The District at Historic Memorial Hall | Richmond, IL
Have you ever passed an old building, never giving it a second thought? Day after day, month after month, year after year I did just that. An old decrepit building in downtown Richmond, just at the border of Illinois and Wisconsin, that has now been given a new life, thanks to Heather and her husband, Sam. Ronnie and I took a drive over to the edge of Lake & McHenry counties to see this new diamond, and it DID NOT DISAPPOINT.
Built in 1907, the Memorial Hall is on the National Register of Historic Places and was saved from demolition in April 2021. Heather, who is an engineer by trade, alongside her husband, Sam, partner of Midwest Arbor Corporation had the vision to take this historic location and breathe new life back into it.
This magnificent space holds up to 200 guests and boasts an outdoor garden area with seating, a bar, and fire pits but also an ever-evolving side alley designed for outdoor ceremonies as well.
Getting Ready Suite
Generous space for any bride (or groom) to get ready in the downstairs lounge complete with mirror stations for hair and makeup, private bathroom, plus lounging areas with rich velvet couches and of course, giant mirrors to see your full bridal attire!
Seating Area for the Guys
This area is perfect for the boys to hang out after donning their suits, while still being comfortable, and being away from the bridal suite. She did tell me that if they guys wanted a spot to get ready (or if they were hosting a bride/bride wedding) – one group can get ready at a nearby hotel (in Lake Geneva 20 minutes away) or at one of the local AirBnBs in town too.
This 3,000-square-foot space poses endless options. There is so much space even with guests seated at tables, there is no concern for layout options. The couple can make their grand dinner entrance from the front door, the patio, or even the loft above!
The Back Patio
This brick patio is just as large as the grand hall, and best of all – you can use it rain or shine. The patio boasts a louvered pergola that keeps you and your guests out of the rain (or mid-summer sun) without the worry of moving your ceremony indoors. This is ideal for your cocktail hour and even late-night party time with seats and a cement fire pit.
Just off of the patio is "the alleyway" that Heather showed us - it offers a beautiful black gate as a backdrop for the perfect outdoor ceremony, and even better - you can have food trucks come in and park inside the gate for your cocktail hour. Imagine all the appetizer and drink options you can have to make your wedding unique!
Last but not least, meet Heather, half of the mastermind duo. She is currently working to book the rest of 2023 and already booking into 2024. She is the owner, your point of contact, your day of wedding point person, their social media guru and more. I cannot say enough about her – genuinely sweet and kind for allowing us to take 45 minutes of her Sunday to tour the venue.
The venue rental runs from 8am to 12am (midnight) with prices starting at $6,500. There are flexible floor plans for the grand hall and patio areas, plus plenty of rental options for ceremony and reception decor and even a photo booth!