Cocktail Hour

Outdoor cocktail hour at The Monte Bello Estate has been upgraded! Take a look at our new permanent bar structure and lounge area.MonteBello_Facebook_SarahCudneyPhotograpy_13_previewMonteBello_Facebook_SarahCudneyPhotograpy_11_previewPhotos by Sarah Cudney Photography

Guests have been swooning over this perfect spot to sip their drinks before the reception begins (not to mention the beautiful photos that comes from it). Our wildflower field paints the most gorgeous backdrop and our pool gives off the perfect ambiance.


JanelleBrad_Wedding_July072017_502_previewPhoto by Jenna Marie Photography

Don’t worry if Mother Nature isn’t on your side, our indoor cocktail hour location is throughout the main level of The Monte Bello mansion and is just as breathtaking.

Victoria&PatrickSamsPics41_previewPhoto by Rebecca Haley Photography

Enhance your cocktail even more by adding on signature drinks, yard games or bringing in live music.

Cocktail hour comes with your choice of three delicious hors d’Oeuvres served butler style. Our most popular include:

-Tomato bisque shooters with grilled cheese

-Stuffed mushroom caps with crab, savory sausage, or spinach and feta

-Bacon wrapped dates

-Grilled shrimp served with fresh roasted garlic aioli

-Meatballs (Swedish, BBQ, or sweet & sour)

Choose from many other options and pick your favorites during your tasting!




Early Access

Looking for ways to simplify your wedding day schedule? The Monte Bello Estate offers couples the chance to add on ‘Early Access’ to their big day. This provides a stress-free environment for the whole bridal party! Choose between arriving at 9:30 a.m. or 12:00 p.m. and take advantage of our beautiful bridal suite, entertaining grooms suite and gorgeous grounds. Imagine everyone getting ready under one roof, sipping their mimosas and taking STUNNING before and after photos. No rushing, no driving from place to place- hair and makeup comes to you- it’s truly a relaxing way to start your wedding day festivities.

011_0078_previewPhoto Courtesy of Timothy Whaley & Associates Pamela_William0331_preview

Bridal Suite

Our bridal suite acts as the perfect backdrop for your ‘getting ready’ pictures with your closest girls at your side. It comes equipped with plenty of seating, a place to display dresses, tons of natural lighting, and a bathroom big enough to accommodate your whole hair and makeup team. Don’t forget to pop the champagne! We offer a mimosa bar to start off the day’s celebrations. Cheers!

dan-michelle-wedding_TSP-144244_previewPhoto Courtesy of T&S Hughes Photography


rachel-andrew-wedding-68_previewrachel-andrew-wedding-73_previewPhotos Courtesy of True Grace Photography

dan-michelle-wedding_TSP-142949_previewPhoto Courtesy of T&S Hughes Photography



Groom’s Suite

Don’t worry, we have not forgotten about our grooms! Our groom suite is the ideal man-cave complete with a pool table, poker table, craps table and foosball table. We also offer a list of craft beers to choose from for everyone to enjoy. Surrounded by sports, movie and music memorabilia, your guy and his buddies will be thrilled to hang out here while they prepare for the big night ahead.


019_0337_preview018_0335_previewPhotos Courtesy of Timothy Whaley & Associates



Having access to the estate early gives you more time to for photo ops around the grounds. Whether you decide to do a first look or if you just want separate group shots- knocking these photos out with plenty of time before yourceremony makes the day run so smoothly.

690-160702-Vanessa-Phil-WED_previewPhoto Courtesy of Liz Lui Photography

010_0075_preview008_0024_previewPhotos Courtesy of Timothy Whaley & Associates

SAL_0977_previewSAL_0477_previewPhotos Courtesy of Justpix Inc Photography

10 out of 10 would recommend adding on Early Access; contact your venue coordinator to learn more! Happy Wedding Planning!

Personalized Elements

Arrive in style! We’ve noticed a trend in transportation that makes for some great photo ops. Whether you’re looking for a grand entrance and/or a monumental exit, here are a few ideas we LOVE from our past weddings.

This carriage gave us major Cinderella vibes! So romantic and made it truly feel like these newlyweds were straight out of a fairy tale.


We were so happy to host a Lemont firefighter wedding this year! We love that they decided to have the truck be apart of their big day at the estate.

MarriedKathleenMike-698Photo Courtesy of Annie Steel Photography

Another great ride was this hot pink hummer limo. So fun and something different from a traditional limo.

Hall_Rajchel061617_0304Hall_Rajchel061617_0650Photos courtesy of Studio One Photography

Vintage is so in right now. This couple chose to have an old-fashion car as their mode of transportation. Such a classy touch to this picture perfect day!

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Looking for transportation for your whole crew? A trolley is a unique alternative to a party bus. What a fun and cute way to include all your close VIPs on your big day. Monique and Rob-1436Photo Courtesy of Eric Gee Photography

Last but not least, a bride and her horse make for beautiful photos. We’re very excited to say this year we have two more couples who have decided to include horses on their wedding day. Our grounds paint the perfect scene- giving off a whimsical, majestic feel.


*Here at the Monte Bello Estate, we love to see couples add personalized touches to their events. Picking a unique form of transportation can make for another memorable detail for your special day.

July 2017 Wedding Recap

Summer is in full swing and we have been having some beautiful weddings here at the estate! July had tons of fun times, tasty food, beautiful colors and of course, romance.

We’re noticing a lot of couples this year choosing to add on yard games to their cocktail hour. We offer, corn hole, giant jenga, connect four and ring toss. The games are a huge crowd pleaser and a fun addition to the party!

S’mores are (as always) the most popular add on this season. A late night snack is a perfect way to end a night full of celebrating. Our staff sets up a beautiful station of s’mores goodies for guests to build their own treats. The Monte Bello Estate has four fire pits outside for roasting marshmallows under the stars. The fire adds an extra touch of ambiance to the end of your event as your guests start to filter outside.

Every season is beautiful here at the estate so we can’t pick a favorite! However, these summer photos have been exceptionally stunning.




One final detail we loved from July was having Heavenly Harps come in to play for a couple’s ceremony and cocktail hour. The harp adds elegance and romance to weddings that we simply adore! We definitely recommend Heavenly Harps if you’re looking to add on some live music to the beginning of your event.


Pool Ambiance

Who doesn’t love some ambiance?? The Monte Bello Estate has a beautiful pool that adds an extra pop to your cocktail hour. Guests really enjoy sipping their drinks with a view! Enhance your event décor with our upgraded pool package. The package keeps the pool open through your reception and includes lights and floating candles to set the mood. Our staff takes care of it all so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenery. Take a look at this gorgeous shot from a July wedding! Inquire within to find out more.


Photography by Amanda Megan Miller Photography

Yes Way Frosé

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Did you know the Monte Bello Estate has a variety of signature drinks available to add on to your bar package?? This month we’re highlighting one of our favorite options, the Yes Way Frosé! This fun (and delicious!!) cocktail is made with Juliette Rosé poured over a scoop of raspberry sorbet to create the perfect fruity combo.

Juliette Rosé is a crisp rose wine with an initial fruit-forward taste of raspberries and berries that give an attractive, open feel. It’s refreshing and elegant with layers of lively fruit and a bright, smooth finish. Produced at the Maison of Domaine de La Sanglière in southern France, Juliette is a true expression of a traditional Provencal rosé wine.

Adding on signature drinks is always a fun way to personalize the bar for your guests. Inquire within to learn more about how you can include the Yes Way Frosé to your big day!

-Photos courtesy of Erin Dobosiewicz


July & August Wedding Recaps

July and August were very busy months! I had a baby boy at the end of July so I decided to combine these two summer months 🙂 We LOVE July and August at the estate because all of the wildflowers and greenery are fully bloomed and thriving in our prairie!  ♥(Did you know, Monte Bello has the largest privately owned wildflower preserve in Illinois?!) In these two months we had 11 weddings, 2 birthday parties and 1 bridal shower.

Here are some of the trending and unique parts from July and August weddings…

♦ Noteworthy entree options:

Shrimp and Scallops with sides of asparagus and red skin potatoesimg_7199

Quinoa stuffed eggplant with asparagus and an avocado cream sauceimg_7316

Teriyaki ginger salmon with risotto and asparagusimg_7318

Chicken champagne with a double baked potato and asparagus986-160702-vanessa-phil-wedPhoto Courtesy of Liz Lui Photography

♦ Weddings in July started off with some fantastic live music including a Mariachi Band!779-160702-vanessa-phil-wed816-160702-vanessa-phil-wedPhotos Courtesy of Liz Lui Photography 

♦ Beautiful flower arch


♦ This couple choose to have their ceremony in our forest (rather than the gazebo) turned out AMAZING! I recommend using Posh Productions for your ceremony music/mic needs if you would also like to have your ceremony in the woods.img_7312img_7313img_7311img_7314

♦ A fun Cigar Bar for guests to enjoy!monique-and-rob-1912monique-and-rob-1718monique-and-rob-1979Photo Courtesy of 

♦  Different linen colors that make a bold statement monique-and-rob-1634Photo Courtesy of 



♦ Having a sweets table was a hit this summer!

♦ We ♥LOVE♥ that more brides have been wearing their veils during the reception, not just the ceremony 881-160702-vanessa-phil-wedPhoto Courtesy of Liz Lui Photography

♦ A classic, elegant theme that wow’s guestsdana_and_evan-26

♦ Having menu cards was popular as well as adding on a choice second entree for guests to indulge in :

For every table:


For every guest:monique-and-rob-1624Photo Courtesy of 

♦ Some couples put their engagement photos to good use by personalizing their card box with some great photos


Greenery everywhere for summermonique-and-rob-1628Photo Courtesy of 


♦ Reusing ceremony signage that double as a guest book for the reception dana_and_evan-10dana_and_evan-29-1720-160702-vanessa-phil-wedPhoto Courtesy of Liz Lui Photography

S’mores are still the most popular add on for 2016! monique-and-rob-2028Photo Courtesy of 


Drone Videos have also been big this summer! Check out our Facebook page for the most current drone footage from a recent wedding and STAY TUNED because we also had a drone of our own go through the estate recently! I will post that soon 🙂

Have you noticed any neat trends or unique parts of weddings you have been to this summer?

♥ Sara



June Weddings Recap

June was a gorgeous month at the estate filled with beautiful flowers blooming everywhere, nice weather, and eight Friday and Saturday weddings with the sweetest couples and families! Here are a few things that were very popular this month…

S’mores are definitely the most popular wedding add-on right now! Having the bonfire turned on is a separate add-on from s’mores, whereas the four wine barrels are where your guests will enjoy the ambience of roasting their marshmallows right outside the estate! Yum!  *(shown in photos are two brown S’MORES boxes, glassware & ingredients for s’mores, sticks, S’mores signage, and four wine barrels that are ALL INCLUDED when you choose to add on s’mores as your late night snack! Upgrade the experience even more by having the bonfire turned on separately) download21


Chargers were very popular this month in both silver and gold

Swahlstedt-0096(photo courtesy of Wes Craft Photography at )

♦ Upgraded runners and floral garland runners to make the head table stand outIMG_4311 download8.jpeg

(photo courtesy of Wedding Bug Studios)

♦  Monogrammed pillowsDSC_1571

♦ Beautiful and personal indoor ceremonies..complete with bubbles! (Photos Courtsey of Wes Craft Photography at )Swahlstedt-0083Swahlstedt-0086

Summer themed weddings like garden inspired, playful citrus centerpieces, wildflowers, colorful glasswareIMG_4244



♦ Guests enjoying our new outside patio space during the receptionDSC_1588

Wedding signage DSC_1601Sign courtesy of Greenstar Paperie

Uplighting color #19 that adds a soft, romantic glow to the reception spaceDSC_1650download18(photo courtesy of Wedding Bug Studios)

♦ Adding on a Wine Tasting Experience during cocktail hour complete with a wine host to explain the different characteristics of each wine you select and give your guests an unforgettable, fun experience!



Did you know, June is one of the two most requested wedding months at the estate? The other being September.

♥ Sara





Parties, Showers & Corporate Events

Monte Bello does it all with attentive service and impeccable food, making it a premier venue for parties and events. We recently held a large corporate event at the estate as well as a wedding shower, an engagement party, and my baby shower. I am excited to show you some photos of these events as inspiration to plan your next event at Monte Bello!

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2016-05-15 13.27.182016-05-15 13.27.462016-05-15 13.28.422016-05-15 13.36.202016-05-15 13.47.472016-05-15 15.32.29-22016-05-15 14.09.25DSC_1422DSC_1806DSC_1860DSC_1871IMG_4066DSC_1874DSC_1882DSC_209613346366_10207849587429616_7180928240833912878_o13415516_10207849589709673_3110818293348655831_o13422444_10207849590029681_5112010582528871330_o13423749_10207849589549669_3609404301447528761_nIMG_4737Petit Fourspetit fours 2chocolate petit foursIMG_4739IMG_4740IMG_4742IMG_4743IMG_4744IMG_4745

Don’t you love a great party?

♥ Sara

May Wedding Recap

May was full of beautiful ceremonies and receptions that had a blend of classic traditions and fresh, modern receptions in our glass tent. Here are some of the unique pieces I loved from our May weddings with photos…

♦ Multiple weddings added on use of our Yard Games (one cocktail hour had to be moved inside because of the weather but that didn’t stop them from playing!)IMG_3355

♦ Lilac chair covers and napkins and runnersIMG_3184

♦ One bride surprised her guests (and groom!) with having this horse and carriage bring them to the gazebo ceremony site (Jim & Beckys Carriage) IMG_3354

♦ Bagpipe introduction for the bride and groomIMG_3162

♦ One sweet couple brought in a roulette table for their guests to play for funIMG_3716

♦ Upgraded wines to be Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc, J Winery Cuvee Brut, King Estate Signature Pinot Noir for dinner and bar service (YUM!)Food and Beverage

♦ A personalized gallery wall from Details   (

♦ Adding on a fourth Hor d’Oeuvres was very popular this month with four of our couples offering the expanding selectionIMG_4066

Indoor Ceremony IMG_3368

♦ Fun group photos right after the ceremony unnamed

Uplighting to enhance the reception IMG_3375

♦ Highlighting special tables like the cake table with a special linen selectionIMG_3650

Unique photo spots around the estate (Photo by Korto Photo) 13320435_1303884662974153_7737145847262144026_o

Signature DrinksIMG_3153



Other noteable unique add ons from this month’s fabulous weddings….

♦ Three couples added on the late night snacks of a taco bar!

♦ Several couples added on the Rent The Estate For The Day so they were able to come into the estate five and a half hours before their ceremony start time