After months of waiting for Humboldt Park to come through with the contract, it's finally official! We booked our place, signed the contract and paid our $500 deposit. We will officially tie the knot on October 9, 2010 and we now have a place to party it up properly after the ceremony.
So how this miracle finally happened? What did it finally take for us to lock it all in? Simple - We decided to chuck the Humboldt Park Fieldhouse idea and we're relocating the reception to the Logan Square Auditorium. (Psst: Pictures coming soon, I took a few on my phone but I don't have time to upload 'em).
Yesterday we met with potential caterers (a few folks with Honest Foods) to scope out Humboldt Park and map out some ideas about the rentals and layout. Once we finished, we popped in to check one last time and see if by some chance things had finally come together. No such luck. It still wasn't ready (through no fault of Neirda's, she is a super chill and pleasant lady to that is just waiting on the City of Chicago to get it's self together).
I guess that was sort of the breaking point on this. With less than a year until the wedding and no contract, we're getting increasingly nervous. They did promise to hold the date, but without a deposit or any sense of what the cost will be hiked up to, it doesn't seem smart to keep waiting. We've been asking since May and it's making it really hard to budget for everything else. I know, there are plenty of couples that get hitched in well under a year, but there are also hundreds of couples who book locations far in advance and with a limited budget in a big city where most venues run $5,000 and up for an empty space, it just seemed to risky to bank on a venue that still isn't ready.
We haven't completely given up on Humboldt Park though. We still plan to host the ceremony at the Humboldt Park boathouse, (if things get too crazy with the wait on that, at least it's just an hour event and there are other parks in the city) and in some ways that works out better than the boathouse/fieldhouse situation. If you're livin' around Logan Square or considering a wedding/event over there, here's a couple notes on the auditorium:
$3,275 is the cost for a Saturday rental (if you're planning a Friday night gig, you'll save yourself $500 but with so many out-of-towners this wasn't something we could consider).
Security, chairs and tables (includes 60 inch rounds, high boys and low tables), ice, soda, a sound technician and amp/stage equipment are included in the $3,275.
With all the sound equipment access, booking a DJ with a lot of talent but not a lot of gear may be easier.
You can choose to buy your own alcohol or buy it through the venue if you'd like.
You can bring your own bartenders through your caterer or pay for their bartenders.
You can choose any caterer you'd like as long as they sign a certification with the venue (pretty standard, but the choosing who you want isn't so standard).
The venue can fit 350 people normally, and we had the luck of seeing a wedding being set up for late this evening. The couple was having 208 guests, and was able to fit 26 large rounds, 14 low boys, buffet food tables, the head table and ample dance space.
The closer bathrooms and kitchen space are being updated and will be finished by the time we have our wedding next year.
It's right off the Logan Square blue line stop and Milwaukee bus route (a big plus for city-livin' guests).
It ties into our idea for the flyer-style wedding invite pretty nicely.
The only really big concern for us is the wheelchair accessibility (there isn't any). There is also no service elevator, so everything has to be hiked up some stairs. Bands do it plenty of time for shows and with the tables and chairs already available on-site, at least it's a few less things to haul. Still, we have some family members who might struggle with the lack of elevator situation. I checked in with family to make sure they are comfortable with it because I'd had to sign up somewhere and have people not come for that reason. It seems like we'll be okay...
Also, a lot of people complain about the sound system for rock shows. Johnny and I have both been to concerts there and while we agree it's not our location of choice for shows (the sound bounced off the walls as sound tends to do in large, gym-like spaces) it's a wedding. We will have to double check it's all on the up-and-up, but I think we can work with it.
We're getting married! With an actual space to have the party and everything. Whew, finally!