Finding the right venue should be first and foremost on the list of your priorities. Having a clear sense of style is key for hosting a successful soiree, and the venue you choose exudes your wedding style from top to bottom.
Chicago has a huge number of venues. In our magazine, we have almost ten pages dedicated specifically to a chart that maps out venues in your area and price range (2013-2014, pg. 198-207). The first thing to consider when attacking this giant list, is what type of venue you'd like to use. We've laid out your options here for your perusal.
A lovely place for a wedding, a city park or garden has its ups and downs. It doesn't need a whole lot of decoration; however, you might have to get a lot of permits and make a plan in case it rains.
HOTELS & RESORTS
These locations really know how to host a wedding and offer an added bonus of convenient accommodations for your guests. However, the location might host more than one event per day, meaning there could be less privacy, especially if banquet rooms are close to each other.
Elegant, romantic, and luxurious, mansions and historic locations provide an ambiance that you just can’t replicate. However, you might run into a lack of space—old mansions and historic homes often don’t have a room large enough for a 150-person wedding, requiring guests to split up into separate rooms.
BOATS & YACHTS
A wedding on the water with the Chicago skyline as your backdrop. If that sound like your style, then a chartered boat or yacht is right for you. Yacht weddings are best for brides who want something different and have a smaller guest list.
A banquet hall offers all-inclusive wedding packages and a host of professionals who know just how to plan your wedding. However, some brides might not like the lack of personality that some halls have—just think of it as a blank slate in which to decorate to your heart’s content.
If you want great food, why not head to your favorite restaurant for your wedding reception? Restaurants typically specialize in smaller wedding groups, around 50 guests, but some have second floor event spaces that can be rented to larger parties.
MUSEUMS & LIBRARIES
These venues are some of the most underutilized spaces in wedding planning, offering amazing cultural ambiance, as well as cool architecture or artwork. There’s no need to decorate because the museum is all the decoration you need. However, it’s less likely to have an on-staff event coordinator, and the rules about what you can and can’t do are probably stricter.
Golf lovers will adore the manicured lawns and beautiful views offered by a country club. The club will likely have an event or banquet coordinator—ask him if members will still be allowed on the course during your wedding, and figure out if the lack of privacy would bother you.
This post was originally featured in our magazine and on our website. Visit our website to view this article and others like it.