A Cool Dozen of Chicago's Most Unique Wedding Venues


Chicago is not only the most visited city in the Midwest, it’s one of the most dynamic cities on the planet. From its fabulous parks and museums to its world-class dining, shopping, entertainment and hotels, it has everything you (and your guests!) could want—including a long list of amazing wedding and special event venues.

Whether you’re looking for a traditional (but gorgeous) location or one that’s truly outside the box, here are 12 unique places for you to explore.


Unique Chicago Venues - Wandering Tree Estate




{ Want more? Find even more Chicago wedding venues here. }


Wandering Tree Estate

Neighborhood: North Barrington
Ten acres of gorgeous botanical gardens showcase nature at its glorious best, and surround you with unique specimen trees, lush lawns and exquisite landscaping. Their famous garden model railway makes a special setting for a cocktail reception—plus there’s even an option to add the ride-on train for kids! Photos ops are everywhere (check out the reflecting lake, quaint red Japanese bridge, and numerous rock waterfalls).

Wandering Tree Estate

Wandering Tree Estate

Wandering Tree Estate



The Field Museum

Neighborhood: Downtown Chicago
Events here are accompanied by some truly unique décor. The two-level Stanley Field Hall impresses with marble columns, a soaring vaulted ceiling, fighting African Elephants, a T-Rex skeleton, and stunning Haida Totem Poles. In the more intimate Rice Hall, romantic lighting enhances glass-enclosed displays of African mammals, such as the museum's world-famous "Man-Eating Lions of Tzavo." Packages can include after-hours access to museum exhibits like the Grainger Hall of Gems, Evolving Planet, Pacific Spirits, and the Nature Walk.

The Field Museum

The Field Museum

The Field Museum



Adler Planetarium

Neighborhood: Museum Campus, Northerly Island
What an amazing place! The event spaces are so out-of-the-box, from the Café Galileo, which frames a view of Chicago’s glittering skyline through a wall of glass, to the Clark Family Welcome Gallery, where you can project a photo slideshow or video onto any of four screens. The catering is eco-friendly, with menus based on local and organic ingredients whenever possible. Plus you can add a special show to your event, like taking your guests on a journey through the cosmos.

Adler Planetarium

Adler Planetarium

Adler Planetarium



Carnivale

Neighborhood: West Loop
At this environmentally friendly and vibrantly colored restaurant, the food is as bold and flavorful as the venue. Carnivale supports the Green City Market, using only cage-free eggs, sustainable seafood, and organic vegetables from its rooftop garden in the summer. Their menu offers authentic cuisines from Spain, the Caribbean, and South and Central America, and they’ll take care of you in delectable style whether you want a small private dinner for 15 or a grand event for 300.

Carnivale

Carnivale

Carnivale



Chicago’s First Lady Cruises

Neighborhood: Chicago River and Lake Michigan
The glittering lights of Chicago’s cityscape provide all the decoration you need for a nighttime wedding cruise. As for your floating venue, you have a choice of 6 private boats, all with open-air decks for dancing and enjoying the view. Say “I do” dockside, or anywhere you like on Chicago’s waterways. For extra fun, have the captain do a whistle salute at sunset or go for a grand finale with a fireworks display over Lake Michigan.

Chicago's First Lady Cruises

Chicago's First Lady Cruises

Chicago's First Lady Cruises



Greenhouse Loft

Neighborhood: Logan Square
Housed in the Green Exchange building (Platinum LEED Certified), the Loft’s main event space is filled with natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows. As Chicago’s most unique sustainable wedding venue, it comes with plenty of “green” services and amenities, like an 8,000-square-foot organic sky garden, 120-year-old reclaimed wood floors, and eco-friendly cleaning/maintenance supplies. Their catering and vendor partners are also sustainably minded, so your celebration will support the environment from start to finish.

Greenhouse Loft

Greenhouse Loft

Greenhouse Loft



The Ivy Room at Tree Studios

Neighborhood: River North
The Tree Studios were originally turn-of-the-century workshops for some of Chicago’s greatest artists. Today they serve multiple purposes in the community, and the Ivy Room has become a mecca for fabulous events. Annexed to the city’s famous Moorish-style Medinah Temple, the Ivy Room is an elegant ballroom with a high ceiling and gleaming hardwood floor. Multiple windows bring in abundant natural light and overlook a private ivy-walled courtyard, a lovely spot for an al fresco ceremony or cocktail reception.

The Ivy Room at Tree Studios

The Ivy Room at Tree Studios

The Ivy Room at Tree Studios



School of the Art Institute of Chicago Ballroom

Neighborhood: Downtown Chicago
Located in the heart of Chicago’s famous Loop, the Art Institute boasts a fantastic event space: their magnificently restored 1927 ballroom. This vintage masterpiece will transport you to the gilded jazz age with dazzling details like marbleized ionic columns, art glass windows, a 26-foot ceiling, and a grand double staircase. A regal mezzanine lets guests sip champagne while enjoying a bird’s-eye view of the ballroom's terrazzo dance floor below.

School of the Art Institute of Chicago Ballroom

School of the Art Institute of Chicago Ballroom

School of the Art Institute of Chicago Ballroom



Firehouse Chicago

Neighborhood: Edgewater
What a neighborhood treasure! Built over a century ago, this restored gem retains its period charm, complete with antique doors, lighting, and plumbing fixtures. Your guests will love historic details like the silver tin ceiling and the original fire pole, and a private yard provides an intimate space for an outdoor cocktail hour. Being a green-minded venue, Firehouse Chicago works closely with Chicago’s Green Wedding Alliance members who will reduce the carbon footprint of your event.

Firehouse Chicago

Firehouse Chicago

Firehouse Chicago



Jacob Henry Mansion Estate

Neighborhood: Joliet
If you love the charm and romance of the Gilded Age, with its elaborate architecture and décor, this gem of a venue is for you. The estate has two national historic landmarks on its grounds, both of which can be part of your wedding. Couples often tie the knot in the Old Central Church, notable for its three stained-glass windows and century-old 2,000-pipe organ. From here it’s just a short walk down a winding path through the beautiful Secret Garden to the mansion, where receptions unfold in the Victorian Ballroom.

Jacob Henry Mansion Estate

Jacob Henry Mansion Estate

Jacob Henry Mansion Estate

Jacob Henry Mansion Estate



Pinstripes Northbrook

Neighborhood: Northbrook
A wedding should be fun, and with 18 bowling lanes, 6 bocce courts, and banquet rooms for 20–600, everyone will have a great time at this venue! There’s also a year-round patio with a fire pit for outdoor relaxation, and a sophisticated Italian-American bistro. Their staff will tailor your celebration to your vision, and their packages accommodate a wide range of event needs and budgets. You can even get a custom cake!

Pinstripes Northbrook

Pinstripes Northbrook



Crystal Garden at the Navy Pier

Neighborhood: Navy Pier
True to its name, the Crystal Garden is a one-acre botanical garden thriving beneath the arched ceiling of a six-story glass atrium. Adorned with twinkle lights, fountains and graceful palm trees, it provides a gorgeous outdoor experience indoors. Thanks to its location on Chicago’s famous Navy Pier, the venue also affords terrific views of the city skyline, Lake Michigan, the Ferris wheel, and Dock Street. And there’s no rental fee to enjoy this unique setting—only a food and beverage minimum.

Crystal Garden at the Navy Pier

Crystal Garden at the Navy Pier




Ask! Many locations offer discounted rates when you book a non-Saturday or off-season event.

Interested in other Chicago locations? Get after it here.

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