Needle in a Haystack

I’ve always said that the venue is the most important part of the wedding. The weight on this decision, combined with my overall indecisiveness, is making the venue search an excruciating one.

Let’s say for arguments sake there are 80,000 reception venues in the U.S. Here’s how I narrowed things down:

I only want venues in Indianapolis, Chicago, or Chicago’s southwest suburbs = 400

I refuse to even consider a banquet hall or country club = 170

The venue must hold 125-175 people = 100

I don’t want to pay more than $4000 to rent the space = 50

If it’s in the suburbs, it must be within 30 minutes of my hometown church = 45

It can’t be too small, too eclectic, too dark, too frilly, or too closed-in = 20

It has to have “character” = 7

And that’s how I narrowed it down to my 7 finalists:

John Hancock Center, Chicago

Patrick Haley Mansion, Joliet

Cantigny Park, Wheaton

Northerly Island, Chicago

Hotel Arista, Naperville

Columbus Park Refectory, Chicago

Danada House, Wheaton

Despite my pickiness, I’m still not completely thrilled with any of my options at this point. None of them truly blow me away like I was hoping they would. I think the problem is the “$4000 or less” stipulation. It’s no coincidence that the nicest and most unique venues would cost me my entire budget.

But Ryan and I have scheduled next weekend to drive up to Chicago and visit some of the venues. Unfortunately, Sunday is Mother’s Day, so none of the venues can meet with us then. Solution: we will be attempting to pack all of our venue visits into one fun-filled day. Yay!

Saturday is going to require some serious time-management skills.

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