Post # 1
I’ve jumped back into wedding planning now that I have a little more time, but with a new goal: to cut back our budget. We had previously agreed on this gorgeous space at the Newberry because it has a perfect ceremony location (marble staircase/lobby!) and reception hall included in the rental.
The only problem is that it’s still really expensive and the wedding would have to be on a Sunday in order to cut down costs. For most of our guests, that would be a problem since they’re coming from areas 1-3 hours away.
So I’m searching yet again. I’m okay with outdoors but wary of it, as Chicago weather is notorious for being unpredictable and, well, odd.
My other favorites so far are the Garfield Park Conservatory, West Loop Studio, and Prairie Production. The venue has to comfortably seat up to 200 and I’d love separate ceremony and reception spaces if possible.
So will you Bees help me? I am at my wit’s end… at this point I am up for any venue within a few hours of Chicago as long as it’s a) not a church and b) got that just right feeling. I haven’t liked any of the country club/event centers we’ve looked at, and the hotels in our price range are all a little, er, dingy.
Our price is flexible based on how much is included, but we’d like to cap off our total budget at about $30,000 for 190 people or so. Bees, please help! I’m starting to feel like it’s impossible around here with all the required caterers and insane add-on fees. A rental fee of $3500 sounds reasonable until you realize that absolutely nothing but the space is included, they had a list of approved caterers, etc. Help please!
Post # 3
I had my wedding at Prairie Production and also looked at West Loop Studios – unfortunately those two venues will not comfortably seat 190-200 for dinner. I would say the max for a seated dinner is 120 at those venues. Have you looked at Galleria Marchetti or Stan Mansion?
Also, my caterer was Bon-soiree and they have a list of the venues they have worked in and have provided guest capacity guidelines by venue….might be helpful in your search!
Post # 4
Lily – have you checked out my recap post and budget post? We just got married at the Newberry and were so happy with everything. It is an expensive rental fee, but it does include tables/chairs for both the ceremony and reception. They also let you choose your own caterer and provide your own alcohol (huuuge savings if you have a heavy drinking crowd).
Have you seen http://www.letsplanawedding.com ? That links to most of the venues in Chicago and you can organize them by size.
Post # 5
Chitown-e – thanks for the heads up! I’ll definitely check out the list. We have looked into Galleria Marchetti, and it just wasn’t our taste.
ETwedding, I PM’d you. 🙂
Post # 6
we looked at a lot of the same places you were looking at. we ended up going with the crystal gardens at navy pier. they have a minimum catering cost of $15,000 and a ceremony fee of $1,000. the fee also includes table linens. plus it’s already so decorated with lights and trees, that a lot of other decorations aren’t necessary. we’re saving a lot with our florist budget. something to look into!
Post # 7
We’re also looking into Salvage One, has anyone had any experience with them?
So far the Newberry is still winning by far. 🙂
Post # 8
Hey! I had a similar post a few months ago. I started looking downtown but now am actually looking in the southwest suburbs. I looked downtown and loved Cafe Brauer but unfortunately when all the extras were added in (valet, private catering, hotel rooms) it ended up being way to expensive. Therefore I started looking into the suburbs and I found prices to be alot better. So far my favorite places were the Wilder Mansion in Elmhurst, Cantigny, and I even liked the Willowbrook Ballroom (it had a very nostalgic feel). Here is the link to my post, I got several posts from some very helpful bees. Good Luck!! : )
Post # 9
Salvage One is a great place to have your wedding. I’ve been there a few times. I love their space.
It’s a really unique venue and I like the fact that their interiors change as they sell and get new pieces in.
You can see some photos from the weddings on their site or you can check this link:
Katie & Ryan | Wedding at Salvage One
Call them. Sara at Salvage One is the person in charge and she can give you a tour and answer all your questions.
Hope that helps.
Post # 10
Thanks! We will definitely be touring both the Newberry and Salvage One. I’m looking for one other place to kind of round it out, but our guest list is a little too big for my other faves – Promontory Point and A New Leaf.
Glad to hear a great review of Salvage One. 🙂 It’s much harder to hear about than the Newberry, probably because it’s less traditional. I love that though!
Post # 12
Have you tried Architechtural Artifacts on Ravenswood? It has an artsy, very unique feel. Also, Harold Washington Library is a cool place. We went totally random, and we’re having it at St. Ignatius H.S. Neither of us went there, but it’s in our budget since they allow catering and for us to bring in the alcohol. It has a garden area & is enough for 300 + so it fit our needs. Just a little strange to have a reception in a high school! Good luck!
Post # 13
- Wedding: April 2010 - Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort, St. Thomas
Concorde Banquets in Kildeer is really pretty – they have a bunch of rooms that can hold different numbers of people and a gazebo and pond outdoors where you could have the ceremony. They are actually very reasonably priced too. One of my friends got married there and she said it was only about $40 per person and the food was yummers…
Post # 14
I actually love Architectural Artifacts, but they had insane, Cafe Brauer-esque fees! The security guard fees were what killed us… you had to pay for one security guard per 75 people, I think it was, per hour. We added it up and for our wedding, it would have come to about $3,000 in security guard fees! No thanks!
Is St. Ignatius the one on Belmont? If so, it’s gorgeous! I pass it every day.
I’ll look into Harold Washington and Concorde Banquets, thanks! We really wanted to stay in the city for our wedding, because it’s kind of our goodbye to it – after that, we’re moving somewhere else for grad school, and I’m going to miss Chicago so much!
Post # 15
Hi! I know this post is from a while ago, but in case you’re still looking… our wedding is in Salvage One (coming up very soon) and I have had a great experience so far. Sara is SO helpful!! We also considered Prairie Production and liked them a lot BUT I think it would take a ton of time and money to get it set up (furniture rental, decoration rental to fill up the blank space on the walls, etc)…. so when we actually drew out a budget, Salvage One was cheaper because there were so many things we didn’t need to pay for.
If you’re willing to go out into the suburbs, check out Meson Sabika in Naperville, its pavilion is quite nice (with a fairly traditional look to it) and would probably be large enough for your wedding’s size.