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The Top 10 Outdoor Wedding Venues in Chicago

When it comes time to start planning your wedding, there are a lot of decisions that need to be made and services to be coordinated. It can feel pretty overwhelming, but once you’ve nailed down your venue, it all starts to come together. There are hundreds of indoor wedding venues in the Chicago area, but there’s something special about holding a wedding ceremony and/or reception in the great outdoors. If you want to feel the sunshine on your skin or look up at a starry night sky as you say I Do and celebrate with your friends and family, one of these top 10 outdoor wedding venues in Chicago will be perfect for your big day.


10. Artifact Events
The Artifact Events venue has 4 indoor spaces available for a wedding that can hold between 200 and 250 seated guests and 220 to 540 standing guests. If you’d prefer to hold your ceremony or cocktail hour outdoors, their courtyard can accommodate 269 guests standing or in ceremony-style seating.

Located in Chicago’s historic Ravenswood neighborhood, the Artifact Events venue is composed of four separate industrial buildings combined to create one of the most quirky and memorable venues for a wedding. Vintage cars and metal walkways add some unique elements to this industrial masterpiece.

The Artifact Events venue does not include a catering team, but they have a long list of sixteen superb catering vendors that are available for your choosing. Whatever style and menu you have in mind, you’ll be able to find a caterer with the expertise and price point to suit your budget.

This venue does its best to offer all of the services you’ll need during your big day: free WiFi, plenty of parking for your guests, a private wedding suite, and multiple furniture options to help lower the costs of decorating the venue. The exposed brick and historic wooden doors add rustic elegance to this industrial-style venue.

Check out more at their website:

9. Royal Sonesta Chicago Downtown
The Royal Sonesta in downtown Chicago is a large hotel with 30 meeting rooms available for rental. While there are many large enough to hold wedding ceremonies and receptions, the two most popular indoor rooms for bookings are the Penthouse Ballroom at 2085 sq. ft and the Grand Ballroom at 4361 sq. ft. There is also a 1660 sq. ft Penthouse Terrace available for bookings that offer a stunning view of the city. This outdoor venue can hold anywhere from 10 to 350 wedding guests.

Built-in 1958, the Royal Sonesta hotel is one of Chicago’s most elegant and luxurious accommodations for travellers. Renovated as recently as 2021, this venue is the perfect combination of modern amenities and unparalleled construction quality.

At the Royal Sonesta Chicago Downtown, they have a unique approach to catering. They believe that food is art, and when you book your wedding with them, you will be treated to a personalized menu of delectable dishes and a full-service bar package for you and your guests.

There is no better place to take in the divinity of Chicago’s skyline than the Penthouse Ballroom and Penthouse Terrace. If you’d love nothing more than to delight your guests with a rare Chicago experience while being served exquisitely customized dinner courses, the Royal Sonesta Chicago Downtown is the venue for you.

Check out more at their website:

8. The Emily Hotel
There are both indoor and outdoor venues available at The Emily Hotel. They have a few indoor options that can accommodate a guest list of 125-300 people depending on the arrangement and event type. Their outdoor venue is a 2876 sq. ft terrace on the fifth floor, also suitable for anywhere between 125 and 300 guests.

The Emily Hotel is a fairly new establishment that took over the old Ace Hotel Chicago building when it closed in late January of 2022. The Emily Hotel has made quite a name for itself already, which is why it earned a spot on this list. If you’d like to embrace the modernity of this boutique hotel and leave your mark on a new business, this is the venue to choose.

Outside caterers won’t be needed when you book a wedding at The Emily Hotel. Their culinary team will be able to provide you and your guests with a multi-course meal and bar service to last the whole night. They can also offer you a rehearsal dinner if you’re so inclined.

The Emily Hotel is one of the most unique venues to get married in Chicago. It is changing the game of hotel accommodations with its pairing of a dramatically industrial exterior and innovatively modern interior. Two of their most appealing features are the massive blue dome with netted seating and their rooftop bar.

Check out more at their website:

7. Zhou B Events
Zhou B Events offers two separate venues that are separated by a 2-minute drive or 9-minute walk. You have the option of booking one or both venue locations for your wedding. The Art Center is an indoor venue that offers 28,000 square feet of space between two levels to accommodate wedding sizes up to 100 seated guests and 300 for a cocktail reception. The Secret Garden is smaller venue perfect for ceremonies or intimate receptions with a capacity of 75 seated guests or 100 standing guests.

The Zhou B Events venues are located in Chicago’s historic Bridgeport neighborhood, and the Art Center building still holds all of the character and charm of the industrial architecture from its previous life.

The Zhou B Events venues do not include a catering team, so you are welcome to bring in any outside vendors you want for your special day. They do have an event planner on staff to help coordinate vendors and manage the day-of responsibilities.

When you book your wedding at an art center, you can expect to be surrounded by some pretty amazing sights, ones that make perfect backdrops for wedding photos and will be talked about by your guests for years. The Secret Garden is home to sculptures made by the Zhou brothers and also features a pond. The indoor Art Center is full of art from world-renowned contemporary artists.

Check out more on their website:

6. Colvin House
Both the main floor of the Colvin House mansion and the outdoor courtyard are available to you for your wedding. This is a smaller venue with a seated capacity of only 100 guests, but if you are planning a more intimate wedding, this is one of the most romantic locations to book.

The Colvin House was designed and built in 1909, and to this day it is still one of the most stunning and architecturally ingenious locations in Chicago. You’ll be treated to the original marble fireplace, maple staircase, and two-story windows; you’ll only need a few subtle touches of décor to get this mansion picture perfect for your big day.

When it comes to catering your big day, the staff at Colvin House are pretty flexible. They do have an in house team that can take care of your meal and bar services for you, but if you’d prefer to work with an outside vendor, they have a list of seven preferred vendors that allows you to choose the team that can most closely create your dream meal.

If you’re searching for a venue full of beauty, romance, and timeless architecture, you won’t find better than the Colvin House. A 4-foot chandelier, Juliet balcony with a lake view, walled-in courtyard, and perfectly-manicured lawn and lush gardens create the perfect indoor and outdoor settings for every momentous occasion. You’re only steps from the beach and public park, too.

Check out more at their website:

5. Chicago History Museum
The Chicago Room is the main indoor location for weddings at this venue, and it has a highly flexible open floor plan to accommodate the vision of every couple. The Outdoor Plaza is a stunningly romantic setting for a ceremony or reception hidden in the heart of Lincoln Park. Both the indoor and outdoor locations can hold 260 or 300 seated guests with an orchestra or DJ respectively, and 350 guests for a strolling-style reception.

The Chicago Historical Society has showcased Chicago’s history in the Chicago History Museum since the 1930’s. The building has been updated since its foundation was laid in the 1930s, but it still features much of its original Georgian architecture and classic feel. If you’re looking for an historic site to get married, this timeless museum building is one of the best options in Chicago.

The Chicago History Museum does not provide any in-house catering, but they have an event planner on staff that can coordinate with a professional catering company of your choosing for a customized meal plan and bar service package.

One of the coolest elements offered by this venue is the option to tour one of the exhibits during cocktail hour. You have the option of paying extra to open the Chicago: Crossroads of America exhibition for a private viewing for your guests.

Check out more on their website:

4. City Cruises Chicago
With a number of boats in their fleet, City Cruises can accommodate event sizes of 125 up to 749 guests. Whether you have a more intimate reception in mind or you’d like to pack a multi-tier boat with your extended friends and family, you’ll be able to book a vessel with room for dancing, dining, and your ceremony.

City Cruises Chicago is a division of the Hornblower group, an organization with heritage dating back to 1926. They strive to provide excellence and innovation to the marine hospitality industry, and the high-class staff on board City Cruises Chicago vessels are no exception to those standards.

As a fully-inclusive venue for your big day, you don’t need to bring in any outside vendors. City Cruises has a highly-skilled culinary team capable of designing your wedding menu to perfection, and they offer full bar services as well. No matter what kind of lunch or dinner you have in mind, you’ll be able to savor every bite surrounded by open waters.

If you’re a fan of Chicago’s skyline, open waters, and exceptional all-inclusive hospitality, City Cruises is the venue to book for your big day. What is more romantic than tying the knot on an open-air deck surrounded by stunning views? The interior of the boat is even climate controlled.

Check out more on their website:

3. Galleria Marchetti
At the Galleria Marchetti venue there are two breathtaking locations to hold your ceremony and/or reception. You can choose to book one or both of these sites for your big day depending on the size of your guest list. La Pergola is an open air space that can seat 150 guests, and the Pavilion is a tented structure that can seat 400.

The Galleria Marchetti has a long history as a welcoming establishment that offers delectable cuisine and exquisite hospitality. In 1924, the Marchetti family opened an inn, and the Galleria Marchetti was opened by the second generation years later to continue the legacy. Today, the third generation of that family operates the Galleria Marchetti with the same values that defined them a century ago.

With more than 75 years of combined experience in the industry, the culinary staff at Galleria Marchetti can create a 100% personalised menu for your wedding. They also have some pre-designed menus featuring their traditional Italian cuisine and more. You can even have extras like sushi or even a donut station.

The thing that truly sets Galleria Marchetti apart from the other venues on this list is the staff. You’ll have difficulty finding a team that is more dedicated to providing you with personalized service; their commitment to your experience will make you feel right at home at this venue.

Check out more on their website:

2. Museum of Contemporary Art
The stunning Museum of Contemporary Art is home to some of the most romantic indoor and outdoor settings for a wedding. They have a terrace, lawn, and indoor atrium available for ceremonies and receptions, each of which can comfortably hold up to 230 seated guests.

The Museum of Contemporary Art has existed since 1967, and you can rest assured that the beautifully ingenious design of their building will stand the test of time. They are dedicated to exhibiting and preserving contemporary art in all its forms and can provide a one-of-a-kind history-in-the-making venue for your momentous day.

When you book a wedding at this venue, you won’t have the responsibility of searching out a catering vendor and testing multiple different menus. Instead, you can rely on the culinary team at the Museum of Contemporary Art to provide a full meal and bar service during your event. Their menu is highly flexible to suit any type of cuisine you’d like to provide to your guests. All you have to do is get your wedding cake made and delivered by an outside vendor.

The most unique and intriguing aspect of holding a wedding at the Museum of Contemporary Art is, naturally, the art. Access to a sculpture garden will make your wedding photos both elegant and exceptionally unique. The modern art showcased in the museum also changes on a regular basis, so no two weddings will have the same backdrop.

See more here on their website:

1. Café Brauer at Lincoln Park Zoo
As featured in our roundup of the Top 10 Wedding Venues in Chicago, Café Brauer is a large and versatile indoor / outdoor wedding venue right in the heart of Chicago. With a seating capacity of 250 and cocktail-style reception capacity of 500, every couple will be able to invite their full guest list without worrying about the venue’s ability to accommodate. There are open-air terraces and a garden to explore, as well.

Constructed in 1908, Café Brauer is historically known as the Lincoln Park South Pond Refectory. While it now functions primarily as an event space, it served as a warming shelter and boat house in its previous life. Guests can still be wowed by the large stained glass windows, dazzling Tiffany chandeliers, and exposed beams that draw your eye upwards to the intricate ceiling.

When you book an event at Café Brauer, there are two options for meeting your catering needs. You are allowed to bring in an outside vendor as long as they meet Café Brauer’s requirements, but you also have full access to their full event planning and catering team, Tigerlily Events. They offer two-tiered wedding packages for your perusal.

Café Brauer’s most distinguishing feature is, of course, the connection to the Lincoln Park Zoo. From either the North or South terrace, guests can enjoy a stunning view of the park and city skyline, and embrace the biodiversity showcased by the Nature Boardwalk, a pond ecosystem celebrating life in nature.

See more details on their website:

*BONUS OUTDOOR VENUE* – The Two Brothers Roundhouse
Obviously we’re a little biased, but if you look at our track record, we’ve got the awards to back it up! We’ve won 9 brewery awards, been awarded “Best Of Weddings” badge from The Knot in 2019, 2020 and 2021, and won the “Couples Choice Award” from Wedding Wire almost every year from 2012 – 2020!

Venues don’t win that many awards by luck or chance. That’s the consistent quality and reputation Two Brothers has for hosting weddings!

The Two Brothers Roundhouse property encompasses 70,000 square feet home to multiple buildings, gathering areas, and gorgeous landscape. The diversity of our location ensures that your guest list ranging in size from 50 to over 300 can all feel perfectly at home in the space. This includes majestic outdoor areas to host a ceremony or reception.

Our venue has one of the most interesting stories of all. Built in 1856, the roundhouse served as the storage and maintenance facility for the Chicago and Aurora’s Railroad locomotives. This historic building is the oldest roundhouse in the entire country. If you’re looking for a wedding venue that will surround you in history, there is no better location in Chicago’s suburbs.

As an all-inclusive location, Two Brothers Roundhouse has an exceptionally trained catering staff and bartending service available to design a menu and bar package according to the individual needs of every couple.

See why we’re quickly becoming the top choice for wedding venues in the greater Chicago area. We have more details on our wedding venue banquets page here.

Email us any time at or call us (630) 509-0215

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