5 Reasons Couples Are Hosting Their Wedding in Peoria


Rachel Mangiapane, Guest Writer


Celebrating an engagement? Congratulations! If you’ve started planning for the big day, you know it isn’t always sunshine and roses—it can be stressful. Luckily there are plenty of professionals and resources in Greater Peoria to plan your perfect day. Here are the top reasons Greater Peoria is the perfect destination for your wedding!

#1   //  

Amazing Planning Resources

Behind every great wedding is lots of creativity, planning, and organizing. Whether a warehouse wedding, a farm chic event, or an elegant experience is in the plans, couples are choosing the Greater Peoria Area for their events because of the talent behind the most beautiful weddings imaginable. 

Create A Scene {Morton}  //  Can’t get that dramatic draping or candy bar you saw on Pinterest out of your head? Let Create A Scene bring your vision to life. Check out their “love list” of recommended venues they frequently partner with. 

I Do Events, Inc. {Peoria}  //  No matter what you have dreamed up for your special day, I Do Events, Inc. can theme any big day from ceremony to reception. From basics like chairs and floral arrangements to specialty items like lounge seating and disco balls, I Do Events personalized service has everything you need. 

#2   //  

Location, Location, Location

Not only is the Peoria Area a midwestern hub making this destination easy for out-of-town guests to attend, but the variety of venues available ensure any and all wedding visions are easily accommodated. Need an intimate venue or an elegant room for hundreds? Looking for a historic location? Waterfront hotel? Renovated whiskey warehouse? Elegant barn? Intricate chapel? Location overlooking exotic wildlife? Greater Peoria has all that and more.

For an industrial vibe—think raw brick walls, iron beams and pillars, and exposed ceilings—check out: 

The Warehouse on State {Peoria}

Venue Chisca {Peoria}

The Cannery {Eureka}

Elegant, renovated barns have been a popular venue for the love birds looking to build a day revolving around their midwestern country roots. If this fits your wedding vibe, check out:

Marlene’s Event Barn {Metamora}

Haven on the Farm  {Edwards}

Top of the Hill Farm   {Chillicothe}

#3   //  

Affordable, Charming Accommodations

The world of hotels and resorts is just about as wide and varied as the world we live in. Whether you are looking for an opulent and iconic grand hotel, a quirky and cool-minded boutique, a picturesque inn right out of a storybook, or a unique Airbnb experience—we have accommodations for all types of travelers, no matter the taste or budget—Greater Peoria has you covered!

Here are three iconic hotels along the Illinois River, near downtown Peoria:

Peoria Marriott Pere Marquette  {Peoria}

Embassy Suites Riverfront Hotel​  {East Peoria}

Par-A-Dice Hotel + Casino  {East Peoria}

For a more boutique or unique stay, checkout:

Wildlife Prairie Park  {Hanna City}  //  Stay in a train caboose, grain bin, rustic cabin on a remote lake, or glamp in modern cabins overlooking the bison and elk pastures. 

Cornerstone Inn  {Washington}  //  This boutique, modern luxury inn is a quaint venue for out of town guests.

Big Horse Inn  {Lewistown}  //  This uniquely rustic lodging experience offers a homespun atmosphere with warm hospitality.

Discover more Accommodations here.

#4   //  

Top Notch Local Flavor

Greater Peoria is in the midst of the best farmland in the nation. Our region does not take farm-to-table lightly. Whether it’s fine dining or casual—the region is known for clever twists on homestyle classics made with locally sourced ingredients. The foodie scene includes down-home cooking, local specialties, craft beverages, and midwestern classics from artisanal masters. With so many options, foodie guests will appreciate your big day menu in Peoria.

Introduce your wedding shower friends and rehearsal dinner guests to the region by selecting a venue with a notable reputation and topnotch aesthetic. Check out:

 12 Bar Lounge  {Peoria Heights}  //  With indoor and rooftop seating featuring multiple fireplaces and an amazing menu, this spot makes a great introduction to the area.  

Alexander Steakhouse  {Peoria}  //  If your shower or rehearsal dinner calls for fine steaks and seafood, you’re in luck because regardless of the occasion, Alexander Steakhouse is an interactive crowd pleaser—guests are able to grill their own steaks!

Fish House  {Peoria}  //  Since 1976, The Fish House has been serving excellent seafood dishes from around the globe with an eclectic mix of steak, chicken and pasta dishes to satisfy all appetites. It’s a great place to host out-of-town wedding guests.

Jim’s Steakhouse  {Peoria}  //  For a more formal affair, check out Jim’s Downtown Steakhouse. Between the piano bar, the finest quality dry-aged beef cooked to perfection, and the craft libations, Jim’s has developed an unrivaled reputation for fine dining in our area. It’s a perfect and intimate spot for showers and rehearsal dinners.

Jonah’s Seafood House  {East Peoria}  //  This iconic restaurant sits riverside and provides a great view of the Peoria skyline from the waterfront. It’s an excellent venue for wedding showers and rehearsal dinners.

The Peoria Area has multiple farm-to-table catering options that work beautifully with the major venues in the region. Set up a tasting with: 

Cracked Pepper Catering {Peoria}

Cyd's in the Park {Peoria}

The Chef and The Baker {Peoria}

Childers Banquet and Catering {Peoria}

For late night, post-dancing snacks, check out these memorable food options (some of which are mobile and can join your party onsite): 

Agatucci’s Restaurant  {Peoria}   //  Carryout. Pizza

El Zarape Taco Truck  {Peoria}  //   Mobile. Authentic Mexican food

Firehouse Pizza  {East Peoria}  //   Delivery. Pizza

Nate Dawgs  {Pekin}  //  Mobile. Chili dogs

Swanee’s Pretzels  {Peoria}   //  Mobile.  Handmade jumbo soft pretzels

The Station  {Peoria}   //  Mobile. Good home cookin’.

Wandering Mare  {Eureka}  //  Mobile. Craft cocktails

Discover more Food Options here.

#5   //  

Adventures Awaits!

Whether your guests only have a couple hours to explore or a weekend to fill, the Greater Peoria Area has fun, affordable, and unique adventures for groups and individuals.

Burn off energy at a trampoline or water park, bowling alley, batting cage, go-kart track, mini golf course, paintball park, or disc golf course. Take a deep dive into area swimming pools or cool off at an NHL-sized ice skating rink. Bond with your guests and a herd of bison. Get creative pouring candles, blowing glass, or glazing pottery. Rock climb, attempt an escape room, let loose at the arcade, or explore one of our exceptional museums. 

To better equip your guests with things to do in Greater Peoria, check out some of these lists of adventures:

The Ins and Outs of Peoria—Making the Most of 72 Hours

Greater Peoria Treasures

First-time Visitor To-do List

Great Spots for Live Music

10 Wild Adventures

Rainy Day Kid Adventures

Budget-friendly Fun

In the River City, you’re only limited by your energy. Be sure to check out Discover Peoria’s Calendar of Events for the latest shows and festivals happening in the area, as well as a complete list of places to explore in Greater Peoria.

Discover more Things to Do with Guests here.

Rachel Mangiapane, Guest Writer

Rachel Mangiapane moved to Peoria to attend Bradley University and never left thanks to her Caterpillar career. Growing up in a very small town, the Peoria area feels like a metropolis to her! With a home in Mapleton, work in Peoria, family in Washington and property in Cuba, she’s regularly exploring the region. You're most likely to find her at a local coffee shop, antique store or yoga studio.

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