Spotlight Feature: Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center

1/3 of all engagements happen between Thanksgiving Day & New Years… which means we are headed into ENGAGEMENT SEASON full force! :) One thing I have been spending this winter doing is running all over Central Illinois finding the absolute BEST wedding vendors for my brides, because honestly, my Photos by Ariel brides deserve the nothing less than the best! These AMAZING vendors will all be featured on my blog in the upcoming weeks! (In case you are just joining, don’t forget to check out these two posts: (1) Spotlight Feature: Basic Invite and (2) Spotlight Feature: Simply Elegant by Cheri.

One of the first things a couple MUST do when they get engaged is book the venue! After all, if there is no where to have the wedding then there is no wedding. And take it from me, when it comes to picking a wedding venue one of the things you will want to look for is a large space.

The site may look enormous when its empty, but wedding essentials—tables, chairs, a buffet, bar, the band or DJ Setup, the dance floor, etc.—fill it up very quickly. Not to mention your guests will need some elbow room. Well, space is one thing that will NOT be an issue at Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in Normal, Illinois. With 24,368 ft. of event space this is one wedding hotspot where you won’t have to tailor your guest list to fit a small venue. I mean… if you have to cut out cousin Margaret from the guest list you would NEVER hear the end of it. ;) But don’t worry, if you choose to have an intimate wedding reception, this amazing space can be divided into many different size rooms! They have the perfect size space for a guest list of any size. :)

But that’s not all! This wedding venue is located right in Uptown Normal, offering easy access to destinations including The Children’s Discovery Museum, the Historic Normal Theater, The Garlic Press, Babbitt’s Books, Apricot Lane, DP Dough, Medici and many more shopping, dining, and entertainment opportunities your guests will LOVE. And don’t worry about transportation! The hotel has their own parking garage right across the street, and they are a short walk away from the Amtrak station and offer a complimentary shuttle to the Central Illinois Regional Airport for any out of town guests!

After interviewing event manager Samantha Nowatski, the thing that stood out to me the most was how helpful and accommodating they were. They have certified wedding planners that will help you determine an overall vision for your wedding and help you execute each detail. That includes setting an event budget; deciding on a menu with the custom catering they offer; arranging table settings; and finding florists, photographers, a band and other entertainment for the big day. Weddings tend to be stressful but I am confident that with their help it will be anything BUT stressful.

Enjoy some photos of this beautiful venue!

Bonus Tip: If you book your wedding for the off-season or ask a venue for what dates they have open if you are wanting a pretty quick wedding (4 months or less away) then a lot of a vendors will give you special discounts!

XO- Ariel

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