#McMillion Wedding: Picking the venue(s)

by Emily McFarlan Miller

Joel and I will be married a year this month. It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. At the same time, I can’t believe we’ve condensed everything that’s happened since into 365 days — not even! Needless to say, I’ve been thinking about all those things, all those other things we’ve learned and the party that started it all. And while the marriage part is the most important (and I have the privilege of sharing some of that now on Start Marriage Right), I thought I would share a little bit of the wedding part here this month.

Enjoy the wedding. Love the marriage.

The first two things I asked Joel after he asked me to marry him were, “How soon do you want to get married?” and, “How involved to you want to be in planning the wedding?”

His answers: “As soon as possible,” and, “Not very.”

And yet the next time I was at his apartment, just a few days later, he already had created a wedding bookmarks folder on his computer and wanted to show me possible reception venues. We talked about the Chicago Cultural Center, Newberry Library and Chicago Stock Exchange Trading Room at the Art Institute of Chicago (too big and fancy for an intimate, casual event); The Publican, available for a Saturday brunch wedding (too early); and Promontory Point,  a Chicago Park District fieldhouse in Burnham Park, along Lake Michigan (juuust right).

Like I said before, Promontory Point had us at “fire pit.” Also, “turret.” It was the only reception venue we visited. It can be a little hard to find, but we printed directions to Burnham Park for everybody at the ceremony. And we made signs for the walkway through the park.

That pretty much decided the size of our wedding (fewer than 150 people) and the date (a Sunday in May… one of the few days left open in 2011). Luckily, the date also helped control that size: Not everybody could attend an adult-only event on a Sunday night in Chicago.

There never was any question we would get married at our church, Covenant Presbyterian Church of Chicago. It’s our church! It’s our city! And it’s beautiful!

Read all posts in the “#McMillion Wedding” series here.

Wedding venue: Covenant Presbyterian Church of Chicago.
Reception venue: Promontory Point, Chicago. 

Photo credit: All wedding photos by the incomparable Shauna Bittle. Squiggles divider by IROCKSOWHAT.