Four Rivers weddings

Frequently asked questions

Four Rivers Environmental Education Center offers the perfect location for weddings and receptions. Located in McKinley Woods on a peninsula near where the Kankakee, Des Plaines and DuPage rivers meet to form the Illinois River, the Center provides stunning views of the outdoors. Questions commonly asked about hosting weddings at Four Rivers are included here for easy reference. 

(Photo courtesy of Griff Photography)

What is the cost of the venue? 

The "Wedding Day Package" includes the Four Rivers Shelter, the Illinois River Grand Hall, the wedding suite, and a wedding rehearsal for a fee of $3,000.  

To rent the Illinois River Grand Hall only, the fee is $2,200.

Contact staff for other pricing options. 

How many hours are included in the rental cost? 

The spaces are rented for up to 10 hours. Permits are not issued to go beyond midnight. The last hour of your permit time is to be used for you, your guests, and your vendors to wrap up, pack up, and depart the preserve no later than the end time designated in your permit. You will be charged an additional fee if you, your guests, or your vendors are in the facility beyond the end time of your permit.

Does the cost include a wedding coordinator? 

This cost includes District Guest Services Staff for the day but does not include someone to coordinate your wedding. District Staff will be present during your permitted time. We are here to assist with room layout and setup, coordinate arrival and departure times with vendors, and make your visit to the facility as comfortable as possible.

What is the cost for each additional hour? 

We will not book time beyond a 10-hour permit time or midnight. We find that 8-10 hours is plenty of time for weddings and receptions.

Does the cost of the wedding reception venue include tables, chairs, and/or linens? 

The fees mentioned include tables and chairs for inside the building. When having an event at the Four Rivers Shelter, you are responsible for providing your own tables and chairs. Four Rivers does not provide linens.

What tables and chairs are available?

We have 60-inch round tables that seat eight people, 8x3-foot banquet tables that seat eight people and are commonly used for the buffet and DJ, four 3-foot square tables, two 48-inch round tables that are used for a cake or guest book, and one portable bar table. Chairs are black with chrome legs and are comfortable for long periods of sitting but still sleek and nice looking for a wedding.

Is a caterer available in-house? If not, does the venue require use of a caterer on an approved list?

We do not provide catering services. However, we do have a catering kitchen and a list of approved caterers you can select from to provide your meal and bar service. We are unable to allow any food to be brought in unless it comes from a vendor on our list. Please call 815.722.9470 or email [email protected] to request a current list of approved caterers.

What other services, such as a dance floor, lighting, or sound system are included in the price? 

We have a projector and screen with a sound system for your use if you want to do a video presentation during the reception. You will need to hire a DJ or band for your party music. Our sound system is not designed to provide sound to the dance floor area in the room. 

Is there room in the wedding venue for a band and/or dancing?  

For a guest list of 125-130, there is room for a band and/or dancing. 

Are there any noise restrictions, such as how long a DJ can play or how long a band can perform? 

For inside the building, there are no restrictions. For the Four Rivers Shelter, we ask that you keep the music at a decent level so as to not disturb guests who rent the other shelter in the preserve. Bands and DJs can play up until the last hour of the permit time, allowing the last hour to be used to pack up and depart the preserve.

Does the venue have wireless Internet access?

Yes.  However, due to District restrictions, streaming music, video, or photos are not permitted. Video or slideshow presentations must be saved to your hard drive or a portable storage device. You will not be able to stream music from the Internet.

Are there additional charges for setup and cleanup of the wedding venue? 

Upon arrival, the Illinois River Grand Hall will be set up with our tables and chairs. You are then responsible for your linens and decorations. There are fees for additional cleanup should your event require it. Those fees are stated in the Rental Agreement.

What are the restrictions associated with decorating the reception site? 

Nothing can be taped, push-pinned, glued, or stapled to any surface. Nothing can be draped or hung from the support cables in the Grand Hall or the Shelter. More details regarding decoration restrictions can be found in the Rental Agreement.

Are candles or other open flames allowed?

All candles used for table centerpieces and room decorations must be in heat-proof, enclosed containers or holders.

When can we decorate?   

Decorating can begin based on the time your permit states. Most weddings have a 2 p.m. to midnight permit time.  In that case, you can arrive at 2 p.m. to start decorating. We do not allow decorating to take place the day before as we may have events scheduled the day before yours.

Is alcohol allowed to be served on the property? 

Alcohol is allowed but must be provided and served through an approved caterer from our list.

Are we allowed to bring in our own liquor? 

No.  Bar service must be provided by one of our approved caterers. 

Does the venue supply the bar? If the caterer supplies the bar, is an additional license necessary? 

We supply the bar table, but the caterer supplies the alcohol, insurance, appropriate license, and staff.

Are the rental clients responsible for any additional event insurance? 

There is no additional insurance you are required to purchase.  However, we strongly recommend you look into one-day event coverage for yourself and the venue.  Check with your personal insurance company for information.

What is the parking situation for the guests? 

There is plenty of parking to accommodate wedding guests at this venue. There are 39 spaces in the building parking lot and 59 spaces at the Four Rivers Shelter lot. There is also a grassy overflow parking area, if needed. On the day of the wedding, additional signs will direct guests to the proper parking locations.

Are there any discounts for hotels in the area for wedding guests? 

We do not have any agreements with local hotels to provide discounts at this time. We do have a list of nearby hotels.

Is the wedding venue wheelchair accessible?

Yes, Four Rivers is fully accessible.

What is the cancellation policy?

For the Illinois River Grand Hall, if you cancel at least 90 days prior to the event date, your deposit will be returned less a $500 processing fee. If the cancellation occurs within 90 days, the deposit will not be refunded.  For the Four Rivers Shelter, fees are nonrefundable.

Is there a payment schedule? What kind of deposit is required? 

50% of the rental fee is due ten business days after receiving your permit. The remaining balance is due ten business days before the scheduled event. For Four Rivers Shelter only rentals, the payment is due in full ten business days after receiving the permit.

Is there a space for the couple to change and/or relax?

The wedding suite is included in the "Wedding Day Package." 


Four Rivers Environmental Education Center is located at 25055 W. Walnut Lane, off of Blackberry Lane south of Bridge Street, in Channahon.


For more information, or to check availability, call Four Rivers Environmental Education Center at 815-722-9470 or email [email protected].

For more outdoor venues, such as picnic groves and shelters, visit the picnicking page.