Chicago is a vibrant city with plenty of attractions and activities to explore. It is also home to some of the world's most beautiful outdoor reception venues. From the stunning lakeshore vistas of Lake Michigan to the majestic skyline, Chicago offers many unique and picturesque locations for couples to host their wedding receptions.
The benefits of having an outdoor ceremony or reception venue in Chicago are plentiful. Couples can enjoy the abundant natural beauty in the city's parks, lush gardens, and beaches. Outdoor venues provide ample space for large guest lists without renting additional tents or tables.
Additionally, unlike indoor venues, which may require expensive decorating elements like flowers and lanterns, outdoor venues rely on nature’s beauty for a naturally beautiful decoration scheme. With so many places in Chicago that cater to weddings, an array of options is available when selecting your ideal location. Whether it is somewhere along the river walk or within striking distance of downtown sights like Millennium Park or Navy Pier, you will find plenty of choices with unique characteristics offering breathtaking views and unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.
Outdoor Reception Options in Chicago
- Transport Rentals
When planning an outdoor reception in Chicago, having a transport rental service can be the perfect way to ensure your guests get around safely. Buses, vans, and cars are ideal for shuttling them between the venue and other venues nearby, while those looking for something more luxurious can opt for limousines as their preferred mode of transportation.
For your outdoor reception in Chicago, why not hire an experienced DJ to create a truly unique experience that keeps guests entertained? DJs have all the necessary sound equipment required to make sure their music is heard and enjoyed by everyone. With charming announcements and pulsing rhythms, you can be sure of a great time!
- Equipment Rentals
Outdoor receptions will often require the rental of additional equipment such as tables, chairs, tents, staging platforms, and audio/visual equipment. Not only do rental companies provide the necessary equipment, but they may also offer staff members who can help set it up before the reception and take it down afterward so that everyone can enjoy themselves without worrying about cleaning up afterward.
Outdoor Reception Vendors in Chicago
- DJ Persist
With an experience spanning Club DJ grade technical skill, DJ Persist can spin any genre, hip hop, Motown, cumbia, or early 2000s hits, with a seamless mix sure to get your guests up and dancing throughout your outdoor reception. DJ Persist also does cold sparklers, uplighting, and monograms for special finishing touches.
- Keem Event Decorator
Keem Event Decorator is a company that provides decorative services for special occasions, such as weddings, indoor and outdoor receptions, and birthday parties. They specialize in customizing the service to meet the needs of every client. Their creative team makes sure each detail is taken care of before the event starts, right down to the last light bulb.
- Templar VIP Transportation
Templar VIP Transportation provides the highest level of service with every reservation. Their chauffeurs understand and embrace the importance of delivering exemplary service for receptions, weddings, political movements, and more, ensuring their clients are always in control and arriving at their destination on time. Templar VIP Transportation takes pride in keeping its vehicles in good condition and ensuring each car is cleaned after each journey.
Pros and Cons of Outdoor Receptions in Chicago
Hosting a memorable outdoor gathering in Chicago can be an exciting way to commemorate special occasions. Of course, several pros and cons should be considered before planning such an event. Here is how five of the benefits compare against five of the drawbacks:
- Easy access to scenic sites, including lakeside areas and bustling city streets, will help guests entertain themselves.
- Chicago provides photographers with the advantage of natural light for memorable photos.
- Most venues can cater to large or small group sizes, making it easier for everyone to attend.
- Outdoor receptions help with cost savings from not renting or buying expensive furniture or decorations (like in an indoor reception)
- There is flexibility with event times since weather conditions typically aren’t as much of an issue outdoors.
- Unpredictable weather conditions can delay the event if not planned for in advance.
- Increased noise levels due to nearby traffic, airplanes, and other outside forces could ruin the reception.
- There could be difficulty finding an available date at popular sites during peak tourist seasons.
- The risk of vandalism or theft is high if security isn't properly managed.
- There are limited parking options which could cause frustration and delays for attendees.
Tips on How to Organize Outdoor Receptions in Chicago
Organizing an outdoor reception in Chicago can seem like an overwhelming task. However, with some research and planning, you can ensure your event goes off without a hitch.
- When it comes to selecting the right venue for your event, research is key. Look for venues offering amenities and services that fit your needs and budget. Consider options like parks, gardens, or other unique outdoor spaces.
- Chicago weather can be unpredictable, so it’s important to take into account factors like wind, humidity, temperature, and precipitation when selecting a venue. Make sure you have contingency plans if the weather doesn’t cooperate on the day of your event.
- Choose furniture that will work in an outdoor setting. Chairs, tables, and decorations should be purchased with durability in mind. Consider items made of metal or plastic to withstand any potential rain or windy conditions.
- If you plan on having amplified music at your event, keep local noise ordinances in mind when selecting a venue. Outdoor receptions tend to have fewer restrictions than indoor events, but it is vital to check into any rules that may apply before signing any contracts.
- Consider how you will clean up after the event when planning an outdoor reception. Ensure there is enough space for trash receptacles, and plan on who is responsible for taking out all the trash after your guests leave.
Famous Locations in Chicago
- The Lincoln Park Zoo
With its historic founding in 1868, the Lincoln Park Zoo has undoubtedly stood the test of time and still proves to be one of the city's timeless delights for visitors of all ages. Despite its age, the zoo boasts an impressive array of 1,100 critters to explore, everything from lions and tigers to reptiles and marine life. Then there’s the conveniently located Children’s Farm that caters to families with young kids, giving them an up-close experience with goats, ducks, sheep, and more. And because it’s situated in a sprawling park reminiscent of a mini-safari, you can easily make a day of it by exploring its various eateries, live feedings, and even picnic spots.
- The Rookery Building
The Rookery Building is an integral part of the Chicago skyline and a lasting symbol of resilience. Built in 1888 by renowned architects Daniel Burnham and John Root and featuring a breathtaking interior design later implemented by Frank Lloyd Wright, this 132ft tall building remains one of the country's largest and most impressive office buildings. With many historical tenants over the years, it's no surprise that the Rookery commands such admiration. Every inch of this iconic building has been crafted with extraordinary attention to detail, and it was one of the first ever buildings to incorporate steel frames into its structure. To truly appreciate why this is now regarded as one of Chicago's finest landmarks, visitors can take a guided tour that reveals architectural gems beyond what can be seen by simply passing by.
- The Secret Mermaid
The story of The Secret Mermaid, an unauthorized stone mermaid sculpture placed along Chicago's waterfront, certainly captures the imagination. In 1986, four audacious sculptors convinced they had a gem of an idea, set out on their mission to craft an everlasting hidden work of art. Picking Burnham Park - a daring clandestine spot by the water - as their locale and dedicating nine days and nights to completing their magnum opus amidst police visits, the stone siren was eventually unveiled! After 17 years in storage in 2004, dedicated students persuading the park district drummed up enough support for its restoration and placement back into public view in 2007. Today it has sat at Oakwood Beach since 2010 as a captivating reminder of bold artistic ambition.