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Illinois-Chicago

Affordable Wedding Venue Ideas? HELP!

I just got engaged last weekend.  Yay!   I have never been so happy, but at the same time I now feel very overwhelmed with the idea of planning a wedding.  No one in my family has ever planned a wedding before and we are not sure where to start.  My parents have a very limited budget, they said max 20k.  My fiance and I, made a rough draft of our guest list and right now it is at about 110 (including the maybes).  We are also Jewish and want to have a very basic Jewish ceremony.  My initial ideas on saving cost was to do something like a Sunday brunch or luncheon.  We definitely do not want a dry wedding so I can't really cut costs very much in that department.  I can forgo a florist and decor type stuff.  I just want to marry the man of my dreams and at the same time have all the people we love the most be there to witness it and celebrate with us.  I have only ever been to "over the top" hotel style weddings.  I wish I had a big backyard to throw some type of backyard bbq style wedding... but we dont.  I am looking for any and all suggestions and ideas.  Venues, music options, wedding planner... etc.  I want this to be simple.  There has to be a way to make it that way, I just haven't figured it out yet.  Please please someone help!  

Re: Affordable Wedding Venue Ideas? HELP!

  • First of all, 20,000 is decent based on 110 number. I think you will be pleasantly suprised with what is available.

    I think we need more details to help you. Chicago is large. Where about do you want to get married? what time of facility are you looking for? hotel? country club? hall?, etc...

  • Thank you for your reply!  I would ideally like to do a restaurant or a venue that will also provide food so we don't have to use a separate vendor for catering.  Sunday brunch is what we are thinking, with the ceremony and reception in the same location.  

     I am flexible on location.  Either somewhere in the city, in the suburbs closer to my parents house (they live in Northbrook) or we would even look by O'hare.  I really want simple, stress free and hoping to stay under 20,000.  That number would be the absolute max, including dress, food, alcohol, music, photog, decor, beauty, etc.  It just seems impossible!  
  • We had ours at the Fountain Blue in Des Plaines and LOVED the experience. For a Saturday evening we paid about $75pp which included alcohol, linens, and cake. For a Sunday brunch most places do discounts below their normal package price so you could easily get it for less. Like pp said, 20K is actually really good budget for the size and the fact that you want it on a Sunday when there are even more discounts. You'll have plenty of options. You could check into country clubs too if you want an outdoor ceremony site option.
    Vacation
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    You also did not mention a date.  Having your wedding in the off season will also help to offset costs.  Friday night and Sunday night weddings also often offer discounted rates.  The Cotillion in Palatine, Chevy Chase in Wheeling, The Seville or Stonegate in the Schaumburg area may surprise you with their evening prices.  For an evening reception or Sunday brunch I would highly recommend The Arboretum Club in Buffalo Grove.  Their staff is incredibly helpful and are willing to work with many budgets.  You can have your ceremony there as well.

    For restaurants, consider Allgauer's or Pinstripes in Northbrook, or Wildfire Restaurant in Lincolnshire.  Saranello's in the Westin Hotel in Wheeling may have something, as might The Lincolnshire Marriott Resort.  Lovell's in Lake Forest also offers brunch, but I'm not sure how large a group their private room can hold.
  • So the date is set... and we were talked into hiring a wedding planner who a friend recommended and is giving us a great deal.  She won't discuss her cost with me, and spoke with my mom about that privately but if mom was happy I am happy.  Our date is set.  Sunday August 9, 2015.  I also think we found a venue that is going to be perfect.  

    our wedding planner has a photographer she loves for budget weddings and I am not sure I am loving what I am seeing on his website.  Thank you all for the suggestions.  Any more suggestions on a reasonable photographer?  
  • So the date is set... and we were talked into hiring a wedding planner who a friend recommended and is giving us a great deal.  She won't discuss her cost with me, and spoke with my mom about that privately but if mom was happy I am happy.  Our date is set.  Sunday August 9, 2015.  I also think we found a venue that is going to be perfect.  

    our wedding planner has a photographer she loves for budget weddings and I am not sure I am loving what I am seeing on his website.  Thank you all for the suggestions.  Any more suggestions on a reasonable photographer?  
    What is a reasonable price range to you? What are you looking to be included in the prices?
    Anniversary
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  • This is so new to me.  Within our budget I would say maximum 2500.  I would like to find someone who will throw in engagement photos, especially so I can see how they turn out prior to the wedding. 
  • Thank you for your reply!  I would ideally like to do a restaurant or a venue that will also provide food so we don't have to use a separate vendor for catering.  Sunday brunch is what we are thinking, with the ceremony and reception in the same location.  

     I am flexible on location.  Either somewhere in the city, in the suburbs closer to my parents house (they live in Northbrook) or we would even look by O'hare.  I really want simple, stress free and hoping to stay under 20,000.  That number would be the absolute max, including dress, food, alcohol, music, photog, decor, beauty, etc.  It just seems impossible!  
    There are alot of option near northbrook that meet that category. I looked at many venues near there and was definitely within that price range.

    Chevy Chase Country Club
    Algauers in Northbrook (off Milwaukee)
    White Deer Run Country Club in Vernon Hills
    Old Orchard Country Club

    Really just google or look on the Knot. There are a TON of affordable places within your price range near Northbrook

  • This is so new to me.  Within our budget I would say maximum 2500.  I would like to find someone who will throw in engagement photos, especially so I can see how they turn out prior to the wedding. 
    http://www.teresadphotography.com/index.html ?
    Anniversary
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  • KayDeeeKayDeee member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited October 2014
    We had a brunch reception May of this year at Zed451 in River North and it was amazing. We had 84 invited, 65 attended.

    110 people would be a tight fit in their Fireside and Mezzanine rooms, but for $34 pp the food is absolutely amazing. Menu here. They also have a very nice mimosa and bloody mary brunch pricing that makes alcohol affordable as well.

    The space is very nice, and you don't have to worry about table settings, linens or anything like that--all included. And their coordinator is easy to work with, she is like a day-of planner bonus.

    Lots of reviews here including my own.


    For photographery we used Kristi at Markit Photography and she was excellent to work with and would be in your budget range. You can check out her work on that link.

    Congratulations and good luck!




  • We just had ours at the Cotillion in Palatine. Our budget was less and we had 150 people. They were awesome! Would definitely recommend them!
  • wandajune6wandajune6 Chicago-ish member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    Are you flexible on food or does it need to be kosher? We looked at kosher places for our wedding but, due to cost, found it easier to bring in kosher meals for our handful of guests who required it. Lots of places can't handle kosher so it might be a good starting point if it's a requirement.
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    fbergin said:
    The Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro provides complete packages for $99 / person they also have a current promotion going on where you receive a Visa gift card for $250 for every $5,000 booked to help you save even more.
    @fbergin, please stop spamming the boards with your posts. @Knot Riley
  • Thank you everyone for all of the suggestions.  I am excited to say I officially have a venue, photographer and a dj all within budget!

    Now its time to say yes to the dress.  I have already been to Nordstroms, David's bridal, BHLDN, and Macys.  I have two top contenders but I still don't feel like I have found THE ONE.  My planner suggested we check out a store in Barrington that sells samples.  Any other suggestions on where I could look within the 1000 or under range?  Under preferably because alterations literally are the killer!
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