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Wedding Venues

Chicago Wedding Venues

Great Chicago Wedding Venues

Chicago may be called the Second City, but it’s first in our hearts. Our amazing city has a wide variety of wedding venues and styles that work for any wedding vision or budget. If you are beginning your venue search, let us help begin your search by showing you some of our favorite Chicago wedding venues.

1.) The Crystal Gardens Wedding Venue At Navy Pier

With views of the iconic Navy Pier and Lake Michigan this is one of the Chicago wedding venues that is a couple favorite. Whether you’re looking for a wedding of 80 people or 500 people, The Crystal Gardens can accommodate your wedding. This venue is the best of both worlds by bringing the outside in by the gorgeous plants and its full glass sky view. Similarly, the water fountain elements add a touch of whimsical outdoor magic to this wedding venue. Their address is: 700 East Grand Avenue, Mezzanine Level, Chicago Illinois. Their phone number is: 312-595-5436.

2.) The Bridgeport Art Center Wedding Venue

You have so many options in one venue if you choose to get marrried at the Bridgeport Art Center. For cocktail weddings in the Skyline Loft, the capacity is from 100-900 guests.  A sit down wedding in the Skyline Loft, has a capacity  of 100-600 guests. In the Sculpture Garden they can accommodate a 900 person cocktail party or a 550 people sit down wedding. This Chicago wedding venue is known for its wide-open space with beautiful exposed brick walls and rich wooden beams. However you choose to theme your wedding, the Bridgeport Art Center is easy to customize to your vision. Their address is 1200 W. 35th Street, Chicago, Illinois. Contact them by e-mail at events@bridgeportart.com.

3.) Chicago Botanical Gardens Wedding Venues

The Chicago Botanical Gardens has a variety of indoor and outdoor wedding venues on site. Capacity of their many venue options range from 50 for a small sit down ceremony, to 1500 people for a cocktail reception. Additionally, they offer a plan B in case your outdoor wedding is met with inclement weather. If the guessing game of weather makes you nervous, they also have plenty of indoor or tented options with beautiful views of the gardens. You can find the Chicago Botanical Gardens at 1000 Lake Cook Road in Glencoe, Illinois. Their events phone number is 847-835-8370. Contact them by e-mail at events@chicagobotanic.org.

4.) Galleria Marchetti

Speaking of bringing the outside in, Galleria Marchetti has had that down to an art for over 90 years! Galleria Marchetti has beautiful ivy wall backdrops, a tent with chandeliers, garden views, & set as a hidden gem in the city. This beautiful venue has both Italian and European design vibes making it aesthetically stunning. Their La Pergola venue has sweeping windows and a garden vibe; fitting 160 people for a seated reception, or 300 people for a cocktail reception. The Pavilion is their larger space. It is a beautiful, open air tent; fitting 450 people for a seated reception or 900 people for a cocktail reception. Galleria Marchetti’s phone number is 312-563-0495. Their address is 825 West Erie Street, Chicago, Illinois.

5.) Keith House Chicago

Looking for a small wedding venue? We found it! The last few years small weddings have ranged from trendy to mandatory. Regardless of your reason for having a small wedding, you can still have a stunning wedding venue. The Keith House has the options of both an outdoor courtyard and an indoor historic home. They can host up to 75 people for a people for a cocktail style wedding, or 50 people in the same sit down room. The Keith House Chicago, has options for every budget. Couples can choose from having just a ceremony, just a reception, or a ceremony and reception. To contact them by phone number, call 312-907-7909. Their address is 1900 South Prairie Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.

6.) Exchange 312

Are you looking for an urban-chic wedding venue? Exchange 312 is perfect for you! The walls are beautiful exposed brick.  Additionally, they unique furniture making this venue a photographer’s dream! Their setting in the middle of Wicker Park. Exchange 312 accommodates weddings from 100 seated, up to an 150 people reception. Design details from floor to ceiling are custom and curated. Even the bathrooms are beautiful! The Exchange 312’s phone number is 312-956-4080. Their address is 1714 West Division Street, Chicago, Illinois.

7.) The Lakewood Chicago

The Lakewood Chicago is a fun, modern venue in Chicago. This venue, in the West Loop neighborhood, is beautifully bright and white. Their white color scheme makes it easy to tailor to your wedding theme. If you are looking for a seated wedding reception they can accommodate from 120 to 200 people. They also have optional floor plans tailor to your wedding style and decor. The Lakewood has onsite catering from Paramount Events and Truffleberry Market.  They also have a unique greenhouse where they grow their own produce! If you are an Eco-friendly couple, this is a great venue for you. The Lakewood’s address is 1758 West Lake Street in Chicago, Illinois. Their phone number is 312-366-2293.

8.) Greenhouse Loft

Speaking of Eco-Friendly Venues, Greenhouse Loft is perfect for couples looking for a green wedding venue. For example, they reduce waste, use Eco-friendly cleaning supplies, and even have an on-site composting facility. Their modern atmosphere, glass walls, and convenient location make this venue a must see. They also have a beautiful courtyard perfect for photos, ceremonies, or cocktail hours. The Greenhouse Loft has a capacity of under 200 guests for various layouts. The Greenhouse Loft’s address is 2545 West Diversey Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. Their phone number is 312-733-5762.

9.) The Drake

The Drake Hotel Chicago is the epitome of Luxury Chicago Wedding Venue. You have a choice of four different rooms. First, The Gold Coast Room has amazing Lake Michigan views. It has the capacity of 100-900 people depending on the type of wedding format you choose. Secondly, The Grand Ballroom, built in the 1920’s,  reflects a modern take on the 1920’s. The Grand Ballroom overlooks Walton Street and has a capacity of up to 500 people. Third, The French Room has beautiful, silk walls and damask details. The French Room can hold up to 350 people. Lastly, The Carmellia Room overlooks The Mag Mile and the lakefront. It has beautiful white wooden walls and blue and gold accents. The Carmellia Room holds up to 200 people. The address of The Drake is 140 East Walton Street in Chicago, Illinois. Their phone number is 312-787-2200.

10.) Salvatore’s Chicago

Salvatore’s wedding venue is located in the neighborhood of Lincoln Park in Chicago. Its dark wood accents bring back old world charm with modern romance. If you love food, you’ll love having your wedding at Salvatore’s, who specializes in amazing wedding cuisine and events. Salvatore’s can accommodate weddings up to 200 people.  Their address is 525 Arlington Place in Chicago, Illinois. Their phone number is 773-528-1200.

11.) Row 24 Events And Productions

Row 24 is a fun, warehouse chic venue right on Michigan Avenue. They have beautiful exposed brick walls and dangling chandeliers from the ceiling. The venue has a beautiful, private bridal suite just for weddings. Depending on the format of your wedding, Row 24 can accommodate up to 250 people. Row 24 is a historical landmark, built in 1903. Their bar is spectacular and designed with 1920’s vibes. The address is 2411 South Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. Their phone number is 312-374-3165.



As you can see, Chicago has more than a few amazing wedding venues! We hope this gives you a great list to get your Chicago venue search started! For more wedding planning advice, tips, & inspiration check out the recommended Chicago Wedding Blog posts below. Happy Planning!

Recycled Wedding Rings

Ways To Recycle Wedding Items

Ways to Recycle Wedding Items

It’s no secret that weddings generate a lot of waste not only in leftover or unused food, but also in items people won’t use again like favors, your dress, or wedding décor. We’ve got some great ideas on how to help the environment and recycle those wedding things!

You can re-purpose your dress.

If you’re not terribly sentimental and don’t mind parting with your wedding gown you can sell it. There are a lot of great stores that buy pre-owned wedding dresses. You could be helping someone else out whose on a tight budget. If you’d like to keep your wedding dress but don’t want it sitting in the back of your closet, you can tailor it. We love turning a wedding dress into a cocktail dress, Christening gown, or prom dress! Your daughter could go to her prom with a one of a kind dress or get baptized in something very special to you.

Another way to recycle wedding items is to give them to a secondhand shop.

Some places take gently used wedding décor to re-sell. If you are tight on your budget you can even consider getting your wedding rings from a family heirloom or secondhand shop. Keep in mind if you want to donate wedding decor it may be difficult to find a place for it if it has your initials all over it. Call around and see what stores take wedding décor.

Re-use those flowers!

It’s bittersweet that all the time and effort into decorating with flowers and they’ll just wilt and die within a few days. We love programs that use wedding flowers as donations to hospitals or nursing homes. You’ll be brightening someone else’s day with your pretty floral arrangements. If you and your bridesmaids have the time and desire, you can also take apart the bouquets at the reception. Then you can re-gather them into small favors for your guests to take home. This does require more work and attention when all you probably want to do is celebrate at the reception. So, it’s worth asking if your wedding coordinator or some very helpful family members would be in charge of that so you don’t have to worry about it.

It always feels good to contribute to a green environment. We love the idea of using your joyous wedding items and brightening someone else’s day too. Did you use recycled wedding decor for your wedding? We would love to feature your green wedding. E-Mail credited photos and vendors to hello@chicagoweddingblog.com . Happy Planning!

Bridal Party

How To Choose Your Bridal Party

How To Choose Your Bridal Party

Congratulations on your engagement! When you plan your wedding everything from wedding colors to guest count is dependent on your bridesmaids and/or groomsmen. There are a few factors you should keep in mind when you think about how to choose your bridal party. Here are some ideas to help you choose.

Unequal Numbers

Let’s begin with saying, there are no rules. If your fiance has 5 groomsmen and you have 2 or vice-versa it is not the end of the world. That being said, having equal numbers in a bridal party is important to some couples. If you do have an uneven number, do not panic. You can have the bridal party walk down the aisle without partners. You could also have the bridal party ready at the altar at the beginning of the ceremony. Another idea is you could double up and have groups of 3 walk down the aisle. Either way, it is okay to have equal or unequal numbers for your bridal party.

Gender Of Bridal Party

Do you have a gender diverse friend group? It is no problem! In fact, it is something to celebrate. As long as you know your wedding colors it is easy to color coordinate any group of people. When you plan your bridal party, do not worry about separating genders. The gender makeup of your bridal party will not matter as long as you and you fiance choose your long term closest friends and family.

Long Term, Thick And Thin, Friends & Family

Some of us have a makeup of friends as our family; and that is a beautiful bridal party to have. Others have so many cousins they are close to, so there is not much room for having friends in the bridal party. The most important factor is not the relation to you, but the long term quality of their relationship with you. There is nothing worse than adding someone into your wedding to not be in contact with them a year later. Think long term. There are many ways to involve people who you’d like to be a participant without having them in a bridal party. Some people make amazing wedding guests, but not bridal party participants.

Personalities

And last, but not least, one of the trickiest factors when choosing your bridal party. Of course you want all your closest people in your bridal party. However; those few friends who are on again/off again with how they treat you will not make good bridal party participants. It is important to remember wedding planning is stressful. You want only those who will be supportive of you in your bridal party. You do not have to have anyone in your wedding unless you truly want to.

Always remember your wedding day is one day in your life. The wedding planning process goes on for months. Keep the people who care about you the most close to you. Those who will be lifelong friends make amazing bridal party participants; no matter the numbers or genders that make up your bridal party.



We hope this helps give you some ideas for how to choose your bridal party. For more wedding planning inspiration check out the blog posts below. To submit your wedding to be a featured wedding please e-mail hello@chicagoweddingblog.com Happy Planning!

Outdoor Wedding In the shade

Outdoor Wedding Tips

Outdoor Wedding Tips

Ah, the great outdoors! So you’re having an outdoor wedding! What a great venue choice! Before you solidify your wedding plans, there are some aspects you need to keep in mind. Here are some outdoor wedding tips so you can have the best outdoor wedding.

Hot Weather

No one will be comfortable on a summer wedding day with no water or fans. Pro tip: make fan programs. If it’s a breezy day, your guests can simply read the program. On the other hand, if it is hot, your guests will be thankful you thought ahead. If that’s not your thing, you can also provide paper fans that coordinate to your wedding colors. Another important item you need is a water or beverage station or two. It’s important to stay hydrated on such an emotional day for you and your guests. You could arrange for a big box store run before the wedding to have individual water bottles ready on an iced cooler. You could also have a beverage cooler and individual cups. Either way, water is a must.

Another important factor is where you will be outside. Plan for the worst and expect the best. If you are looking at wedding venue options, it may be a good idea to choose one with a shaded area. Then any guests who feel overheated won’t have to miss the wedding. Similarly, if you easily get overheated it’s important you arrange your ceremony in a cool, shaded area. No one wants the newlyweds passing out on their wedding day!

Bathrooms

It’s not the most glamorous item on your checklist, but it is necessary nonetheless. If you are choosing to have your wedding in a nature preserve, beach, or park it is imperative you sort out the bathroom situation in advance. There are companies who rent out really nice temporary bathrooms. If there are not bathrooms nearby your ceremony location, time to research options for you and your guests when nature calls.

Electricity

Though you are over the moon in love on your wedding day, we’re not referring to that sort of electricity. We mean the electricity needed to power lights, wedding music, and microphones. Keep in mind, when you’re having an outdoor wedding, the options for power. Sometimes there are outdoor outlets nearby, but other times it is impossible. In those cases it’s important to ask about your options. There are generators you can rent. Other times, vendors have battery operated options or their own generators. The last thing you want is no music, lights, or sound on your wedding day.

Cool Weather

Sometimes you pick the one fall or summer day that is surprisingly cold. While we can’t predict the weather, we can plan in advance. A great wedding favor is scarves or pashminas. Especially if you are having a fall wedding it is a good idea to plan for this scenario. Another great way to keep your guests warm is space heaters. Often venues have portable space heaters ready to go. If not, it’s important to research into heating options so you and your guests don’t freeze.

Rain

Tent, Tent, Tent! If you are having an outdoor wedding one of the smartest things you can do is get a tent if there is no pavilion. Rain happens. It’s the proverbial good luck of outdoor weddings. If your venue does not have an indoor option come rain, it’s important that a tent large enough for your wedding is in your plans. There are so many beautiful ways to decorate tents. If you do get lucky and have a sunny day, many tents have roll up walls so you can bring the outdoors in. Better to be safe than sorry so your wedding day goes off without a hitch.

Are you having an outdoor wedding? Did you have an outdoor wedding? What was your favorite part of having it outdoors? What were some logistical struggles? Tell us in the comments below!

Wedding Ring Proposing

Wedding Rings

Wedding Rings

A newer trend we’re seeing is couples picking out their wedding rings together. An engagement ring and wedding band are some of the most important pieces of jewelry we will receive or buy. There’s no right way to go about it, but we’ve got some pros and cons to help you choose whether or not you want to pick out your wedding rings together.

Let’s start with the cons first of picking out your wedding rings with your partner.

Traditionally, it’s been the man who gets the engagement ring and surprises the bride with a proposal. A drawback to shopping for the ring together is the element of surprise is, of course, lost. But if you’re a bride who wants to be part of the decision and doesn’t like the surprise, then going shopping together is a great option. Some brides of the opinion that their partner should “know” them well enough to pick out the perfect ring. A con for going together is that you won’t know that since you’ll be the one picking it out essentially.

Now let’s look at some pros for shopping for rings together.

The first is of course, that you will be surprised when your partner does propose! It’s always fun to see what he or she picks out. You can even compromise by sending him pictures of rings you’d like but ultimately letting him decide which ring is “you”. This also is a great way to relieve stress on your partner. They’re surely feeling quite a bit of pressure to pick out the ring you want!

Another positive is that even if you do go window shopping for the ring with your partner it won’t spoil the actual proposal! A lot of brides are afraid of ruining this moment, but if you think about it, can anything ruin the magic of a proposal at the right time? You may have a little inkling about what ring you’re getting but for some people that’s totally fine!



So, have you decided how you will choose your wedding rings? Did you make it a surprise, or did you choose your rings together? We want to know! Tell us below! For more wedding planning tips and inspiration, check out the Chicago Wedding Blog posts below! Happy Planning!

Winter Wedding

Fun Winter Wedding Options

Fun Winter Wedding Options

While we are all looking forward to summer weather, wedding season always runs ahead. While many weddings take place in the spring, summer, & fall we think the possibility of a winter wedding is being neglected. There are plenty of different ways to plan a winter wedding. Choose your winter wedding style from these fun winter wedding options.

1.) Have A First “Day” Of Winter Wedding.

You may not be able to have your wedding on that exact day, however the first day of winter can be a unique day to celebrate. There is no need to have a Christmas themed wedding if that’s not your taste. For dessert options think drinks! Who doesn’t love hot chocolate on a winter day? You can also incorporate warm and darker colors for contrast from the wedding dress and winter white wedding colors. There are plenty of experiences we only have in the winter to incorporate on your wedding day. The first day of winter always adds excitement for the holidays ahead. White, brown, & black can all be beautiful first day of winter wedding colors if you want to incorporate this theme option.

2.) A Fun New Year’s Eve Wedding

Who doesn’t love a good New Year’s Eve party?! If you choose to have a NYE wedding, you will have a fun wedding anniversary day to celebrate for years to come. You could even extend your wedding to go later into the evening to celebrate and ring in the new year with your closest friends and family. Plan on having a TV nearby so your guests can pop back and forth between the festivities and the NYE countdown. Similarly, you can also dance the nice away on the dance floor as the excitement ensues! If you’re lucky, your venue will provide fireworks!

3.) Winter Wonderland, Silver And Gold

If you are looking to have a formal wedding, this option is a great idea for you. Silver and Gold are gorgeous colors that can pull in the snow and other beautiful aspects of winter. You can make it a cozy vibe by incorporating candles and, if your venue has one, a fireplace. Whether or not it snows outside, inside you can decorate with fake snow to give your wedding a winter wonderland feel. Similarly, you can bring the inside, out with your wedding photos by having a fur shawl ready. Your photos will be picturesque if you incorporate beautiful evergreens, white skies, and metallic colors to embrace a winter wonderland vibe.

4.) Christmas Themed Wedding Option

Bring on the red and green! If you celebrate Christmas, the odds are, you are probably a Christmas fiend. The excitement of the once a year experiences, such as Christmas lights or special recipes, will add extra special memories to your wedding day. You can incorporate Christmas lights into your decor. Often, venues already have their own Christmas decor up, so you’ll have to do less work to accommodate this theme. To add a unique twist to usual Christmas colors, you can incorporate different hues of red and green. Burgundy and hunter green have been popular colors.

A Bonus Benefit:

When you have winter wedding it allows you to soak it in before you go to a warm destination for your honeymoon. Then you won’t miss out on the once a year winter season. And who doesn’t look forward to celebrating something to brighten up the winter gloom?

For more wedding planning tips and inspiration, check out the blog posts below. Happy Planning!

White wedding

Return To A Classic Wedding

Return To A Classic Wedding

For 2019 we are going to see a return to classic wedding! We’ve seen so many rustic and bohemian themed weddings that it’s a breath of fresh air to return to classic elegance. What should you keep in mind for a classic wedding? We can help.

First, the color white.

Weddings are usually symbolic of the white (in various shades), but a classic wedding keeps white flowers. If you want a pop of color stick to greenery. The classic wedding is clean and elegant. Choose clean and classic  flower arrangements, and avoid a floral crown. It’s best left to the flower girls.
A simple décor with white flowers is classic. Too much decoration is distracting for your guests. This will create stunning photos with clear crystal chandeliers or sleek draping.

Second, you’ll want to wear a more traditional dress with a long veil.

A classic style also utilizes long sleeves on the wedding dress. There are several styles right now that are stunning, even a little Victorian. Keep the accessories minimal. You want be the center of attention and not your baubles. Your groom and the groomsmen should also keep things simple with dark suits or tuxes. The boutonniere’s should be simple florals as well.

Third, the wedding cake will complete your classic wedding.

A multi-tier white cake with tasteful décor and topper are perfect for the return to classic. The flavors inside can be where you get adventurous and bold!

The classic wedding also pays homage to tradition. You can re-create an old wedding photo of your parents’ day. Think clean lines, elegant refinement and a neutral color palette for your classic wedding!



Are you going to have a classic wedding? Did you apply this classic wedding style to your wedding? E-Mail us your photos with credited vendors to hello@chicagoweddingblog.com