There is nothing more wonderful than getting married to the person we love. And saying ‘I do’ at a gorgeous place makes this even more aesthetic and memorable. And if the place you choose to tie the knot is located in Illinois then the plenty of down-home Midwestern charm and a sparkling urban landscape of Illinois work as an icing on the cake. From a quiet waterfront union to a rustic barn party to an elegant celebration in a world-class luxury hotel, no matter what your wedding visions are, Illinois can make them true in its gorgeous cities like Chicago. Do not get me started on the reasons why lovers choose the Windy City to celebrate the happiest day of their lives. America’s third coast, home to 2.7 million people, and one of the most romantic destinations in the world, Chicago has no shortage of incredible wedding venues. The Windy City has witnessed millions of love stories and has gifted everything beautiful to its couples it has in its store. While making the most of its nature-made as well as man-made monuments in their wedding photography the couples love to bask in the charm that spills off its natural phenomena from mesmerizing sunsets and sunrises to majestic lakes to the glimmering skyline at night. Home to the bold breeze and enchanting weather, Chicago is a feast for all your senses. City? Ticked with Chicago... Venue type? Ticked with hotel and Venue? Tick… wait until you read this page...
Why The Drake Hotel?
Only if you know the benefits of hosting weddings in a hotel wedding venue and if you’re looking for genuine urban-regal charm in Chicago, visit Chicago’s magnificent hotel- The Drake. Established in 1920, The Drake Hotel is one of the trendiest wedding venues in Chicago. Sitting near the Oak Street Beach in the heart of Chicago, The Drake Hotel offers the perfect esteemed venue for your wedding celebrations. The aesthetic of the venue is defined by its architecturally unique design inspired by the Italian Renaissance style. From the lobby to the rooms, every space has elegance and grandeur written all over it. And the cherry on the cake is the panoramic windows that bring striking views of Lake Michigan- not to mention one of the most spectacular backdrops for your Chicago wedding photography. It is a pleasure capturing the bride and groom with their bridal party and family against the majestic Michigan Lake views for our Chicago wedding photographers. Also, clicking romantic couple photos of the newly-married couple against the iconic Chicago skyline is something when they love the most when at The Drake hotel. Yes, the other side of the hotel is adorned with the views of Chicago’s idyllic skyline- remarkably astounding! One of the greatest advantages of having your wedding celebration in this ballroom is that your wedding guests will be able to relish the gorgeous views of iconic Chicago buildings and Lake Michigan while savoring the celebration inside! The hotel provides the best of both worlds to our Chicago suburbs wedding photographers as well as couples and their guests to relish on the big day. Imagine the awe-inspiring wedding photos that our Chicago wedding photographer will create on the grounds of this gorgeous hotel wedding venue in Chicago!
History- In A Nutshell
The Drake Hotel you see today is the result of restoration done by Hilton International in 1980 after it acquired the estate keeping its former glory in mind. We love how the accommodations of the hotel fit today’s high society while offering the grandeur of the past. Conceptualized by famed architect Benjamin Howard Marshall and financed by John B. Drake and Tracy Corey Drake, The Drake Hotel opened its doors on New Year’s Eve of 1920 to 2,000 of Chicago’s most distinguished citizens. Throughout the roaring twenties The Drake became high-society’s first choice in opulence. The Fountain Court, now known as the Palm Court, hosted Chicago's social elite daily for tea—a continuing tradition at The Drake. The popularity of the illustrious urban resort continued to rise well into the 1930s seemingly unaffected by the crash of 1929. Icons such as Bing Crosby, Walt Disney, George Gershwin, and Charles Lindbergh could be seen sipping a cocktail and listening to Herbie Kay in The Gold Coast Room.
In 1932 the Cape Cod Room became Chicago’s first choice for fresh fish and seafood and the nation’s first themed restaurant. Twenty years later, seen laughing over drinks, newlyweds Marilyn Monroe and Joe Dimaggio would carve their iconic initials into the bar’s world famous wooden counter. On December 6th, 1933, the day after prohibition was repealed, Coq d’Or opened to the favor of thirsty patrons eager to purchase a 40 cent whiskey. In the 1940s it became a local hangout for reporters, politicians, and even some notorious characters, though it never lost the true Chicago crowd. In 1940, The Drake sign was illuminated solidifying the hotel’s rightful place in the most internationally recognized skyline. The 40s proved to be a decade of colossal change, both at The Drake and around the world. The Palm Court changed seasonally to accommodate the changing palate of the sophisticated patrons. In the winter, to set the holiday tone, the fountain was replaced with a 2,000-pound fireplace. In the summer, to get the cool lake breeze, the ceiling was open and the fountain was filled with fresh water. Throughout the 50s and 60s the political and social climate of Chicago was evolving and The Drake was inclined to develop alongside the city. By the 1970s the John Hancock Center towered over The Drake, providing a frame of evolution for the half-century hotel. Though The Drake has progressed both architecturally and technologically, the roots of The Drake Hotel run deep beneath Lake Shore Drive into Real Chicago.This 1920 Beaux Arts beauty is a Chicago icon that's been named one of the Historic Hotels of America.
Event Spaces at The Drake
Offering the grandeur of the past and the charm of the present at the same time, The Drake hotel celebrates your wedding and wedding-related events like rehearsal dinner, bridal shower, cocktail hour, engagement and other special events in the comfort of the past! Boasting 535 luxurious guest rooms and 74 magnificently appointed suites including high capacity rooms comprising almost 21,000 square feet, a palm court and two grand ballrooms with a beautiful lobby, The Drake, a Hilton Hotel, can accommodate any kind of wedding with any guest list size.
Gold Coast Ballroom: The largest and the most beautiful ballroom of The Drake can accommodate up to 900 guests on its glorious 6,838 square foot space. This room looks straight from Cinderella’s storybook. Overlooking Lake Michigan, this alluring ceremony space renders endless photo opportunities to our Chicago wedding photographers to capture your wedding photos in the most gorgeous frames. The scenic beauty of the outside views make this already dazzling place even more gorgeous and picture-perfect for your wedding photos. Every nook and cranny of this gilded piece of beauty calls for breathtaking wedding photography. At nearly the same size as Buckingham Palace's Ballroom, The Drake's Gold Coast Ballroom is perfect for any regal occasion. From charming pillars, to cosmic chandeliers, to lovely draperies, to elegant furniture and wonderful centerpieces to everything you see in the room is placed thoughtfully to accentuate the beauty of your once-in-a-lifetime event. Add some flowers and you feel like you're in a fairy tale! While exchanging vows here you will feel as if you have been taken to another world. This is just one gem in the crown let’s have a look at others.
Grand Ballroom: Originally built in the roaring twenties for The Charleston craze, the Grand Ballroom features a ravishing floor that is literally decked up to put a spring in your step. The Grand Ballrooms luxuriously appointed 5,214 square foot interior is akin to walking into history—modernized. Overlooking Walton Street, the Grand Ballroom is outfitted for a live band and second story photography—a spacious setting for an intimate wedding. Their event manager would love to help you regarding specific event space and capacities with a dance floor. The hand-crafted ceilings, columns, and crystal chandeliers offer plenty of photo ops to our Chicago wedding photographers to capture bride and groom and their loved ones in the most artistic frames!
French Room: Originally French Restaurant has gone through numerous alterations over the years to become today’s French Room. The Drake Hotel’s most intimate ballroom, French Room boasts hand-crafted ceiling and hand-painted column molding complementing the silk wall coverings, crystal-basket ceiling chandeliers, satin damask draperies, and custom carpet, which make for a mid-blowing ambiance for your ceremonies and ceremony photography. Situated directly next to the Gold Coast Ballroom, French Room features the same arresting views of Lake Michigan and Oak Street Beach. Beautifully covered in elegant wall molding that draws your eyes up to chandelier lighting, French Room can host up to 198 guests for your ceremony and 350 people for reception with seating capacity of 50-260 loved ones.
Camellia Room: Formerly known as the Drake Bros.’, Chicago’s Gold Coast hotel dining room overlooking the Magnificent Mile and the lakefront, has been renovated and renamed the Camellia Room. With room space to accommodate up to 200 guests, the banquet space is now available to reserve from intimate to midsize events. Remodeled by Diane Rostenkowski (Designer with Concept Group Interiors), the Camellia Room takes inspiration from The Camellia House, which was the hotel's internationally renowned Supper Club, circa 1940 to 1977. The refresh maintains the rooms’ historic architecture, while exuding a contemporary ambience. Embellished with trellis patterned wallcovering, crystal beaded chandeliers and wall sconces, decorative marble tile floor, ornate window treatments with beaded valance and tie backs, and an elegant floral lattice patterned carpet with a color palette of deep blues and golds, the event space is the ideal setting for grand and special occasions.
Bridal Suite: You can reserve Gold Coast Suite through their Hilton central reservation team to enjoy your getting-ready moments on your wedding day. This 900 sq. ft. Gold Coast Suite-cum-bridal suite boasts a Jacuzzi tub and separate shower, large king size bedroom and lake view parlor room with dining table and sofa sitting area. This suite is The Drake’s most popular bridal suite, however, may not be suitable for larger parties using it for hair and makeup and as a dressing room. However, the stunning dressing room has ample space to have fun with your besties cum bridesmaids and adorable siblings while getting dolled up for your groom. Have our Chicago suburbs wedding photographers do the getting-ready photo session, wedding dress photo session, and bridal portrait session. Also, it’s a great idea to have those emotional mother-daughter photos clicked here while your bridesmaids are busy prepping up themselves for your big day. Our wedding photographers in downtown Chicago make sure that they capture all the family moments and other must-have photos here for your wedding albums. They especially love to capture the expressions of your mother when she sees her little princess all decked up as a bride in the magnificent wedding gown!
Palm Court: Head inside to the vibrant lobby to add a grandiose feel to your Chicago wedding. The Palm Court affords a fascinating ornamentation- a perfect place to pose for some dazzling wedding photos. How about having your afternoon tea with your sweetheart- fresh, colorful, fragrant and steeped in history, at a place where Queen and Princess Diana have made their royal visits? Yes, Palm Court at The Drake, a Hilton Hotel, serving tea for nearly a century in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago, is the quintessential Magnificent Mile afternoon tea experience. No doubt, this site is the Magnificent Mile spot to see and be seen over afternoon tea for nearly 100 years. Palm Court is suitable for semi-private events and ideal for evening cocktail receptions, bridal or baby showers.
For Intimate Events: If your guest list is short with around 60 names on it, you can rent some of the smaller conference rooms at The Drake for your intimate wedding reception. And head to the Venetian Room which overlooks the lake for your cocktail hour followed by dinner and dancing in one of their larger conference rooms. If you think that the conference rooms wouldn't look as nice as the larger ballrooms, then don’t overthink. You’ll find everything so beautiful and appealing on its own in this room as well.
The Drake Sky Yard: Overlooking a bustling stretch of West Queen West, the Drake Sky Yard is a sun-soaked rooftop oasis perched above The Drake Hotel in the heart of downtown Toronto. The Sky Yard has been transformed into a lush, Marfa-inspired terrace featuring a mural by Toronto artist Louise Reimer. Plus, with locally-sourced food (made from scratch at Drake Commissary) + a slew of finely crafted cocktails, the Sky Yard is your spot for breezy late-night cocktails and sunny weekend brunches. Host your private events for up to 175 guests (non-exclusive reservations from 12-60 guests). Add-on Jumbo Jenga, Arcade Basketball, interactive cocktail workshops + more. It also has the back-up plan with covered space for up to 140 guests in the event of rain. Toronto’s identity is its diversity, having so many different cultures and various foods is its strength and something that we wanted to showcase and offer to the guests.
The Drake Hotel rises from the tree line streets of the city as a classic urban venue for a swanky wedding and reception. Steeped in early 19th-century historical charm, the Hotel creatively merges the past with the present with upgraded furnishings and decor. Designed with three unique spaces to tie the knot and celebrate, this venue can easily accommodate a substantial or limited guest list. The largest space available within the Hotel, the Gold Coast Room, is comparable in size to the ballroom within Buckingham Palace and features majestic views of Lake Michigan. An equally splendid space with a view of historic Walton Street, the Grand Ballroom features long reception tables and comfortable seating that frames an intimate ceremony space. For a sense of Chicago culture, select the French Room, which is beautifully covered in elegant wall molding that draws your eyes up to chandelier lighting. Regardless of which romantic space you choose, The Drake Hotel presents a style that is as timeless as your love. The food is great, and everything on the day of your event happens like clockwork.
From ceremony spaces to wedding menu to wedding decor to staff, The Drake is an incredible hotel wedding venue! You would only wish if you could relive your wedding day every day of your lives. The Catering Team at The Drake is so down to earth, personable, and thoughtful and works to make sure that everything looks beautiful, perfect, and delicious. The famous Drake champagne parade is memorable. Look no further than The Drake if you want to live your dream!
Whether you’re into a fun-filled wedding in the Underground or a more classic and formal outdoor affair in the Sky Yard, this place has it all. From the luscious food to the charming adornment, the wedding venue will have you and your guests smitten. Every nook and cranny of the hotel is as wonderful as it sounds. Looking into the Colossal Ballroom, the picturesque setting evokes the feeling of a regal yet comfortable indoor wedding. You can dance your night away with a royal ball feel while still being comfortable. Make your wedding unforgettable at The Drake Hotel, Chicago.
Colossus of the Midwest, Chicago has all the urban pleasures a couple could want. If you have not planned pre-wedding photoshoot or post-wedding photography sessions in Chicago yet, now is the time. Click here to know the top romantic things to do in Chicago with your sweetheart while posing for amazing couple photography. Take some time to roam around the property with your spouse and have some Instagram-worthy golden hour couple portraits by our Chicagoland wedding photographers. We love sunset shots and night photography of the newlyweds smitten in love!
The months’ wedding planning contracts into just one day and thousands of emotions into a wedding album. Kinda weird! Isn’t it? So why not get all the once-in-a-lifetime moments and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments of your most important day saved by the best photographers in Chicago and its suburbs? The George Street wedding photographers in Chicago suburbs make sure that you enter your happily-ever-after with a gorgeous collection of wedding pictures and a bag full of unforgettable memories. As they understand that the memories of your wedding day are the ones that never fade with time and stay close to your heart even after your memory gives in to your age. From all your firsts (besides ‘first look’ and ‘first dance’ we mean ‘first touch’ photography as well) to the final goodbye to your loved ones and everything that comes in between, the bits and pieces of your wedding day get saved into wedding albums for a lifetime that take you to the good’ ol days of your love story. The Drake Hotel and George Street Photo & Video make sure that the memories of your happiest day remain as gorgeous and fresh as the smile on a little kid’s face!
Have your love story documented at The Drake, a lakeshore landmark on East Walton Place in Chicago, and make it eternal like Cinderella’s story. On your wedding day not only you will be treated like a princess, but also the look and the feel of the ballroom will teleport you to the palace where she danced with her charming prince! May your love story continue forever...
140 E Walton Pl
Chicago, IL 60611