Venue in Focus: Forest Hills Country Club | Rockford, IL

We had the opportunity to photograph a wedding at Forest Hills Country Club during the summer of 2016 and discovered many positive attributes of this popular Rockford venue. Read on to check out our observations about the site.

Spaces for the wedding party to hang out

If you’re planning on staying hidden from your fiancé until the ceremony, Forest Hills Country Club offers an advantage. We’ve worked at many venues where there is somewhere for the bride and her side of the wedding party to prepare–although, some spaces are more ideal than others, which I’ll discuss in a future blog post–but FHCC has suitable spaces for both sides of the bridal party to chill before the ceremony. The venue has nicely furnished locker rooms, which are separated in a way that is ultra-convenient for couples who are saving their first look for the ceremony.

There is also a spacious bar area that is easily accessible from the men’s locker room.

Pretty locations for bridal portraits

The well-groomed golf course offers a variety of top-notch places to take portraits of the bride and groom. One of my favorite, maybe more unrecognized spots on the course was by a tree that had bushes nearby with purple flowers. The particular wedding that we shot at FHCC had a purple theme, so I adored the portraits we took with those purple flowers out of focus on the background.

There is also a grand willow tree with branches that hang just right, leaving an private-feeling area for the couple to stand and take an intimate-looking photo.

There are more willow trees surrounding a bridge, where we took one of my favorite bridal portraits, with the bride and groom sitting on the edge, looking at each other with their backs to the camera. The bridge is also a prime location for a solo portrait of the bride, making a white dress pop against the surrounding foliage.

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Another one of my favorite bride-groom shots was up on the green of the golf course, with the clubhouse in the background. This was a great shot because it showed the green of the golf course and the clubhouse was blurred in the background, giving a very complete sense of the venue. The couple posed perfectly with a picture-perfect dip, which is not easy to do!

One more spot that you should take advantage of is the outdoor patio. There is wrought iron fencing, which can be an artistic feature in photos, and the sun sets in the distance, so that if the timing is coordinated just right, you can take a sunset photo on the patio.

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Spacious bar area

There is a roomy bar area attached to the ballroom that is especially great for accommodating large guest lists. The actual bar is one step higher than the rest of the reception area, with a long counter and comfortable lounge chairs surrounding cocktail tables. In the lower level around the raised bar area, there are floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto the golf course.

Having attended a wedding at this venue and also having worked at one, we have seen this versatile area used for appetizers, late-night snacks, signing of the marriage license, gift table, and of course, drinking and socializing.

This bar area is a great feature for guests who are looking for a quieter space than the ballroom where they can chat; although, you guests definitely won’t feel isolated or distant from the party.

Outstanding staff

We have had nothing but positive experiences with the staff members at FHCC, which you may have discovered is not always the case. We worked with the former event coordinator, Lisa, and since she left FHCC for other pursuits, we have corresponded with her replacement, Paul. In our experiences, the wedding coordinator has been easily accessible. We have communicated through email and always received a timely response. The stuff is also knowledgeable, eager to offer helpful information about the site, and they are also accommodating; Lisa was very involved during the wedding that we shot, helping to coordinate the timeline for the day and making sure everything was accounted for. I remember that she even asked the bride and her bridesmaids if they wanted anything to eat while they were hanging out before the ceremony, and she dutifully ordered them chicken fingers and fries from the kitchen! You don’t get that kind of service everywhere.

The bartenders were also great to work with. They let us take fun shots like this:

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Other appealing features of this venue include the central location in the Rockford area, its relatively secluded atmosphere, plentiful space, better-than-average wedding food from courteous servers, and the accessible parking lot.

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Check out the Forest Hills Country Club website at http://www.fhcc1921.com/banquetsweddings. Tell them we sent you!

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