Nestled 15 miles north of downtown Chicago, The World’s Largest Village is known for its endless bounty of fine dining, vibrant arts culture, lush parks, and exquisite shopping. Skokie is also home to a bevy of well-appointed events venues, making it a godsend for couples hoping to throw the wedding of their dreams.
Choosing the suitable space for your wedding is bound to be the most crucial decision when crafting your big day. Your choice of location will undoubtedly set the tone for your special day, so selecting the absolute best wedding venue in Skokie is imperative.
From farmhouses and golf courses to traditional churches and banquet halls, Skokie has hundreds of fantastic wedding venues from which to choose, making your search for the perfect spot still more challenging.
To help you navigate this all-important decision, we’ve done the legwork and put together a list of the best wedding venues in Skokie. Whether you want a small intimate affair with close friends and family or a lavish wedding with hundreds of guests, we’ve got a selection to please every couple.
What is Skokie Known For?
The venue you pick for your wedding will loom large in the memories you will fondly revisit long after your special day is over, so you might want to know a little more about the location. You want a place that will hold some sentimental value for you both for years to come.
Thankfully, the village of Skokie ticks all the right boxes when it comes to historical heritage, serene ambiance, and cultural diversity. Its colorful history dates back to the early 1800s when a Prussian immigrant named Henry Harms carved out an enchanting settlement from a swampy and forested land teeming with deer, fox, wildcat, and buffalo.
Founding father Harms became the village’s first postmaster, first merchant, and the founder of multiple school districts in the Niles Township. You can vist his third and final home, which is maintained by the Skokie Park District.
In the early 1900s, Skokie became famous for its sprawling vegetable farms, saloons, and greenhouses. Economic growth and stability came knocking on the door when the Chicago and North Western railroad was constructed in 1903, providing village residents with access to downtown Chicago. The opening of Skokie’s first bank four years later marked another major milestone for the village.
Skokie got its first tarmac road (now Church Street) in 1933. It was the first paved concrete road outside of Chicago at the time. These developments spurred rapid growth in both real estate and population, so much so that Skokie came to be referred to as “The World’s Largest Village.”
What’s even more fascinating is that the real estate market in Skokie continued to boom despite the devastating effects of the Great Depression. Not only that but new school districts, civic institutions, churches, and more were established in spite of the harsh economic times. That demonstrates the resilience of the Village of Skokie and its spirited residents.
After the Second World War, Skokie went from strength to strength. Single-family dwellings flourished and the population more than doubled from 1940 through 1950. The village you see today rose from these strong roots to become one of the most economically progressive and culturally diverse communities in Cook County.
With a population of close to 65,000, the Village of Skokie has plenty to offer residents, couples, and guests. Some highlights include:
Eventful parks – Given its swamp and forest heritage, the Village of Skokie plays host to more than 44 parks and even more facilities managed by the Skokie Park District. These parks offer much to see and experience, including biking/running/hiking trails, camps, picnic areas, pools, playtime parks, and much more. Something will surely delight everyone on your invite list.
Vibrant arts cultural scene – If your guests enjoy cultural arts, museums, and related programs, then Skokie has got you covered. You can experience a vast range of arts and culture programming from theater and Circus Arts. Spots you don’t want to miss include Miishkooki Gallery, Sculpture Park, Skokie Theater, and North Shore Center for the Performing Arts.
Exquisite dining opportunities –134 (and counting) restaurants offer award-winning ethnic and fine dining. Whether your guests have a taste for Mexican empanadas, Michelin-starred Japanese steakhouse dishes, or anything in between, you can find it all here.
Shop ‘til you drop – We’re not kidding! Skokie is a shopping haven with excellent shops at the Village Crossing, Westfield/Old Orchard, and Downtown Skokie. Plenty of shopping action will keep your guests engaged, so you can focus on fine-tuning the final details of your wedding.
It’s close to downtown Chicago! – That will count for something, especially when you are arranging to get hundreds of people to and around your wedding venue in Skokie.
Skokie is known for offering an urban convenience blended perfectly with a suburban lifestyle and a laidback vibe. What more could you ask of a wedding location?
What is the best month to get married in Skokie?
The best month to get married in Skokie is either September or October. More specifically, the perfect time to have a traditional wedding in Skokie is either the first weekend of October or the last weekend of September.
The weather in Skokie is lovely and pleasantly warm or cool during the autumn months of September and October. Gorgeous fall foliage in the background is just perfect for an outdoor wedding ceremony or reception party.
In our humble opinion, September is possibly the most suitable month for an outdoorsy wedding because this time of the year in Skokie is on the verge of the end of summer. Your guests will still enjoy the summery vibe, yet you can incorporate some fall thematic elements to create a truly memorable and transitional wedding.
Early October is an excellent time for an outdoor or semi-outdoor wedding, too. It’s neither too cold nor too hot since it hasn’t started snowing yet. Who can say ‘no’ to the beautiful fall colors dotting all of Skokie? For this reason, we recommend booking the best wedding venue in Skokie at your price that is replete with an abundance of trees and greenery.
Of course, the ideal month to get married eventually boils down to your personal preference, the style of wedding you’re planning, and the venue.
Is 100 people considered a small wedding?
The number of guests is definitely one of the most important contributing factors to consider when choosing the best venue for your Skokie wedding. The last thing you want is a wedding that’s too large or too small for the venue’s space.
If the number is too small for the venue, the guests will get the feeling your wedding is under-attended. The other way around will make your wedding seem stuffy or overcrowded. Neither scenario will play out well, especially in the minds of your guests.
What constitutes a small wedding? How many guests should you invite — 20? 50? 100? As it turns out, pretty standard estimates of the number of guests are associated with each size wedding:
- Small – If you invite 50 or fewer guests, then you’re planning a small wedding. Although the number of guests may vary slightly depending on whom you ask, this figure is definitely in the small wedding ballpark.
- Medium – Traditionally, a medium wedding is attended by 50 to 150 guests. Of course, if your family tends to throw 250-person get-togethers, then a wedding with 100 guests might feel small to you.
- Large – A large wedding typically involves 150 or more guests. However, a reception with around 100 people might seem large for someone who has only attended small weddings.
With that in mind, how do you choose which size wedding is right for you? Multiple considerations come into play when preparing the guestlist for a wedding. Perhaps the most important factor is your wedding budget.
The budget will affect your wedding in two ways:
1) It plays an essential role in crafting your guest list;
2) It decides what kind of wedding you will have.
For instance, a large budget of around $70,000 means that you can invite more guests. Alternatively, a small or medium-sized wedding can give you more flexibility when it comes to the venue, catering, decorations, entertainment, and so on.
Another factor is the number of must-invite people, such as members of your immediate family. If that number is 100, your choice is to have either a medium or a large wedding. If you have an eye on a particular wedding venue in Skokie, its capacity will ultimately influence the size of your guest list.
How much does a wedding in Skokie cost?
The average cost of a wedding in Skokie hovers between $17,109 and $28,515, according to a recent wedding cost study carried out by CostofWedding.com. This is what you should expect to pay for the umbrella cost of your Skokie wedding. The average wedding cost covers everything from the venue, vendors, and rentals to wedding rings, invitations, and anything else in between.
The good news is that Skokie’s average cost of a wedding is significantly lower than the national average of $33,931. Even so, vendor pricing and actual spending can vary greatly, so it pays to do a little research on all options available to you. It would also be best to select wedding services, vendors, and products with rates that best match your specific needs and budget.
Here’s a detailed breakdown of the cost of a wedding held in Skokie:
Invitations – The average price of wedding invitations in Skokie is $376, based on the cost of ordering, processing, and mailing invitations and related materials. These can include a guest book, postage, reception menus, engagement announcements, ceremony programs, reply cards, thank-you cards, place cards, table name cards, and save-a-date cards.
Attire and accessories – You should spend an average of $805, which chunks down to $96 – $160 on dress accessories; $69 – $115 on the veil or headpiece; $129 – $215 on tuxedo/suit rental or purchase, and $755 – $1,258 on the wedding gown.
Figuring the proper budget for your wedding is no easy assignment. How much you spend on your wedding will depend heavily on the size of your guest list and the extravagance of your reception and ceremony on your special day.
Beauty and spa – Wedding hairstyling, makeup, manicure, and pedicure services should run you an average of $64 in Skokie.
Flowers and decoration – Ceremony decorations, boutonnieres, corsages, bridal bouquets, flower arrangements, reception décor, table centerpieces, and other floral decorations in Skokie will set you back an average of $817.
Jewelry – Traditional wedding rings in Skokie cost somewhere between $2,163 and $3,605. If you opt for a high-end designer ring (Why not, right?), you should expect to cough up between $4,326 and $5,768 or more for it. Wedding bands are priced at between $789 and $1,315 in Skokie.
Photography – Expect to spend $1,466 on wedding videography and photography, on average. A wedding videographer tends to be more costly than a photographer, asking for an average of $716 – $1,193.
Wedding planning – The average rate when hiring a wedding planner in Skokie is $869, but the actual pricing varies depending on the kind of wedding planning services you require. If you’re only looking for help getting started, you can usually hire a wedding planner part-time for an average of $599 – $998. A La Carte Services and Day-of Coordinator cost far more at $700 – $1,166 and $608 – $1,013, respectively.
Wedding logistics – The average going rate for wedding limo rental in Skokie staggers between $323 and $539. Other means of wedding transportation usually cost between $321 and $535
Catering, venue, and rentals – Expect to spend an average of $6,337 on wedding rentals, catering, and venue. These include reception and ceremony rentals, bar service, food service, ceremony officiator, accessories, and much more. On average, wedding venues in Skokie cost between $3042 and $5069 – what you can expect to pay for both the reception venue ($2,228 – $3,713) and ceremony location ($814 – $1,356).
Wedding favors and gifts are a cost factor that most couples forget to budget for until the last minute. The average cost of wedding favors, tips, gifts for parents, and gifts for attendants is $324.
These are average costs. How much you actually spend will depend on a number of key factors, including:
- Guestlist size: On average, couples in Skokie host between 127 and 147 wedding guests at the cost of between $150 and $183 per head. That means a small wedding with 50 people will set you back at around $8,300. A large wedding of $150 guests will cost more than triple that amount at approximately $25,000.
- Type of venue: You will come across a wide range of wedding venues in Skokie, including banquet halls, manor houses, historic sites, hotels, and churches, just to mention a few. The rates vary considerably, depending on the type of wedding venue.
- Time of year: Everyone is gunning for a slot during the peak wedding season between June and September. That can dramatically drive up asking rates for wedding venues in Skokie. Booking a venue for a weekend wedding is undoubtedly more expensive than a weekday affair.
- Type of reception and catering options: Will you have a lavish 5-course dinner or settle for a brunch buffet? If you are hosting a cocktail hour or an open bar, you can expect prices to pile up.
Other factors include the entertainment you opt for, type of furniture rental, and time of day your wedding will be held.
What is the most expensive part of a wedding?
The most expensive part of your big day is poised to be the cost associated with the wedding venue in Skokie, which may account for up to around half of your overall budget. This part of your wedding budget usually includes the cost of hiring caterers for bar and food service and renting catering materials like dinnerware, chairs, and tables. It may also include the wedding cake.
How far away is Skokie from Chicago?
Skokie is located 15 miles north of Chicago’s downtown. It’s easy to get to and around the Village of Skokie. The most common transport options include:
By train: The average journey time by Metra between Skokie and Chicago is roughly 20 minutes. The fastest train covers this distance in around 17 minutes. Trains operated by Metra depart from Main Street in Skokie and arrive in Chicago’s Ogilvie Transportation Center.
Subway + bus: If you’re looking for the cheapest way to get to Skokie from Chicago, take the Red Line ‘el’ from the Jackson to the Howard station, then switch to the bus from the Howard CTA Station to Crawford Ave & Main St. Unfortunately, your journey will take 80+ minutes.
Bus: Take the M & M Shuttle from Ogilvie Transportation Center to Evanston High School for a more direct bus route. It’s an on-demand bus service, and the journey will last around 20 minutes.
Drive: If you’re driving from Chicago to Skokie, expect to drive for roughly 17 minutes.
Taxi: A taxi trip to Skokie will also last around 17-20 minutes. You should expect to pay between $45 and $60 for the taxi cab. The best-known taxi companies plying this route include Yellow Cab Chicago, Flash Cab, and Checker Taxi.
Of course, you can also take an Uber or Lyft ride-hailing service. Some of the best wedding venues in Skokie also offer shuttle services for your guests.
What are the most popular types of wedding venues in Skokie?
Skokie wedding venues come in all shapes and sizes. They include:
Hotels – If you’re planning to host many out-of-town guests, throwing your wedding at a hotel venue might be the best option. With everyone staying on-site, there is no worry about the hassles associated with transportation. The best hotel wedding venues in Skokie have a wide range of event spaces and ballrooms, so they’re perfect for every aspect of your big day — from the rehearsal dinner to the reception.
House of worship – Skokie has many beautiful churches, synagogues, and other houses of worship. They are perfect for a couple who want to hold a religious wedding ceremony. Some offer a space for the reception, too.
Banquet halls – Banquet halls are a wedding venue staple across America, and Skokie is no different. These halls are great for larger weddings.
Garden/park venues – If your dream is to get hitched outdoors, then choosing one of Skokie’s garden or park wedding venues will do the trick.
Barn/ Farm – Borrowing a leaf from its past farming history, Skokie offers a stunning selection of farm and barnyard wedding venues. They’re ideal for couples planning a rustic wedding with opportunities for jaw-dropping pics.
Mansions – If you wish to add a vintage vibe to your wedding, you can’t go wrong with a mansion or historic home as the venue for your ceremony, reception, or both.
Restaurant – A restaurant can be a picture-perfect venue for couples who consider themselves foodies. Besides, your guests will get to sample top-notch food!
Country/golf club – Skokie’s country golf courses make for stunning wedding venues. They boast spacious indoor and well-appointed outdoor spaces.