From start to finish our experience with Walden chicago was top notch, easy, professional yet relatable, and unique. Book this Chicago wedding venue, planning team and catering service as a unit...

That is right! If you book Walden chicago as your venue, the Plum & Ivy planning team and Real Kitchen catering team is included.


From start to finish our experience with Walden chicago was top notch, easy, professional yet relatable, and unique. The service, the food, the drinks, the décor and design, the layout, the planners, and staff were all the best in the business.

Food & Drink

Having Real Kitchen (Thanks, Nick!) onsite in their home kitchen makes a huge difference when it comes to serving mass wedding food. We had numerous people tell us and our parents that it was the best meal they’ve “ever had at a wedding in their lives”, and some said, “the best short rib they’ve ever had, period”. Each dish was served as you would expect to get it at a fine dining restaurant. The chefs are extremely tuned into dietary restrictions and allergies as well; my friend has more than you can count so they made her an individual vegan meal that wasn’t even on the menu. Talk about hospitality! Normally when you are at weddings, you get slim options at the bar, or must go with the standard liquor/chaser mixes. Not here!! Matt is a genius when it comes to selecting cocktails, beers and wines. We had margaritas, bees knees, Moscow mules, old fashions and two signature drinks (that we requested from our time in Hawaii) ON TAP. The Walden is environmentally conscious which is amazing, but also the wait time at the bar is near-none since all they must do is pull the lever. The prep work is done in advance, ready to serve the guests quickly. The bar was absolutely the star of the cocktail hour and competed with the reception food! I have never seen so many people so excited to try cocktails. They were all outstanding, and guests were saying that they couldn’t even pick their favorite.

Decor & Extra Offerings

On top of the priority services, Walden comes through with thoughtful touches based on their historical experience at and planning weddings. They’ve created a gorgeous onsite “getting ready” room complete with large mirrors, many outlets for hair tools, a bathroom/shower and plenty of seating. The décor makes for great photos with your bridal party in the morning! They’ve also added a mother’s room with a code to enter and refrigerator for your guests who need it – a service that I received many thanks on! They have extra décor on hand available for your use – An arch for your ceremony, a card box for your gifts table and more. Not to mention the tables, chairs, and dishware they chose is perfect. No need to “upgrade”. You will be in awe by their standard offering. Plus, there is a locker you can drop off your goods at days before the wedding and pick up everything left days after the wedding. This way, you can carry on your wedding night without worrying about the pickup!

Planning & Execution

The all-inclusive offer Walden brings to the table, unlike other venues (and we looked at 11!), is unmatched. Even for a bride who is extremely type A and loves planning, having everything under one roof was an unknown blessing. I didn’t need to organize a single chair, linen, napkin, or table to be brought in. Everything was already available at the venue or coordinated for delivery by the Walden wedding planners. Yes, included in your venue fees comes a FULL-SERVICE wedding planner. I did not realize how valuable this was until going through the process. Not only do you get a main planner, but you have an army of dedicated and knowledgeable planners there for you – shout out to Erika, Maria & more! They know more than you could imagine, help you work through decisions, are extremely helpful and professional but also relatable. I was never nervous to ask a question, or hesitant to push back. They made the whole process (before and after) feel like friends planning a party.

Venue Design & Location

If you are looking for a modern or industrial or farm-house or contemporary or art decor venue, this is your place to make it happen. The beauty of Walden is that with a few simple decorations, you can turn it into your dream “style”. It is a fabulous place to photograph and, therefore, our wedding pictures turned out amazing. It is stunningly designed and pays off in not needing a ton of extra money spent on decor. Investing in floral for the tables + lighting for the reception ceiling is about all you need to make it wedding-ready. Whatever else you want to add will just escalate it!! The venue is in West Town, a quick 12 minute drive from West Loop, The Loop or River North, where many of the popular hotel and churches reside. It is connected to a popular, and very good, brewery called Midwest Coast, where guests can hang out if you have time in between your ceremony and cocktail hour. The set-up is just too good. We received many guest compliments on the logistics and ease of our day.

10 / 10 Rating

Let me just end by saying, I planned majority of the wedding without my husband, as we both agreed that was best! When he saw where the money, time and energy went, he was blown away; “I would do it all over again after experiencing this, and seeing how well it was planned and executed”. Thank you to the Walden for giving us memories we will always cherish.

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