Architectural Artifacts is a beautiful place to host an event, especially a wedding. For the two of us, it was a great fit for the nerdy, history-loving, antique-admiring, old-world-appreciating, offbeat personalities that we have. We wanted a place where guests could really get their own wheels turning, somewhere memorable, and somewhere incredibly affordable. In our book, with the photos and video being the only lasting parts of all our planning and of our day, we also wanted somewhere that would make for beautiful pictures that would really capture the entire event and all of our efforts in this hand-made wedding This place was the perfect fit!
An antique warehouse and museum, Architectural Artifacts is a four-level atrium completely filled with interesting pieces of furniture, fixtures, tomes, and trinkets from around Chicago and the world--all dated and marked with their origins--fun to explore!
While this location was perfect for us, but it might not be perfect for all. While we had a great experience at Architectural Artifacts, there were a few things that we could see being an issue for other weddings, so we've rated it a 4 for issues of inconvenience and technical difficulty. It was difficult to create a seating arrangement that would make us visible to the entire wedding--which ended up interfering with peoples' awareness of toasts and the prayer for the meal, for example. Electrical outlets were available, but not prevalent, which limited the placement of speakers. Because of this, announcements echoed through the atrium, but not the area where tables were located for dinner, so people could not make out what was being said--it came out sounding very muffled if you were in the area where the pillars underneath the atrium were. This was a plus, too, later in the night when the music was going, because people who needed respite from the music merely had to walk to this underneath section and it would fade out a little bit so that they could talk and hear one another. Finally, you should know that the space is not air conditioned, and because it is an atrium--all windows, open to the outside--it will be affected by the weather. Our pictures can clarify what I'm talking about here.
Some of the perks of this location:
*it is open all night for roaming and exploring
*they allowed us to use the antiques as our decor--so they became our centerpieces, our wedding card collector, and our accents on food tables at the buffet
* we were able to use the real antique bars and the old gazebo outside to set up a beer garden and bar section--the same went for the interesting furniture, which we were able to select for the decor of a lounge area and to provide seating throughout the venue for our older guests
* they open up the roof for the bride and groom to take photos
*they will negotiate on pricing
*Marie, the event coordinator, is very friendly and flexible and a great, prompt communicator--she made it easy to plan and to work on the wedding
*the staff is very welcoming, and we were able to visit the venue several times and bring our families to be briefed or to ask new questions--because this place does function as a store during the regular week, it is open to the public, and we were always welcomed and greeted, but what was unique was that if we did have wedding related questions, the people there made time for us even if we had just dropped in to scope things out.
*the venue has some of its own lighting--they will light up the stained glass windows and fountains and totems and murals in the reception area (underneath, where the pillars are)--lights are on dimmers as well, so they can be adjusted to your liking as well
Click on each tool to see a sample.