Have you checked out Cantigny?
You could try Morton Arboretum. It's a beautiful setting & they have some dinner packages that might be affordable. Chicago Botanic Garden would also be beautiful, but might be pricey! I'm going with a park district venue--relatively inexpensive but a charming setting.
Like the person before me said, you should check out the Morton Arboretum. Depending on the time of day, you can get a really good deal. My fiance and I are getting married there this October. They really have some great options and the woman you work with there is REALLY nice.
I'm getting married at the Glen Ellyn Boathouse on Lake Ellyn in Glen Ellyn, IL this coming September. It's in a gorgeous park setting, a little more DIY than other venues, but if that doesn't bother you, you can really save some money for yourselves! Only $100 an hour to rent the boathouse, and then you can find your own outside caterer, decorations, etc. It seats around 120. Our total wedding will cost around $7k! Good luck!
Have you thought about Katherine Legge Park - beautiful grounds and intimate lodge that should be able to accommodate your size. Also I went to a fabulous wedding at the Danada House in Wheaton. Good luck - it will all come together and Congrats!
Hyde Park, Promentory Point on the lake in a beautiful old Historic Chicago bldg. Just attended a 200pp, little over your budget, but worth checking out depending on your tastes. Beautiful ceremony and reception on site in early October.
to katiemiller24: I too am looking at the boathouse for our wedding. How did everything go for you? If possible do you have any pictures for ideas you did to make the inside look more wedding-ish...Thanks!
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