21 total reviews
My husband and I had our ceremony and wedding reception here in December 2013 for ~ 250 guests. It's a large venue with beautiful architecture. When we first saw the place, they did have old carpet, but they told us it was going to be replaced in a few months, and we never saw it again (in its place is a pretty black and beige carpet). We visited a few other places, and found Germania Place to offer the best package. Working with them, you're able to get the food (through Kenmare Catering), bar, linens, chairs/tables, and for a little extra, they'll host the ceremony (in a spectacular ballroom), cocktail hour, and then flip the ceremony room for the reception. They also provide a large wait staff to pass plates and tend to guests. We left Chicago ~ 4 months into our planning, but it didn't even matter because Germania Place, and their event planner, Martha, were on top of everything from the get go. I never once felt like I had to get back to Chicago to tend to things.
For the big day, on top of the package, we upgraded our linens, and added late night snacks and a sweets table. The linens were beautiful and the food was AMAZING. Our guests were raving about it all night. Before I left our sweetheart table to talk to guests, I actually asked our personal server to not clear our plates (I REALLY wanted to finish my risotto, even though I never did).
On the day of the wedding, Martha and Chris were just rockstars. My husband and I didn't have another wedding planner, and Martha really filled that role for us. She arranged all of the small details with our vendors, assembled the wedding party before the ceremony and directed them down the aisle, and even met with our Justice of the Peace to go through details. It was so stress-free for our parents, and I was so appreciative! And their exceptional service didn't end when the event did. At the end of the night, their staff, led by Chris, helped us pack up everything we had brought, and they even had our champagne flutes cleaned out. My mother is sometimes tough to please, and after the event, she told us that she gave everyone an 11 out of 10. I don't think I need to say more, but I will.
Overall, we are so happy with how everything turned out. Almost a month after the wedding, guests continue to gush about the beautiful venue, wonderful food, and great service. They were accommodating, wonderful to work with, and helped make our night perfect. We feel so lucky to have had our wedding there, because it really is a gem in the heart of Chicago. Can't rave enough, I HIGHLY recommend them.
We had such a great time here for our Nov. 2013 wedding. The food was phenomenal (they are a catering business first and foremost), the space was beautiful, and the team of servers were absolutely perfect. The servers were the real stars. I had some dress bustling issues up in the bridal suite (yes, Germania Place has a great bridal suite on the balcony level!) and there were servers up there lickitysplit with drinks and hors d'oeuvres. Germania Place was absolutely worth every penny. We booked them almost as soon as we were engaged (which was 2 years prior to the wedding). I believe they have since raised their prices, but I feel like we got a real deal. Book early! However, the only hiccups we ran into came from booking early because we were bumped between different coordinators. I have to say that despite the early communication issues, everything was resolved before the actual event. On the wedding day, it was all pretty smooth. There were a few desserts that weren't plated quickly, but our own day-of coordinator saw to those. We had a great time and I would absolutely recommend Germania Place!
Julie & Gen from Germania were amazing to work with! They always responded promptly to my million emails and were always friendly and professional. This is an amazing and beautiful Chicago venue that is great price for downtown!
What attracted us to Germania Place was that is it truly a unique, historical space. We wanted our wedding to be in a venue that had character and not just another ballroom. The building is over 125 years old and has had many labels over the years. It was a bank and some of the bars they have are former teller windows, Al Capone held a speakeasy there and Elbert Einstein met there regularly. We loved that there is a separate cocktail space than the ballroom. It allows guests to be surprised when the ballroom, with all of the wedding décor, is revealed to them. Kenmore Catering, part of Germania Place, is a well-respected catering company and the food is absolutely incredible. You won’t just get the standard options you find at most weddings. We were able to mix and match our appetizers and add in fun small courses as well as add unique items from their luxury list. For example, they have a man in a top hat that greets your guests as they walk in. We did wish the man was older to fit the part, but either way they offer things that allow your wedding to be customized to your personality. You also have options to pick your bar selections through top shelf and cordial bar, which is nice. Our signature drink creation that was served to guests as they walk into cocktail hour was a favorite of many of our guests.
The linens were beautiful and the set up looked amazing. Our vendors were of course a big part of this as well, but the recent upgrades with new wood floors and carpet really provided an amazing backdrop to your chosen floral and décor. Guests kept talking about the food, drink selection, serving service and the building itself. Since Germania Place has so many wonderful and unique traits, their planning staff is responsible for thousands of weddings and events. As a result, they fall short in many areas, which is important to note if you choose to book your wedding here. I will say that most of these they had mentioned working on, so hopefully this will no longer be true in the future.
Sales versus planning- you should know that the person you deal with when visiting the venue in sales is not the person who will be your planner. They have a planning staff lead by a general manager who will respond to you after you book and assign you a planner specific to your event. Personally, I think it would be best for the bride and groom to meet their planner from the start as part of their decision in booking a location.
Response time- When we reached out to them they would take sometimes 2-3 weeks to respond to an email. With both my husband and I in the service industry, we were shocked by that! Also, they would not read your entire email and therefore miss important things that needed to be included or questions you asked. As a result, they now have a 48 hour response time requirement with their planners, so hopefully that continues.
Thankfully both my husband and I are very organized people and we also hired a day of planner to help with the wedding. However, we often felt like we were working harder to make sure they did not make mistakes or forget which as you can imagine causes additional stress not needed when planning a wedding.
In the end, we do not place blame solely on the planners, however. With a highly sought-after event venue in a desirable area in the city, they should not only hire enough staff to sufficiently service their clients, but also train their staff well enough to show their clients how amazing
My husband and I got married at Germania Place this summer. If we could rate the venue alone, it would be 5 stars, no question. The windows make it feel so bright and open and the 2 ballrooms make it really easy to have your ceremony and reception at the same place, which is what we wanted. Our flowers and the linens we chose went so perfectly with the room. It is most definitely a very elegant space (especially with the Chivari chairs!). Overall, the food was very good, especially the hors d'oeuvres. I would highly suggest using the valet in the lot across the street. They were so easy to work with and our guests had wonderful things to say about them. Beyond that, we unfortunately don't have that many more positive things to say.
Over the course of the year that we were planning our wedding, we worked with 3-4 different planners. It seemed as though each time we got switched to a new planner, we had to start over and discuss things that had already been discussed. It was also very difficult to get a prompt reply from anyone we worked with. Sometimes weeks would go by before we heard back. This led to several miscommunications throughout the process.
-Whether it was our final planner's fault, or it wasn't told to her, she did not know what time our wedding started on the actual day of our wedding. This led to delays in everything. In addition, our planner was seen drinking (taking shots with the bartender) during our ceremony by several of our guests (that she would not allow into the ceremony after the doors closed).
-Because they didn't know when our wedding started, they were not prepared for our guests to arrive. The ceremony space was not finished and my readers spent 20 minutes looking for the readings we had dropped off the day prior. The staff was telling our guests that the wedding did not start until 6pm when, in fact, it was supposed to start at 530pm.
-It took the staff an hour and forty-five minutes to flip the room. Because of this, our guests did not eat until 10pm.
-Several parts of our contract were not met - There was no food on the reception tables when our guests sat down. There was no one greeting our guests when they arrived (most likely because they didn't know when our wedding started). They closed down the bars during dinner even though we paid for 6 hour open bar (they reopened them when my mother pointed it out).
Overall, we were very disappointed with the service we received. Our planner was very hard to find the majority of the evening, even when food still had not been served at 930pm. We did not get any sort of compensation for things in our contract that were not met. We did not hear from any sort of manager until we requested to speak with one (it was clear that several things went wrong and a manager should have contacted us).
Germania Place is beautiful, has a lot of space, and is a great value. It's the perfect location for a classic, elegant Chicago wedding. The service was wonderful on the day of, but was frustrating leading up to my wedding. I would say they take a reactive approach vs. a proactive approach. They changed my contact person a few times which caused communication problems. They ended up fixing it in the end and made sure to meet again to make sure we were all on the same page. I ended up having to communicate everything about 3 times because of all the changes with my main contact. So, make sure to continually follow up and initiate things along the way, get everything in writing, and in the end they will meet your needs and you and your guests will be satisfied. I got tons of compliments on the venue from my guests. Maybe it was a litte frustrating leading up to my big day, but in the end it was well worth it. I would definitely recommend Germania Place to others.
I have uneasy feelings about writing this review. Our wedding ended up being extremely beautiful and the pictures turned out great, but the staff at Germania is extremely stressful and difficult to work with.
Things that I am happy about:
• We used the grand ballroom for the ceremony and the reception and the wait staff flipped the room in a very timely manner in an hour and it looked terrific!
• They let us use their grand piano in the cocktail room for free if we provided our own pianist; it was beautiful!
• We were running 45 minutes behind schedule and the catering staff at the reception managed to still have everything taste great and be hot and on time for the adjusted schedule and it was great.
• The week of our wedding, Germania did give us their utmost attention and have quick response rates. I just wish we had that customer service level the whole time.
• Germania was much less expensive than using a warehouse type venue and paying external vendors to bring in dishes, glasses, flatware, table cloths, etc. because they have their own linens, tables, chairs, dishes, glasses, flatware, etc. and it all looks very nice.
• They didn’t make us include babies in the per person $ amount count but only after I asked.
Things that I am not happy about:
• Germania took over a week to respond to several emails until the week of the wedding.
• Germania did not disclose a lot of information, such as the contract event minimum spend being before tax not after tax; this was after we signed the contract. That added a lot of money to our spend that we were not anticipating.
• Germania initially had us working with the woman who runs the event team and then she just stopped responding to our emails and pushed us down to someone beneath her. She was only there a few months until she left the venue for an unknown reason they said. They then tossed me to work with her replacement just three weeks before our wedding date. This replacement was still in learning mode and had to have everything verified by her boss so we should have been working with the head person the whole time. I had to resend them several files over and over to make sure they had it right. I felt very shuffled around and unimportant and not listened to.
• They changed the entire carpeting of the venue and said they were going to change the drapery and paint to match the carpet and they completely did not. They changed the carpet but not the paint and drapery (and not even all the carpet, just 75% of it) before our wedding so it didn’t match and looked awful. They should have changed all of the carpet and all the drapery and all the paint to make it all match before they had any event. Don’t just change part of it because it made pictures look not as good.
All in all, it is a great venue to have a wedding and I would whole heartedly choose to have our wedding there again over and over but know what you are getting into when working with these folks in terms of poor responsiveness.
My husband and I got married at Germania Place in March of 2013. The coordinators made it incredibly easy for us to plan our 275 guest wedding in 6 months. Yep- it can be done!
We had our ceremony, cocktail reception, and dinner reception there and we could not have been happier. Genevieve and her staff truly took care of every detail from the linens to the bouquet toss- leaving my husband and I to enjoy the night free of worries. :)
Some highlights include the breathtaking high ceilings, elegant chandeliers (makes for AWESOME photos), gourmet food (people are STILL talking about the amazing food served at our wedding), and convenience (they really do take care of everything for you.)
My mother's a hard lady to please... and Germania Place went above and beyond HER expectations. :)
We loved everything. Had a wonderful wedding. They were very accommodating.
My family lives in a condo building near this venue so I have always known that I wanted to get married at Germania Place, but just had to find the perfect guy. I found a wonderful guy, Germania Place was the only option for us. We had our ceremony and cocktail style reception at this location. The staff was extremely friendly, helped us with planning linens, floor plans, and station design. I also attended a wedding here, I see they have made some updates that look wonderful.
We got married at Germania Place right in the heart of the Gold Coast of Chicago. It was just renovated and the venue is pristine Everything was beyond our dreams. the menu, service, and the stunning ballrooms. Best in Chicago. Our guests raved!!!!
Germania Place is a great venue to host a wedding. We had ours there is June and the guests were blown away. The service and food was beyond compare, and right from the first phone call the customer service was spot on. I love this place and would recommend it to ANYONE!!
Loved working with the Germania Place team. Everything from our contract terms to our tasting was a breeze, and the staff was incredibly friendly. The guests at our wedding are still talking about the food, as well, which was provided by Kenmare Catering. The only downside: though the staff were great, communication was slow and stalled from time-to-time. Other than that, great value, great service, beautiful location, and tasty appetizers and dinner!
I am not much of a reviewer, but these histioric landmark ballrooms are amazing! I remember reading about them a couple of years ago when Chicago decided to landmark this building, but never thought they would be so pristine. I was sitting in a ballroom for dinner looking up at the ceiling. It must be 60 feet high with these gold domes inset in the ceiling. Thought I was in a European palace! I am SOOOO happy we chose Germania Place for our wedding. Also, I am not that into food, but Kenmare, who does that catering did a fabulous job. Guests came up to us all night and said it was the best wedding ever. I was so proud I was in giddy. My friends and family still talk about it!
I recently attending a wedding at Germania Place and it was VERY elegant experience. I had never heard of the venue before and can't believe I had not. It is a stunning Ballroom (2 actually) from the 19th century unlike any I have every been seen. Plus, the place was in pristine condition, not what you might think of a historic landmark, which I found out from one of the waiters that it is. The food and service was amazing as well. Overall, probably the best wedding I ever attended, and I have attended them all across the country!
He had our wedding at Germania Place. It was FABULOUS!! Our guests were blown away by the food, the service was fantastic, and the venue is one of a kind. They recently underwent a renovation, and it turned our spectacular. We would recommend this venue to everyone, especially foodies!
Planning staff falls SO SO SO short. Our "event planner" spent months dodging us, ignoring our emails, forgetting our appointments, and not answering her phone. Perhaps she was busy but this is her job and we're spending a lot of money so we expect a reasonable response time. Finally, it must have come to the GM's attention and she took over our wedding. Two days before the wedding. As if I'm not swamped, now I have to make time to try to catch the GM up on the event.
The actual venue is beautiful. Every guest commented including my favorite quote: "How much did Batman charge you to have your wedding at his house?" And the event staff is great too. Plus, you really do get the best bang for your buck here! Great deal in downtown Chicago!
The planning staff, however, is just dispicable. We even are missing stuff leftover from the wedding. The event staff we could pick it all up the next day and the planning staff looked at us like we were aliens when we arrived. Overall, for the deal and the grand venue it's still worth it. Just make sure you book WELL in advance so you have time to try to get through to them.
I am not sure the planning process was quite as bad as depicted, but we did discover that the planner at the time was not up to our standards and was dismissed. The GM stepped in at that point. We are SO happy the event went off without a hitch, but ...
I have such mixed emotions about writing this review. In the end, the venue was beautiful in all of our pictures, our guests enjoyed the food and the wedding was a total success. However, leading up to the wedding I felt like I had to fight Germania Place tooth and nail on nearly everything that we were promised and I'm really unhappy with their level of customer service.
We were bounced around between wedding coordinators 3 times, including a final switch just three weeks before our wedding. They were nearly unresponsive on email and impossible to get on the phone. Because I was working with several different people, I felt like I had to repeat myself numerous times on things like menu, guest count, linen choices, etc. and I was not sure up until the very end that everything was going to be correct.
Our wedding coordinator left midway through the reception, which was a surprise to me as I assumed the event coordinator was to stay until the event was over. We nearly had to fight with the person that was left in charge to get the top tier of our cake back immediately after the wedding -- really not something I wanted to have to deal with at midnight after my wedding reception.
When my mother went the next weekend to pick up some remaining items and politely give them some feedback so they could improve the experience for future brides she was treated rudely.
In the end, the venue was lovely, but I'm not sure it was worth all of the stress and annoyance we had to deal with.
Germania Place was the perfect place for our reception. The food was outstanding, the ambiance had a lot of character due to the historical nature of this building, and the space was grand. Everyone felt very special there, and we enjoyed working with the staff throughout the entire planning period.
When we began looking for a wedding venue, we became discouraged until we went to Germania Place. This venue is quite comprehensive and includes all the amenities that the others did not seem to have. They have a kitchen on site that allows all food to come from oven to table. They also allowed us to include our beloved dog "Lucy" in the ceremony!! Beyond this, the venue is absolutely gorgeous. The only outside vendors we used were for flowers, music, photography and lighting. Germania took care of all the rest. Annie was our event planner (also included) and was absolutely wonderful. Also on staff is Genevieve who is great to work with as well. We were blessed with a magnificent wedding thanks to Germania Place!! Our guests have commented that it was the BEST wedding they have ever been to. From the food and service to the ambiance - everyone had such a great time we could not be more pleased. A side note for the brides...they have a private bridal suite at the venue which I found tremendously helpful in getting ready. We had our makeup done there and were able to get dressed there as well. The two joining ballrooms allow a seamless transition between cocktails and dinner. Our guests were "blown away" to go from cocktails in one ballroom and transition to dinner in the other. The ceilings are 35 feet high and has an old school European charm to it. I recommend additional lighting for a real WOW FACTOR. We thought we would have a very nice wedding but were not prepared how phenomenal it turned out to be! Our guests are still talking about it and will for some time to come. A convenient parking lot is available across the street or valet services are offered. They also include little "touches" that make a big difference - a formal man in a top hat greets guests as they come into the venue, the bride and groom receive a private server throughout the dinner reception, a gourmet basket with champagne is given to bride/groom, event planner on site makes sure all details are executed without a hitch. We also opted to serve champagne with strawberries to guests while waiting for the ceremony (additional chg). This is not your run of the mill hotelish wedding celebration. If you want an urban city classic unique special wedding, Germania Place is THE ONE.
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Historic Landmark - World Cuisine
Germania Place is a World Class Historic Landmark venue with 45' domed ceilings, high arched windows, and a Gold Coast address. Kenmare Catering menus are extremely creative and dramatic, combining new age techniques with artisan, exotic, and sustainable ingredients. Weddings are breathtaking!!
- Price Range: $$$
- Amenities: Indoor Ceremony Area, Kosher Available, Liability Insurance, Liquor License, Onsite Catering, Onsite Parking, Onsite Wedding Consultant, Valet Parking, Wheelchair Accessible
- Capacity: Up to 400
- Style: Banquet/Reception Hall, Mansion/Historic Site, Museum/Gallery