Post # 1
Hello! This is my first post on Weddingbee! I was wondering if anyone has been to or had a wedding at the Chicago Botanic Garden. It’s one of my favorite places and I thought it would be wonderful to get married there.
The rental rates are pretty high (and I imagine the in-house catering is similarly priced) so I just wondered what kind of experiences people have had with the CBG and weddings.
Also, if anyone has any suggestions for alternative venues that have a similar feel with indoor and outdoor facilities that would be great!
Post # 3
We looked at the CBG pretty seriously before finally deciding it would not work within out budget however I’ve seen it set up for weddings and if it works for you it is a spectacular space
We talked to a wedding planner on the phone while we were trying to find our location and these were her comments on it as of two years ago so it possible the prices are slightly better now:
-The rental fee is $12,000- the highest in Chicago
-The caterer is very high end (Callahan) and we were told that it would not be realistic to do a wedding there with very basic flowers (her example was Gerber daises) for under $70,000 although his food is supposed to be great
-It is not the most accessible site because guests have to walk along a rather long path to get to the tents (although it is possible to have golf carts aid in this)
I was not able to find any other venue exactly like this but we did end up looking at a few others with the indoor/outdoor thing in Chicago including the Ivy Room at Tree Studio and A New Leaf Studio (for a smaller wedding)
A few other spaces that I think included landscaped courtyards are the Garfield Park Conservatory and the Art Institute of Chicago. You may also want to look into Northerly Island as that has a very "naturey" feel alongside the city although I am not really sure what sort of facilities they have.
Post # 4
Welcome to weddingbee!
My friend got married at Independence Grove in Libertyville. Perhaps try there? Their exclusive caterer is delicious, so good that we picked our venue partially because they were on the preferred catering list!
Post # 5
Thanks for your input DilemmaBride and MissCremeBrulee! After talking to someone at the Garden (we had just e-mailed previously) and doing some serious thinking on it, I realized I don’t want to spend more on the wedding than we did on the down payment for our house! So, the CBG is a no.
I’ll be looking into the other places you’ve mentioned. Thanks so much for the food for thought!
Post # 6
We looked at these three outdoor locations in the city. There are others, but our search was limited on availability. Let me know if you’d like more details, like the rental fee when we visited.
The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago has a great courtyard as well, complete with beautiful views of the lake. Locked into Wolfgang Puck as the caterer.
Also the Peggy Notebeart Nature Museum and the River Walk Terrace, right along the Chicago River down below Michigan.
Post # 7
I have heard great things about the MCA and Galleria Marchetti.
Post # 8
Naturegirl, how about Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL or Bahai Temple in Wilmette, IL? CBG was my dream wedding, too….until I saw the prices! Ridiculous! Morton is cheaper and same outdoor feel with beautiful grounds, too. Bahai Temple has beautiful grounds and it is a "universal church", I believe so it caters to all religion. Good luck and best wishes!