If I Could Do It Again: The Venue

Being a wedding planner, I see so many options, ideas, venues, vendors, etc., that I never knew existed when I planned my own wedding a few years ago. So I’m going to have a little fun with a series called, “If I Could Do it Again” and plan my dream wedding… if I could do it again! Not that my wedding day wasn’t the best day of my life – because it absolutely was! But knowing what I know now, I would plan a completely different affair. And keep in mind, this is with an imaginary budget of… oh wait, there IS NO budget, this is my new DREAM wedding so let’s go nuts! haha.  But I will do my best to keep this concentrated on mostly Chicago vendors since they are my bread and butter, despite the abundance of fabulous vendors from all over the country (have you checked out WeddingbeePRO lately?!)

Let’s get started! We’ve set a date - May 15, 2010! Why May? Peonies! Ranunculous! Tulips! Need I say more? (I was super disappointed when my florist told me that I couldn’t get those for my REAL September wedding)

So for my first installment, I present to you, my dream venue:

Chicago Illuminating Company

So modern, so chic, so light and airy… the perfect space for my fake wedding of 150 guests. There are three distinct areas for 1) the ceremony 2) cocktail hour 3) dinner, as well a bit of outdoor space for those who need to take a little breather. When I went to visit the raw space for the first time the other day, I was blown away (I can’t wait to actually plan a wedding here!)

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An un-assuming building on the south-side of Chicago with endless possibilities on the inside! This building dates back the early 1900’s and was a power plant/warehouse in its former life.

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This is the middle room, perfect for cocktail hour.  Then we’ll transform the room during dinner hour with a white, glossy dance floor (hot!), lounge furniture and a new lighting scheme. Yes, you must bring in an additional dance floor despite the gorgeous hardwood floors…

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The HUGE built-in bar with marble subway tile. I especially love the drum lampshades overhead, so dramatic!

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The back room where guests will be seated for dinner. We’ll do a combination of square and long 8’ rectangular tables. Bring on the drama! (FYI Those back windows have recently been changed to a frosted glass so that you don’t look out onto industrial nothingness.)

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Don’t forget the upstairs nook… can we say, VIP room?!

Chicago Illuminating Company Rental Fee: $7500 for a Saturday evening) . All images from here.

Although I do have to mention my runner up venue:

The Chicago Botanic Gardens. I love love love flowers, and the thought of a spring wedding surrounded by flowers just makes me giddy.

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A unique ceremony set-up in the English Walled Garden.

(Rental fee: $2000 for a Saturday evening, May – Dec)

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A gorgeous evening reception at McGinley Pavillion

(Rental fee: $7000 for a Saturday evening, May – Dec)

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A girl can dream, right? :) What is YOUR dream venue?