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Change of Plans...Please Help (Long story)

When we got engaged Jan 09 I knew I wanted a summer wedding. I didn't want to rush so we decided for summer 2010. The original date was July 31, 2010. After some thinking we decided to do a destination wedding. But to be sure this would work for everyone we sent out tentative STD cards and asked our guest how they would feel traveling to Jamaica to celebrate our big day. We had more than 50% of our guest list replying this could work for them and by Oct the invitations were sent including brochures and the price list. We had the hotel booked and several nearby resorts on hold as well to fit everyone's budget.

Well by Jan 15. 2010 we only had 5 people to put a deposit down. After speaking with a few close guest we realized that the economy had really hurt a lot of people and traveling to Jamaica was not an option anymore. With a heavy heart I called my travel agent and cancelled the reservation and sent out a mass email.

Now here it is less than 6 months to my wedding and more than likely I'll have to change the date (because majority of the venues have Saturdays booked until Nov). In the last month we have looked at several venues but cannot agree on one. The whole point of a summer wedding was so we could have an outdoor ceremony. Many of the country clubs and hotels offer this but my fiance says this is cliche. He wants to have it at this lovely mansion on the North side of Chicago but it is not in our budget and we cannot have the cermony outside. It is $3000 to rent the place which does not incl catering, parking etc.

Please help. I need ideas. We are running out of time. We have a $7000 budget and I really don't want to blow it.
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Re: Change of Plans...Please Help (Long story)

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    edited December 2011
    Hi:

    Sounds like it's been a stressful process. A little more info might help us to be able to help you. How many guests are you looking to accomodate? Are you willing to do a non-dinner function to accomodate your budget? This might help us a bit.
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    edited December 2011
    that and why does it have to be a Saturday? You'll save a lot of money and have a better pick of locations if you do a Friday or Sunday. Mine was on a Friday and it was perfect.  We had the whole rest of the weekend to hang out with all of our friends and family.
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    jbll326jbll326 member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We are having a Friday wedding in March at the Patrick Haley Mansion. Ceremony likely won't be outdoors, but we saved $$$ having a Friday off season wedding. If you're willing to compromise, you can have an amazing wedding in your budget. I have to say though, a $7000 budget wont' get you terribly far in the city or burbs, though it is definitely do-able. If you can go further out of the city and settle on a banquet hall, you may have better luck. GL!
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    edited December 2011
    You may want to do a brunch or lunch reception, which can keep the costs pp down (especially not needing much alcohol for the reception). How many people?
    7/10/10 imageDandy
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    edited December 2011
    I agree. The above posters are right on the money. A Friday evening wedding in the suburbs with a cocktail reception might be your best bet. If you can find a venue that allows you to bring your own caterer that will help.
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    amylulichamylulich member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    You might also look at:
    Joliet Union Station
    Chateau Bu-Sche' (Alsip)
    CD&Me (Frankfort)
    Silver Lake Country Club (Orland Park)


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    edited December 2011
    There will be approximately 80-100 guests. I don't mind changing the date to a Fri or Sun. I am also open to the surrounding suburbs. The one thing I'm struggling with is finding a location for an outdoor ceremony. I thought $7000 was a good budget. This is only for the ceremony and reception. It doesnt incl things like my dress, tux, hair make-up etc. Just the cost related to the ceremony and reception itself (venue, food, linen, flowers etc) If you guys don't mind sharing, what are your budgets? # of guests? 
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    edited December 2011
    My cost for an outdoor ceremony and reception (both at a golf club in the burbs) including flowers, food, dj, photographer and linens will be about $15,500.  That doesn't include the dress, tux, rings, hair, mu, etc.  Now, that price is for a Saturday evening in August with about 175 guests.  I would definitely look at pricing for a Friday night, that will help save you a LOT of $, plus you have fewer guests.  My meal cost is about $65 p/p (includes tax, gratuity, and FULL open bar) for 5.5 hours.
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    edited December 2011
    might try the wilder mansion nin elmhurst. During the summer you can have the ceremony in wilder park next door. They have chairs  and set-up staff on hand too which might save some money. they have their preferred caterers so you'd have to check pricing with them to see how it would work.

    Friday and cutting the guest list would help. People will understand, and if they don't, they'll get over it. Just because you're having it in the area doesn't mean you suddenly need to invite more people than you would with a destination wedding. Good luck!
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    kmrazekkmrazek member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Try a different day, earlier in the day (for brunch or lunch instead of dinner), like pp's have said. 

    Also, another place to look into - Oscar Swan in Geneva, IL.  They have beautiful outdoor grounds (they're a bed and breakfast that also does weddings, etc.), and if you do a lunch instead of dinner, the prices are around $22-30 pp, with an additional site fee of around $2500 depending on the place you decide to have the ceremony and reception.  The dinner prices start around $40 pp, in case that might be an option.  The website is pretty horrible, and Nina isn't the sappy sweet type you typically deal with in the wedding industry - just be forewarned!
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    sandra78sandra78 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    for food alone for 100 people, even if you can find $50 per person, that is already $5000 not including any rental fees, linens or ceremony site rental.
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    edited December 2011
    You could try Lincoln Park Zoo for a sunday morning/afternoon or Friday wedding.  I ran across their info when choosing my own venue.  I don't remember the exact cost, but I remember the day options were pretty affordable.
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    edited December 2011
    The ceremony can be done in a park through the park district. If you are just using space and not something like a gazebo, you can probably do it for free, just rent chairs. If you want to, you can do the whole thing at a park and do a BBQ picnic type of reception. I had a friend do that and they had tons of fun--made it casual and set up horseshoes and volleyball nets. Cheap catering from someplace like Famous Daves would be good.
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    chosen175chosen175 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Brookfield Zoo starts at $87pp - which includes meal, cocktail hour IN one of the exhibits (how's THAT for not being cliche?), cake, and dinner.  They have a $5k minimum and you can do any night of the week.  They have a GORGEOUS fountain that we loved, and I was able to negotiate a speaker system & chairs for $7pp.  (I never tried to negotiate the food, since we decided on a DW by that point.)  Call and ask for Kathy Seybold - she is so amazing!
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    edited December 2011
    Hey Jbll.... what kinds of deals did they offer at the Patrick haley mansion for having it on a friday during an off season????
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    jbll326jbll326 member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011

    amcnamara - I pm'd you

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    BWIL123BWIL123 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011

    Hi,
    I have been a frequent lurker for sometime on this board. I don't know if you ended up finding a venue but I am getting married at the Dwight Country mansion in Dwight, IL. The ceremony is going to be outside and then they have a banquet facility that was added on to the back of the mansion. It is a very pretty place and well with in your budget.


    Good luck with your planning process!

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    edited December 2011
    There is the Birdhouse (something, can't remember) in Joliet. They have reasonable pricing and catering.....you can google it.
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