• The Hay Loft

Tradition Meets the Modern: How to Find Rustic Wedding Venues in Chicago

The average wedding cost over $35,000 in 2016 and the expenses continue to rise. Your budget can be a major contributor to making your event special for both you and your guests. 

If you prefer simplicity but still want a fun and unique experience then a rustic wedding is the best of both worlds, and can often be done without breaking the bank. 


You can mix eclectic-casual with traditional-elegance by finding wedding venues in Chicago that think out of the box.


Check out this guide to discover new ways to get married in style without breaking your budget. 


Grace the Garden


There are many wedding venues near Chicago that offer quaint yet stunning gardens to host your wedding. 


Use the natural design and color palette of your garden wedding venue. You can translate floral aesthetics into your wedding invitations and photos.


Use fresh bouquets at your wedding and offer floral wedding favors to your guests. 

Keep your party rustic with a barefoot option and garden attire like sundresses and shorts.

Add some rustic food options that make your wedding playful and light. Edible flower arrangements are a fun way to get back to your ancestral roots of gathering food. 


Top off your garden paradise with a percussion and string band that plays original music for an authentic, organic vibe. 


Spread Out on a Farm


When looking for Chicago wedding venues, don't exclude farms. They offer enough space for large weddings and can serve your dinner menu, fresh from the harvest. 


There are 27 million acres of farmland in Illinois. Even if the land is not traditionally used for weddings, arrangements can also be made to make a truly rustic venue. 


You may need to add tents for sun coverage, portable bathrooms, and a mobile kitchen for cooking and preparing food. If the farm caters to weddings then you may rent these items from them. If not, you will have to do additional bookings. 


Include farm animals into your wedding by creating a petting zoo and taking photos with these furry friends. Photos opportunities also include vast landscapes of the Illinois horizon with tall stalks of grain and corn in the distance. 


Cozy Up In a Barn


If you prefer indoor rustic wedding venues in Chicago then choose a barn wedding. This gives you the option of having your wedding rain or shine in the comfort of a classic barn house.

Use traditional barn accessories in your wedding like haystacks for seating, watering cans for pitchers, and grain barrels as tables. 


Your guests will feel cozy surrounded by wood walls and hanging beams. Barns combine grand luxury with countryside hospitality. Continue this ambiance with casual dress codes and a buffet of home-cooked dishes. 


A barn venue can also provide amenities like bathrooms, a kitchen, and furniture, without taking away from the rustic theme. 


If you would like to include the outdoors in your wedding when the sun is shining then have the ceremony in the field followed by a reception in the barn. 


Deck Out an Industrial Building


Rustic wedding venues Chicago don't have to be outdoors. An industrial-style building provides a way to immerse your guests in the city's history. 


They can learn about the building's past by gazing at its architectural features like brick mortars, exposed beams, and original hardwood floors.


Add additional vintage style to your wedding using accessories. Mason jar cups, metal plates, and candle-lite fixtures will transport your guests into the past to a simpler time. 


Take your period cooking method seriously by using a wood-burning stove and traditional turn-of-the-century cuisine.


Hire a classical string orchestra to add to the intimate setting for your guests. 


Look for venues that include a garden terrace for moonlight cocktails surrounded with oil-lanterns and classic 19th-century instrumentals.  


Marry in the Forest


A wedding can't get more intimate than being nestled in the forest.


An inn or lodge can offer accommodations and site locations and you can add decorations to make your day extra special. Rent a location at a park or get a permit for a piece of the outdoors just your own. 


Either way, decorating the forest makes this wedding destination magical and rustic. You can use the landscape and natural elements in your design.


Take string lights to create a stream of twinkling stars throughout your venue. Start several bonfires to cook, stay warm, and light up the dance floor. Use logs as benches to seat your guests.


You can even make your wedding into an overnight camp. Provide large tents for guests to sleep and give them a campfire breakfast in the morning. 


Include a walk to the lake for gorgeous wedding photos. Use a natural alter like a stone pillar or make a wooden gazebo with a piece of wood from the forest. 


Activities like hiking, canoeing, fishing, and swimming can be included in your wedding. 


For meals, create a grand family-style dining table that curves through the woods and includes biodegradable, eco-friendly dinnerware.  Be sure to clean the area with recycling and trash bags as well as a compost to reduce food waste.  


Choosing Wedding Venues in Chicago


You can find many wedding venues in Chicago, but how do you choose the perfect one? Your decision depends on your need for accommodations,your price range, and your personal style. 

Consider whether you want a venue to do the decorating, catering, and planning. You can also choose to design your wedding from start to finish. But, remember you will need to house and feed your guests. 


To get all of your questions answered about your rustic wedding contact us today.  

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