Venue in Focus: Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden | Rockford, IL

We came to know Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden in Rockford, IL pretty well over the course of 2016. After shooting an engagement session, two ceremonies, and one reception at this venue, we’re able to easily identify the upsides of the site. If you are searching for a wedding venue, thinking about booking Klehm, or have already reserved the space for your big day, read on to consider our insights on this superb event space.

Beautiful outdoor ceremony site

Klehm has a perfect outdoor ceremony site that is situated just west of the main building. There are paved walkways that lead to an open area with fountains and benches surrounding. This seems to be where people like to gather after ceremonies. The paved area is adjacent to a large grassy area where white chairs will be set up for guests. At the front of the grassy area, there is a grand ceremony space. There are a few low steps leading up to the spot where the actual wedding ceremony will take place. Here, there is a pagoda that is both photogenic and practical in case of blaring sun or rain. Because the couple is on higher ground than their onlooking guests, everyone has a clear view of the nuptials. This whole ceremony area needs no decoration–the grounds are so well-kept that the secluded-feeling ceremony area is beautiful on its own.

Pretty year round

No matter what the season, the grounds at Klehm are lush with vegetation and  provide ideal scenery for portraits.

Variety of scenes for portraits

Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden is a big place that offers plentiful photography opportunities. Nearby the ceremony space, there is a bridge situated next to a lily pond that is perfect for all kinds of poses. Just over the bridge is the serenity garden, which has lush grass and a babbling brook. Wedding parties always have fun at the hedge maze. From the hedge-maze area, there are more pathways that lead to a secluded garden and woodsy area. There is also a patch of prairie grass that looks great in sunset photos. Klehm is full of mature trees and flowering plants that make for beautiful, natural additions to portraits. 

The reception area is not a stuffy ballroom

Klehm is an appealing wedding venue because there is space for both the ceremony and reception. While this is good, it is really good that the reception space is inviting.

When I was looking for a venue, it was really important to me that the reception was not in a stuffy ballroom with the typical patterned carpet, parquet dance floor, and no windows. Since I felt this way, I would imagine there are other brides out there who are thinking the same way.

The ballroom is not a typical ballroom. There is tile rather than carpet, which makes the room feel even more spacious than it already is. One entire wall is windows, which lets in natural light and contributes to the airy feeling that is not characteristic of most ballrooms. This wall provides sliding door access to a patio that has several picnic tables, so guests can filter outside with their drinks during the reception. This 3,500 square foot space can accommodate 225 guests.

Brand new space

Klehm is adding another huge draw to its already attractive list of offerings: the Garden Pavilion & Terrace that is opening this May. Klehm’s website describes the space:

Our stunning, classic, white wedding tent with adjoining terrace can seat up to 400 dinner guests, all in a beautifully landscaped setting that is just steps away from the Fountain Garden, our most popular wedding ceremony site. Say “I do” and then dance the night away under the stars…at Klehm.

We hope that an opportunity to photograph an event in this new space comes our way, and then of course I will share our thoughts with you!


For more information about weddings at Klehm, visit



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