Image from here
Our reception venue is Historic Pleasant Home (also known as the John Farson House) is located in Oak Park Illinois. We were deperate to avoid a traditional ballroom and really liked that this location has beautiful outdoor space--it is located adjacent to a park. This was also the perfect space for several other reasons:
* It was also more affordable than most other venues that we considered.
* It was available! (We only had eleven months to plan our wedding, so availability was a major factor for us.)
* It's about a seven-minute drive from our Church.
* It's within walking distance of a reasonably priced hotel, which means that we can save money on transporting guests to the reception location and that our guests aren't required to pay a lot on a hotel room to attend our wedding.
* There is a CTA ("L") and Metra stop within a block of the hotel, so guests can easily head downtown to explore Chicago in about twenty minutes. (And they can take public transportation from the airport, saving on car rental.)
* There are shops and restaurants located nearby.
The only drawback of the space is that, not being a traditional ballroom, there isn't one localized place for gathering. We will have to get creative. If the weather is nice, we are hoping to take advantage of the outdoor space. So, that's our venue. It seems like such a perfect choice now, but it still took many weeks (or was it months?) for us to finalize our decision. And I think my mother is still convinced that it would be better, cheaper, and easier if we had just picked a ballroom ;) Oh well, you can't please everyone. So, I suppose if we can't find a caterer we can always make it a picnic reception at the last minute. Always, like to have a back-up plan.