Vacations, graduations, honeymoons, festivals, weddings, you name it – important and exciting events around the world were cut short or canceled altogether due to the implications of Covid-19. For those looking forward to their symbolic day of unity after endless meticulous planning, it was a particular blow.
But what the past few years of turbulence also provided was the ultimate test. People around the world had to survive lockdowns in the company of others for intense periods, 24 hours a day, and in stress-inducing circumstances. So if you came out of it with a stronger bond than before, we applaud you. Of the billions currently orbiting the sun, it seems you’ve found the one, and that is reason to celebrate.
From waterfront wedding venues in Chicago to outdoor weddings in courtyards and patios, we’ve here compiled a list of some of the best wedding venues in and around Chicago for anybody looking to tie the knot this year.
The Drake, a Hilton Hotel, has a reputation for its iconic Chicago wedding venues. Opened on New Year’s Eve of 1920, it is now over 100 years old and has since served kings, queens, world leaders, celebrities, and countless special wedding ceremonies.
The Drake is home to the glorious Gold Coast Ballroom overlooking Lake Michigan, the dazzling Grand Ballroom built in the roaring twenties, the historic Camellia Room overlooking The Magnificent Mile, and the extravagant French Room equipped with silk wall coverings, satin damask draperies, and crystal-basket ceiling chandeliers.
Every space available at the Drake make for exquisite locations for an idyllic special day.
More information can be found on The Drake’s website.
No list of wedding venues would be complete without a mention of Artifact Events’ stunning courtyard. The private tucked-away courtyard is surrounded by iconic antique stone columns creating a charming classical setting with contemporary cutting-edge amenities.
Artifact Events’ South Ravenswood Room & Lounge boasts a large dance floor space or seating area, brick walls, and high ceilings, as well as large glass doors that open into the spacious courtyard. There is also a 9,000 sq ft space overlooking the historic open atrium that makes it one of the most unique Chicago wedding venues out there.
More information can be found on the Artifact Events website.
From a historic ground-level courtyard to a rooftop up among Chicago’s cityscape, Ace Hotel’s Prairie Terrace is a sensational skyline space for special occasions.
The 5th-floor garden terrace offers a flexible area suited to any genre of outdoor soirée. Whether it’s casual or upscale the prairie rooftop makes for an unforgettable night under the stars.
The lush urban garden and giant blue geodesic dome create a stunning backdrop and dramatic exterior that can be equipped with whichever blend of vintage, industrial, rustic, or sleek modern style you so desire.
More information can be found on the Ace Hotel website.
Lincoln Park’s Mexican restaurant, Las Fuentes, is home to an enchanting outdoor patio that offers a gorgeous tropical paradise in the heart of the city.
The private patio oasis is the perfect comfortable and close-quarters space for those with no desire for lavish luxuries. Colorful murals and luscious greenery surround a cascading fountain transporting you from the artificial fabric of Chicago to a blissful patio of Mexico.
A wide range of food and drink packages ensure an unforgettable day of modesty and marvel.
More information can be found on the Las Fuentes website.
Salvage One offers two completely unique wedding areas. A restored 60,000-square-foot Chicago warehouse offers an extraordinary vintage space with exposed brick walls and large windows surrounding an eclectic mix of furniture and chic wooden floors swamped in natural light.
The real romance, however, is found outside in the hidden courtyard where a cultivated arch is found within walls of ivy. A combination of reclaimed rustic aesthetic and verdant accents creates a space that looks like an ensuing battle of historic infrastructure and blossoming nature.
Tall walls ensure privacy and paved pathways promise charm but trailing ivy and the wooden pergola provide the focal point of a picturesque and romantic fairytale hideaway.
More information can be found on the Salvage One website.
6. Stan Mansion
If luxurious grandeur is your thing, Stan Mansion will certainly leave your guests in awe. The former Masonic temple in Logan Square is an elegant and opulent landmark steeped in history.
Since its restoration in 2014, it has hosted weddings that continuously astonish attendees from the moment they enter the marble-lined lobby. Hidden behind the verdant exterior and deceptive façade lies a collection of unique and ostentatious rooms that will take anybody’s breath away.
As one of Chicago’s most intriguing and inspiring historical venues, Stan Mansion promises romance and royalty creating the perfect formula for a memorable day.
More information can be found on the Stan Mansion website.
West Loop’s Morgan Manufacturing offers industrial elegance within a renovated historic building that has no shortage of charm. Ceilings soar above a 32,000 square feet space of exposed concrete, sleek steel, and pristine glass.
The Skylight Room features 6-pitched skylights that flood the room with natural light while the Concrete Bar houses a 30 feet long built-in bar overlooking a sunken dancefloor.
Customizable and embedded LED ambient lighting throughout the room and state-of-the-art acoustics combined with the versatility of both rooms make it a standout choice for any type of wedding.
More information can be found on the Morgan Manufacturing website.
Another extraordinary West Loop option is found in the intimate Epiphany Arts Center. The former 19th-century church offers breathtaking charm and classic elegance within a local and national landmark that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Sweeping arched trusses, terra cotta tiles, and Venetian glass mosaics create a spellbinding setting for a historic day that will never be forgotten. Epiphany Hall, The Sanctuary, and the Chase House offer different degrees of a classic and contemporary mix all with their own unique charm and character.
More information can be found on the Epiphany Arts Center website.
Rockwell on the River is another previously abandoned space that has been brought back to its former glory. Located between West Lakeview and Logan Square, the extraordinary setup overlooks the North Branch of the Chicago River providing the perfect waterfront Chicago wedding venue.
A double-bow truss roof and skylights stand high above intricately detailed wooden floor tiling. Stepping outside onto the gorgeous Italian Stonework of the terrace and you will be transported to Europe and its famed stone courtyards while the spacious hall and the flood of natural light promise a fantastic fusion of minimalism and elegance.
More information can be found on the Rockwell on the River website.
10. Camp Aramoni
Ok, this one isn’t strictly in Chicago, but within a 90-minute drive from Chicago near the picturesque Starved Rock State Park, you’ll find Camp Aramoni, a dreamy safari-style glamping experience where nature meets luxury.
The 96-acre former brickyard offers a five-star luxury natural resort set along the lush Vermillion River with the best of hotel amenities and offers an ideal outdoor wedding near to Chicago.
Hosting your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and should be treated as such. A variety of indoor and outdoor spaces in a secluded natural landscape provides the opportunity for a ceremony, reception, and after-party that will go down in history.
More information can be found on the Camp Aramoni website.
[Featured image courtesy of Rockwell on the River]