Illinois-Chicago

Is it a bad idea to get married Chicago Marathon weekend?

Do hotels book up very quickly? Will things be almost prohibitively difficult?

Thanks!

Answers

  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Hotels book up very quickly, and often raise their prices as well.....supply and demand.  Road closures even the day before can make traffic and driving a logistical nightmare.  Parking may be harder to find as lots fill with tourists in for the race.  Extra out of town visitors may even take a bite out of cabs and other public transportation.

    I guess my thought would be......why would you want to have your wedding on such a chaotic weekend?  It would personally not be my first choice.  If you have any flexibility, I would probably encourage you to use it.
  • Thanks for your response! That's what we were thinking but thought someone might have actual experience with doing it that they could share.

    We like that weekend because it's a long weekend in both Canada (where I'm from) and the United States. We don't want to have our wedding on a chaotic weekend; a chaotic weekend wants to happen on our wedding. 

    With proper planning and forewarning, maybe ok?
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    If you go in knowing what to expect, it might not be horrid.  Definitely steer clear of areas surrounding McCormick place.  This website may also give you an idea of what to avoid in terms of official Marathon hotels....


    If you will need hotel blocks, I would try to make arrangements as soon as possible.
  • I got married November 3, 2012 and there was a marathon the day after....not sure if it was the same one? But there was no issue for us with hotels and stuff, just saw people with their numbers on at brunch when we were picking up our centerpiece stuff the morning after. But we had the reception near Lakeview not downtown.
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    hollycs said:
    I got married November 3, 2012 and there was a marathon the day after....not sure if it was the same one? But there was no issue for us with hotels and stuff, just saw people with their numbers on at brunch when we were picking up our centerpiece stuff the morning after. But we had the reception near Lakeview not downtown.
    The Chicago Marathon is traditionally held the second weekend of October (I think), so I am sure the one held on your wedding weekend was not the same.  The Chicago Marathon draws upwards of 40,000 runners, and that does not include all the spectators and corporate involvement.  

    The OP will definitely have to plan ahead.  And if she tries to steer clear of the areas surrounding the race course, she may be OK.  I just personally would avoid it.  My son married on a "typical" Saturday in July.  A huge country/western concert at Soldier Field and a Cubs game turned a drive from the suburbs from 1 hour to 3 hours.  The 20 minute drive from Hyde Park to State and Ontario took 45 minutes.  It doesn't take much to create a traffic nightmare.
  • Thanks, Mobkaz. You've been very helpful.
  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    Honestly, If that is a weekend that works for you. You can make it happen. Things will be busier and book up fast. I would consider the marathon route before picking a venue, because of set up.

    Do you remember when NATO and the G8 Summit came to Chicago in 2012? That was the weekend I got married. And it worked perfectly. You will just need back up plans and a flexible schedule.

    BabyFruit Ticker
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    One good reason to have it marathon weekend is that some venues may be willing to deal. We were offered a Saturday at a hotel for a Sunday price.

    Are all your guests coming from out of town? The marathon route eats up a significant portion of Chicago. For example, if you had your reception at, say, a Michigan Ave hotel, on Sunday morning no one will get out of the area until after noon due to the route. You might have an issue with check-out times Sunday morning, and people might need to book flights later in the afternoon in order to make it to the airport. If you are "outside" the route it would probably be easier for travel. 
    For us, we turned down the cheap weekend because most people would be driving in or taking the commuter trains, and getting out Sunday morning would be awful.  
    ________________________________


  • We were married over Lollapalooza weekend this year, and while it impacted our plans somewhat, it was doable.  My husband is Canadian and we picked that weekend partly for Canada's long weekend.  Hotels were much more expensive (as I imagine they will be for marathon weekend) and we had to stay away from certain areas during photos, but that was really the only downside.  We made a point to warn our guests about hotels as soon as possible and also reminded guests about traffic, etc. several times.  I think as long as you plan as muchas you can for hotels and traffic, you will be fine. 

     

  • Dotka87Dotka87 member
    First Comment
    edited January 2014
    Did you end up deciding on this date for your wedding? My fiance and I are having the same dilema except we already decided on the date with our venue not realizing that its the Chicago Marathon weekend. I am now contacting a bunch of hotels to reserve blocks and its quite difficult. If you are getting married this weekend do you have any tips on hotels?
  • We were married over Lollapalooza weekend this year, and while it impacted our plans somewhat, it was doable.  My husband is Canadian and we picked that weekend partly for Canada's long weekend.  Hotels were much more expensive (as I imagine they will be for marathon weekend) and we had to stay away from certain areas during photos, but that was really the only downside.  We made a point to warn our guests about hotels as soon as possible and also reminded guests about traffic, etc. several times.  I think as long as you plan as muchas you can for hotels and traffic, you will be fine. 

     

    I saw block rates for hotels on the Lolla website for about $200. I would have no problem telling guests to use those block rates. We're the weekend before and I've still warned my guests not to stay too late into the following week or risk much higher rates than our block.
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  • jhemp09jhemp09 member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited January 2014

    I was also looking to get married marathon weekend, but we switched our weekend to October 25th due to difficulty in finding a hotel block. 

    Dotka87:  Before we switched to the the 25th, we inquired about room rates at quite a few hotels for the 11th weekend.  A few that you could try:

     Holiday Inn at Merchandise Mart, they offered us $250 a night that weekend for a 10-20 room block

    Westin on Michigan Ave offered $270 but they would require a 2 night stay

    Four Points Sheraton offered $270, also requiring a 2 night stay and you are liable for reserving 80% of the rooms you block

    I hope that helps!

  • We were originally going to get married on 10/11; however, we couldn't find a single hotel in Chicago that would take a room block. We contacted the Westin, Sheraton, Wyndham, Hyatt, Hard Rock, InterContinental, Park Hyatt, etc.....

    They also begin to block off streets on Saturday, so we felt it would be difficult for our out of town guests.

    If you're getting married in the suburbs, you'll be fine! Downtown might be tough....
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