As an Indian bride, you know that the proposal is only the beginning of the journey to your big day. In between deciding on traditional rituals, figuring out a color scheme, and planning the many different outfits you'll be wearing throughout the week of Indian wedding festivities, you also have to find a venue that can hold all of your guests—which can be a challenge when you have several hundred of them! Here are some of the best Chicago venues for all of you desi brides with a huge guest list.
Bridgeport Art Center (Above)
For city-loving brides, the Bridgeport Art Center is a great option. Not only can it hold up to 800 guests, but it also has an 18,000 square foot Skyline Loft which is completely customizable to your specifications. Truly one of the most unique venues in the city, this location blends urban grit and classic elegance with gorgeous panoramic views of the skyline. On the top floor, the Skyline Loft has solid wood floors with dramatic inlays, unobstructed views of the city in the main dining area, exposed brick walls, 15-foot beamed ceilings, and over-sized skylights which are placed above an inlaid runway. Adjacent to the building there is complimentary parking, which can be a challenge for a wedding in Chicago with a large number of guests.
Does your dream wedding entail a beautiful outdoor ceremony and reception by the lake—complete with a stunning view of the Chicago skyline? If so, Northerly Island may be your ideal venue as it is located on a 91-acre peninsula, surrounded by Lake Michigan to the south and Burnham Harbor to the west. The venue is just southwest of the Museum Campus and directly east of Soldier Field, and it boasts a gorgeous lakeside view of the city. With a capacity for 1500 guests and fully customizable spaces, it's a great option for Indian brides looking for a venue that's both unique and spacious.
Drury Lane Theatre
Having trouble narrowing down your guest list? Consider the Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook Terrace, near both the Midway and O'Hare airports. This Chicago wedding venue has free parking, several ethnic menu options, and five separate ballrooms for events that can also be converted into a spectacular Grand Ballroom (with capacity for up to 1800 guests!). A beautiful venue for any event, Drury Lane has a luxurious and vintage ambiance with high ceilings, gorgeous old-fashioned chandeliers, multiple halls, a large lobby complete with a lounge, and seating areas outside of the ballrooms (for when your guests need to take a breather from all the dancing). The theater also has a neutral color scheme that can easily be adapted to any color palette.
South Shore Cultural Center
Culture is in the very title of this storied institution, which is the crown jewel of the South Shore neighborhood, housed on a 58-acre site that can fit up to 600 guests. The venue was recently renovated and restored to its original decor which features a pink ballroom, gray marble columns, cascading crystal and gold chandeliers, a nine-hole golf course, an art gallery, a butterfly garden, a nature sanctuary, and a private beach. Your guests will never be bored, that's for sure! A Chicago landmark since 2004 (and the place where the Obamas tied the knot), the South Shore Cultural Center's upscale aesthetic and design make it a very elegant choice for a wedding.
North Rose Garden at Buckingham Fountain
If you've always dreamed of getting married in a garden but have too many guests to even consider a venue like the Chicago Botanic Garden or the Morton Arboretum, the North Rose Garden may be the perfect venue for you. Even though it has a capacity for 1,000 guests, there are many trellises and sculpted hedges among the rose gardens as well as a romantic fountain where you and your new spouse can have a secret rendezvous (while the guests are occupied during cocktail hour). The North Rose Garden is a dreamy option for a flower-loving Indian bride who wants to dance the night away under the light of the moon and the Chicago skyline.
If you've got your heart set on an iconic and memorable wedding in the city, take a look at the historic Navy Pier's Grand Ballroom. Built in 1916 and still as glorious as ever, this venue can accommodate up to 1,100 seated guests on the main floor as well as 300 additional guests on the balcony overlooking the ballroom. Along with the whimsical backdrop of Navy Pier itself (perfect for wedding party photos), the Grand Ballroom has beautiful and timeless architecture, a panoramic view of both Lake Michigan and the Chicago Skyline, and an 80-foot dome ceiling with 3,000 dimmable lights.