Chicago Wedding Venues: Top Places to Get Married in the Oak Park Area
Named as one of the top 10 best neighborhoods in the nation, Oak Park has what a lot of couples want for a wedding destination and can't find: character and originality. Even better, the Oak Park area is located just minutes outside Chicago—a distinctive destination known for its blend of suburban comforts and urban pleasures. Because of its convenient location bordering Chicago's west side and roughly 8 miles from both major airports.
This is a place where tree-lined brick streets and centuries-old homes coexist with skyline views and ultra-trendy eateries. Historic yet progressive, the local community's unwavwering support for the LGBTQ community makes Oak Park a desirable destination for same-sex weddings. Regardless of your needs and preferences, you'll find a memorable venue to say "I Do" in the Oak Park area. Here's a quick look at some of the best wedding venues in the Oak Park area, from opulent mansions to aromatic conservatories.
Whether you're hosting a large wedding reception of 200 people or a more intimate gathering for 30, Carleton Hotel in Oak Park is one of the best options in the Chicago area. One step inside and you'll see why: Dark wooden staircases, cozy fireplaces, stained-glass windows and architectural details that reflect the style of Frank Lloyd Wright adorn the interior.
For large weddings, Carleton Hotel's main room has 6,000 square feet with luxurious crown moldings, imported carpets and royal red drapes. Smaller parties can opt to rent the Foxboro Room (90 guests), Columbian Room (historic room for up to 50 guests) or the Barclay Room (wine cellar themed room for 30 guests). Additionally, your wedding guests can book a stay in one of Carleton Hotel's tastefully appointed guest rooms or suites. For guests looking to keep festivities going, there are also two on-site dining and drinking options: sip brews and munch on free popcorn at Poor Phil's, home to Oak Park's largest beer selection, or enjoy craft cocktails in the relaxing Barclay's American Grille.
Nineteenth Century Club
The historic Nineteenth Century Club boasts Oak Park’s largest ballroom with newly finished original hardwood floors. The ballroom can seat 280 guests, so large weddings can be accommodated with room to spare. The stage will provide the perfect place for bands or orchestras, and there’s also a Steinway grand piano available for group use. Smaller weddings can be held on the first floor in the lounge and dining rooms, which can seat up to 120 guests.
Couples who have an appreciation for distinctive architecture may want to consider Pleasant Home in Oak Park. Designed in 1897 by George W. Maher, one of the prominent architects of the Prairie School, this charming mansion is reminiscent of traditional Queen Anne and Colonial Revival styles. The house currently operates as a museum but rents out private spaces for weddings including a spot on its lawn with the breathtaking house in the backdrop. There's also a banquet hall with gorgeous woodworking and glass art.
Couples can host smaller weddings or larger celebrations of up to about 150 people at Pleasant Home. Ceremony options include a large front patio, outdoor tent or library. Pleasant Home has its own approved list of caterers permitted to serve in the house.
Take your wedding to the gorgeous countryside without straying too far from the city. At Cheney Mansion in Oak Park, couples can opt for an English country-style house surrounded by a two and a half acre wide idyllic garden—great for spring and summertime weddings. The garden consists of rock gardens with ponds, flowers, towering trees and well-manicured grass, making it ideal for wedding photos.
Inside, up to 150 guests can comfortably enjoy a sit-down reception underneath wrought iron chandeliers and among the Persian rugs and wide windows that give the indoor space a light, airy feeling. Other exciting features of the mansion include a ballroom, a library and two separate preparatory rooms for the wedding parties.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple is a landmark structure home to a number of spaces for weddings and receptions of varying sizes: the sanctuary, hailed as one of the most beautiful rooms in America by Chicago Tribune in 2017, seats up to 350 guests. The adjacent Unity House and foyer can accommodate 120 for a formal seated dinner, up to 175 for an informal seated dinner, 225 for a cocktail party, while also being a popular choice for intimate receptions. Arguably one of the most innovative designs of the 20th century, this National Historic Landmark is fresh on the heels of a $25 million dollar restoration project. The renewed grandeur of its skylights, striking woodwork, and art glass is captivating, ensuring your special day will be one you - and your guests - won't soon forget.
Thatcher Woods Pavilion
Nestled in 245 acres of woodlands, the Thatcher Woods Pavilion is a historic stone building against the picturesque backdrop of the Des Plaines River. The recently renovated facility is anchored by a traditional gas-lit fireplace, contributing to the richness of the building's thoughtful restoration. Two meeting rooms are available and can be rented individually, accommodating 80 and 40 respectively, or as single space, accommodating approximately 120 guests. An adjacent picnic grove is available for an additional charge, and the on-site prep kitchen guarantees seamless dinner preparation and service.
Oak Park Conservatory
Let the intoxicating fragrance of tropical planets, succulents, and flora wash over your guests at the Oak Park Conservatory. Considered one of the top historical sites in Oak Park, the conservatory provides a lush, natural setting for smaller weddings. The indoor Rubinstein Room can accommodate up to 50 people for seated dinner and up to 65 for cocktails, or it can be rented with access to the showrooms and outdoor gardens for up to 85 guests. Packages are easy to customize thanks to the mix of indoor and outdoor spaces available, so parties of varying sizes and needs can be accommodated comfortably.
Riverside Arts Center
Steps from the Metra train station in the heart of Riverside's historic downtown is the Riverside Arts Center, a non-profit arts organization bringing unique exhibitions and arts education courses to the community for more than 20 years. The Freeark Gallery and outdoor Sculpture Garden can accommodate up to 100 guests, making it a desirable spot for smaller wedding receptions.
The Oak Park area also has a number of places to stay and gorgeous outdoor spaces that you can consider for a wedding ceremony or reception.