Getting married in Chicago area this spring

Congratulate a long-time lurker 'cause I’m getting married! We would like to hear your ideas regarding where to have the ceremony and who should perform it. It will just be our mothers and ourselves. Neither my fiancee nor I suscribe to organized religion, but we aren’t against doing it in a church if that’s permitted. We are also open to suggestions for outdoor venues. We are willing to travel up to about an hour from the city.

We don’t want a duplicate civil ceremony so whoever does the wedding has to actually have the necessary authority.

When responding, please be as specific as you can regarding where and who we should consider. My email is in my profile if you prefer to contact me that way.

Thanks in advance to everyone for your input!

I was best man at a wedding at the Morton Arboretum(sp?) many years ago. Beautiful.

The parents of a childhood friend of mine, whose name apparently sounds like a kind of cheese, got married in the gardens of the Baha’i Temple. It was a long time ago (and hey, it was the 60’s), but she says all they needed to do was say a little piece during the ceremony about the unity of all peoples.

Oh, and congrats!

I went to a wedding for my SO’s best friend a few months ago…it was held in Lake County, in this forest preserve/discovery museum place. I thought it was quite nice.

The Chicago Botanic Gardens hosts a lot of weddings, and the scenery is spectacular there. I don’t know how green it will be if your wedding is early spring.

The Baha’i Temple is indeed beautiful.

Thanks for the ideas so far, everyone.

Yojimboguy - I’ll look into it. Thanks!

Eva - I see you remembered the cheese comment. Did you remember my username right away or did you cheat by looking in my profile? Baha’i temple is a strong front runner. Thanks for taking me there that one time. It was very cool.

Angel - Can you remember where in Lake county, or what the name sounded like?


Thanks Abe,

I was considering the Botanical Gardens, too. Didn’t want you to think I was leaving anybody out- I really want to hear what everyone thinks.


Never underestimate the intelligence capabilities of a Russophile…no, seriously, I’m far nosier than you ever suspected, and I remembered it from the one time we went to that potluck.

That, plus my brain is a trivia vacuum. Did you seriously think you’d really beat my best effort at Trivial Pursuit?

I got married to the most wonderful woman in the world in Chicago, but it was in a church, so I guess that’s out for you. I will add that we had pictures taken at Belmont Harbor, and you may be able to get a permit to do a marriage ceremony. You might want to head to City Hall downtown and check out the marriage license requirements. They should have a list of people that could perform a wedding. They generally include magistrates and judges, and some of them are willing to do it on location instead of at the Hall.

The Botantical Gardens are great also. If you have some money to blow, there is a cafe in Lincoln Park, by the zoo, that hosts wedding receptions. I can’t for the life of me think of what it was called, though.

Best of luck.

Cafe Brauer.

Memory is a tricky thing.

The cafe in Lincoln Park is called Cafe Brauer; I’ve been to a wedding there, too. Beautiful, but a bit out of proportion for your purposes.

IIRC, in past years City Hall has performed civil ceremonies on the end of Navy Pier during some of the warm-weather months. I don’t know if they still do this, or when, but it’s worth checking out.

My recommendations:

The Lincoln Park Conservatory within the Lincoln Park Zoo. You have to do two things to have it done there. Call them and tell them you’re coming and get a permit from the City Park District ($250).

Just about any park/garden-type place in Cook County will insist on this $250 fee. You can duck it, but woe if they catch you.

Marriage performed by the Reverend Mary Gehr, who does a great non-religious ceremony (another $250, although she does go higher for more in-depth ceremonies.

Marriage license was $30, good for thirty days, I believe.

Email me for pictures and any other specifics, if you’d like. I can also recommend florists/tux rental places/etc.

Fosfero, I think it was in Wauconda, but I’m not sure…

here’s a link…click on the “Next” button, and it’ll show you:

Cuneo Museum, Libertyville

Thanks to all! I’ll keep checking your posts and I’ll let you know what we’ve decided as soon as we make up our minds!


Starved Rock State Park off I80 between Ottawa and LaSalle Illinois.

Beautiful area, beautiful lodge - about 80 miles SW of Chicago.

The Osaka Gardens just south of the Museum of Science and Industry are really beautiful if you are still interested in an outdoor ceremony. There is a covered pagoda (open on all sides)that you could use in case it rains (knock on wood that it won’t!) and a really pretty pond with a stone bridge. Mr. Taichi and I checked it out before we got married in August. AbFab sweetie darling!