The early part of summer is flush with positivity: warmer weather, longer days, shorter work hours, vacations, a relaxed attitude, and another wave of couples tying the knot.
It’s the time of year that was perfectly captured by Vince Vaughn in Wedding Crashers when he enthusiastically asked, “What do you like better- Christmas or wedding season?” before jumping up in his chair and answering, “wedding season!” to his own question.
We feel you, Vince. We, too, are energized about getting together with friends and family to celebrate love through the four D’s:
- Dressing up
Oak Park is one of Chicagoland’s most sought-after wedding destinations and for good reason. We have several venues offering different ways to celebrate the four D’s. Here’s a look at Oak Park’s wedding scene and what makes each location special.
Nineteenth Century Club
Built eight years before Ernest Hemingway was born, the Nineteenth Century Club is one of Oak Park’s oldest buildings, making it a great venue for a classic wedding. The club has multiple spaces to help shape the right atmosphere based on the size of the party. On the first floor, there are two dining rooms and an upscale lounge with a small stage. If it’s a bigger crowd, the second floor can host roughly 400 guests in the Margaret Houck Ballroom.
The nonprofit hosts several weddings every year so the staff is well-versed in setting up and taking down for ceremonies and receptions alike. “We had our wedding (both ceremony and reception) at this beautiful venue, and we were overall very pleased with our experience,” said Alyssa W., originally from Manhattan, NY. “It’s a gorgeous space; the ballroom is lovely all on its own, so we didn’t have to do too much to decorate.”
The Nineteenth Century Club is located at 178 Forest Avenue, Oak Park. For more information, visit www.nineteenthcenturyclub.org.
The name of this venue speaks for itself, especially when outfitted for a bride and groom’s special day.
Erected in 1897, couples have the option of securing a space inside the George W. Maher-designed mansion or conducting the ceremony on the lawn, using the Pleasant Home as a backdrop. As you can imagine, the latter is is a very popular choice during the summer months. When you factor in gorgeous sunsets in the west, you are guaranteed to make lovely memories at the Pleasant Home that will last a lifetime.
Pleasant Home is located at 217 Home Avenue, Oak Park. For more information, visit www.pleasanthome.org.
Carleton of Oak Park Hotel
Located in the heart of Downtown Oak Park, the Carleton is easy to get to by public transportation, and walking distance (more specifically, next door) to great bars like Barclays and Poor Phil’s. When it comes to convenience, imagine how happy the out-of-towners will be to learn that they have a room in the same venue as the ceremony and reception, and when the wedding party calls it a night, they can hit up Downtown Oak Park without worrying about driving.
Weddings are not just about location and convenience, however. The Carleton has made a reputation for itself over the years because of its ambiance. “The ballroom is beautiful and not-at-all like a cookie cutter hotel– it was actually built in the early 1900s for the World Fair, and it has so much charm for our vintage-themed wedding!” said a Chicago client who got married at the hotel. Newlywed couples will also be happy to learn that there is a complimentary guest room with a hot tub if they so choose to use it on their wedding night.
The Carleton of Oak Park is located at 1110 Pleasant Street, Oak Park. For more information, visit www.careltonhotel.com.
The Cheney Mansion sits on top of two and a half acres of beautiful land in Oak Park’s Historic District. This venue works well in the colder months of the year due to its elegant dining room decorated with chandeliers and large windows, making the space seem very open. Nonetheless, it is summer and the Cheney Mansion’s outdoor landscape is beautifully decorated with flowers, waterfall, garden, ponds, and trees, serving as an ideal backdrop for wedding photos.
Overseen by the Park District of Oak Park, the Cheney Mansion is a certified historic landmark of the Village and receives a lot of attention when it comes to maintaining the property. “I can’t imagine having my wedding reception anywhere else,” said Alyssa from Chicago. “The interiors here are so beautiful we didn’t do any extra decoration.”
The Cheney Mansion is located at 220 North Euclid Avenue, Oak Park. For more information, visit www.cheneymansion.org.