By Robin Banqueton, Blogger for Eleganté Cuisine
Welcome back to another edition of our "Friday Feature" blog series. I'm your trusty venue host, Robin Banqueton, and today, we're taking you on a journey to a place where history, family values, and modern luxury converge - THE DISTRICT.
Located inside the historic Memorial Hall in downtown Richmond, Illinois, THE DISTRICT is a venue that embodies the heart and soul of this quaint small town.
A Glimpse into History
Step inside THE DISTRICT, and you'll find yourself surrounded by over 115 years of history. The building itself has seen more costume changes than a Hollywood actor during awards season, transitioning from being a village hall to a library, a police station (complete with jail cells in the basement, no less!), and even a community center.
Believe it or not, it once served as a basketball court, too! Talk about versatility!
The roots of this venue run deep. It's fascinating to know that the grandson of William McConnell, Richmond's original founder, donated $10,000 to build Memorial Hall back in 1907.
Today, this cherished piece of history is getting a new lease on life through extensive renovations, while still preserving its historical significance to downtown Richmond.
The Perfect Location
One of the standout features of THE DISTRICT is its prime location. Situated just 20 minutes away from the picturesque Lake Geneva and the historic Woodstock Square, it's a convenient spot for those looking to infuse a touch of small-town charm into their special day.
A Venue That Offers It All
THE DISTRICT boasts a range of services that make it an ideal choice for weddings, events, and gatherings of all kinds. Its 3,000 square foot Grand Room with exposed brick walls and hardwood floors is an elegant and versatile space. Double doors open to a 3,000 square foot covered patio, complete with an outdoor bar and gas fire tables, perfect for enjoying the Illinois seasons rain or shine.
For the bridal party, there's a beautiful Bridal Suite in the English basement, as well as a full onsite prep kitchen. Plus, the private alley can be transformed into an extension of the party, ideal for food trucks, games, and adding that extra flair to your event.
What's more, THE DISTRICT provides wood tables and chairs, outdoor furniture, and lounge furniture onsite to make your event truly unique. You also have the flexibility to choose from an extensive list of caterers (like us!) and food trucks, allowing you to curate a culinary experience that suits your taste and style.
Because, let's face it, hangry wedding guests? Not on your watch!
The Grand Room & More
The Grand Room is a sight to behold, with its exposed brick walls and hardwood floors creating a charming and warm ambiance. It's spacious enough to host your event comfortably. Moreover, it leads to the inviting covered patio with an outdoor bar and gas fire tables, ensuring that your guests can enjoy the outdoors even in the chillier months.
The Lower Level is equipped with a full prep kitchen, restroom facilities for both women and men, and, of course, the stunning Bridal Suite, providing a haven for the bride throughout the event.
Up in the balcony space above the Grand Room, you'll find The Lounge. It offers seating and lounge furniture, along with a balcony that overlooks the dance floor below. This space is also perfect for the groomsmen to relax before the ceremony.
Because a relaxed groomsmen is a happy groomsmen!
FAQs - Your Questions, Answered
Here are some frequently asked questions about THE DISTRICT:
Vendor Recommendations: Yes, they have a list of local caterers, hotels, stylists, photographers, DJs, florists, coordinators, and more that they can share with you after your visit.
Sound System: THE DISTRICT has a house sound system, but most DJs prefer to bring their own equipment. Because, let's face it, DJs and their equipment are like Batman and the Batmobile.
Rental Period: You have 14 hours to make the most of your day, from 8 am to 12 am for you and your guests. We're giving you plenty of time to dance the night away, and maybe even squeeze in an encore!
Capacity: The indoor seated events can accommodate a maximum of 200 people. Just imagine the dance floor - 200 people doing the Macarena!
Hidden Fees: No hidden fees, just one flat rate. Because surprises are for birthday parties, not wedding budgets.
Decorations: Yes, you can bring in your own decorations to personalize the space. After all, it's your day - make it your own.
Rehearsal: If the space is not being used, you can rehearse your ceremony. And if you happen to bump into a basketball game, well, that's just extra rehearsal entertainment.
Date Hold: A short hold on an available date is allowed after a tour. Because sometimes, you need a moment to let it all sink in before committing.
Booking: To secure your date, you'll need a 50% retainer and a signed contract, with the remaining balance due 90 days before your event. Easy as pie. Wedding pie, of course.
Parking: Ample street parking, a public parking lot across the street, and valet options are available. And for the adventurous, there are even shuttle options from local hotels. Getting to the party should be as stress-free as the party itself, right?
Accessibility: THE DISTRICT is ADA compliant and features a full working elevator. Because everyone deserves access to a good party!
Photo Booth: They have an open-air photo booth for rent onsite. So you can capture those hilarious moments when Uncle Bob dons a feather boa and oversized sunglasses.
WiFi: Yes, they provide WiFi. So if you're planning a tech-savvy wedding with a live-streamed ceremony, your Aunt Mabel can finally stop asking, 'Can you hear me now?'
Events Per Day: Only one event takes place per day, ensuring your special day gets the attention it deserves. Your love story deserves the spotlight, not a curtain call.
Sparklers and Candles: Sparklers are allowed in designated areas, and open flame candles are permitted if encased in glass vases. Because a romantic atmosphere doesn't mean playing with fire... well, okay, maybe a little.
THE DISTRICT is more than just a venue; it's a place where history meets modern luxury. With its rich history, family values, and top-notch amenities, it's the perfect canvas to bring your vision to life. So, if you're seeking a venue that marries the charm of yesteryears with the convenience of today, look no further than THE DISTRICT inside the historic Memorial Hall in downtown Richmond, Illinois. Your dream event awaits in this timeless space.
That's it for this week's Friday Feature.
Stay tuned for more venue highlights and insights from yours truly, Robin Banqueton.
Until next time, here's to creating unforgettable moments, one laugh and dance move at a time!