(Closed) Chicago venue-The Wit

posted 5 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
Member
3057 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

Commenting to follow. I think that hotel is so pretty!

Post # 4
Member
3887 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I’ve not attended a wedding there but I’m a frequent guest.  The staff is top-notch, everyone from the front desk to the managers to the doormen.  They are true professionals. Rooms are gorgeous, especially if you can score a suite.  I have always told DH that, had we lived in Chicago, we would have done our wedding there.

Now the downsides: the price is the biggie. It’s not a cheap hotel and while their restaurant pricing is reasonable for a downtown Chicago hotel, it’s still hotel pricing. I would imagine this venue to run into the moderate-to-higher budgets.  At the Roof bar, I seem to remember cocktails running in the $10-14 range although that is just my memory (which isn’t always great, especially where cocktails are concerned) and they may have more attractive pricing as part of a catering/wedding package.  Small plates/appetizers in the $9-15 range if memory serves me but again, this is for their regular bar menu and not catering.

Parking is very high, although in line with other hotels in that area, around $50-60/night. 

Also the Roof venue is a bit of a local hotspot on weekend nights, so I would imagine you’d be looking at an afternoon/early evening event with the venue open to the public after maybe 9pm (that’s just when their bar business seems to really pick up– no idea on their actual cutoff) or a hefty fee to keep it private. Again this is just based on what I have seen as a guest in the hotel and no real knowledge of their private event rules.  On your average Saturday night they actually rope off 2 of the elevators just for hotel guests and a line will form with partiers waiting to ride up in the other two.  The staff does a GREAT job of keeping the “nightclub” people from winding up in the hotel floors, so there’s no real problem of noise in the hallways late at night unless your neighbors have been upstairs partying, but the top floor of rooms can get a bit of dance music noise from upstairs.  Not to the point where it’s unbearable but could make rooming arrangements a bit more complicated for folks with small kids or others who are light sleepers— tell them to request a room a couple of flooors lower.

The Wit also seems to want a fairly large group before they will give you a room block; this may vary with the time of year but I know from planning a smaller event (7 rooms) for this March, I was told “group too small” when other Hilton properties in Chicago were happy to give me small room discount quotes.  

I think most venues and caterers tend to dance around the question of pricing till you are in person, so don’t let that put you off, although you may want to send them something like “My budget is $x per person and we’re expecting Y people, please provide your potential offerings in my price range.”  

The Wit is a Hilton family hotel so if you or anyone in your immediate family has any status with Hilton’s loyalty program, it is definitely worth mentioning that (even better if you can have the elite member initiate contact on your behalf, because an email request from a Diamond member is more businesslike than saying “My mother is a diamond member and she said….”).  I would not expect big discounts based on the loyalty program but I would expect perhaps a perk like a couple of room upgrades or faster attention from someone higher up the org chart in the bookings department.  Like any other big name hotel, it’s worth seeing if you can negotiate some bonus or status points or future stay certificates based on your expected revenue but unless you’re looking for a venue during the off-season, I wouldn’t expect a lot of free points at a popular place like The Wit.  But it’s free to ask and the worst they can do is say no.

I don’t mean to put you off— it really is a fantastic hotel, and I am always happy to stay there. Never had a bad meal there, never had a problem there, and I’m always made to feel like I’m the most important guest in the hotel. I adore their rooms; it’s one of the few places I will gladly pay more for a suite because their suites are just stunning.  And their restaurant has some kick-ass pancakes.

Post # 5
Member
2295 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I was coming in to check out if there was any info on the price. That is a fantastic hotel but yeah, I have to imagine they have pretty high minimums.

Post # 6
Member
1342 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

@hansey12:  I have!!  It’s incredible.  Excellent service, beautiful and excellent food.  Of course, that comes with a very high price tag!!  The wedding I went to, they had a day after bruch on the roof.  I know that alone was enormously expensive. 

Post # 7
Member
1 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Hi There

I am a bride having my entire wedding weekend at theWit! I chose it because it’s such a unique space and I’ve always loved the luxe feel and the location. The staff has been great and the food is incredible. However, your concerns about price are not unfounded.

Ceremony: The ceremony fee is usually $1200 just to walk in and set up chairs. We had this waived since our costs are so much higher elsewhere but they use the 3rd floor wilde ball room to accommodate this. It’s also the same place where larger receptions (50+) take place. 

 

Cocktail Hour on ROOF: By far and away the best rooftop bar in Chicago if you ask me. It’s a true hot spot for the city but because of that on a Saturday, you have a $5000 minimum for 1 hour. Granted, to me, it was totally worth it and the costs of our appetizers were included in that minimum. Also, we’ll hit that min no problem because ROOF is the only place where is based on pure consumption. The $14 cocktail they normally serve up there, yes, the guests can order it. We set a cap on the max price of a cocktail guests can order but all in all, it’s still working out to about $8K for cocktails. 

 

Reception: Takes place back in the Wilde ball room and comes with a $22.5K min. Our price per plate is $125 (originally the offered us $165 which we negotiated down) plus there is a 10% sales tax and 22% gratuity on top of that. This includes open bar, champagne toast, 3 entree choices a salad and custom cake from “Cake Chicago” which is one of the best bakeries in town. The Chef is a 4 star chef so the food is AMAZING (seriously, it’s not like “Wedding food which normally sucks, I would order this food off of a regular menu) we have the room until midnight and are accommodating 170 guests

 

After party: One great thing about theWit is their State and Lake Space. We are reserving half of State and Lake for our guests to continue the party after the reception is over from 12am-2am. There was a $1500 min when I booked it however I think it’s gone up to $3000. Seeing as ROOF is pretty strict even for the bride and groom to continue the after party up stairs and I didn’t want to be wandering all over Chicago looking for another bar that we could go to, the convenience and beauty of state and lake won!

 

Overall, it’s not the cheapest place however, the experience thus far has been great and the weekend will be top notch for sure. 

 

Hope this helped!

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