Hello! To stay within your budget I would definitely stay out of the heart of Chicago and stay in the suburbs (so I think you are on the right track). If you are considering doing a "weekend wedding" for guests that have come from out of town, I would look into doing the wedding and reception on one day, and then having something fun that you can do with guests on the day before or after the wedding (like Chicago City tours (i.e. bus or boat tours)). Regarding anything that you do with guests beyond the wedding day, guests will expect to pay for themselves. For example, many members of my family went canoeing together with the bride and groom the day before my cousins wedding and it was a great time (but we paid for our own canoe rentals) which did not upset anybody. Keep in mind that Springtime weather in IL can be a bit unpredictable. As for having the wedding and reception within your budget, and in the suburbs, and near a body of water...I would HIGHLY suggest looking into Cantigny in Wheaton. My sister-in-law went here for pictures alone...but the park does hold wedding receptions. Unfortunately Cantigny's website does NOT do the location grounds justice. Before you take a tour of the grounds in person...I would do a google IMAGE search using the words "cantigny wedding" and you will find a plethora of unbelievably gorgeous pictures from previous brides. Hope this helps!!!
P.S. -- I have pictures from my brothers wedding from Cantigny that I could show you if you would like to see a few more than google has to offer.
Check out Pheasant Run Resort. $20,000 will get you absolutely everything, and it's a full-service resort with a comedy club, golf, musical theater, restaurants, bars, patios and verandas, etc. I see that your budget is lower, but for 5,000 more these guys will do it all and do your wedding in style--food, flowers, cake, chair covers and linens, centerpieces, decor, honeymoon suite, rehearsal dinner, round of golf for the guys or tickets to the theater, bridal makeup and hair in the Mario Tricocci salon, brunch on the day after, AND a free stay on your first anniversary, too---you supply the dress and hire your photographer and you're done. We highly recommend it. We would have selected it had we not been able to fit a city wedding into our budget. It was absolutely fantastic and the event sales guy, Mark, was a pleasure to work with. It's at least worth going in to see him and have some dinner and champagne on the house while you check out the venue.
Check out the park district if you want to be in Chicago - they have several excellent outdoor spaces that you can rent. Otherwise look into a barn, mansion, or hotel in the burbs.
Okay, the Chicago suggestions weren't that helpful. If you are in the SW suburbs, there is the Lake Catherine Nature and Botanic Gardens in Palos Heights. There is a waterfall and I believe an area for a ceremony. I've only been there for picture while in a wedding party, but it is beautiful. http://www.lakekatherine.org/
Just north of that, there is Belvedere Chateau. They are a Polish run banquet hall, but the food can be adapted to Italian or Salvadorian. The most beautiful room they have, I think, is that Garden Room as it has this big beautiful windows. I had my bridal shower here and everyone that hadn't been there before loved the space and food. I believe that their highest price is $55/pp on a Saturday for steak/chicken and a four hour bar. If you do family style, I believe they start at $35 or $40. And for that price, the food is good. If you go there, or anywhere, make sure each bar setup has two bartenders, trust me.
My friend, you better shake a tail feather! I planned my wedding nine months, but I wouldn't have been able to do it without the reception hall, we had the ceremony there as wel, but without that, you have no date. Get a move on and good luck, 'cause you making me nervous! ;-)
check out the morton aboretum http://www.mortonarb.org/plananevent/weddings-and-receptions.html
or if you ever go up north, some some pretty lakes like Lake geneva, if i didnt get married downtown i love this place http://www.lakegenevariviera.com/
I just moved to the chicago area with my fiance and i am planning my wedding for sometime summer 2013. I wanted a winter 2013 wedding but because i just moved here i dont know any vendors, venues or wedding planners to contact in the area. If anyone has any suggestions on vendors, venues or wedding planners please share!! i need as much as i can help.
Im going to the wedding salon bridal show on june 4th at the Sax Chicago its from 4-8 and i found a complimentary code on another post so i thought i would share it with you ladies!!
Its, SMCC, just go on the website and register there with that code.. Hope to see some of you ladies there and it helps you guys out as much as i heard it will (=
White Pines Golf Club, Bensonville, IL
Sorry- don't check this account often. You asked about cost- we didn't talk to anyone who could come close to what WP offered. This is the review we've posted elsewhere...
We worked with Laura who was delightful. She captured the vision and helped us create just what we wanted. Setting is really exceptional. There is one huge room with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the most beautifully maintianed golf course. huge wrap around deck includes some outdoor seating and hightop tables. Layout of room ws perfect for setting up photobooth and other fun on one end that was sort of seperate but still in same space- such a fun reception! Food was really just ok to fair- not bad- guests remember there was lots of it not that it was good or bad. Waitstaff was attentive and quick. Bar was well stocked and kept things moving. This was a Nov wedding so we didnt use the outside but there lovely lakeside ceremony site w fountain. We did lots of diy and they couldn't have been more accomodating but seemed ready to do anything for us that we asked for. There were some minor glitches between plan and execution but we were told in follow up meeting that the chef had already been replaced. If you choose them, ask for a tasting. You'll go on a day when another wedding is being held and taste the food being served. That was our only miscue- it's big but the rest was so perfect, guests- even friends who would have told us, didnt even notice.
Click on each tool to see a sample.