From sun-drenched afternoons to crisp, clear nights, Chicago is breathtaking in the late summer and fall months. The vibrant colors and rich textures of the scenery this time of year create a gorgeous backdrop for weddings. The Chicago area boasts an array of dynamic locations with outdoor access to highlight the lush landscape, as well as indoor space to transition into the later, cooler part of the night.
Whether it is lavish and extravagant or cozy and rustic, the ambiance for weddings in the late summer and fall is truly romantic. Explore these Chicago wedding venues that provide stylish settings and capture the beauty of the changing seasons.
1. Salvage One
Salvage One is one of the most unique wedding venues Chicago has to offer. Serving as a warehouse of recycled materials, it brings the history of architectural relics to a modern, customizable space. Salvage One features a constantly evolving collection from some of the most beautiful buildings in the city. With two floors and an outdoor courtyard, this reinvented space offers a charming, stylish setting for weddings of all sizes. Transition from one-of-a-kind vintage lighting and overgrown greenery alongside the building’s aged exterior to the raw and industrial interior. With over 60,000 square feet of design ideas, Salvage One is the perfect stage for weddings that are artful, creative and truly inspired.
2. Byron Colby Barn
Tucked away in Grayslake, IL, Byron Colby Barn provides a reprieve right outside of the city. Prairie Crossing conservationists reconstructed the barn timber by timber, with mortise and tenon joints to mirror its original 1885 design. The airy, open layout atop quiet pastures sets the stage for true rustic elegance. Highlight the magnificent woodwork with strung lights between lofted beams for a touch of romance. The property features the beautiful tree-lined Market Square as well as a bar inside the Barn’s silo for a cocktail hour with a country twist. With a gazebo, beach, prairie and limestone overlook at Lake Aldo Leopold, the warm and inviting atmosphere at Byron Country Barn is perfect for a late summer or autumn celebration.
3. Shedd Aquarium
Shedd Aquarium brings the wonders of the underwater world and fine dining together for events in downtown Chicago. The experience begins on the mezzanine level, overlooking a scenic coastline. Guests will make their way through a cocktail hour among dolphins and whales into an enchanting dining area in the center of 90,000 gallon Caribbean reef. For the dancing portion of the evening, Kovler Hall will dazzle your guests with classic Greek architecture and sea life ornamentation in marble, bronze and terra cotta. With quality service and such a dynamic selection of spaces, a wedding at Shedd Aquariums is an unparalleled experience.
4. Jacob Henry Mansion Estate
With Gilded Age architecture, impeccably carved woodwork and lavish Victorian decoration, the Jacob Henry Mansion sets an ambiance of the past for your special day. This grand estate is home to some of the finest Renaissance Revival architecture in the state. Transition through the picturesque Secret Gardens for a ceremony in the Old Central Church. With stained glass windows and a 2,000-pipe organ from 1895, it’s the perfect start to a period-inspired experience. Make your way back up a winding path to the Mansion for an opulent and elegant evening in the Victorian Ballroom.
A romantic ambiance and old-world setting come together at Jacob Henry Mansion for a truly remarkable event.
5. Museum of Science and Industry
Indulge the imaginations of your guests with a wedding at the Museum of Science and Industry. Non-denominational ceremonies can be held inside the Museum or outside on the South Portico for a one-of-a-kind backdrop overlooking the lagoon. Host a reception alongside the breathtaking water and landscape views or indoors under the Museum’s majestic rotunda. The hall of marble features a marvelous 120-foot domed-ceiling to create an ambiance of elegance and splendor. Choose from catering packages for strolling through the exhibits, or plated packages for an upscale, seated affair. An on-site wedding planner will work with you to customize every aspect of the experience.
6. ARTango Bistro
Designed by an Argentinian artist, ARTango Bistro combines modern elegance with rustic South American charm. Guests can enjoy a crisp breeze on the outdoor patio and then make their way into a lofty, urban space. The unique venue boasts exposed brick walls, hardwood floors, delightful artwork and a beautiful hand made bar. ARTango provides first class in-house event services from coordination, to set-up, to decorations to ensure the planning process is as seamless as possible. The distinct setting, customizable menu and impeccable service at ARTango will ensure an unforgettable experience for guests.
7. Oak Hill Farm
Oak Hill is the venue for a wedding with vintage country charm. Imagine arriving in a horse-drawn carriage or vintage Ford Model A to your ceremony inside a church restored to its original 1860s condition. The secluded estate at Oak Hill brings a real storybook setting to a life with a re-created 19th Century Store and an 1850’s restored schoolhouse on-site. A wooden bridge connects the chapel to grounds filled with trees, flower gardens and a pond for the backdrop to some truly remarkable photos. Complete the experience with an intimate affair inside the Barnhouse or a larger-scale event on a tented outdoor patio. Hang paper lanterns or votive lights through branches the Pine Tree Path to enhance the ambiance on a warm night.
8. Loft on Lake
Rooted in the culture of the West Loop, Loft On Lake offers urban elegance with a creative edge. This quintessential loft features a 65-foot skylight that brings sunlight during the day a displays a sky full of stars on a clear, crisp evening. The raw space is a blank canvas with exposed brick, warm oak timber and 20-foot ceilings. Couples are welcome to bring their own décor or utilize artwork from the Loft’s network of Chicago artists. The space also doubles as a photo studio, so an in-house photographer with 25 years industry offers discounted services at the venue. At the Loft, couples can meet and interview trusted vendors in cuisine, décor, wedding cakes, bridal attire, videographers, music talent etc. to compile the right team to bring their vision to life.
For more Chicago wedding resources like florists, caterers, and more, see our Chicago Wedding Vendors Guide.