There is something to be said about late summer weddings in Chicago. I was so worried about the rain the weeks leading up to the wedding as the forecast said rain on the rehearsal day and wedding day. We had a 400 person wedding in Chicago and tried to keep the cost down as much as possible.

Many of our guests told us that they had the most fun at our wedding over any wedding they'd ever been to! I lurked here a ton last year for our wedding on September 17, 2016 so I thought I would do a recap to give back all I learned from all of you! They do the holiday parties in Milwaukee and said they come to our wedding in the Windy City, Chicago. So many people told us we wouldn't be able to really enjoy our wedding but at ours, we REALLY did. Did you have any logistical issues or do you have any recommendations regarding the logistics of a really large wedding?

In the weeks following our wedding, we were bothered about this but I'm ok with it now. This pic is one of our customs, is where it is taken from my wedding dress and he literally ties the knot :). I wanted a very plain ring that I can wear all day and not have to worry about losing diamonds. I went with a scalloped option I loved the look of the scalloped option, but I didn't want more diamonds.

It was still beautiful but I realized I didn't detail everything to my and just assumed she would know somehow which was unfair.

Find A Venue That Will Work With You

They make sure the venue is clean and then set up the furniture according to to floor plan designed by the site manager. I'm going to have to read over this one or two more times to be sure I didn't miss anything. Of course this is location based, however I could certainly see an event space used for award ceremonies and corporate events. You'll probably want to be  with a friend working the door and managing the valets. Make sure that they invest in constant upkeep on the building and landscaping to keep it desirable In the end, it is a high volume restaurant.

Venues Are Expensive

If you are going to charge $5000 for the venue rental, you should be giving away the tables and chairs. When I was working in a party house, we could turn over a room for 300 people in 30 minutes.

If you are renting out the venue, you are looking at $5000 or so per event. If you don't have on staff food prep, you are only doing 1 event a day. Just spitballing here, but what if the wedding party rented the tables and chairs out from the venue? We don't have any historical data of our own to base our projections on, which adds a level of uncertainty.

Make Them Earn Your Money

They'll prove their reliability and work ethic by making sure your venue is fanatically clean before each event. The venue I went to was actually right outside of Canton, OH in a small apple orchard. If you are lucky, you can book another 20 or so events throughout the year to double your income. This city is too small and the weather is garbage, so I don't think it could support a venue-only business. Having worked in a restaurant/party house it is feast or famine, even more so with an outdoor venue. If you have great food, and excellent service at reasonable prices you will succeed, but you can fail like most restaurants often do. They'll also report on any damages or messes that should have been handled by the site manager. Assuming you've got a great venue in a decent market, it may take 3 years to get things going steady.

I haven't gotten that far along in my search, right now I'm gathering as much research/advice as possible. In Chicago very few venues cook or serve food, unless you go to a country club. Call up a couple venues, as if you are searching for your own venue and find out what they're charging. It will be a challenge to fit in off-season events, but you can probably book up Autumn for fall weddings. We could set up the room in the morning to allow us to do a super fast setup in the afternoon.

The Whole Package Needs To Work

Your landscaping and lighting will be on point, and you'll have adequate storage for tables and seating for 100 folks. They tried to regain traction, but the bad publicity killed their reputation and the owner sold the business for pennies on the dollar. Most weddings occur from May - September, and most occur on a Saturday, meaning it can be busy 5 months of the year. You need to make enough money in 5 months 1 day a week to sustain you for the rest of the year. This weekend, I attended my first wedding outside of a church in a renovated barn.

The cleaning manager needs to make sure the knuckleheads do a good job and assess them for promotion.

After reading this it seems as though you're suggesting managing event spaces may be more profitable if I'm understanding you correctly. I would come in at 6am, set up the rooms, set the tables and then at 11:30 begin serving as waiter serving guests food.

They'll make a report after each event that lists the performance of the vendors and any damages or comments.

Knowing Who To Talk To

The valet manager will be in charge of setting up the kit, managing the runners, and organizing the parking.

Your door man will work with the valet manager to make sure they follow the rules Keeping your venue safe is an issue. They will help your office manager meet with vendors and clients and then come up with floor plans and furniture placement.

I saw plenty of places that provided venue/lights/tables/etc and had a recommended list of caterers. How would requiring a caterer selected by the wedding party effect both desirability and risk?

Understanding that you already owned the property: what was your biggest hesitation in pursuing a venue, compared to what's been your biggest difficulties? They will work closely with site managers and develop a book of preferred vendors that you enjoy working with. This would allow for an additional stream of income and the breakdowns could be streamlined like you mentioned. @thelane is some high end wedding stuff - there are venues and interior design cues there along with bridal wear and accessories. In your opinion what kind of venue space would be the most marketable balance between rustic/barn wedding and a venue corporations may use? We are in the process of opening a wedding venue in Alabama.

I'm not familiar with the industry, however from a high level it seems relatively simple and lucrative. You'll have people who will begin to rely on you for those $300 shifts and they'll be loyal.

Find a plot with a desirable view, do some market research, construct/renovate a barn to offer event space, landscape, hire staff, and market the venue. All those fancy guests, some will hire your valet business for their parties off-site, and your valet side hustle will grow.

Does It Have An Area for Photos

Where would be some good places downtown to have wedding day pictures taken in April? He's based in Ankeny so I'm sure he's been through downtown for wedding photos numerous times.

We took some in the east village and in the rose garden in front of the capital building last year. The arch over the amphitheater makes for some great pictures. Shattering Silence is a sculpture on a hill next to the Iowa Supreme Court building that has a great view of the skyline. I just went through Lower Left Side Photography and he did a great job. For our November wedding, we took a few by the "This Must Be The Place" mural on the side of RoCA.

We also went to the East Village, the capitol, and up by the federal courthouse . The last spot is a really good place to get skyline views. The parking garage on the corner of Grand -caddycorner from the capitol - has an amazing city scape to the west and a nice view of the capitol to the east.

Memorable Receptions

They brought animals by during the reception.

I completely forgot about that beautiful chapel Dulcinea and small and free. My mother had her wedding at the top of The Grove Center. I threw a party on one of the star fleet yachts, it was pretty fun. My wife and I were watching before we decided on a different location.

The built in the old Galveston The Orphan's home, and they have done a great job establishing the building and the premises, and a small wedding garden thing place thing added. You can only their furniture but you bring in your own decorations, food, beverages.

Creative FTW

Paul's Cathedral Center, and now are looking for venues in the neighborhood. Have you had a good experience at all locations Center? Recently, we begin to search for shelter locations.

There are some other locations: industrial/commercial description: B & A warehouse, The Summit Club, Alabama Theatre, The Tutwiler, Vulcan Park, Ross Bridge, botanical gardens. We had our reception at regions Field in the Grand Ballroom on the 3rd base side. The only negatives would B & A warehouse and Donnelly home for the record, the Donnelly House changed ownership about 4 years ago. I prefer the smaller locations, but not yet do you have a large number of guests. There is an excellent view of the park, Railroad Park and many of the inner city. This was in early 2014 so I feel as if they were not charging than what they probably now for event fees are. Hopefully, if we end up going with the Cathedral, it would be within walking distance for most of our guests.


The Kress building on the roof's amazing Street Richard Arrington has a lot of events going on. It seems that it will be on the more expensive side, but I still have no pricing information found online. I know there is a lot you need to know to get an accurate recommendation specific for us, but I'm more so wondering which locations a reception as a guest/wedding or for your own wedding.

It's just a beautiful but small old House that is very good is being renovated for such purposes. They often have a base price and package that varies based on different beho.

Relax & Enjoy

I let go in a way that I hadn't for a long time and really enjoyed myself. We had a traditional Christian wedding. We got married upstairs in the theater, cocktail hour outside in the courtyard, dinner in the reception hall. Our wedding was beautiful!

We heard great things about our reception venue day of and it looked GORGEOUS! She said most photographers will know if you show them this type of picture, something to do with a shutter lense? ended up having like 6 of them and I jumped on it but I needed 8. We were struggling to find an option that would fit 60 people for cheap and then Giordano's popped into my head!

Many people later asked me I was having so much fun, had I been drinking a ton and I told them I had just one drink!