As I mentioned in my last post, Sol contacted a wedding coordinator at the Chicago Cultural Center a few days before he proposed. Though I’m not one of those girls who had her entire wedding planned since she was six years old (and come to think of it, Sol is not one of those girls either), we still enjoyed speculating from time to time about where we were going to get married and what the wedding might look like.
I wouldn’t say that we’re necessarily picky, but we wanted our reception venue to hold some sort of significance for us. We virtually browsed a bunch of Chicago venue locations, including the Newberry Library, the Harold Washington Library, the Art Institute, and the Adler Planetarium. Sol suggested the Shedd Aquarium, but I didn’t think I could get over the fishy smell. All of the websites for those venues had picture galleries full of gorgeous weddings, but we couldn’t agree on one. More accurately, we didn’t care enough about any of those venues to say yay or nay about one in particular.
My mom suggested that we look into the Union League Club of Chicago, which is a beautiful, historical social club in the downtown area. My father used to be a member there when my parents lived in Illinois, and my mom offered to renew their membership if we decided that ULCC was our first choice. We received a proposal, and besides the prohibitive cost, something didn’t feel right. The whole plan seemed like a million other weddings we’ve both been to (a lot more expensive, but too similar all the same); I think Sol summed it up perfectly when he took one look at the proposal and proclaimed that it was “bougie.” I’m not exactly sure how to spell that, but apparently it’s a sarcastic abbreviation of “bourgeois.”
When we stumbled upon the Chicago Cultural Center online, we were both immediately interested. Sol loves the ornate tiling and rotundas, and I love the fact that CCC is a public space with an amazing vibe that hosts poetry slams, art exhibits, and free concerts. The clincher for me was that the Chicago Cultural Center used to be Chicago’s main library, and the space in which our reception will be held has quotations about books embedded in the tiles. We met with Lara, the always friendly and receptive CCC wedding coordinator, and within a week, we had a contract.
The search for a reception venue was the first and second-to-last time that I researched options on my own, and I will now freely admit that it was a mistake. I’m not a person who can deal with a lot of options—I don’t have the time for it, and I get annoyed very easily. Even though we only physically visited one reception venue, it became clear that I was in over my head and needed help. To be continued.