cornflake dreams.: finding the perfect place.

3.28.2011

finding the perfect place.

as i mentioned on friday h and i visited a few wedding venue options this weekend. we saw the morton arboretum and two chicago park district buildings. i wasn't in love with them, but they are still in the running. i have always dreamed of a modern and chic venue for my wedding. we both want something untraditional and are looking for an alternative to a hotel ballroom or country club. after hours of research there are a few unique options in chicago but there are a lot of things to consider. the majority of my guests are coming from the western suburbs and parking is a huge concern. we also have to finalize a guest count list (150-200) and pick a date (may or june 2012).... but we do have some time to look around, these three are our style:: 
i love the exposed brick and greenery, but it might not be big enough for a sit down dinner and dancing:: a new leaf


the large windows are striking and the space is a blank canvas:: prairie production


a large brick blank canvas in an industrial area of the city:: MCA Warehouse


single ladies: where do you envision your wedding? something modern or traditional? a hotel? country club? golf course? destination wedding? 
married friends: how long did it take for you to find the perfect place? and how far in advance did you book? 

xo, 
jillian
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64 comments:

  1. I dream of the rooftop at Millenium Park. It is everything I want... Keep us updated on where you look/like! Good luck!!

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  2. gorgeous picks! especially prairie production - i love the total white!
    i definitely envision an outdoor setting under some sort of tent or gazebo. of course, i would adore a backyard wedding but i think it would end up being too much work. it's nice to just go somewhere and have it all done for you. :)

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  3. those are stunning!!! Have you looked at architectural artifact...or something like that, vintagey and super cute event space....ahh I already for see you having the wedding I was going to do before we opted and ran to vegas!

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  4. We found our venue by researching local parks and reading a lot of wedding sites!! You'll find the perfect place, I'm sure!!!

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  5. We got engaged in Dec. 2009 and married August 2010. We booked our venue end of Jan, early Feb 2010. We would have gotten married sooner but the venue didn't have availability until August and we were pretty flexible with dates. I didn't want a super traditional hotel wedding, but I wasn't opposed to a fun new modern hotel, which is what we ended up going with. Good luck in your search, and your ring is beautfiul!

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  6. I am as traditional as they come. When I get married my wedding will be held at the church down the street from my parents house where I grew up and where my high school principal is the priest. I also plan to have it at the country club down the block as well. :)

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  7. Those are such an amazing picks, sweetie. The first one gives such a romantic vibe. Good luck with all the planning and wish you a lovely Monday
    Hugs and kisses, darling

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  8. They're all totally my style- love a kind of rough space mixed with glamorous touches like crystal etc. I know you'll find the perfect spot!!

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  9. It took us 6 months to find a venue -- we originally loved the idea of doing a historic house (i.e. Woodlawn) or an art gallery with exposed brick (almost identical to your first pic), but ended up in a hotel (Old Town Hilton). The added costs (tents, transportation, renting linen and silverware and chairs, etc) more than doubled the total price. We opted instead to focus on the church. In the end, everyone had a great time, including us.

    <3
    aj

    P.S. Our friends just had their reception at the Library in downtwon Chi - it was beautiful!

    P.P.S. Last day for my Burt's Bees giveaway:::
    http://www.polyvore.com/bees/set?.embedder=2317273&.mid=embed&id=29689710

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  10. I went from engaged to married in 6 months so we found our place within 2 weeks I think? We visited every one and decided on a gorgeous country club that was all inclusive for food/clean-up/assistance/booze and within our cost... but also that had a GORGEOUS view of the intercoastal, beautiful scenery and huge windows -- the windows and natural light were FABULOUS!

    Can't wait to see what you choose! <3 take mucho photos when you search! =)

    xoXOxo
    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

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  11. Ohh best wishes on finding the right place!!! I love the first photo! It looks like it would be a rooftop or something! The big windows are gorgeous for a day reception!! =)

    I'm not married but I definitely one day want a non-hall type wedding place. I want it to be a lil avant-garde.

    Good luck finding the perfect place! =)

    Melanie's Randomness

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  12. OH! I love LOVE the places you're looking at! It took me FOREVER to decide but once I walked into our venue ... I started crying and KNEW it was the place! We were lucky because they had an opening 6 months out ... Very atypical!

    I hope you find your ABSOLUTE perfect place! :)

    xo! Lauren @ tickled.

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  13. It took me forever!! Eventually I found just the right place though with the right price :) I haven't booked it yet because we have a situation it's confusing but I would have booked it already if I could have. I'd say whenever you're sure, to book it because spots fill up really fast!

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  14. Untraditional for me! If I was a millionaire, i'd have a destination one.

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  15. For me, finding the perfect spot was the hardest part of wedding planning! The style and location of your reception venue dictate so much about the wedding- its a lot of pressure! I spent a TON of time looking at places on line, but me and hubs only visited a few locations. We fell in love with Volo Wine Bar in Roscoe Village and knew right away that we wanted to have our small wedding there!

    A New Leaf is absolutely gorgeous - I've been to two weddings there and the space is wonderful!

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  16. I love your style! I, too, didn't want something conventional...I'm not a big fan of the cookie-cutter wedding. We didn't book our venue until about ten months before the wedding, and it was absolutely perfect. I would say wait until you are 100% sure. You have time!

    xoxo,
    Joelle

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  17. i love the prarie production! love all of that white (:

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  18. good luck with all the wedding planning! We chose something less traditional too, we married and had the reception at a local gardens & reception hall. It was very pretty, unique (but not too unique). Have you applied to be a weddingbee yet? You'd sooo be awesome at it!

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  19. Beautiful venues, i'm really loving that white space best! I married my husband on a beach in Jamaica, just him and me, then we came home and celebrated with 32 of our closest family and friends in the most adorable (and delicious!) little resto. Not everyone can do what we did of course. I loved planning things, enjoy every minute of it! xo

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  20. Luke & I have already decided that we're doing a destination wedding... If we ever decided to go another route, I would love a wedding at a vineyard or a rooftop venue!

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  21. Those spaces are amazing! I would love to have my reception under a tent on a river! :)

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  22. I did a destination wedding, but if I had gotten married in Chicago and had an unlimited budget I would have done Cafe Brauer in Lincoln Park. You should look at The Ivy Room at Tree Studios or Chicago Illuminating Company. I've been to events at both, and it's gorgeous!

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  23. I love the more neutral palette of all of those images. Just found your blog, very cute!

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  24. We had my office Xmas party at Prairie Production, and I loved the space!

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  25. All your picks are so gorgeous! What an exciting decision!

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  26. Hello from Mingle Monday! I actually got married at my job, it worked out well cause I work at a very cool looking theater and gallery. I am so glad I didn't have to go through visiting venues. Good luck finding that perfect place!

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  27. yayyy for wedding planning posts!! how exciting!! :) we got married at the henry ford museum in dearborn! it was HUGE and there were soo many sites for the guest to see, i loved it!!

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  28. stopping by from Mingle Monday!! Can't wait to keep up with you and your wedding plans--congratulations! Also, one of my best friends from high school went to Marquette and I , too, was cheering for them... :)

    http://darlindanio.blogspot.com/

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  29. I love the warehouse idea. So incredibly chic and it's a total blank canvas!

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  30. Beautiful! I love the industrial/urban-ness of it! Our wedding was huge and we had always wanted an outdoor wedding, so, luckily, one of my family friend's offered up their amazing home/property to us. Probably took me 2 weeks or so to decide. xoxo

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  31. I'm impressed that you guys are already setting out to figure it all out. My husband and I were engaged for a year and a half and for the first 6 months we didn't make any plans at all...just enjoyed the blissful engaged period. Once we decided on a time to get married we started talking about where and what, etc. We decided on a destination wedding and to do it in wine country but that we had to go check it out first. We agreed that if we didn't find a spot that suited us, we were goign to elope. I'm glad we found the perfect spot because my wedding day was by far the best day of my life. Have fun in your search!! IT will definitely come to you both.

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  32. I love that second one. There's so much natural light, and like you said: it's a blank canvas! You'd be able to do sooo much in there!

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  33. wow..such an emotion to find the perfect place!!!

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  34. Oh my gosh!!! I wouldn't be able to choose for you at all! I Would say #2 just because I really like white and you would be able to do anything you wanted with it! I can't believe you're checking out locations already! Wow! you're just jumping in!

    http://annawalker1992.blogspot.com/

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  35. I love the exposed brink, lanterns, and outside vibe. Very romantic. I know you will find your perfect place to get hitched. And there is so much inspiration on all of the amazing wedding blogs! xo Samantha

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  36. we actually booked a venue a year in advance.. then, 6 months before the wedding, we road tripped up the coast and magically stumbled upon Ragged Point Inn. We jokingly said "why not get married here!" and after several phone calls and some more magic, we booked the place! It was so "us" and I'm glad we were able to change our venue to something more personal..

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  37. gorgeous!! i've been eyeing a new leaf too..such a cool, unique venue.

    xo.ashley

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  38. The top & bottom places both look dreamy, whilst being quite modern in their industrialism. I'm excited already & it's not even my wedding! Ha!

    x

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  39. I like the top one the best. When I was planning my wedding (or as I call it the wedding that never happened thank god) I wanted (and still wanted) something that was so not Vegas since that's where I live. I booked a venue in Mt. Charleston and the ceremony was going to be outside and reception inside, overlooking the mountains. I've always wanted an outdoorsy wedding!

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  40. i definitely know that i do NOT want a traditional wedding. i want something rustic looking and I love the exposed brick picture you selected. My dream wedding would be at The Foundry in NY. Perfect combination of rustic and elegance. :)

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  41. I absolutely love the first venue! - It has that beautiful exposed brick yet there is still something so intimate about it.

    Good luck with choosing a venue - I know it's a huge decision!

    xoxo
    Jenna

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  42. how exciting! the search has begun... i'm sure there are plenty of spaces in chicago that will fit your needs. Perhaps you should research renting a loft in the west loop? that reminds me of the 2nd picture you have...

    also, my friends got married at promotory point in hyde park. they have a lovely old park district building there with a little tower and all, right on the water. It's very cute, kind of like your first photo.

    check it out. http://www.hydeparkhistory.org/parks.html

    xo
    i wander, i wonder

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  43. I LOVED the first one. I envision something similiar with night lights everywhere and floating candles from the ceiling or sky. Definitely want starlight. Something by the beach too. Found you on Mingle monday!

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  44. I'm lusting after number one. Slow dances in the fairy lights...but if you're going for a large group number three has my heart!

    just a hey there from mingle monday!

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  45. this.is. SO. EXCITING!!!!!!!!!!!

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  46. We had some friends who had their wedding reception at the Morton Arboretum this October!

    We booked a year in advance (since the wedding was in the ever popular month for weddings of June) and because we were planning it long distance from St. Louis (the wedding was in Omaha) we looked at 5-6 places in one weekend (my mom and sister flew in from CA to help out) and by the end of it had found the one. It was a whirlwind trip but we were able to get it all done just in time to head back home :)

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  47. What beautiful spaces-I do love No. 1, so find out if it'll fit you all!

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  48. The top one! It's gorgeous!

    Andrea x
    andreareh.blogspot.com

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  49. I love those venues with the exposed brick. I think your best bet is finding a blank canvas and hiring a whole production company to do everything from start to finish.

    As far as my wedding, ours was at the beach - we both love the beach so much and we knew that's the perfect place for this special day.

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  50. I love the first one! I planned my whole wedding in 6 mos and learned a lot about hidden costs and not obsessing over details. I promise you will not care about the tiny things even 4 weeks later.

    Be sure to cast a wide net when it comes to venues because some that may appear to be above your budget might include things that the others make you supply yourself or through a caterer like linens, dishes and cleanup of the space.

    Also, let people help you. :) If you want to hear about my crazy system of labeled bins and organization, you know where to find me.

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  51. The first pic has my name written all over it!! I dream of a night wedding with billions of stringing lights and lanterns! I agree with you. I would do more of an untraditional style of wedding. In the end, I think it's a place and style that you both share and envision for just the two of you!! ;)

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  52. Prairie production is a great blank space...if I didn't have guest list of 140 + people I would have gone there! Except it is extra work when you have to bring your own caterer & linens and everything. I think when it came down to choosing a venue...we decided that we didn't want too much extra work..so went with one that provided the linens and food! Goood luck!

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  53. I've always dreamed of a destination wedding. Happy mingling.

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  54. My husband and I only looked at 3 venues before we found "the one" and snagged it up a year out. Good luck with the search, it's such an exciting time!

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  55. wow its too nice venue ....awesome
    luv it =)

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  56. This makes me want to get married all over again!

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  57. BEAUTIFUL BLOG....!!!!

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  58. Ahhh I remember those days. I actually had two receptions in different states!! For the 2nd one we opted for a backyard reception and it was by far my favorite. Much more intimate and laid back.

    The Cheeky Cafe

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  59. We looked at a couple places and ultimately it came down to location (on the lake), budget and timing. Once we knew we wanted to get married at our venue, we had to act fast b/c they were almost already booked for the entire summer! Good luck with the venues! Love the idea of modern chic!

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  60. just flipping through your blog, and i can't get over how much i like it :)
    only 6 months? you're doing great things!
    congrats on the anniversary andddd the engagement! so exciting!

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  61. jillian, i got married at a new leaf and it was dreamy. i am emailing you deets now. i booked 4 mos in advance. seriously, consider it.

    xo

    http://goodiesandbesties.blogspot.com

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  62. Oh, I love the first one, with the exposed brick, so simply elegant and romantic. Ada

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  63. Lovely pictures- we had a troublesome time with our place. We were going to get married at my church but some wacko things started going on. We started looking for a new place two months before the wedding....and took the only thing available: a tennis club. Not that our guests could enjoy the courts or pool in the wintertime, we did have a fireplace.

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