If you’re looking for a good old-fashioned Midwestern wedding, Chi-town has plenty of great venues for your nuptials. It’s a city that has just about everything, from grand old churches to sleekly modern museums. Here are five scenic locations in the Windy City that would be perfect places for saying your vows.
Okay, so this may be cheating just a little. Camp Wandawega is technically in Wisconsin. But it’s only two hours from Chicago proper, and it’s owned by Chicago natives, so it gets a pass. Camp Wandawega has a beautiful selection of outdoor venues for your wedding reception, including lakeside ceremony spots and even an honest-to-god treehouse. You couldn’t ask for a more beautiful location for a rustic outdoor wedding.
If a rustic wedding doesn’t appeal to you, the Stan Mansion may be just what you’re looking for. Located in historic Logan Square, it’s bursting with grand, old-world charm; all burnished gold and understated opulence. The grand garden outside is a perfect spot for taking wedding photos, too. There are even suites where the wedding party can spend the night after the reception.
If you and your partner are the star-gazing type, consider a science-themed wedding at the Adler Planetarium. It’s located on the water’s edge across from the city proper, so you can enjoy amazing views during your reception. There are a number of spaces in the planetarium that are available for weddings, including a small black box theater. Odds are you’ll want to hold the ceremony among the stars in the planetarium itself.
For a more playful wedding and reception, try Pinstripes’ Bowling & Bocce Bistro. They have plenty of glamour for an upscale ceremony, with private ballrooms for rent. But afterwards you can unwind with lawn games, or even play a few frames in their bowling alley. Just try not to get lane oil on your wedding dress.
For the marine-biology-loving couple, you can’t beat the Shedd Aquarium for your wedding ceremony. Your wedding guests can dine on fine linen next to a huge tank while watching sharks lazily swim by as they munch their food. Have your cocktail hour with dolphins and whales. For the ceremony itself, you can let the fish be your witnesses, or you can get married in their gorgeous lakeside garden.
This Caribbean fusion restaurant in the West Loop neighborhood features gorgeous, vibrant stained-glass decor and a menu heavy on locally-grown, organic fare. Their colorful dining room seats up to 300 people and the easy access to outdoor areas make it an ideal choice for couples who want to incorporate wedding sparklers or other fun outdoor activities into their wedding. You’re sure to get some truly striking pictures posing among their lavish furnishings.
For bookish types, the Newberry Library is a grand old space with plenty of charm. Imagine saying your vows surrounded by the wisdom of the ages, breathing in the inimitable smell of old books. The building has three different wedding and reception venues which can seat up to 300 guests.
If you’re looking for an unconventional wedding venue, then Chicago has plenty of options to delight even the most discerning bride and groom. Whether you’re looking for old-school charm or gleaming metal and glass, travelling to Chicago for your wedding will yield the perfect results.