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Very different type of reception - Venue ideas please!

I'm having a hard time coming up with a reception venue that is fun, in our budget, and "us." 
Background:  I'm from Nebraska, he's from here.  2/3 of our guests will be traveling.  Shooting for 125-150 reception.
We are planning to get married in Vegas, so don't need a ceremony venue.
Budget:  As low as possible!  Would love to try and keep it around $50/person.

Here's the issue - we don't want a ballroom or a banquet hall.  We want something more casual, fun, etc.  Our original idea was to rent a beach/lake house, throw up a tent, and have friends/family join us for a weekend celebration.  The issue is that not a lot of houses have the backyard to host that many people.

My new idea is to try to find a fun local bar or restaurant that we could rent out - would love to be in the city, but know that I might be asking TOO much for that. 

Would LOVE to find a place that would let us bring in our own food and alcohol, or either one.

Just thought I'd see if anyone had seen anything out there.  I've checked about every banquet hall or reception venue in the wedding market.  I'm trying to think outside the typical wedding reception box to see what we can find.

THANK YOU!

Re: Very different type of reception - Venue ideas please!

  • CASK85CASK85 member
    1000 Comments 250 Love Its Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    Mrs. Murphy and Son's Irish Bistro on the north side of Chicago. You won't be able to fit that many people into a single room for a sit down dinner, but they have multiple rooms and will give you the entire second floor for just $400. Their food is pretty reasonable, depending on what you want. HTH!
  • edited December 2011
    Great suggestion!  Thanks!
  • edited December 2011
    I am looking at Logan Square Kitchen next week for my reception. I'll let you all know how it goes!
  • Cocnut0216Cocnut0216 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    If you wanted something fun and low key check out the chicago park districts and see if you can rent out one of their shelters and have an outdoor something.  One of the best weddings I've ever been to was all outdoors.   it was fun, lighthearted, and really got the guests to mingle. 

    It depends on how low-key you were looking at, if you wanted too see if there are any botanical gardens or other city-owned locations (they tend to be a little cheaper) if you wanted something a little more polished than a picnic. 
    "What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined...to strengthen each other... to be one with each other in silent, unspeakable memories." -George Eliot
  • edited December 2011
    I know the Chicago Botanical Gardens in Glenco is about $3,500 to rent for that many people for a Saturday night.  I looked at it for my 125 person reception and I think the quote I got for everything was $18k -
  • MrsPapsMrsPaps member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    there have been a lot of girls who have done Salvatore's in Lincoln Park as well as Maggiano's. Maybe look into those 2 restaurants.
  • CASK85CASK85 member
    1000 Comments 250 Love Its Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    Salvatore's has about a $15,000 minimum food/bev before tax/gratuity if you want to book there. Which seems like it might be out of the OP's budget.

    On the other hand, Maggiano's is only $5,000 minimum. 

    ETA: I did a lot of research. lol
  • Cocnut0216Cocnut0216 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Maggiano's is amazing- I would love to do something the night/afternoon before there because I love the atmosphere there :)
    "What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined...to strengthen each other... to be one with each other in silent, unspeakable memories." -George Eliot
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks everyone - the more info the better!  :)
  • Amy111608Amy111608 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011

    Maggiano's minimum is $10k + tax and tip for the main ballroom. You may want to look into the chicago park district locations.

  • CASK85CASK85 member
    1000 Comments 250 Love Its Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_illinois-chicago_very-different-type-of-reception-venue-ideas-please?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:72Discussion:ee7114b1-022d-40d6-a307-d22f67b156faPost:d62342ce-8b38-439a-9989-8d8fb61b9d95">Re: Very different type of reception - Venue ideas please!</a>:
    [QUOTE]Maggiano's minimum is $10k + tax and tip for the main ballroom. You may want to look into the chicago park district locations.
    Posted by Amy111608[/QUOTE]
    <div>Hmm, interesting. I could have sworn they told me $5k. . . .but maybe I'm mixing them up with WIldfire. OP, you should check Wildfire too!</div>
  • joo6758joo6758 member
    Sixth Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited December 2011

    You can look into a studio loft that you can decorate however you want. It's different, but modern. There are two in the West Loop that stand out to me Prairie Production and Aeree Loft!

  • edited December 2011
    just make sure you book with the venue, that you know you can afford the catering. so many of them make you use a preferred caterer and it ends up costing way more than the savings you would get on the rental of the place.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • edited December 2011
    Were getting married at aeree loft, it's in the west loop and it's fabulous. No preferred vendor list, and we can bring our own booze, we just have to have a licensed bartender serve it. I think the base all day rate is around $3900 and remember you do have to bring in tables,chairs, etc so you'll have to pay for rentals. Still, to my SHOCK it's going to be WAY cheaper than the total bill at a city park, AND we can rock on until 4am! For catering, I finally learned to search outside Chicago city limits, the prices started dropping in half. We are going with polonia catering bc it fits our family, but wishbone is really good and looked affordable also. Prairie productions is the same deal as aeree loft, actually a little cheaper, but it's smaller and there's some kind of adult store with a big neon sign on the next block, which would have given our polish relatives a heart attack. ( the neighborhood is totally safe they just have commercial zoning I think.)
  • MrsPapsMrsPaps member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_illinois-chicago_very-different-type-of-reception-venue-ideas-please?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:72Discussion:ee7114b1-022d-40d6-a307-d22f67b156faPost:6b44a951-0cbd-44cf-a945-3771755f713c">Re: Very different type of reception - Venue ideas please!</a>:
    [QUOTE]Were getting married at aeree loft, it's in the west loop and it's fabulous. No preferred vendor list, and we can bring our own booze, we just have to have a licensed bartender serve it. I think the base all day rate is around $3900 and remember you do have to bring in tables,chairs, etc so you'll have to pay for rentals. Still, to my SHOCK it's going to be WAY cheaper than the total bill at a city park, AND we can rock on until 4am! For catering, I finally learned to search outside Chicago city limits, the prices started dropping in half. We are going with polonia catering bc it fits our family, but wishbone is really good and looked affordable also. Prairie productions is the same deal as aeree loft, actually a little cheaper, but it's smaller and there's some kind of adult store with a big neon sign on the next block, which would have given our polish relatives a heart attack. ( the neighborhood is totally safe they just have commercial zoning I think.)
    Posted by arrabelle[/QUOTE]
    This is great info! including the part about the XXX sign :)
  • edited December 2011
    We are getting married in Sycamore, IL (about 60 miles out of Chicago) at Blumen Gardens. It is a plant nursery that has an old brick factory that has been cleared out for a reception space.  We wanted something outdoorsy but different as well. Super cute, kinda vintage/ shabby chic. We are getting married there and having our reception. They let you bring in your own food/alcohol, etc. Pretty flexible with things. We are paying about 2000 dollars and we get it for the whole day. This includes access to the gardens at night (super cute) otherwise it would have only been 1500. Our total budget for our wedding is 10,000, so we are tight on money as well.  
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