toward not having an official wedding bridesmaids or groomsmen. Thanks for your inquiry.
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Old Oct 10th, 2004, 07:56 PM
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The Old Rittenhouse Inn in Bayfield, WI is nice. It is a beautiful Inn high on a hill overlooking the water and they have WONDERFUL food. Bayfield is a small town on Lake Superior.
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Old Oct 14th, 2004, 06:54 AM
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There is a little town just barely north of Indianapolis called Zionsville. It's very quaint - old homes (late 1800s) with a beautiful little park with a gazebo where I've seen weddings take place. A B&B caleld Brick Street Inn ( was recently restored and they added several new rooms with bathrooms. There are a few other B&Bs in the area - I just read a piece about it yesterday and it looks fantastic, and it's right in the heart of Main Street.
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Old Oct 14th, 2004, 07:39 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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How old do you want?

There is one VERY old and historic place that is my very favorite B&B. It is in Mendon Michigan (about 3 hours from Chicago). It is called the Mendon Inn and is the original building that was the overnight stop for all stagecoach/horse travel between Detroit and Chicago.

The owners at the present time, are fantastic people. They are immigrants from South Africa through France, Italy and few other places. He is a chef trained in Europe. Also plays the piano as breakfast is served. Both spouses are brillant/talented people, and also very good host and hostess.

I don't know if they could do that big, but they might. The rooms are authenticly decorated and all have names. There is a Catholic Church that is directly next door that is made out of the Michigan River Rock and almost as old. BEAUTIFUL. It also borders on the St. Joe River and is wooded for acres and acres behind. They have done weddings in the past, that I do know.

There is one room (called the Puddleberg room, I think) that is huge and might seat that many for dining (baby grand and fireplace too. Past US Presidents have meet here. There are out buildings that are newer with rooms for about 20 or 30 guests more, besides the 11 or 12 guest rooms in the main house. Their prices are reasonable and they gave us presents on our December weekend there once. The best breakfasts that I have ever had in my life have been here. And his "English weekends" have meals like in Dickens. He is very close to the Amish community and will bring you to their homes on Saturday night for suppers. I'm sure he could do the carriages for everybody if you wanted him to. AND THE COOKING!
(I've seen him do a "mountain" dish of crepes that has 40 or 50 layers in it, with a surprise in the middle.)

OLD and that means the showers are small. My 6 foot plus guy is no little flower and I had to practically pull him through the shower door once as he got in a situation between the door and the glass block. People were smaller a hundred plus years ago.

No tvs, anywhere-not a negative for me.

Biggest downside- it was built when it had to be right on the highway. It's not a highway now, but you are close to the road- wraparound porches extend to where the horses used to tie up.
(Lots of auto parking available on the sides and in back, though.) Sockets for hair dryers etc. may be in places you don't like if you are in the main house.

Google Mendon Inn Michigan if you are interested.

One more plus- LUSH is the word for the setting and you can canoe/kayak or whatever down the river. He will make you "baskets" to take with for romance weekends.
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Old Oct 14th, 2004, 07:51 AM
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Check out the Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. It's world famous and unbelievably beautiful. Eureka Springs is nestled in the woods and has lots of B&Bs. It'd be a fabulous place for a spring wedding.
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Old Oct 14th, 2004, 08:30 AM
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Another vote for Eureka Springs, AR - there are a million beautiful places to be married, lots of great B&B's, and NW Arkansas is very scenic. My aunt & uncle were married at the Thorncrown a few years ago, and I agree that it is incredible. Thorncrown should easily fit 50-75 people.
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Old Oct 14th, 2004, 08:33 AM
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In Ohio, in the "wine belt" of Northeast Ohio, actually there are a few options. Going to have a hard time explaining this, but I'll give it a whirl. There are a bunch of winery options in the area: Ferrante, Debonnet, Old Firehouse, and Spring Arbor (?) are some of the names that come to mind. All of these places would be great to host a wedding & reception. I know it's not B & B, but gives you another option. Spring Arbor, not sure that's the name (I can double check), is the best! The building on site is a church that was saved from demolition. How perfect for a wedding!! They also have an outdoor pavilion mom & I fell in love with it! Ferrante is more formal. Very lovely location though. Old Firehouse is very casual & fun, right along the shores of Lake Erie....I think it would be beautiful to exchange your vows with the lake as a backdrop. I'll try to find an Ohio Winery website & will post.
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Old Oct 14th, 2004, 09:34 AM
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How about northwestern Wisconsin? My daughter got married at Stout's Island Lodge on the Isle of Happy Days. Just north of Rice Lake at Mikana, WI.
Beautiful island setting, I belive Cindy Crawford and Richard Gere visted there in the late 90's. They don't have a website but I'm sure they'd mail a brochure. 1-800-690-2650. This would be about a 5 1/2 hour drive from Chicago.
Happy planning!
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Old Oct 14th, 2004, 12:16 PM
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Here are the websites for my two faves & the Old Firehouse Winery that's by Lake Erie...

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Old Oct 14th, 2004, 12:16 PM
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Sorry, I really need to preview before I post. I meant to add:
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Old Oct 15th, 2004, 07:00 AM
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Have you had any luck? I'm thinking at this late date you may have slim pickings for a Spring 2005 wedding.

If a hotel doesn't have your date, ask if they have a different time on that date. Example, at my former hotel during peak wedding season, we would usually do a early afternoon wedding and a night time wedding on the same day.

Try and vary your options. Holiday weekends rarely get booked for weddings. Easter Saturday may still be open.

Could you have a Sunday or Friday night wedding?

How about a different location in the town that the B&B is in.

If you cannot find a particular B&B that can accommodate you, pick an area or town and hire a wedding coordinator in that area. They know the town so will know unique and wonderful venues you may not have even thought about.

Good luck!
Old Oct 15th, 2004, 07:15 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Door County WI is an easy drive from Chicago with quaint New England-like towns. It can be crowded in summer and fall but spring should be OK. Here is a website with the wedding chapels/B&B's that host weddings.
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Old Oct 15th, 2004, 08:02 AM
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YOu may also want to look into the Lakeside Inn in Lakeside, MI. My brother had his rehearsal dinner there two years ago and it was great-the beach is across the street but it's nestled into a beautifully wooded area.
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Old Oct 15th, 2004, 08:46 AM
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Most of these suggestions are pretty far from Chicago.

Lakeside Inn is nice and not as far. (check out the food) This could place might do it but it is over three hours drive on a good day.

But at this date you might way to try Chicago suburban/country locations so you "know" your lodging/dining enough to make a decision that fast.

There is a structure in the woods in Palos that is used very frequently for weddings. Wayside Chapel is part of "The Center" a wooded complex in Palos reserves that has lots of history.
It's on the top of a hill and I've been to about 3 or 4 weddings there over the years. It is a very nice setting and they might let you do the dining afterwards in the great hall of their main building there. Not sure about that last part.
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