Chicago Venues

posted 2 years ago in Venue
Post # 2
Member
1864 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

What is your price range? 

I only ask because I looked into the Art Institute and couldn’t believe it was almost $30,000 with food/beverage minimum and rental fees. 

I also looked into The Planetarium and unfortunately, same thing. It was just TOO expensive. My mom and I actually went to see it in person. If you’re willing to spend the money, I HIGHLY recommend you check out The Planetarium. They have this room that has all glass on the side of the lake with an amazing view of the entire city in the backdrop. You could have your ceremony outside and then reception inside. Sick, sick views!

Post # 3
Member
1864 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

MrsBug:  Oh, also The Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront is nice. The last floor of the hotel is a floor that has 360 degree views of the city (though the room itself has 3 walls of window, but still nice.) We didn’t like it because it was too small for our guest count. They would’ve been packed like sardines. When we were there last fall, they were building this outdoor patio area next to the room which I’m sure by now is probably finished. I can imagine how awesome that would be since most hotels in the city don’t have an outdoor patio at such a high up floor. 

Edit: Also check out Galleria Marchetti (wedding in a tent with a garden area around it) or The Ivy Room which is a few blocks walk from Michigan Ave. 

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by  Diamond84.
Post # 5
Member
230 posts
Helper bee

I attended a wedding as a guest last summer at the Hotel Allegro in the Loop and it was gorgeous and surprisingly fun too, for such a swanky hotel- you should check it out! 🙂 

Post # 6
Member
1864 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

MrsBug:  Oh yea, Wyndham would def be out with that guest count. We wanted a unique venue that wasn’t just a hotel or a country club which is why my suggestions are more on the unique end. We didn’t check out any hotels except the 360 view one for that reason. 

I agree, prices were def jaw dropping. We realized that a city venue would put us $10,000 over our total budget, so we opted out. 

Good luck with your hunt! There are so many beautiful places in the city! I’m sure you’ll find the one you love and it’s great that you’re starting so early because they do book quick. 

 

Post # 8
Member
312 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

MrsBug:  So, the problem with The Drake is that certain of its event spaces are ASTOUNDING and others are quite nondescript. Make sure to visit each, and check on availability for each specific room.

Another minor con for The Drake is that the guest rooms are a bit musty and overpriced, unless you upgrade to a proper suite — which most of your guests probably won’t be interested in doing, I assume. That said, it’s on the most tourist-friendly/”glam” stretch of Michigan, not far from the great restaurants in the Gold Coast, so your guests would be charmed and you could book a lovely rehearsal dinner in walking distance.

The Palmer House – I’ve been to several weddings here. See above for the same remarks on the quality of the guest rooms (though they often appear on Priceline and Expedia, so you can generally get them a bit more cheaply than rooms at The Drake). Like the Drake, this is a historic hotel with (IMO) even more gorgeous public spaces. But to get married here, you have to be all right with sharing your evening with loads of onlookers. This can be charming, I think — after the ceremony, the bride and groom emerge from the second floor, leading their guests down the stairs and across the always-crowded lobby/bar area, and often (every time I’ve gone to a wedding there, in fact) they are greeted by applause from the 60-100 or so folks eating snacks and drinking near the bar. Cocktail hour is held directly across the room, and up a flight of stairs. The crowd below, in the lobby, has a partial view of your guests, which may or may not bother you (but seemed, at one wedding I went to, to bother some of the guests! Kind of amusing). Then you re-cross the lobby and climb the stairs again to return to the room where the ceremony was held (which has now been turned for the reception).

If you want a more intimate vibe — not in terms of the space, but in terms of who’s hanging around — the Field Museum will give you that; I’m pretty sure they only host one event nightly. The Art Institute… eh, unless you’ve got the numbers to fill out the terzo piano and adjoining space, I don’t think it’s worth the price. As Bees above noted, the Planetarium offers a far more spectacular vibe (and again, the only people there will be attendees of your wedding).

Post # 9
Member
312 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Just to add — if it’s a hotel wedding you want, you should also check out the Allerton, the Knickerbocker, and the Sofitel. If what you want is a truly grand and historic space able to accommodate a couple hundred guests or more, also consider the Chicago Cultural Center, Union Station, and The Rookery. Museums? Check out the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Post # 11
Member
1864 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

MrsBug:  We ended up picking The Patrick Haley Mansion in Joliet. Never been to Joliet before but knew it wasn’t the ,uh, “classiest” suburb of Chicago so was totally skeptical.

WOW, it was absolutely stunning when we saw it in person. Couldn’t believe the gem that exists there. My wedding was a modern/vintage style and that venue is an old mansion that has a beautiful white ballroom area built coming out of it with draped ceilings and pillars. Perfect mix of new+old. The tower floor of the mansion (last floor) was completely dedicated to the bride room, grooms room, and in the middle area a living room area for family and bridal party to chill in, along with a bathroom. It was awesome being up there while guests were arriving. Then the mansion itself had two floors of rooms here and there that people mingled in and sat in during cocktail hour while staff went around the first and second floor with hors d’oeuvres. Rooms were also great for taking bridal party pics before the wedding. They also have a garden and gazebo leading out of the ballroom doors where you can have an outdoor ceremony. It was the perfect non-traditional wedding hall, with elegance and beauty. Staff was amazing. And I loved that the only people in the mansion were people from our wedding, very private and intimate. We ended up receiving many compliments about the venue and uniqueness factor. Sorry for my rambling, ha! Just had me thinking of our wedding all over again and how fun it was. 🙂 

With that said, if you want a city wedding, go see the Planetarium. That would’ve been my first choice in downtown. And if I remember what they told me correctly, the museum closes at 5pm, so once your wedding starts and guests are there, it will only be people from your wedding around. 

Post # 12
Member
1193 posts
Bumble bee

MrsBug:  I attended an event (not a wedding but a corporate event) at the Field Museum and it was AMAZING. They work with Wolfgang Puck catering and the food was delicious. The space is gorgeous, looks beautiful with uplighting, and the exhibits (at least for my event) were open during the cocktail hour for viewing.

The only negative was the complete lack of cabs after the event. Now with Uber and such its probably not a big deal, but I felt it was annoying competing with other people to get a cab!

Post # 13
Member
312 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

MrsBug: The Gold Coast room is so gorgeous! I doubt you can go wrong with that.

If by any chance “ethnic” here means Hindu, you might want to check with each potential venue about how they handle that vis-a-vis fire regulations. I’ve got a desi friend who’s a wedding planner for South Asian weddings specifically, and I know she tends to favor certain hotels in the area because they’re set up to handle all the logistics much more smoothly.

Post # 14
Member
2132 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Definitely was no where near the budget you have for a wedding, but if money wasn’t an obstacle two of my dream venues would have been Chicago Botanical garden or the Armour house in Lake Forest (a bit away from downtown Chicago, but that mansion is seriously gorgeous).  

I have been to several events at the Field Museum.  They seemed to be well run, and I had fun.  However, there is no escape the giant elephant and Sue (the most complete T-rex in the world), which can be kind of cool, but is definitely different.  The thing that wouldn’t appeal to me for my wedding, is that there is so much to see and all the main halls were kept open.  They do keep the side exhibits low lighted, but that just makes them more desirable.  If the wedding is super huge, it might be perfectly fine to have some guests exploring on the side exhibits, but I would want to have guests more focused on the party.  I think it is more a venue for fundraisers and galas than a wedding.

 

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