Between incredible dining, city life, attractions, and art, Chicago’s rich culture makes for a high quality of life for locals and an amazing vacation spot. After your Chicago proposal, and shopping for wedding and engagement rings, you must be looking to host your wedding in the Windy City. Here are our top picks for the best wedding venues in Chicago!
Best Big Guest List Venues
Want to make a unique statement with your wedding venue? Adler Planetarium has got you covered! Founded in 1930, Adler Planetarium is a public museum dedicated to the study of astronomy and astrophysics. You and your guests can take in the iconic Chicago skyline with a cocktail hour or wedding ceremony on the outdoor terrace. The massive windows in the Solarium wrap across the entire space and provide amazing views looking out across Lake Michigan. With a capacity of up to 1,000 people for your choice of an indoor or outdoor ceremony and reception, you have lots of freedom when thinking about your guest list. You and your spouse-to-be will have a beautiful time with your friends and family here, with the entire Universe as your backdrop.
The Crystal Gardens
Do you want to combine the wonder of the outdoors and the comfort of the indoors? The Crystal Garden is a one-acre botanical garden thriving under the 50ft arched ceiling of a six-story glass atrium. Adorned with twinkle lights, fountains, and graceful palm trees, it provides a gorgeous outdoor experience indoors. Located on Chicago’s famous Navy Pier, the venue also offers spectacular views of the city skyline, Lake Michigan, the Ferris wheel, and Dock Street. And there’s no rental fee to enjoy this unique setting—only a food & beverage minimum. For any number of guests up to 500, The Crystal Garden is an amazing option for your wedding venue.
Best Sustainable Venues
Sustainability and the environment are some of our passions here at Clean Origin, and these amazing venues can help you celebrate with a clean conscience!
Designed with a photographer’s eye, Greenhouse Loft is not only beautiful, it’s Chicago’s most sustainable wedding venue. They have everything you need for a gorgeous, magical, and seamless wedding. Gorgeous and ‘green’, Greenhouse Loft is located in the Green Exchange, a Platinum LEED-certified building. Sustainability is a top priority for them, so they’ll consciously go the extra mile to drastically reduce your event’s waste and overall carbon emissions. You and your (up to 200) guests will have a memorable time together, filled with happiness and love for each other and our planet.
A handcrafted, light-filled venue located on the south edge of Logan Square, the Joinery is a warm and unique wedding space. The open floor plan, combined with a collection of smaller spaces, will allow you to fully customize your wedding. They pride themselves on finding new life for salvaged historical artifacts, from the existing shell of the building to the re-use of heavy timber lumber, their barn wood tables, and handmade details throughout the space.
Best Open-Air Venues
Chicago Botanic Gardens
At the Chicago Botanic Gardens, your event springs to life amid a backdrop of pure beauty and serenity. This world-renowned cultural destination is the perfect venue for your wedding, reception, and rehearsal dinner. From the simple to the extravagant, they have something for every taste! Conveniently located close to downtown Chicago and situated on nine islands surrounded by lakes, this 385-acre garden features 26 display gardens and four natural areas. Photo opportunities are everywhere, thanks to a wealth of flower-bordered paths, tree-lined walkways, and quaint bridges. Their caterer is also happy to help you customize your menu in any way!
Chicago Illuminating Company
This venue is a diamond in the rough in Chicago’s South Loop. It is a beautifully modern, large blank space that you can tailor to your dream vision. Its centerpiece is its gorgeous outdoor courtyard, featuring ivy walls for natural daytime beauty and a lit canopy for your weatherproof soirée. An elegant iron gate with big split doors allows for a grand opening into the courtyard. The spacious bar gives guests more room to spread out – the only bottlenecks are for the guests’ drinks, not the guests themselves! Overall, the seamless outdoor/indoor space can accommodate so much, and the staff is extremely helpful and creative.
Best Intimate Venues
Located on Chicago’s Northside in the Edgewater neighborhood, Firehouse Chicago is perfect for your intimate and unique wedding. In 1906, before the Field Museum, before Adler Planetarium, and before Wrigley Field, Chicago built a firehouse for Engine Company 70, featuring a high tin ceiling, white glazed brick, and 4 horse stables. They have now renovated the building back to its original beauty, featuring antique doors, lighting, and fixtures. If you’re looking for a vintage, rustic style and want to celebrate with your closest friends and family, look no further. The Firehouse’s delightful garden creates a lovely, historical setting in which to celebrate your historic event.
The J. Parker
Right next to Lincoln Park, and on top of the hip Hotel Lincoln, you’ll find the fantastic J. Parker rooftop bar. Here, you and your guests will enjoy an absolutely stunning 360-degree view over the Chicago skyline, as well as Lake Michigan and Lincoln Park below. The rooftop at the J Parker Chicago comes with an outdoor terrace of 140 seats, and an indoor lounge seating 55 people. Both inside and outside are modern minimalistic in decor, with some greenery and a mix of bar stools, basket chairs, and lounge sofas. Your food options are incredible, and they specialize in smaller plates. This is a perfect choice both for an intimate dinner or just a small cocktail-style reception. Whether day or night, you’ll enjoy great food and drinks and even greater views.
Best Affordable Venues
Trigger is a modern ballroom wedding venue, bringing the SoHo vibe to Chicago. The owners, Scott and Julie Tallarida, are ready to transform your wedding day into a high style, low hassle experience. The 5,000 square foot space has a hipster-industrial aesthetic with some exposed pipes in the ceiling but manages to be cozy at the same time with lighting and decor. For you and your 150 guests, a summer day or a winter night will be comfortable, clean, and fun! Trigger is also fairly close to O’Hare airport, which makes life a lot easier for your out-of-town guests. They are able to host all of your wedding events, such as your bridal shower, engagement party, and rehearsal dinner. You can even get a photo booth to commemorate a great time!
Marchesa is perfect for your intimate and affordable ceremony and reception space, for a sunny daytime party or a romantic candle-lit evening. The art-filled dining room, inspired by the Guggenheim in Venice, is filled with stunning sculptural art and makes the perfect environment for the rich, layered flavors of Marchesa’s food. If you’re passionate about food, but feel limited by your budget, Marchesa will go above and beyond for you and up to 100 of your closest friends.
Best High-Rise Venues
The Laurel Room
Located in the heart of Chicago, The Laurel Room is a chic, airy lounge with Californian cuisine and cocktails, loungey furniture, greenery and skyline views. This spot takes inspiration from the West Coast’s architecture, cuisine, and energy. The menu is inspired by California’s seasonal, multicultural cuisine. The Laurel Room is seasonal, so it is open for the season as long as Chicago’s weather permits. In the meantime, it has a covered roof and will be open rain or shine. If you want to feel on top of the world for your wedding day, check out The Laurel Room!
City View Loft and Kitchen Chicago
In the hip, West Loop neighborhood stands a quaint brick building with not just one, but two amazing spaces! They are perfect when used in conjunction with each other, or rented separately. Many clients opt to host their ceremony and cocktail reception in Kitchen Chicago and their reception in City View Loft. Located on the 2nd floor and featuring 13-foot timber ceilings, picturesque skyline views, and an open concept floorplan, City View Loft will help you transform their industrial timber loft into your personalized venue space. Sunlight fills the space during the day for a warm and welcoming ceremony, and the twinkle of the city’s lights at night is the perfect urban backdrop for dinner and dancing. Just one floor down from the loft, Kitchen Chicago offers a 3,400 square foot sunlit event space complete with yet another loft area, bridal suite, cocktail area, and elevator access. Perfect for intimate events and large gatherings alike, this beautiful and simply designed industrial-chic setting can be transformed into a venue that will both warmly welcome and impact your guests!