FINDING OUR DREAM VENUE AT THE KNICKERBOCKER HOTEL
Finding a venue in Chicago was certainly a challenge with about 300 people on our guest list. We wanted a very open space that would be great for entertaining and got just that at the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel. Surprisingly though, it was not the first venue on our list.
We actually loved the Harold Washington Library "Winter Garden." It has a ton of light and was completely marble. So gorgeous. The only downfall was that we only pay for the room and everything else is left up to us to coordinate. Without wanting to hire a planner, I couldn't imagine how stressful that day would be if I needed to make sure everything was perfect.
We continued our search, and that's when we ended up at the Knickerbocker. Honestly- pictures don't do it justice. It was breathtaking, even without all the lighting and decorations. What's better is that when we met with the coordinator, he explained that they take care of EVERYTHING. The only thing we would have to do for the reception is hire the DJ/band and work with florists. This was the clear winner.
Once we signed the contracts, it was a little hard to get a timely response from the coordinator, but at the end of the day, all of our questions and concerns were addressed. They even scheduled a tasting with an outside (Indian) food vendor per our request. The Knickerbocker did a great job with the menus, table numbers, and table setup/plate settings. The venue itself is so gorgeous that aside from table decor, there wasn't any additional items we felt like we needed to bring in.
They even have a DJ booth on the balcony so that the ground floor is decluttered. At one point, my dad and his best friend were up on the balcony hyping up the whole crowd. It was amazing. We also had a photo booth station in the hallway. And the crowd went wild when it came to the "champagne parade." We had no idea what it was at first, but once it was mentioned we definitely scheduled in time for numerous waiters to parade in and pour everyone a glass simultaneously. We had "Hey Pachuco!" playing in the background and it was definitely one of the coolest parts of the evening!
The one item I could complain about would be the timing. We wanted everyone making their way to their seats at 7pm and to be seated and ready for our entry at 7:15pm. However when we arrived to the venue, people were still at cocktail hour. This wouldn't have been a huge deal if it didn't set back the rest of the timeline of the evening. So we ended up paying for an extra thirty minutes to stay at the venue and additionally had to pay the photographer and videographer to stay, as well.
Other than that though, you can see for yourself how stunning the 1920's ballroom is and how much fun we had that night. All the colors (both American and Indian dresses) came together with the venue and we have some really timeless memories and photos to treasure for the rest of our lives.