Frequently Asked Questions
What is included in the elopement packages?
All of our elopement packages include ceremony officiant, photographer for ceremony and portraits, and optional use of our venue Creativo Loft. We may also use outdoor locations or other venues. If your elopement ceremony is indoors at Creativo Loft, our standard ceremony altar set-up, white folding chairs (if there are guests) and custom music playlist are also included. From there we have a la carte upgrade options to choose from, or we may customize a package for you.
Are there decorations or chairs?
For indoor elopements at Creativo Loft our standard ceremony set-up includes our white wood folding chairs, vintage brown wood trunk or white wood vintage console altar, some silk ivory flowers in vases and votive candles. Upgraded decorations including custom real flowers, various backdrops, birch branch with ribbons backdrop, fabrics, and other wedding accessories and personalized décor may be added on for additional fees. For group elopements that also include our upgrades for catering or cake/sweets, we will also set out 6-foot banquet tables with champagne gold table linens. For outdoor ceremonies, unless you have a commemorative permit from the Chicago Park District, and make specific arrangements directly with them, no chairs or decorations may be set up. There is one historic park location that we frequently use that is managed independently (not by Chicago Park District), and they will include white folding garden chairs with the permit fee.
Can we decorate ourselves DIY?
Yes, at Creativo Loft, if you are bringing in any minor decorations that can be set-up in 30-minutes or less that may be included at no additional cost. If you would like to do elaborate decorating, additional time may be added on -- if our schedule permits -- with additional hourly venue rental fees for staff to set up your decorations. We do not permit clients to climb ladders, hang lighting, or other complex work where you may potentially injure yourself, so professional event production staff would need to be hired for very elaborate set-up. Candles must be in glass votive holders or hurricane holders that go higher than the exposed flame. Or battery operated LED candles do not need to be in any glass holders. Our in-house votive candles may be added on to your package a la carte. All DIY décor must be approved in advance. For outdoor ceremonies, unless you have a commemorative permit from the Chicago Park District, and make specific arrangements directly with them, no chairs or decorations may be set up.
Can we bring our own food?
We do not permit any self-catered events at Creativo Loft. Food is not required in our elopement packages, but if you would like to include food, we offer optional catered platters, desserts and beverages as a la carte upgrades that we will order and coordinate for you. We can also provide contacts to professional caterers if you rather directly customize options for food and beverage service for your elopement. We will make exceptions for cupcakes or a small cake to be brought in to Creativo Loft if you would like to purchase your own cupcakes or a cake from a bakery or store, but home-made items may not be consumed at our venue.
If our ceremony is indoors can we also go outside for portraits?
Yes, our packages may be upgraded to add on extra time to include outdoor portraits in the downtown Chicago area. Transportation will be needed for going to locations for portraits. We can recommend limo companies or other hired transportation services, or contact them directly and make arrangements on your behalf with an upgraded package. During cold months, generally November - April, we will plan for ceremonies to be indoors at our venue Creativo Loft, or possibly an alternate location. Outdoor portraits are subject to weather conditions year round, but during winter months special plans and other considerations are involved.
Can we play music?
Yes, we have a sound system at Creativo Loft and can program a custom playlist for your ceremony, portrait time and even a first dance if you like. For outdoor elopements, you will need to have the park district permit to have amplified sound or musician perform live.
What is parking like?
At Creativo Loft, on weekdays there are some free streets and metered parking Monday - Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, there is access to a nearby parking lot. On Sundays, all streets are free. For other locations, you may need to park in a public lot or make other arrangements specific to that area or alternate venue.
Do you have Saturdays available?
Elopements are just part of our wide range of wedding services we offer for 2 to 100 people at our venue Creativo Loft. Generally, we reserve Saturdays for weddings that are using our services for both ceremony and reception. So typically we will have weekdays and some Sundays available for elopements. Occasionally, we will have an open Saturday available and may accept if it is less than a month or so in advance. January through March we often have Saturday dates available during winter.
Can all same-sex couples legally get married in Chicago?
Yes….and no. If you are a resident of Illinois, you’re fine. If you are a resident outside of Illinois or another country outside of the United States, please check your local country, state or municipal county laws. Cook County will issue any same-sex couple a marriage license and we can marry you. If your state recognizes same-sex marriage, you’re fine. If your state does not, whether or not your marriage will be legal and be fully recognized is still a legal gray area and litigation across the country is changing laws on literally a daily basis. Please consult legal advice in your local area if you are considering getting married in any state with same-sex marriage if the state you live in does not have similar marriage equality laws, or minimally recognizes out-of-state marriages. Generally, your marriage will be recognized on a federal level regardless of your local state laws.
Are the marriage license & certificate included in the package?
No -- by law -- couples are required to apply IN PERSON at one of the Cook County offices, minimally 1 day in advance, but you may get your license up to 60 days in advance of your wedding date. Cook County will issue the license while you wait. There is one office in downtown Chicago, or five other offices in suburban Cook County, and they are all open Monday - Friday, but not on weekends. After the wedding day you will need to order your marriage certificate from Cook County, they do not provide one automatically. Please visit the county website for more information.