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Chicago Ceremony & Reception - Advice/Recommendations Needed

edited August 2014 in Illinois-Chicago
Hello, I am just starting to look at venues. I am open to downtown Chicago or the northern suburbs. I would estimate a 150 person wedding. I would prefer places where we could bring our own alcohol and they provide tables/chairs to save money. But I'm open if the venue is nice. I want to take wedding pictures before the ceremony so we would need to be at the venue longer than just getting ready and then getting married/reception. I would estimate $100 per person is what we prefer but I'm willing to go higher if needed. So far I've found: The Murphy, Chicago Botanic Garden, The Women's club of Evanston, Stan Mansion, and Galleria Marchetti . Do you have any experience with these places? Is there any you recommend? Thanks!

Re: Chicago Ceremony & Reception - Advice/Recommendations Needed

  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I've love to help but all I can really say is to keep putting in requests and looking up packages.  Start with a "feel" for what you want (we wanted city for sure, with views).  After that, see what's included.  I can tell you I looked at the Botanic Garden and it's nowhere close to being $100 per person. (Well over, in fact.)  You have to determine how much work you personally want to do. Many places have very inclusive packages so I went with one of those. There's a big difference between paying $150 a head for all-inclusive versus $50 a plate just for catering with all sorts of other things to pay for separately. Hotels and restaurants are priced higher per head but tend to be much more inclusive and easier to manage; raw spaces are beautiful and you get the flexibility to really create your vision but then you have to account separately for more things.   
    ________________________________


  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I don't know how these venues fit into your budget, but a quick google search also indicated these are BYOB venues.....

    Chicago Illuminating Company 
    Loft on the Lake 
    Salvage One 
    Kitchen Chicago 
    River East Art Center 
    Room 1520 Loft 
    Prairie Productions 
    Gallery 1028
  • edited August 2014
    Thanks! I'll have to check out those places! I would go up in my budget but don't want to do $150 per person if I don't have to.
  • Just out of curiosity, are you going to hire a coordinator to help you (or do you have family committed to helping?) I only ask, because all of the DIY savings can get eaten up pretty quickly when you have to hire a coordinator for a few thousand bucks to make sure all of the raw spaces are set up with ceremony space chairs and decorations, then reception backdrops, lighting, place settings, are all set up then broken down at the end of the night and cleaned up and out of the space in time for their next event. Then you have to hire bar tenders  ... 

    BYOB will save a ton of money, but it can get eaten up so fast in other places especially if there's not already an on-site coordinator for the space at least day of. 

    I would have loved to go the DIY route in a nice BYOB, BYOChairs and BYOTables etc space, but by the time we looked into hiring help to coordinate we didn't get the cost savings we thought we were going to get.




  • I would hire a coordinator for the day before and day of. I know some places offer someone on site for the day of so maybe we would only need a little extra assistance. 
  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    MobKaz said:
    I don't know how these venues fit into your budget, but a quick google search also indicated these are BYOB venues.....

    Chicago Illuminating Company 
    Loft on the Lake 
    Salvage One 
    Kitchen Chicago 
    River East Art Center 
    Room 1520 Loft 
    Prairie Productions 
    Gallery 1028
    Almost none of these would fit a $100 per person budget with the exception of maybe Kitchen. And River East Art Center is being turned into condos, so they aren't doing wedding anymore.
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • edited August 2014
    Thanks! What do most people say includes $/person? I thought it would be food, drinks and sometimes the cake.
  • Are you open to NW suburbs?

    I now the Arboretum Club  in Buffal Grove, 
    Chevy Chase Golf Club in Wheeling and 
    White Deer Run Golf Club in Vernon Hills are all under 100.00 per person and are all pretty inclusive. 

    I looked at all 3 and they included food, open bar, cake, appetizers for cocktail hour, linens, etc and have a built in coordinator free of charge.

    All 3 are very pretty places to get married. You can't bring liquor in but it is part of the package and it still costs less than 100.00 per person.

    you might want to check them out 
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    KatWAG said:
    MobKaz said:
    I don't know how these venues fit into your budget, but a quick google search also indicated these are BYOB venues.....

    Chicago Illuminating Company 
    Loft on the Lake 
    Salvage One 
    Kitchen Chicago 
    River East Art Center 
    Room 1520 Loft 
    Prairie Productions 
    Gallery 1028
    Almost none of these would fit a $100 per person budget with the exception of maybe Kitchen. And River East Art Center is being turned into condos, so they aren't doing wedding anymore.
    Understood.  She said her priority was the BYOB factor, and that she could go higher if necessary.  I also prefaced my suggestions with the disclaimer that I wasn't sure if these price points would be higher than she preferred.
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Are you open to NW suburbs?

    I now the Arboretum Club  in Buffal Grove, 
    Chevy Chase Golf Club in Wheeling and 
    White Deer Run Golf Club in Vernon Hills are all under 100.00 per person and are all pretty inclusive. 

    I looked at all 3 and they included food, open bar, cake, appetizers for cocktail hour, linens, etc and have a built in coordinator free of charge.

    All 3 are very pretty places to get married. You can't bring liquor in but it is part of the package and it still costs less than 100.00 per person.

    you might want to check them out 
    My daughter had her reception at The Arboretum Club in Buffalo Grove.  I would recommend them and the venue in a heartbeat.  The staff were outstanding!
    indianaalum
  • edited August 2014
    Thanks everyone! We decided to up the price per person and look at places where alcohol was part of a package deal. We only found 3 places where you could bring your own and I wasn't in love with the venue. We prefer downtown since it would be easier for out of town guests. Thanks again for all your help!
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