Planned Venue Poached! Need Help Finding A New One!

I have been engaged for three years and have pretty much researched every venue in Chicagoland before settling on Heritage Prairie Farm.  My future sister in law recently got engaged and intitially stated that they would not be planning a wedding yet (since she and her FI are both unemployed).  Then during Christmas she was talking about wedding plans and telling her mother about her first choice - the chicago Botanic Garden).  To ensure that there would be no conflicts or problems over venues/dates I let them both know (her and her mother) that we were planning on October 2014 at Heritage Prairie Farms.  I even pulled up the website on my laptop and showed it to them.  Then in late January she told me she was going to visit Heritage along with some other locations.  I again stated that it was our first choice venue and our planned date was October 2014.  Then this past weekend she came over to my home and told us she was holding her wedding at Heritage Farm in May 2014.  She has a party of 150 and we only have 75.  About half of our list is the same as hers so I am sure you can understand that I do not want to have the same wedding only mere months after her.  I really feel hurt and sad but know that any attempt to adress this will create drama and still leave me without my first choice venue.  So, now I need a venue with the same kind of casual ambience and culinary edge that is unique.  I, personally, have begun revisiting all the venues I initially researched and crying every day since this occured.  I am exhausted and frustrated that after three years of research my venue was poached so if anyone has any venue suggestions please let me know.  

Re: Planned Venue Poached! Need Help Finding A New One!

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    I'm sorry this happened to you, kind of nasty for that to happen.  Good for you to rise above it and not create the drama.  It's okay to cry, but it's time to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and realize there are THOUSANDS of venues in the Chicagoland area.

    What is your budget?  What locations are you looking in?
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    cab22cab22 member
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    edited February 2013
    That really stinks that that happened. I would be so hurt too.

    I loved Heritage Prairie Farm as well but the price we calculated (we are looking at more like 175) was just too high for us. Have you checked out Emerson Creek Pottery and Tea Room in Oswego? Same farm-y feel, and they have a barn and tent as well. It's a top contender on our list (don't poach our date! :)).

    The rental fee is a bit steep since it's not based on party size, and you have to hire your own catering. They give you a list of preferred caterers but you can go off the list (for a fee).
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    Thanks for those two suggestions.  I will definitely look into those.

    Our budget is about $10,000 and we have 75-80 guests only.  I am looing to have the ceremoney and reception at one location .

    I already checked out all the unique Chicago venues: Botanic Garden, Park district location, museums, conservatorys and some of the northwest burbs.  My biggest problem with most of these venus is that the site price doesnt really cover much and then you have to coordianter caterers, rental companies, etc.  One of the big selling points for Heritage was that they handeld so much of it themselves.
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    I'm sorry that you feel your ideal location is now not an option.  In all honesty, your FSIL may not have done the nicest thing, but you've been engaged for over 3 years and haven't booked a date with that venue.  I'm sure there are many reasons for that, but until a date is set and a venue is secured you really can't call dibs on a place. 

    Moving forward is probably the best thing for all parties, and I wish you the best of luck in finding a venue that fits all of your needs.  Have you looked into Four Rivers Environmental Center, Wagner Farm, or Aquaviva Winery?  I'm not sure where your located, but all should fit your size wedding party and budget.  Aquaviva Winery is actually very close to the original venue you wanted.

    Good luck!
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