This weekend, Damon and I went out with our wedding planner Lori (from Lola Event Productions) to finish up viewing some potential wedding venues. This was our first real foray in to planning, so I was a bit nervous that it might be stressful. But, it ended up being super easy and fun!
We had told our wedding planner that we were looking for a raw space, were hoping to have views of the city, and are planning on having around 100-125 people at the wedding. Damon and I wanted something more industrial-looking. She sent us a huge list of about 30 places which we narrowed down quickly, and then she scheduled us appointments at 5 different locations.
Look at all these skylights and windows! Top left: Ravenswood Event Center, Top Right: Ovation, Bottom Left: The Joinery, Bottom Right: Cityview Lofts
Every place that she took us to was beautiful in a different way. We first visited Ravenswood Event Center on Monday and immediately loved it. There’s an atrium on the top floor with enormous windows that’s also connected to some outdoor space. It would be a fantastic place for a ceremony, especially as the sun sets. There’s a view of both the Metra and the El out of the North side windows. There’s also a smaller cocktail area downstairs that would be useful while the space was flipped for the reception.
We both really liked this space and its location, and it was an immediate frontrunner.
For our first appointment Saturday, we headed over to The Joinery. This place is closer to our apartment, and we liked the location of it, too. There’s a lot of construction going on in the area, but since we’re not getting married until 2018, we assume the majority of it will be done by then. There’s also a lot of construction going on at the actual space itself. They’re renovating for the first couple of months this year while it’s cold out.
This space is really cool. It’s dominated by an enormous skylight in the middle of the room. The skylight is in the process of getting new lighting. There’s also a small outdoor space with a little c-box for cocktails, and they’re putting in a two bedroom apartment as well as a speakeasy upstairs. They are also working on getting permits for a roof deck, which would hopefully be completed before our event as well.
Damon and I both left this space completely enthralled, and it was easily starting to edge out Ravenswood.
Next up we went over to Ovation. This is a pretty cool space, and the rental for an event is all-inclusive with a DJ and even a Rolls Royce for a short drive! This space is very open, all one room. No outdoor areas, but some kind of cool techy features.
We liked it, but felt like it might be too big for us. The room was pretty massive. It seemed like a better place for a big party than a more intimate space for a wedding.
After Ovation, we went to the Lacuna Artist Lofts. We’d looked at this place because of their gorgeous rooftop deck. And the view was as great as we hoped. Everywhere you turn in this place there’s a new art piece, and they’re all fantastic. I couldn’t stop snapping photos…not of the event space, but of the surprises around every corner.
This space also felt really big to us. And although the art was amazing, we also felt like it might take away from our event. The same with the rooftop deck — it was too big, too open. Everything was a little too busy. The building is in the process of getting functional elevators, too, so we climbed a lot of stairs. That wasn’t very appealing, either, especially when we have guests who might not be able to do all that.
Last but not least, we visited the Cityview Lofts. This is actually owned by the same company as Lacuna. This space has a large, cathedral-ceilinged room for a ceremony/cocktail hour, and then a second-floor reception space. But, the kicker here is that there are amazing views of the city skyline out the windows.
This is actually the only place where Damon and I disagreed on the space. I liked it, he didn’t. I think I may have been a little swept up in the fact that there was an adorable pergola and wedding set up for that evening. But what I did like about it didn’t outweigh our favorites, anyway.
Ultimately, Damon and I decided on The Joinery! Fingers crossed we’re able to get a good price and solid contract, and then we’ll have a date set! We’re so excited. Both of us can really picture ourselves getting married in that space.
Also — I am so, so, SO glad we hired our wedding planner. She’s already doing an amazing job and we just started with her. I’m really thrilled with how knowledgeable she is and how much she’s done for us thus far. I highly recommend getting a good planner. As of now…wedding stress levels are nonexistent!