Looking for Chicago Wedding venues? Check out these five must-see venues!
My fiance, Isaiah, and I were engaged when we moved to Texas to be closer to my family. We always knew we would want our wedding to be in Chicago, but planning long-distance was proving more of an obstacle than we originally pictured. To plan from scratch from 1000 miles away, you need a wedding venue with a website, enticing photos (or at least enticing enough to see the potential) and a price within your budget. We had a hard time finding things that fit all three criteria and managed to represent our style.
More than a year of research later, we want to share the unique and affordable Chicago wedding venues that “made the cut.”
5 Chicago Wedding Venues Ideal for an Intimate Wedding
Prairie Productions has a bare-boned gallery feel and has a lot of room for customization for your modern, intimate wedding. With different chairs, linens and decor, the venue looks like a completely different space for each wedding.
Volo is a sweet, downtown setting for a wedding. For more photos of weddings at Volo, check out Erika and Dave’s intimate wedding that was featured here on the blog.
A New Leaf is becoming a massively popular Chicago wedding venue, and it’s easy to see why. From charming brick walls to the blank canvas couples can customize to their style, it’s a beautiful venue for intimate weddings.
Another blank canvas, Loft on Lake has such a charming interior with modern furniture for lounges, an excellent location and a highly-praised event staff.
The Zhou B. Art Center is the most diverse venue I’ve found in Chicago. Their staff is very friendly to work with and they have five completely different themed rooms for weddings. From a concrete and minimal warehouse theme to their beautiful gardens, you’ll find something that works for you.
Photo One: David Wittig Photography Photo Two: Olivia Leigh Photographie Photo Three: Continuum Photography Photo Four: Andrew Collins Photo Five: Olivia Leigh Photographie via Honey Bee Weddings Photos Six & Seven: Deanna Kaye
Daniel, 37 & Kellie, 32
Wedding Date: September 21, 2010
Number of Guests: 0 (Just the bride, groom, officiant and photographer.)
Wedding Cost: $3,000 (excluding rings and travel costs)
Wedding Ceremony Location: Long Lake, Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, Ward, Colorado
Wedding Reception Location: Picnic at Long Lake Trail with two in attendance; bride and groom.
Why did you have an intimate wedding?
Dan and I had been engaged for about 4 months before we began to seriously think about our wedding ceremony. We both have very busy schedules, so it was difficult to choose a time that was good for both of us. Additionally, our families live on opposite sides of the country, which complicated the planning; so it was much easier for us to plan a small event. More importantly, we felt that a small wedding in a place which held sentimental meaning for the both of us reflected our personalities more than a large wedding would. Once we decided to go small, we went really, really small. In the end we decided to elope in the Colorado wilderness.
What are some the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?
At the time we decided to get married I was living and working at a field station in the rainforest of Costa Rica and Dan was in Monterey, CA. I had a very brief trip to the States planned for September. Rather than wait until the following year to get married, Dan suggested that I extend my layover in Denver by a couple of days and we just get married then. So with two weeks until my trip, we had a wedding to plan. I looked up potential vendors on the internet and Dan would call them to work out the details. I had only one day in Denver before the ceremony, so there was no time for complex alterations or test-runs. To ensure that I had everything, I sent what I thought I might need to Dan. In the case of my dress, I ordered many dresses of various sizes and hoped for the best.
Dan grew up in Boulder, CO. He had always loved the Indian Peaks Wilderness area, so he suggested we use the lake at the base of Indian Peaks as the backdrop for our wedding. I loved the idea. Because there are no roads to the lake, we needed to find a photographer and an officiant that were willing to go off the beaten path. Luckily, the photographer that we really wanted was up for the hike, but it took a little more effort to find an officiant. (Our first officiant backed out a week before the ceremony.) In the end, it all worked out beautifully.
Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?
Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family?
Our families found out after the fact, and I think any ‘issues’ which they had were assuaged by the fact that our exclusion of guests was all inclusive; in other words, they had no reason to be jealous since everyone was in the dark!
What were the highlights of the ceremony?
We had lovely weather and fantastic scenery! It was just us and the Colorado Rockies. (The mountain range, not the baseball team.)
What were the highlights of the reception?
We did not have a reception. After the ceremony we enjoyed a small picnic with champagne and just enjoyed being together. It was very sweet.
As for the wedding cake, I am very grateful to the staff (particularly Mary) of the Romantic Riversong Bed and Breakfast in Estes Park for helping me arrange for a cake. I e-mailed Mary and asked if it was possible for them to recreate the cake that Dan and I shared on our first date – chocolate cake with peanut butter crème filling and fudge icing. Mary took over from there. She had a local pastry chef make our delicious cake and had a lovely table set in our suite at the Inn.
What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?
What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?
Choose a location that has meaning to the both of you and keep it simple.
We also felt that it was important to have a good photographer. We were very fortunate to find April O’Hare. April was both wonderful to work with and very talented. She provided us with a breathtaking portfolio of photographs that reflect the great memories of that day. On top of the great photographs, April was fun to work with; and if someday we decide to have a large ceremony with family and friends, we’ve already decided that April will be the Photographer!
Photographer: April O’Hare
Picnic food: Whole Foods Market
Bride attire: J.Crew Bridal
Groom attire: Calvin Klein
Jewelry: Tiffany & Co.
Venue: U.S. Forest Service
Looking for a naturally beautiful and intimate setting for your West Virginia wedding? Creekside Resort & Spa in Greenville, West Virginia offers weekend destination wedding packages for outdoor weddings, spring through fall. Enjoy a weekend together with your guests with your two day, all-inclusive wedding package.
With only one wedding per weekend, Creekside is able to provide the service and dedication to ensure your special day will be personal and unhurried. Planning assistance and event coordination services are part of the weekend wedding package as well as a variety of menu options to customize your day to your unique tastes.
With lodgings for up to 45 guests and additional local accommodations available, you can enjoy a relaxing wedding weekend with your close friends and family nearby. Your intimate, seated reception at Creekside can include up to 100 guests.
Your weekend wedding package includes:
For more information, visit Creekside Resort & Spa
We designed some free printable candy bar wrapper templates for you that allow you to add your own names and wedding date! If you don’t want to use them as wedding favors, you can personalize them for just about any occasion.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, we’ve created two sizes! The large wrappers will fit a 5 oz candy bar, and the smaller size will fit a 2.6 oz candy bar.
Download Candy Bar Wrapper Template – Large – Blue (5 oz candy bar)
Download Candy Bar Wrapper Template – Small – Blue (2.6 oz candy bar)
Download Large Red Candy Bar Wrapper Template (5 oz candy bar)
Download Small Red Candy Bar Wrapper Template (2.6 oz candy bar)
Once you have downloaded the candy bar wrapper templates, print them on cardstock. (I used ivory cardstock.)
Remove commercial wrapper from your candy bar.
Cut your wrapper.
Wrap personalized wrapper around candy bar. I used photo mounting squares to adhere, but you could also use double sided tape.
BTW, the wrappers were designed by the talented Lizzie from Love Your Way.
Have you heard of Pinterest? If not, you must check it out! Thanks to Lizzie, I recently discovered this incredible source of ideas and inspiration. It’s free to join, and once you become a member you can use the site to easily organize all of your favourite images from the web. It’s a fantastic way to keep all of your favourite wedding images in one place.
Here are a coupls of my recent favourites from Pinterest:
Fun photo shoot via Pinerest.