Wedding reception in the Salvage One wedding venue in Chicago, Illinois.

Chicago is one big city. Known as the City of Big Shoulders, it is the third most populous city in the nation, and its sprawl covers 234 miles of America’s Midwest. From suburbs to city skyline, the sizeable spread of Chi-town can only mean one thing for wedding planning brides-to-be: this place has no shortage of wedding venues. Big, small, shore-side, or garden fresh, the choices here border on endless – which is why we thought we’d help expedite the selection process and share a few of the venues we’d love to see in the background of your Chicago wedding photos.

Salvage One

An event space that perpetually seeks to reinvent itself, Salvage One is a Chicago wedding venue and downtown loft to die for. The site’s constant rediscovery also means that your wedding day will look and feel like no other event held at the building – although exposed brick and wood beams are always part of the picture. Fortunately, these industrial touches are so pretty we don’t think you’ll mind.

63rd Street Beach House

Pressed right up against the southern shores of Lake Michigan, the 63rd Street Beach House is the oldest beach house in the city and part of the Chicago Parks District. Brides can choose between open balconies and ground floor courtyards for their event, and both options provide impressive views of the lake’s blue waters.

Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel

As a historic building and one of the premiere destinations in downtown Chicago, the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel is one reception site we all take very seriously. The hotel’s gothic-inspired architecture and impressive size make it a signature part of the Chicago skyline, and weddings here are held in the Crystal Ballroom – a knockout venue with 1920s glamour. The gold-gilded dome ceiling, illuminated dance floor and signature crystal chandeliers are vintage romance in one wedding-ready package.

Chicago Botanic Gardens

From elaborate gardens to native woodlands, the Chicago Botanic Gardens have wedding day backdrops for every type of nature lover and each season of the year, and indoor and outdoor options are available year-round. Our recommendations? The Rose Terrace for your ceremony, the English Walled Garden for cocktail hour, and waterfront McGinley Pavilion for dinner and dancing.

P.S. Don’t forget to use the best planning tools around – our wedding websites are perfect for communicating with your guests and sharing the details of your wedding day and registry.

Image credit: Olivia Leigh Photographie