BRIDES Chicago: Unique Chi-Town Venues for the Alternative Bride

Chicago, Local, Planning Tips
Alternative Chicago Wedding at Salvage One

Photo: Courtesy of Salvage One

Are you a Chicago bride looking for a wedding venue with a more offbeat and quirky aesthetic than the traditional hotel, loft, or garden? Check out these five options that could be the perfect match for your alternative style.

Salvage One (Above)
Salvage One is truly one of the most eclectic venues in Chicago. A 60,000-square feet showroom of salvaged indoor and outdoor furnishings, the company has saved architectural elements from the wrecking ball and worked to preserve and pass on Chicago architectural history for nearly 30 years in addition to providing custom design services. With a great ambiance that features exposed brick, hardwood floors, and eclectic door frames and stained glass windows contrasted with concrete gargoyle statues. Because Salvage One's inventory is always changing, the space never looks the same, and it's impossible to take a bad picture.Read real brides' reviews here!

Alternative Chicago Wedding at Carnivale

Photo: Courtesy of Carnivale

Carnivale is the perfect venue for couples who want their wedding to be vibrant and festive with upscale food and entertainment. A high energy Latin fusion restaurant in the West Loop — with flavors from South America, Spain, and the Caribbean — the event space has a colorful vibe unlike any other in Chicago. With bright, bold décor — from pink chairs and blue tablecloths to green curtains on the windows and stained glass skylights, Carnivale is bursting from the seams with personality — the opposite of a blank canvas. If you're a bride who's looking to inject a colorful vibe to your special day, you won't need to look any further. Read real brides' reviews here!

Alternative Chicago Wedding at Museum of Contemporary Art

Photo: Courtesy of the Museum of Contemporary Art

Museum of Contemporary Art Warehouse
The 10,000 square foot MCA Warehouse was once a pie factory and a Chinese bakery — before becoming one of Chicago's most quirky and interesting event spaces. Doubling as a performance place and a place to store the museum's artwork, the recently renovated space features two levels with ornate architectural details, gorgeous eastward views of the Chicago skyline, and a wide range of exclusive caterers. With its high ceilings, unique lighting, hidden nooks of treasure art, exposed brick walls and beams, and a cavern-like atmosphere with rooms that echo, your reception will feel like a secret loft party where only the coolest people are invited. Read real brides' reviews here!

See More: Stop and Smell the (Bouquet) Roses with These Chicago Florists

Alternative Chicago Wedding at Camp Wandawega

Photo: Courtesy of Camp Wandawega

Camp Wandawega
Located near the Chicagoland area across the border in Elkhorn, WI, Camp Wandawega was once a the location of a Prohibition speakeasy in the 1920s. In the 1950s, it became an idyllic lakeside resort for families and in its latest incarnation, is a Wes Anderson-inspired getaway for Chicagoans who want to revisit the joys of going to summer camp — weddings include. If you host your wedding at Camp Wandawega, you and your fiancé will get married among the beautiful background of 103,072 trees on the property, followed by swimming, rope swinging, and stargazing — and of course, copious amounts of booze. To complete the summer camp feel, your wedding guests will have the chance stay in cabins and teepees — a truly one-of-a-kind experience.

Alternative Wedding at Chicago Illuminating Company

Photo: Courtesy of Chicago Illuminating Company

Chicago Illuminating Company
The Chicago Illuminating Company is housed in a 10,000 square foot two-story former power plant warehouse that dates back to the 1900s. Located near the McCormick Place Convention Center, this raw, contemporary space can be customized to fit any occasion. Hardwood floors, elegant tile mosaic detailing, arched windows standing opposite a mezzanine balcony, massive mirrors placed against the walls and ceilings that range from 15 to 50 feet, the Chicago Illuminating Company has a sophisticated and spectacular state-of-the-art atmosphere fused with an urbane loft aesthetic and modern architectural highlights. An outdoor patio space tucked into a courtyard off the main building and the extravagant gate on the east side are both perfect locales for the ultimate bridal photo op. Read real brides' reviews here!

Not quite your style? Browse even more Chi-Town wedding locales on our Chicago Venues page!

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