Affordable rooftop or riverside wedding venue in Chicago?

I live in Ann Arbor but am expanding my wedding venue search to Chicago since it has always been an appealing city to visit for my fiance and I.  I have found some really cool options, such as Crystal Gardens, Planaterium, and the Shedd Aquarium, but I am wondering if there are other uniquely appealing, yet more affordable options around the city?  Thinking something rooftop or waterside with a view of the city.  

Some basic info: Guest count will be around 100-125, budget is on the lower end, perhaps $10,000 - $15,000, but willing to splurge more on the venue and sacrifice in other areas.  As far as time frame goes, shooting for sometime between May 2016 and September 2016, preferably a Saturday but willing to do Friday if it means substantial savings.

Re: Affordable rooftop or riverside wedding venue in Chicago?

  • chloe97chloe97 member
    Third Anniversary 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    That price range may be tough because a lot of the cool venues come with a $4000-$5000 rental fee and you have to hire catering. My friend had her reception at the Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame in Little Italy on Taylor st. Cocktail hour was on the roof and it has amazing city views. I want to say it was in your price-range but I cant say for sure. There are a couple warehouse-type event spaces in the West Loop and Pilsen area that I looked into, but we're too small for my wedding (200+), but could work for you. Remember when booking your wedding in downtown Chicago that most hotels charge around $40 to park overnight and hotel rooms can be pretty pricy for your guests on certain weekends, particularly during the summer months.
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Start searching restaurants rather than "venues." Someone I know attended a wedding at Zed 451, for example. Great rooftop. 

    The Signature Room at the 95th is a great venue, but for 100-125 people you won't get a sit-down dinner there for $10-$15k. You might be able to do cocktail reception instead for that price, or lunch/brunch event. 

    Bridgeport Arts Center has great city views, but again, not sure it can be done for that many people on that budget. 

    What about the boats? The river boats and the Odyssey could be done in that price range. 

    In my experience, a Friday/Sunday wedding only saves you money on the minimum spend for catering/ use of the room, not the actual per-person costs. Something to keep in mind. 

    I'm going to be honest, $15k for the type of venue you want (especially if that's your entire budget, not just venue) is going to be rough, and I know that because we wanted the same thing for $20k and 80 guests. 

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