The Space is Booked

If I thought it wasn’t 100% tacky to post our signed agreement on here, I would do it. I’m so excited to have this massive piece of the puzzle in place. The weight of an elephant is off my shoulders and the rest will be smoooooth sailing. Right? HAHA! Kidding. But really, it feels good.

We had it narrowed down to the last 2 locations that I featured in my previous post: Westgrand Studios Loft and Kitchen Chicago. They both have the feel I was hoping for and for the price I was hoping for.

Westgrand Studios Loft
This space is really beautiful. However, the experience was a little rocky right from the start. As I mention in my previous post, getting a hold of the owner was a bit of a challenge. He doesn’t have a staff member to follow up on leads and take people on tours. He should.

After a couple awkward conversations with him on the phone, I finally got an appointment set up for my fiance and I to see the space. He had us meet him at his personal apartment down the street to get the keys from him. (His apartment is really awesome, btw. An old firehouse. Gorgeous.) I thought this was a little bit odd.

Anyways, we got the keys from him, went to the building down the street, and let ourselves in. We searched the 3rd floor, per his instructions, for the door to the event space. I couldn’t find it for the life of me. We were all turned around, and I was sure that we were in the wrong spot. I called him and he walked me through it, the key wouldn’t work right away, then I opened the door. Wow. It was spectacular. I mean, really really above my expectations for all that I went through to get there. Large space, neat vibe, beautiful city view, lovely skylight, industrial touches…swoon!

Westgrand Studios Loft
(all pictures taken by me)

The lovely skylight

Good view of the brick walls & skylight

After getting sent the wrong contract a couple times long after I requested it, I started having big time doubts. If this is the person I will be working with for my wedding day (the biggest day of my life to date), this isn’t going to work out. His emails were written in all caps and with broken sentences. Maybe it’s just me, but that stuff matters.

So the winner is….

Kitchen Chicago!!!!!!!!
The space is just as, if not more, beautiful than Westgrand. The event space itself doesn’t have a view of the city, but the kitchen does! A GREAT one! So it’s still there, you just have to work a little harder to get it. The ceilings soar to the sky and the exposed brick is rustic, home-y, and welcoming! It also comes with really great solid wood benches/tables that we can use at our discretion for seating and/or for display purposes.

Tables & benches at Kitchen Chicago

I won’t have to do much at all to this place as far as decorating goes. The owner is super friendly,accommodating, and approachable. I love her passion for the kitchen and for her business. There’s also extra washrooms and a little private area that my groom and I can retreat to during the night if we need it. And one last thing about this space that I love: the location. Not only is it blocks from our apartment, but the industrial landscape should make for some really awesome photos!

I love this place!

The loft within the loft at Kitchen Chicago
(will need help brainstorming how to maximize that space)

My fiance, standing where we will be saying our vows. 🙂

I also did some research into the Chicago Park District buildings and gardens. That deserves a separate post as they are great options for tight budgets!


  1. bo says:

    Hi, I tried to send you an email but your “Contact” button isn’t working. I was wondering if you would mind sharing the pricing of the wedding venue with us. I just found your website today and I too am planning a wedding in Chicago for $10,000, hoping for May – Oct of 2011 (we are flexible). I thought it might be nice to keep in touch and we can share what we find of caterers (I have a friend who is a restaurant manager of a high end Japanese place that would also do catering for <$50/person, if you are interested), florists, etc. You can contact me at Thanks!

  2. Kelly says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for blogging about your wedding budget adventures!!:)
    I am getting married in November of next year, and want to do it under $6000 for 100 people. This entry is SUPER HELPFUL as I was looking at Westgrand as well.

  3. budget brides. chicago. says:

    Ah! Thanks for all the comments, everyone! I apologize for the late reply, but I just figured out how to get alerts on comments. haha (Don’t make fun.) 😉

    Kelly – I’m so glad you’re finding some of this useful! I’ll post another blog this week outlining some of the other venue options I looked into that are affordable. I can’t use the loft space as a dance floor b/c it’s just a tiny bit too small. I’m considering putting a DIY “photobooth” up there with a backdrop, some fun props, and a Polaroid camera. Not sure what else… Email me at if you want to keep in touch! Let me know how it’s all going!

    Michelle – Let me know what you thought of the space! You can rent the kitchen too for an additional $40/hr I think. It’s a great option to keep your drinks refrigerated and a nice prep area for apps, desserts, and food. Can’t wait to hear what you chose!

  4. budget brides. chicago. says:

    Bo – I’m about to write you an email, but in case other people want to know too, the Kitchen Chicago space for my date in early May was $1500 + $500 refundable deposit (in case of damages). That gives me access to the space all day long, BYOB, BYOCaterer, BYOFlorist, etc. Includes use of the tables and benches and the building has an elevator to help get tables/chairs/grandparents easily up to the 2nd floor.

  5. Karolyn says:

    Hey Crystal, I was hoping I could maybe ask you some questions about Kitchen Chicago. My fiance and I went to look at it last Saturday along with his mother. I absolutely love it, my fiance loves many things about it, but its my future mother in law that seems to have some problems. I thought since you are having your wedding there and also live around there you could help me out. My email is
    Hope to talk to you soon

  6. Molly Kealy says:


    I’m also getting married at Kitchen Chicago in the summer. When is your wedding? (and don’t you love how much of a FIND that place is?!)

    Any other ideas you’d like to share about how you are working with the space?

    How many guests are you anticipating?


  7. budget brides. chicago. says:

    Hey Molly!
    YES! I LOVE this space. I feel like I found the pot of gold or a buried treasure!

    I have no real ideas on what I’m going to end up doing decoration-wise with the space, though I know it won’t be much b/c I think it’s beautiful as-is (and I could save that extra money!). I’m thinking probably some twinkley lights on the banister of the stairs to the loft, lots of candles around, chalkboard signs in lovely vintage frames, and maybe a topiary tree or submerged orchids here and there. Very very simple.

    We are anticipating about 100 guests.

    What about you?! What were your thoughts for the space? Feel free to email me at too if you want! 😀

  8. Nicole says:

    My fiance and I booked Kitchen Chicago for our August wedding this summer. I would never have found this place without your blog and I want to say thank you thank you thank you and give you a virtual hug! It’s exactly what we wanted (beautiful, urban, and inexpensive) and Alexis is so amazing to work with. I can’t wait to get more details (and maybe some inspiration) from your awesome budget wedding, so keep posting! Congrats on the new home :o)

  9. Melissa says:

    I just stumbled upon your website and I am so thankful I did!
    I will try to make an appointment to view the space asap!

    My only concern is…how do you decorate it? Are you hiring somebody or will you do it your self?
    What catering company will you use?

  10. budget brides. chicago. says:

    Nicole – Thank you so so so so much for the nicest comment ever! 🙂 I’m really glad that all my mumbling on here has actually helped you! That’s why I wanted to start this so, mission accomplished! Alexis is absolutely the best to work with and is what makes me so quick to recommend the space to everybody possible. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding and feel free to send me an email if you need somebody to bounce ideas off of or advice on anything – 😀

    Melissa – Yay! Another Kitchen Chicago lover. Let me know what you think about it after you visit. For decorations, I am going “less is more” for this space. It’s just too beautiful as-is to waste my time and money on floofy decorations. Here is what I’m thinking so far:
    – a simple, cute banner above the dessert table made by my friend’s amazingly talented sister ( to read “love is sweet”. Get it? 🙂
    – pewter-colored table clothes on my cocktail tables with petals sprinkled on them instead of centerpieces (I will need them to be portable so centerpieces won’t work)
    – hurricane vases with lemons and submerged orchids (in separate vases, not at the same time…lol) to decorate the food/bar tables
    – rope lights on the loft area banister and staircase handrails to soften the lighting (though the lights are on a dimmer switch – yay!)
    – homemade chalkboard signs to label food and convey the bar menu

    If you are interested in hiring a company to decorate for you, I know that Art of Imagination has decorated the space beautifully in the past (email me for photos) though I haven’t the slightest what they charge.

    I am not using a catering company (though you are free to use any one you like in the space). Instead, my soon-to-be in-laws are cooking traditional mexican & dominican finger-foods and I am ordering tortas for everybody from a DELICIOUS Costa Rican place in Wicker Park called Irazu for under $350. I am hiring a certified bartender and buying the booze from Costco. All plates, cups, etc will come from Doolin’s Party Supply. Email me with any other questions! Hope that helped a little!

  11. Melissa says:

    Thank you so much! That was so helpful. I am going next Thursday to view the space!
    That seems like a lot of decorating to do yourself! haha. Are you doing it the same day or the day before? I love your ideas!
    If I was going to go with this venue I’d have Gino’s East be my caterer. 🙂

  12. budget brides. chicago. says:

    Oh, Melissa. You’re after my own heart with the pizza idea. 🙂 That was my fiance’s and my original idea for food, but it was getting expensive for us when I calculated everything out. I hope it works for you – delish + awesome!

    I am doing all of the decorating the day before with the help of my decorating squad (aka 4 of my girlfriends). Alexis is letting me split my 12 hours into 2 days – 2 hrs on Friday for setup and rehearsal and 10 hrs on Saturday for final touches and ceremony/rehearsal. It shouldn’t really take us too long since we’ll have all of the stuff made beforehand and all it is is setup. *crosses fingers* 😀

  13. budget brides. chicago. says:

    Hi Jenn! For a seated dinner, I was finding that 100 fit comfortably and up to 120 for a tight fit. Any more than that and you’ll have to start putting people up in the loft probably… Standing for cocktail though, it could fit up to 150 comfortably. I will post pictures after my wedding of about 110 seated for a ceremony and during the reception so you can get an idea what that amount looks like in there. 🙂

  14. Lauren says:

    Hi there, I am dying to know how your wedding turned out! Was it just this past April? I love the space you chose and just wish it could work for a group of 150 seated. Please post pics when you can or let me know how the space worked out with the size group you had. Thanks!

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