by Jessica Terson, Writer
Evanston, Illinois may be Chicago’s closest Northern suburb, but it’s also a vibrant city in its own right. With sandy beaches and a thriving downtown area, Evanston offers something for everyone. We love these Evanston wedding venues where big city thrills meet small-town simplicity. Visit critically-acclaimed theaters and museums, hot new restaurants, and chic boutiques. Admire the Gothic architecture of Northwestern University, and enjoy breathtaking views of Chicago’s skyline from the lakefront. With so much to do and explore, your guests just might forget to visit downtown Chicago altogether.
Located in the heart of downtown Evanston, The Crystal Ballroom and Lounge maintains the glamour of the roaring 1920s with its original crown molding and architectural details. This spacious 6,000 square-foot event space includes a two-story ballroom and adjoining lounge for flexible seating arrangements. We especially love how the ballroom’s mirrored walls dramatically reflect its crystal chandeliers, creating the illusion of additional lighting. The silver draped wall is a perfect ceremonial backdrop while the baby grand piano provides striking photo-ops. The outdoor garden terrace also offers the ideal setting for the first look between the bride and groom. No matter which corner of this elegant event space you choose to utilize, The Crystal Ballroom and Lounge promises to deliver a lavish city feel without ever leaving the suburbs. We love how this wedding reception used a luxe palette of neutrals to allow the rooms to shine.
The Crystal Ballroom and Lounge Capacity: 250 (seated) – 350 (standing)
The Woman’s Club of Evanston is proudly listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Designed by prominent architect Ernest Mayo, the clubhouse captures the classic elegance from the turn of the last century. A double staircase leading to the Grand Ballroom creates the opportunity for a climactic bridal party entrance. Because the The Woman’s Club hosts only one event at a time, guests can enjoy the privacy of the entire event space. The two-story Ballroom is perfect for dining and dancing, while the adjacent Sun Porch comfortably accommodates a chic cocktail reception. The first floor Tea Room and connected Music Room provide additional spaces for socializing and hors d’oeuvres. But best of all, The Woman’s Club is “BYOB”, which means you can offer high-end beverages without the extravagant costs.
The Woman’s Club of Evanston Capacity: 250 (seated) – 350 (standing)
With over 70 years of experience, Hilton Orrington Hotel Evanston is one of the most magnificent event spaces in the area. Its sweeping staircase guarantees a memorable entrance into the Grand Orrington Ballroom. Lofty ceilings, flush-mount crystal chandeliers, and floor-to-ceiling windows contribute to the room’s palatial backdrop. The historical Heritage Ballroom also astonishes with its 1920s crown molding and grand Baccarat crystal chandeliers. Enjoy panoramic views of Lake Michigan on the ninth floor Promenade for a “first look” or impressive cocktail reception. No matter which room you choose, Hilton Orrington delivers grandeur on every level. We love how this event creates a vivacious atmosphere by adding intense and awe-inspiring florals to each table.
Heritage Ballroom Capacity: Up to 170
Grand Ballroom Capacity: Up to 500
Terra and Vine brings the rustic fare of the Mediterranean to the shores of Evanston, Illinois. Its four distinct dining rooms are perfect for weddings of up to 140 seated guests. The Capri Room cozily tucks into a private nook of the main dining room, while The Naples Room features its own private bar and candlelit orbicular chandeliers. The Portofino room is comfortable yet elegant with a fireplace and bookshelves. Gray paneled walls in The Palermo room make for a neutral but elegant photo backdrop. Utilize several rooms or divide the space into more intimate sections for a creative event flow.
Capri Room Capacity: 12 (seated)
Portofino Room Capacity: 27 (seated) – 35 (standing)
Terra and Vine Full Capacity: 140 (seated) – 180 (standing)
Inspired by 1920s bohemian Paris and icons of the Beat Generation, Found Kitchen and Social House inspires with rotating, seasonal cuisine and a creative ambiance. The hip decor includes old Chicago courthouse benches and the original “host” phone from Chicago’s renowned Pump Room. Think “Jackie O’ meets The Beatles…in India.” Artistic temperaments will adore the bright wall hangings, funky mismatched chairs and tables, beaded chandeliers, and pillared columns. We especially love some of the smaller, more eclectic spaces. The Library is a semi-private room boasting wall-to-wall built-in bookshelves and vintage finds. The Salon is cool and contemporary with vibrant palm leaf wallpaper and yellow French round back chairs. If you’re looking for a more imaginative and creative place to celebrate, you definitely “found” your venue.
Found Kitchen and Social House Capacity: 150 (seated) – 225 (standing)
Step inside the home of former Vice President Charles Gates Dawes for a truly memorable event. The Charles Dawes House is a National Historic Landmark designed in the French chateaux style. The interior showcases a Louis XVI-style parlor and a dining room that integrates elements of English Renaissance Revival styles. Marble mantle pieces, ornamental plasterwork, and a spacious balustered oak stairway in the great hall all bring the grandeur of the past to your contemporary gala. Winter weddings are made extra spectacular with holiday decorations from December 1 to January 3.
Charles Dawes Gates House Capacity: 70 (seated) – 150+ (standing)
The Halim Time and Glass Museum will transport guests into another time with its exquisite stained glass windows and historic timepieces. Permanent exhibits include The Louis Comfort Tiffany Gallery, the American Stained Glass Masters, and Clocks of the World. Every event space is a work of art on its own at this exceptional venue. The Wisteria Room captures the imagination with its masterful stained glass dome, Tiffany landscape and portrait windows. The Treasures of Tiffany Gallery is home to a wide assortment of masterpieces by Louis Comfort Tiffany while the Garden Room also thrills with ethereal stained glass. Take in impressive views of downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan from the Rooftop Garden. The rooftop space is perfect for evening receptions and dancing under the stars. No matter which event space you choose, your wedding is sure to be a work of art.
Halim Time and Glass Museum Capacity: 250 (seated) – 380 (standing)
Copper and Caviar is a new loft space located in Evanston’s Hill Art District. Large skylights, original wood beams, and a restored barn door add rustic charm to this modernized loft. From private dinners to larger cocktail receptions, Copper and Caviar will wow with its unique decor. We especially love the exposed brick walls allowing for projection mapped backdrops. The state of the art chef’s kitchen ensures superb catering as well.
Copper and Caviar Capacity: 80 (seated) – 150 (standing)
Go beyond traditional hotels and restaurants with this truly unique event venue. SPACE is a live music hall and recording studio that brings some of the best talent to Evanston, Illinois. State-of-the-art lighting, a professional sound system, and flexible set up distinguish this well-equipped venue and promise a night of unparalleled entertainment. Versatile lighting options include adjustable lighting, party lights, and a disco ball. Stage and top-of-the-line microphones take dancing and speeches to the next level. Looking for craft cocktails and delicious dinners? Enjoy a fully-stocked bar and tasteful catering from Union Pizzeria.
SPACE Capacity: 120 (seated) – 200 (standing)
Evanston Golf Club
Evanston Golf Club spans over 150 acres across Chicago’s historic North Shore. This exclusive club rents out its clubhouse for private events, so even non-members can enjoy this gorgeous event space. Its clubhouse boasts vaulted ceilings, while the spacious patio overlooks a world-class golf course. Delectable cuisine and fine wines distinguish this deluxe spot from other venues. The staff at Evanston Golf Club will also coordinate your entertainment, florals, linens and photographer so you can focus solely on enjoying your big day.
Evanston Golf Club Capacity: Up to 300
Combining fine cuisine and five chic event spaces, Hearth Restaurant is one of the hottest venues just north of Chicago. Located in the Homestead, a historic hotel, this contemporary restaurant features seasonal ingredients and sustainable food practices. Rent out the entire restaurant for a large lavish affair or take advantage of one of the eclectic dining rooms for a more intimate gathering. The main dining room provides banquet seating and rustic fireside dining. Smaller groups will love the upscale Lounge with its dark wooden bar and modern leather chairs. The terrace is bright with large windows and white brick walls. Don’t leave without taking a few photographs in the elegant Library where Cherrywood bookcases and vibrant red walls make for a regal but romantic setting perfect for more artistic portraits.
Library Capacity: Up to 14
Terrace Capacity: Up to 24
The Lounge Capacity: 30 (seated) – 50 (standing)
Main Dining Room Capacity: Up to 50
The Stained Glass
The Stained Glass is a stylish wine bar and bistro where dining takes center stage. Choose from several food and beverage menus, or mix and match to personalize your dining experience. Special dietary needs are easily accommodated. The staff is also happy to arrange extra amenities such as florals, valet service, special linens, and music so you can experience stress-free event planning. Exposed wood beam paneled ceilings, bricks walls and suspended drum chandeliers create an industrial and inviting event space ideal for any intimate, romantic occasion.
The Stained Glass Capacity: 100 (seated) – 120 (standing)
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