• New Wedding Hub Planned for Elgin

    Building Purchase Paves Way for Expansion with Two New Venues Revealed Aug. 28
    Elgin, IL (August 22, 2022) – The owners of The Highland Loft, a 19,500 square foot wedding venue at 168 E. Highland Avenue in Elgin have undertaken a buildout that adds two additional venue spaces to the property, with the potential for more to come. The most recent renovations are set to be revealed at a grand opening and expo on August 28.
    Marilyn and Darren Mensching, co-owners of the event space, hosted their first wedding in 2020, just prior to the pandemic. Early in 2022, they worked with their partner to complete the purchase of the 3-story, 160,000-square-foot building, which was most recently occupied by RR Donnelley. With approximately 40,000 square feet of space currently available for weddings, showers, anniversaries, corporate events and more – the Menschings envision establishing an event destination unlike any other in Chicago’s suburbs.
     “This is a historical building,” said Marilyn Mensching, “with original wood floors, decorative tin ceilings, tall windows, brick walls and other nostalgic touches. But it can have a very industrial or modern feel as well. It definitely does not feel like a typical venue.”
    The largest venue space at The Highland Loft can accommodate up to 600 guests comfortably. Each of the two large venue spaces, including a new one to be unveiled on August 28, occupy an entire floor of what was once the former Ackemann’s Department Store – the Macy’s of its time. For nearly 100 years, Ackemann Bros. was “The Big Store” serving Elgin and the surrounding communities – with huge floors of furniture, clothing and dry goods. It was a destination with charm that some in the community still recall – a charm that, at The Highland Loft, is now well suited to launching couples into their new married lives.
    “We have many unique amenities to offer, including two large, fully stocked bars and tasting rooms, with mixologists on staff at all events,” said Darren Mensching. “We have large dance floors, groom’s rooms, and bridal suites that have their own private bathrooms and wet bars in our two main floors. We are also unveiling a smaller, first floor space that’s perfect for showers, rehearsal dinners, micro-weddings, birthday parties and any event up to 80 guests,” he added. “Many couples are asking for this space for after-hour parties once their wedding has ended."
    One of the most popular new features is the addition of a two-bedroom loft apartment suite located in the building, just steps away from the wedding spaces. Many couples are requesting this for family or bridal party overnight accommodations.
    The grand opening on August 28 will feature a wedding expo hosted by The Complete Wedding Expo, a business owned by Marilyn Mensching since 2010. A variety of wedding vendors will be on hand to showcase services for every aspect of a couple’s needs on their special day. Included will be catering samples, drink tastings, a showcase of gowns and formalwear, photo/video services, DJ/media services, and more. One media company, Essence Photo/Video, will be giving away a $7,000 wedding services package to a couple in attendance ­­– to include photography, videography, DJ services, a photobooth and formalwear.
    “The Highland Loft is an amazing venue to work at,” said Mike Gajewski, owner of Essence. “Couples love all the options here and the service they get from the owners. It’s really a cut above the competition.”
    And the Menschings are just getting started. With such a large property to work with, they’re considering different options for additional expansions or buildouts.
     “We’d like this to be the first destination people think of when someone’s looking for a venue for their wedding or special event,” Marilyn Mensching said. “We make sure to do everything we can to take care of our clients and their guests to ensure they have the best possible experience – creating memories that will last a lifetime!”
    For more information, visit TheHighlandLoft.com.
    The Highland Loft Event Venue is a 3-story wedding destination with event spaces ranging from 2,000 square feet to 20,000 square feet, situated in the heart of historic downtown Elgin, Illinois. The venue is available for weddings, receptions, showers, rehearsal dinners, anniversaries, corporate events and parties of all kinds. For more information, call 847-254-0621.
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    Bridal Suite in the Third Floor Space of The Highland Loft.