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Illinois-Chicago

Creative Venue Ideas!!

I live in the city but am willing to travel about an hour or so out in any direction.  My fiance and I want a unique outdoor wedding.  A place to have both a ceremony and reception.  We like places like the enchanted barn in wisconsin but need somewhere closer.  Please help!! I have searched the web for hours looking.  We have about 175 guests total and it will be happening next summer.  We want somwhere cute, comfortable, and US (not too stuffy)!

Re: Creative Venue Ideas!!

  • Golfer09Golfer09 member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Byron Colby Barn in Grayslake or the Milkpail in Dundee.
    Our wedding SDE: Our wedding Feature: PW=demo
  • mapales2mapales2 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Try the Redfield Estate in Glenview or the Winnetka House in Winnetka
  • edited December 2011
    Hmmm...you want both the ceremony and reception outdoors? That could be a bit risky with Chicago weather. But if you're willing to brave it! 

    I would check out: 

    CD & Me - in Frankfurt - really cute space



  • edited December 2011
    White Pines in Bensenville is definitly unique!
    And it has outdoor space for a ceremony .
    The grounds are beautiful and you get a really good deal!
  • amylulichamylulich member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Brookfield Zoo (I would totally have my wedding here, but I don't want my guests to have to drive)
  • edited December 2011
    Okay, well the colby barn is said to be haunted (different cateres i have worked with).  If you want someplace that is both beautiful and affordable you should check out my place.  I am having mine at Illinois state beach.  We are having the wedding outside beach front for 150 people.  We booked the room inside for the reception but they also have a tent outside.  I use to do wedding set ups there and you would not believe the different things that you could do to make it magical and unique.  They also have a firepit that you can rent for the night.  I worked with Nichole and she is wonderful.
  • lskonec2lskonec2 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Thanks for all the ideas so far!! Unfortunately I have to rule out anything involved in the park district.  I LOVE a lot of their locations BUT ive heard you cant book a space until the year of the event, plus you have to hire chicago police for secruity and then there is a hefty fee for renting the space alone and then you still have to bring everything in. NOt to mention the insurance you have to get for the event..   I wanted a simple cute outdoor event but the more i look into everything the more i think its not possible. I have a decent budget but my parents arent so keen on having to get insruance on the space/event ( they dont want to have to be help accountable) if something goes wrong. I am excited about my wedding but feeling defeated. anyone in a similar crunch? 
  • edited December 2011
    I think only one of the places suggested was a CPD property.

    That's generally a problem with more "rustic" creative venues. You have to do all the work - rent tables, decorate, find a caterer, etc. which can get costly quickly. 

    I would check out some of the places listed above that are more traditional ones and you won't have those types of issues. 


  • lskonec2lskonec2 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    ooo sorry i spaced and read lincoln park zoo, when clearly it says brookfield. Just wanted to throw it out there too, that the chicago park district locations are not really an option for us.  The winettka house looks cute but there is really no info on their website, I'll check into it. Thanks.  Keep em coming if you can think of anywhere else, I really appreciate the help!
  • lskonec2lskonec2 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Michelle,
    you mentioned illinois state beach which brings me to the illinios departmant of natural resources. Do you by chance have a link to photos of events held here or an email to someone i can directly contact in regards to the space? that would be great.
  • morgie44morgie44 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    You may like Oak Brook Bath and Tennis Club
    Concorde Centre in Woodstock
    Countyline Orchard in Hobart, IN
  • edited December 2011
    http://www.bellapictures.com/ilbeachresortmontage
    go to this site it will give you all you info you need
  • edited December 2011
    The resort website is www.ilresorts.com for the Illinois Beach Resort. 
  • edited December 2011
    We are having our wedding at the Narnia Estate in Lemont.  We are having a catholic ceremony, and therefore not taking advantage of their ceremony accommodations, but I think the ceremony space is absolutely gorgeous!  Our cocktail hour is outside so the guests will get that "outdoorsy" feeling, and from the reception location you overlook a fiield of wildflowers that looks absolutely gorgeous!  Here is the website, you should check it out:   http://thenarniaestate.com/

    We were actually pretty set on having the reception in the city, but my mom found this place and we thought we would go take a look since it is only about 10 minutes from my parents house.  When we got there we were completely blown away, and also very shocked that we had never heard of the place before.  
  • lskonec2lskonec2 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    i love the countyline orchard, im going to check it out this weekend!
  • kmrazekkmrazek member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    You may want to take a look at Oscar Swan Country Inn in Geneva, IL.  Don't be disuaded by the website - the woman has not yet come to terms with the internet age, and it looks like something that was created in 1994, but if you get to visit the space, it is beautiful.  I'm having my ceremony there, but they also do receptions.  They have indoor, outdoor, an a tent space. 
  • chosen175chosen175 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Nobody has mentioned Montefiore.  It's BEAUTIFUL!

    I second Brookfield Zoo -  they were our #1 contendors before we decided on a DW.  Call & ask for Kathy Seybold.  She's so amazing!
  • AubsAndSeanAubsAndSean member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Our ceremony and reception were at Bird haven greenhouse in joliet. Outdoor ceremony, but if it rains it would be moved into the greenhouse, so it still has an outdoor feel.
    Also look into Blumen Gardens in Sycamore.. good luck!!!
  • edited December 2011
    I must have looked at thirty unique venue ideas (meaning no hotels, country clubs, or reception halls) and we finally decided on the Brookfield Zoo.  We are getting married there on 9/11/2010.  To echo what someone else had said we are being taken care of by Kathy Siebold.  
  • edited December 2011
    Starved Rock Lodge at the Starved Rock State Park in Utica, IL.  Small town, cute.  Gorgeous! 
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