3 User photos
Suzannah Linnekin · Married on 08/17/2019
A beautiful venue inside and out
We chose the Cheney Mansion for several reasons- but one of the biggest reasons was the ability to have a beautiful day inside or outside, regardless of the weather. And boy were we glad we did when we woke up on our wedding day to a forecast of thunderstorms.
While the change in weather led to a few changes in our plan- the night was able to go off beautifully. And when the skies cleared and we wanted to move the rest of the party out to the patio, the Cheney Mansion staff handled that flawlessly as well. They were incredibly flexible down to the minute and we got the MOST compliments on our beautiful venue. Every room is stunning, and it makes everyone feel their fanciest.
We worked with Susan Crane, and could not have asked for a better experience.Sent on 08/27/2019
Krista · Married on 06/03/2017
We had our wedding ceremony and reception of around 70 guests at Cheney Mansion. The mansion is absolutely gorgeous, as are the grounds where we had the ceremony. Kakie was our coordinator throughout the process, and was always very patient with answering my million questions. Both Kakie and the manager Susan were present at our final walk through, rehearsal, and day of ceremony. They were great in making sure everyone was queued up for the ceremony and that the evening went smoothly. They've also changed some of the previous rules mentioned in the earlier reviews to be a bit looser. We have no complaints about our wedding, Cheney was perfect, the staff was excellent, and the pictures are so romantic.Sent on 08/15/2017
Jessica · Married on 08/01/2016
One week before our wedding day, the venue my fiance & I had picked out, fell through. I called Cheney Mansion last minute and was blown away by Kaki's eagerness to help us figure something out. We were able to have our ceremony AND reception here and it was SO much better than I could have ever hoped for! Cheney Mansion is GORGEOUS, laid back, unique, historic, great for pictures, and all around a stellar place to host an event. If you are considering using Cheney Mansion, GO FOR IT. It is definitely worth it.Sent on 08/25/2016
User4758232 · 2+ years ago
We had a wonderful consultation with the operations supervisor! The outside space is gorgeous, and I could easily see both a ceremony and reception being held out in the yard, patio, and even greenhouse area. The inside of the mansion itself was classy, beautiful, but a little unorthodox for a sit-down space as there are many rooms that can only hold a certain amount of people. The flow of the mansion definitely would work wonderfully for standing, mingling, and eating light finger/fork-only foods. BotSent on 05/29/2015
Mignon · Married on 05/21/2011
I had my wedding at the Cheney Mansion in May 2011. It is a beautiful venue and I couldn't be happier about how everything went. When you rent the mansion, you have the run of the whole place, including a lovely garden and patio. I think there has been a staff change since one of the older reviews because I didn't work with the person they named. The staff I encountered were knowledgeable, helpful and flexible. I had around 90 guests and the day before the wedding, was concerned we would have to move the entire event inside because of threats of rain. Cackie, the event planner was so kind and helpful and worked with me and my wedding planner to develop two plans, to be sure things went smoothly no matter what the weather. As it turns out, we did move everything inside, but because the weather cleared up we still did cocktails and pictures outside so it all worked out. On the day of the wedding they provided friendly and professional volunteers to assist guests, a great extra!Sent on 11/07/2011
From the perspective of the bride, groom, wedding planner and all vendors except the DJ - the Cheney Mansion was a beautiful venue with a friendly, helpful staff. Based on my experience with the DJ, I would make one recommendation. If you choose it for your wedding and want to use the third floor ballroom for dancing, hire one of their approved DJs or a company that will send someone out in advance to check out and approve the space.
Megan · Married on 05/14/2016
We received so many compliments on our wedding at the Cheney Mansion! We were looking for a unique venue where we could have both the ceremony and reception and the Cheney Mansion fit the bill. The house and grounds are gorgeous and the staff is friendly and accommodating. It's an historic home, so you do need to be willing to work with the home's unique layout and some reasonable restrictions (such as no dancing on the first floor if you have more than 80 guests), but that wasn't a problem for us. It's not exactly cheap, but the rental fee is very reasonable by Chicago standards.Sent on 10/22/2016
One thing I would have appreciated would have been more clear communication about what services are provided day of. Kaki and the rest of the staff really do help with a lot of day-of coordination -- assisting with set up, cueing the bridal party before the ceremony, etc. -- but that wasn't made clear to me until shortly before the wedding. It's a huge selling point and I'm not sure why they don't emphasize it! Also, the previous site manager retired a couple months before my wedding and no one bothered to let me know, so I had to chase someone down to confirm details once it came time to schedule a pre-ceremony walk-through and confirm other details, which was a bit annoying.
A few hiccups aside, I do strongly recommend this venue for brides looking for an elegant, vintage venue. Our guests loved having the chance to explore the home and gardens, our pictures are gorgeous, and the home has so many charming details that you don't need to do add a lot of extra decor to make it look beautiful. Plus, the home is owned by the Park District of Oak Park, so you're supporting a community organization and not a generic wedding factory, which is an added bonus.
Holly · Married on 09/10/2011
Cheney Mansion is a gorgeous venue, the website really doesn't do it justice, you must see the place for yourself. The staff was fabulous, easy to work with and very responsive.Sent on 09/19/2011
Being that it's a historic site owned by the village of Oak Park though, there are some rules you might not run into with other venues. I wouldn't think twice about having an event here, but be sure to lay out your plans very clearly and get approval from them. And use one of their approved caterers!!
Alyssa · Married on 03/05/2016
I can't imagine having my wedding reception anywhere else! The interiors here are so beautiful we didn't do any extra decoration. Because it's a historic house there are some restrictions on where you can bring/serve drinks, dance, and eat but for our small group there was plenty of space. The photographers got some really romantic shots in the green house even though it was cold and rainy that day. It's not the cheapst place, but chairs and tables are included and you get the run of the entire building for the evening. Be aware, they require an LOI for live musicians - this caused an issue for the people I hired and at one point the venue manager threatened to cancel them! That was our only issue with the whole experience.Sent on 03/15/2016
Marie · Married on 09/02/2012
I increase my rating because the mansion wrote back to me to explain (yelp). For you as the incoming bride (or groom, but let's be honest, you're probably the bride :) ), know that we loved our wedding day. We have no bitterness toward the mansion. We would have chosen it again any day. I also would have been more responsible and spelled out our schedule months in advance to the mansion and worked these details out sooner in writing. You should probably do this wherever you happen to have your wedding however - I just procrastinated.Sent on 10/28/2012
The venue is gorgeous. If you are planning an outdoor ceremony/dinner/dancing reception all in one place for less than 100 people, you cannot do better than Cheney. I think it would be ok in rainy weather too. Just get everything in writing, which is tough because they seem to have outdated paperwork and they prefer phones over email.
First, the bad. The basic price includes 5 hours, but for something like $300 more you get 6 hours (for us from 5-11pm). When we were picking times, this did NOT include catering clean-up time. However, on the day of, the Cheney staff shut the bar down at 10 and tried to stop the music then too but the DJ kept going for 30 more minutes (since that's what I paid him to do)! Hooray! This happened to a lot of other people on yelp and so I was sure to double check, even citing the yelp reviews. The caterer (Catered by Design - awesome group!!!) did end up refunding me for that half hour too so obviously I wasn't the only confused party.
This being said, and considering John San Juan (from Beep Media) saved the day, I wouldn't have changed anything. Our ceremony was beautiful outdoors and would've been cool inside too. We didn't really decorate anything except the mantle with some flowers. They provided chairs and tables. The Mansion is just lovely. It's way cooler than a hotel or a golf course AND it's owned by the park district so I felt like my money was going somewhere good.
Kim-Lan · Married on 09/20/2009
Cheney Mansion itself is stunning. Though my husband and I live in California and only get out to the Chicago area once a year, we still make time to swing by the mansion and bask in the memories of our wedding day. It's beautiful and has a lot of character. The interior is small and the layout is a bit awkward. I learned this the hard way when our ceremony, cocktail hour and dance floor that was arranged to be outside on the very well maintained grounds and in the garden go rained out...or rained in, I should say. Our wedding of 75 guests were forced to stay indoors the entire night with the thunderstorm going on outside. We were able to fit all the reception tables in the living room, the dance floor in the solarium, the bar in the garden room, and the ceremony in the library, but it was definitely a tight squeeze. I wouldn't recommend this venue with parties over 60-70 if you intend an only indoor event. The best part of this venue are the garden and lawn anyway. Thus, the three stars for Quality.Sent on 01/25/2011
The staff is what gets such low ratings. Linda was the event coordinator of Cheney Mansion and had been for 15 years when I met her. She was passive, rude, inflexible, careless, and inconsiderate. I'm a VERY friendly person and go out of my way to be polite and courteous, but I just couldn't click with Linda. It wasn't until after months of trying to get along with her and compromise on issues she had already agreed to before we signed the contract that I heard from my band, florist, caterer, photographer, AND wedding planner that other brides felt the same way about Linda and most of them refused to even speak with her. Even my caterer/wedding planner avoided speaking with her. To spare my sanity, my husband (super patient and diplomatic) decided to work with her directly to get our needs met. He, too, learned to loathe her! Both of us ended up regretting choosing Cheney Mansion based on the staff alone. The staff gave us so many problems up until the wedding day that even the head of our wedding band, who had worked with them before, stepped in to smooth things over.
I really, really hate to say it, but working with Linda is totally not worth having an event at the beautiful Cheney Mansion.
Cheney Mansion's reply:Please note that this event was 4 years ago. The new manager and staff have the highest customer service standards. There have been many changes and upgrades to the space since then. Please visit our website to see more.