Post # 1
Hi all! I’m new here and (like a lot of you, I’m guessing) am looking to have a classy DIY wedding on a budget. The Fiance and I have agreed that one of the things we won’t compromise on is a beautiful location (preferably in the city) where we can have both the ceremony and reception. Our absolute favorites are Cafe Brauer, the Newberry Library, and the Ivy Room.
We’re still planning on visiting all of them for info, but in doing my online research I have not been able to find much about real brides’ experiences with the Newberry or the Ivy Room. One review of the Newberry worried me as it said that with more that 175 people the dance floor disappears. Anyone know if this is true?
Any experiences with any of the three locations you can relate to me would be greatly appreciated! We are still in the planning stages of who to invite, but it is looking like our actual number will be somewhere around 200. Thanks!
Post # 3
Lilyfaith, I just sent you a private message with my email address. I had my reception at the Ivy Room last month and would be happy to share my experiences with you.
Post # 4
Hey! I can’t really help with the Ivy room but I did visit Cafe Brauer. I really loved it, I thought it was absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately, for a Saturday wedding they charge some pretty outrageous rental fees and the liquor minimums are pretty insane. I know for my wedding of 175 people just to rent Cafe Brauer and to serve alchohol it was close to $18,000 (no food). It is really a beautiful reception site just unfortunately alittle pricey once you add everything up.
Post # 5
We are getting married at the Newberry in December and I can’t wait. I love the venue – it is so gorgeous. There are many pros:
1. You can choose your own caterer. We are using D’absolute (recommended by “the Karens” –> the two wedding/event coordinators there)
2. You can bring your own alcohol – we are getting it from Binny’s
3. You can have the ceremony there too – use the stunning staircase
4. The Karens are very helpful and nice. Also, one of them plays the harp.
In regards to the dance floor- The Karens wanted us to come see the venue in action, so we peeked in one Saturday night. They said that the wedding had over 220 guests (over their max) and there still seemed to be a good sized dance floor (during dinner – so it wouldn’t have been that tables were removed). Our invite list is 217 but I’m sure that some people will reply no, so it will hopefully fit perfectly. I just love the Newberry and will leave a much more detailed review come winter.
Post # 6
Thank you everyone.
ETwedding – I look forward to hearing about your wedding! It makes me feel better hearing that maybe my guest list is reasonable, as the Newberry is currently my favorite.
As for the staircase, that was the ceremony aspect I liked best as well – how does the procession work? Do the bridesmaids stop on the bottom steps? It’s such a beautiful space.
I also think I read on their site that parking is available – is this true? Most of our guests will be from the suburbs, as far as Elgin and Oswego/Batavia areas, plus some Wisconsin guests, so parking is a must for us.
Post # 7
We are going to have a chuppah, which will be underneath the chandelier in the lobby. Then our bridal party will stand on either side of the chuppah. You can also do the ceremony at the foot of the stairs and have your bridal party on the bottom steps.
I think that there are 35 parking spots (no overnight parking). We probably won’t use them b/c everyone is either from out of town and staying at our hotel block or our friends who will cab it. No drinking and driving for us!
Keep us updated on what you decide!