We have officially signed with a venue! Ken and I scheduled a trip to Chicago last month and the goal of the trip was to sign with a venue before we left that weekend. We lined up a ton of venues and diligently took notes on all of them and kept score on all of them as well (similar to my wedding dress scorecard that I mentioned in the wedding dress post). The scorecard definitely helped us pick a venue in the end because it was really close between two different venues and we turned to the scorecard to make the most unbiased decision. Some Chicago wedding venues:
The space is a blank canvas and we’ve seen some really beautiful weddings produced here (Ken’s friend from high school, Nicole, got married there and they have an amazing video here). The problem with the venue is that it’s too large of a space for our wedding size and it was also too much white space; I wanted a space that already had some kind of character/decoration so I didn’t have to think about how to decorate it too much. Also, decorations cost extra and so do table rentals, food, and lighting. If you decide to have it at a place that doesn’t have the catering already, you will have to ask if they have preferred vendors (most places will have a list of preferred vendors). You’ll have to book that separately and there were too many options for us, especially since we’re not in Chicago.
As soon as we saw the Peninsula, we knew it was something special. The hotel has a beautiful entrance, has a slight Asian-feel (most of their hotels are in Asia and only a few are in the United States), and the ballroom was beautiful. We spoke with their planner, Jennifer Clarke, who was knowledgeable and showed us a ton of beautiful photos of the venue. They also have an outdoor space, which would be perfect for a cocktail hour after the reception. The flow of the wedding would have been a little clunky if it rained (reception hall for the ceremony, upstairs for cocktails if it’s raining, then back downstairs once the room has flipped for dinner and dancing). Perfect for 150 guests, which is what we’re estimating, but the flow was not ideal.
I’d never heard of The Standard Club until I watched some amazing wedding videos from the venue. This video is beyond breathtaking – see photos of the venue and the video here. The chandeliers are the originals from when the club opened and they were just cleaned last year, which means they’re extra sparkly!
I asked some friends about the club and it turns out it’s a private club in Chicago. Luckily, John knows a very good member and he offered to sponsor us if we decided to have our wedding there. The location was absolutely stunning but it was very large (it fits up to 500 people) and the entrance way reminded me of a dark hotel. The space is quite dark, actually, and would take a lot of lighting special effects to make it seem as bright as the video.
A stunning entrance with silk walls and an entire floor for the wedding party – this would have been great if we were having a wedding of just 100 guests. The space doesn’t allow 150 and if they made the exception, it would have broken up the dinner and dancing, which was a dealbreaker for us. Really stunning for photographs, though!
Ken and his mom in the lobby of our wedding venue:
Do you know where we picked? How did you decide your wedding venue?