10. Loft on Lake
The two words people usually associate with Loft on Lake are “exposed brick and wood beams.” And rightly so. But with beautiful skylight and a grand yet intimate feel this venue is a wonderful fit for those looking for upscale but not traditional.
Filling up just over 100 guests, this venue may not be large enough for every wedding event, but with such a beautiful space, it may be worth trimming the guest list just a tad to make it work!
9. Chicago Cultural Center
If you've ever visited the second floor glass rotunda at the Cultural center, it's not hard to picture getting married there. The building is grand both outside and in, and it's location in the middle of the city is pretty much ideal.
If you want to feel grand and fabulous, the Cultural Center is right up your alley. And there's no other venue that makes it easier to access the areas of the city that every bride wants to be photographed around. This beautiful space doesn't come cheap, but if the city of Chicago is central to your love story and you want to make your venue a priority, you'd be in for a treat to get married at the Cultural Center.
8. Heritage Prairie Farm
Interested in giving your guests a locally sourced, organic experience? Then this is the venue for you! Heritage Prairie Farm bills themselves as Chicago’s “eco-chic” wedding spot and they work hard to ensure every aspect of the experience is as farm fresh as possible.
Heritage prairie farm is great If you want your day to be simple, rustic and food focused.
7. The Farm at Dover
We are big fans of all things casual and elegant. You’d be hard-pressed to find a barn venue that exemplifies these two qualities better than the Farm at Dover.
Just across the Wisconsin border, this wedding venue may be a little farther from Chicago, but trust us, it’s well worth the drive!
The owners have done a tremendous job restoring the barn, home, and grounds to their former glory and then some! There is a beautiful tucked away spot for outdoor ceremonies through a garden and at the edge of the woods, a secondary ceremony location on the lower level of the barn, a tastefully curated house available for getting ready on site, and the Pièce De Résistance, the upper level of the barn.
Our favorite part? The beautiful wood floors in the barn. We couldn’t imagine a better way to dance the night away as husband and wife!
6. Salvage One
Salvage One is one of the quirkier venues on this list. They offer ceremonies among the vintage decor and plenty of room for you and plenty of guests in the reception space upstairs!
Having trouble visualizing how to plan your wedding in the midst of piles of architectural salvage items? Stop by and ask for a tour!
Ecclectic? yes! Hipstery? Probably. But trust us, you’ll be surprised at just how perfect it works for weddings. I know we were!
5. Ivy Room
Many Chicago wedding venues offer both outdoor and indoor space rental options, but few venues right in the middle of downtown offer as breathtaking of both indoor and outdoor areas as the Ivy Room. If you're looking for a clean and tasteful venue right in the heart of the action, we would highly recommend considering this polished but not too pompous venue.
I mean just look at that luscious greenery for a minute! Judging by their solid 5 star yelp review (which is quite an accomplishment), you'll be in good hands. And your photographer will thank you.
4. Lacuna Artist Lofts
There is a lot to love about Lacuna Artist Lofts! We’ll start at the top. The rooftop space provides a beautiful view of the skyline. I couldn’t imagine a better spot for a wedding for people who love Chicago and want their love for the city to come through in their wedding.
The Reverie Gallery is beautiful indoor space.with plenty of room for even the largest of weddings. The industrial wood beams and perfectly finished wood floors provide plenty of character, ensuring your wedding is anything but bland!
3. Camp Wandawega
Stephanie and I have quite the soft spot for Camp Wandawega. If you've seen Moonrise Kingdom, you'll understand the basic vibe of this vintage boy scout camp style retreat established in 1925.
What the camp lacks in luxurious amenities, is more than makes up for in vintage charm and authentic character. This venue is perfect for those with a hipster leaning that really want to give their guests an unforgettably unique wedding experience.
2. Cuneo Mansion
Looking for European sophistication but don't have the budget to fly all your guests to Italy for you wedding? Then you will want to take a closer look at the Cuneo Mansion.
The campus is located at and owned by Loyola University and they seem to be equally passionate about preserving this piece of history as they are about providing a great event experience for up to 300 guests. And if you do choose to have your wedding here, you're definitely setting yourself up for photographic success as these grounds provide ample opportunity for wedding day photography.
1. Bridgeport Art Center
I know what you're thinking: another loft? But before you write this one off as just another wood-beamed empty canvas, take a closer look.
Officially called "skyline loft," the intricately designed wood floors and wall-to-wall skylight ensure your wedding will be anything but ordinary.
If you love history, the art center was constructed in 1911 and if you're having trouble finding a venue with enough space for everyone you want to invite, this may be the place for you as with over 18,000 square feet, there's plenty of room for even the biggest of weddings.
Choosing Your Venue
We hope this list helps you in your quest to find the perfect venue for your Chicago wedding. We know that planning can be stressful—trust us, we somehow planned our wedding in just 12 weeks! So, while it may seem overwhelming, know that things will come together and you're wedding is going to be the most special day of your lives not matter what the details are!
As fine art wedding photographers who value relationships above all else, Stephanie and I are intentionally involved in helping our couples have the most enjoyable and stressless wedding day possible. If you're looking for someone who will come along side of you, put you at ease and work with you to create images that are more about the authenticity of your love than about "cool photo opps," we would love to talk with you and see if we're the right ones to tell your story!