hidden gem

A couple weeks ago, I attended a wedding of my boyfriend's friends in an awesome location. The cocktail hour was in a window-encased room facing crashing waves, the reception was in an equally breath-taking setting, and the lobby of the hotel felt like a resort. The best part? It was in Illinois. In my roughly eight years of heavy wedding attendance--the majority of them taking place in this state--I had never heard of Illinois Beach Resort in Zion, but I encourage you to check it out if you're wedding planning and looking for something off the beaten path. While it may not be for everyone, the views were incredible and it was a fun break to get out of the city and appreciate Lake Michigan in a whole new light, even if just for a night. But brides beware--as we all know in Illinois, with the beautiful views past September, the lake brings brisk temperatures, so have a jacket handy for pics. Check out more details here.

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