When we started talking wedding, AF and I agreed that a unique place that would be fun for everyone was key, so we focused on Chicago special event venues. We also knew that it was going to be a kid-friendly wedding, because our siblings have children of various ages whom we adore, as do many of our friends.
At this point, our guest list is about 25 percent children under 10 and 70 percent out-of-towners. To make a long story short, we're now considering hotels for our ceremony/reception because it makes sense on several fronts. Availability doesn't seem to be an issue, unlike the museums we've been targeting. And the whole venue-to-hotel transportation dilemma is obviously non-existent.
On the downside, I'm afraid we're giving up the uniqueness we were looking for and the freedom to really make it our own. Oh, and it will probably work out to be $5,000 or so more. So far we've seen the InterContinental Chicago, Sofitel Chicago Water Tower and Westin River North.
As I told AF last night, I've lived in Chicago for more than a decade now and not once have I ever imagined myself having a wedding at one of the hotels here. This is not a knock against hotel weddings or Chicago hotels, but it's just not something I've ever considered for myself.
If you have an opinion or experience with hotel weddings, would love love love to hear about it!