Galena Wedding Chapel
Thank you for considering hosting your special day at Bernadine’s Stillman Inn. Our historic mansion in Illinois will provide the romantic wedding venue that you have always dreamed of. From day one you will feel comfortable and in control. Use our easy Wedding Planner to get started.
It has been our passion to provide a unique setting for your special day; in the intimate wedding chapel, our 65-person reception area and our 7-room bed and breakfast at Bernadine’s Stillman Inn. Each area has been proudly created, maintained and reasonably priced for a day such as this.
We have created the Galena Wedding Chapel as a uniquely romantic and intimate venue for your special wedding day. There is seating for 34 guests inside the Chapel with additional seating for up to 35 just 2 steps down; both areas are inside. You will notice the unique antique church pews, the original rough sawn floors, gold trim, brass mirrors and the largest brass chandelier we could find!
Our reception area is housed in the same building as our Chapel. It features original brick paver floors, rough sawn stained plank walls, stenciled details and faux marbled cast iron columns. It also features open ceiling beams punctuated with skylights. It is lit with more unique sconces and matching chandeliers.
Click here for information on our bed and breakfast, which is located on the same 2-acre estate.
We take great pride in offering an extensive array of services at a reasonable price. We realize you are looking for value in these choices. We feel confident in our ability to help you choose just the right elements to make your wedding ceremony and reception spectacular and affordable.
We fill a need in specializing in smaller and more intimate weddings from elopements to seasonal outdoor wedding parties and indoor receptions for up to 65 people that includes a full bar.
Our desire is to make this a joyous day for both of you, your families and friends. We strive to give you exactly what you are looking for without any stress or uncertainty. This is exactly what you should expect from a friendly, full-service venue.
For private and unique evening receptions, the interior of our building takes on a beautiful amber glow. Our guests love this romantic and historic venue.
Our wedding coordinator specialists in making both the Bride and Groom feel comfortable as we plan your special day. We are here to help you make all the necessary decisions, so the process and ceremony will go smoothly and be stress free! Isn’t that what you want?
Rest assured we will respond to you and your guests’ needs throughout your wedding. Our coordination includes the facilities, ceremony, vows, officiant, flowers, music, photography, reception, food, a full bar, cake, and music, or a secret elopement package starting at $525.
The planning and coordinating starts with listening closely to your dreams, wishes and budget. This is an Art! We enjoy the process, and we’re good at it! Just call Dave with questions at 815 777-0557
The majority of our couples use our on-site officiants. You choose between a Contemporary or a Traditional Religious Ceremony. You could also chose an option like Unity Candles, Sand Ceremony, Rose Ceremony or other personalization, which will be remembered forever.
Many of our Brides choose to include a ceremonial champagne toast. The Groom pours champagne or sparkling juice to the Bride and wedding party – the Officiant then leads you with a toast to end the ceremony.
We are excited about coordinating your floral arrangements! Give us a list of your favorite flowers or show us a picture of a bouquet you just love, and we will arrange for a bridal bouquet, boutonniere, flower girl basket, centerpieces for the ceremony and or reception. It’s up to you!
Unity Candles and Sand Ceremony
Many of our couples have enjoyed the traditional Unity Candle ceremony. You start with two side tapers lit individually representing each of you as individuals. At a point in the ceremony, you both walk over to the candles, pick up your own taper and together light the large center candle. You then blow out your individual candles. We can purchase these for you, or you can bring your own personally selected set.
The Sand Ceremony is similar in that you each start with your own vial of pre-chosen colored sand. When you come together you each start pouring your own vial into a larger center vial creating a beautiful and unique color combination that you can display in your home. This symbolizes the intermixing of your lives through marriage.
We offer a CD player for your ceremony. You can choose from a list of traditional songs that we provide, or you can arrange and plan your favorite songs and we will play them for you during the ceremony at the pre-designated times.
Our property is two acres filled with beautiful photo locations. We have stunning gardens and the back drop of the 1858 Victorian Mansion and Wedding Chapel. We also have a water feature on the property and front water fountain for photo ops. Dave is a professional photographer offering reasonable prices to capture keepsake images of your event. You are given a USB with your photos, copyright free so you can make as many copies as you’d like when you return home.
You don’t need to worry about the weather. If it looks like rain or it’s too cold on the day of your event, we go into the Chapel. We always keep that open during outdoor ceremonies…just in case!
Many of our small winter weddings happen inside Bernadine’s Stillman Inn. We have a beautiful fireplace mantle in the Parlor that is perfect for the occasion.
The Chapel takes on a rich amber glow for evening weddings. Nothing is more romantic!
One of our favorites. Just the two of you and a few friends perhaps? No problem. You will love this venue for renewing your vows. Small, quiet and intimate make way for a most memorable time.
Marriage License Information
Where to Apply – Both the bride and the groom must appear in person and apply for a marriage license at the office of the Jo Daviess County Clerk, Jo Daviess County Courthouse, 330 N. Bench St., Galena. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. It is important to note that a marriage license is only valid in the county in which it is issued. The application procedure takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes, so we ask if you will be coming in late in the day that you arrive by 3:00 p.m.
The following information is needed to complete the application:
*Full names of parents (first, middle, maiden, last) *State of birth for parents, bride and groom *Current addresses of parents *If bride or groom was previously married, the date the marriage ended (month, day, year), the County and State the divorce or death is recorded in and how the marriage ended (death, divorce, etc.)
Age Requirements – In order to be married in Illinois, you must be at least 16 years of age. If you are 16 or 17 years of age, your parents must sign a parental consent form in the County Clerk’s office. If it is not possible for your parents to sign the consent in this office, it may be done before the County Clerk in your parents’ home county. Contact this office for details.
Fees – The fee is $50 for a marriage license.
Procedure – A couple may NOT be married until one day after the license is issued and must be married within 61 days from the date of issuance. Either a clergyman or a judge may perform a marriage in Illinois.
If you plan to be married by a judge, contact the Circuit Clerk’s office, (815) 777-0037, at the courthouse. Judges are available during the hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Persons wishing to be married by a judge should make arrangements in advance.
After the marriage, the person performing the ceremony must return the completed license to the County Clerk’s office. If, for any reason, you are not married, it is your responsibility to return the license to the Clerk’s office to be filed. Under no circumstances should a license be destroyed after it is issued.
Illinois law does not require witnesses.
Certified Copy – A copy of your marriage license issued by Jo Daviess County may be obtained from the County Clerk’s office. Requests should include the maiden name of the bride, the name of the bridegroom, the date of the marriage and a fee of $16.
For Further Information – Additional information is available by calling the County Clerk’s office from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. (815) 777-0161
Here is the website for the most up-to-date information.
Our Address for Invitations:
Galena Wedding Chapel
513 Bouthillier St.
Galena, IL 61036