• Elise Hofer Shaw


Updated: Mar 23, 2020

love is love. And at Chicago Loft Venues (CLV), whether you’re black, white, Puerto Rican or Haitian, straight, queer, non-binary or transgender, your wedding deserves to be special—and uniquely all about you.

CLV is 100 percent LGBTQ+ owned and operated, and we’ve gone out of our way to make sure our event spaces are as inclusive as they are cool. “There’s nothing we love more than celebrating love,” says Creative Director Joshua Yates, a 15-year veteran of Chicago’s hospitality and special events industry. “All love is beautiful—and it never looks the same or fits in one box. Chicago Loft Venues intimately understands that, and we aspire to translate that compassion across the planning process and finer details.”

So whatever your dream day looks like, we’re here for it. Need more proof? Yates gets specific about CLV’S commitment pillars for creating your all-inclusive, happily-ever-after wedding.


CLV is LGBTQ+ owned, and we’re here to make sure you feel supported at every turn, including recommending vendors who have actual experience with LGBTQ+ weddings. “Our in-house team has a combined 50+ years of pulling off amazing weddings,” assures Yates. “Add in our vendor partners and referrals list, all of whom have experience with LGBTQ+ events, and you’ve got yourself a big-day for the books that’s customized around you.”


Labels, that is. We don’t like ’em and never use them. Bride, groom… We won’t use outdated modifiers unless you ask us to. To that end, The Zephyr, CLV’s event space on Motor Row, has two “getting ready” rooms sans labels on the doors—“and both can be decorated to your preference, be that feminine, masculine or neutral,” adds Yates.


CLV offers nontraditional spaces where the old-fashioned order of events for a “traditional” wedding—think wearing white, catching the bouquet, the father-daughter dance—need not apply. “So many of the so-called ‘traditional’ elements we’re told should be a part of a wedding just don’t make sense for LGBTQ+ couples,” says Yates. “But in losing these pieces, your big day doesn’t have to be any less momentous. It’s all about layering new moments that will add significance and cement some special memories for you.”


All of CLV’s event spaces are intentionally blank canvases. “It’s important to us that our couples be able to showcase who they are,” says Yates. “Whether you want a simple celebration or a wear-it-loud-and-proud, rainbow-bright, glitter-covered expression of your love, our spaces are completely transformative. What’s your dream?! From decor to dance party, we’ll guide you along the way to making it a reality.”


At CLV, 90 percent of our ceremonies are held on-site, which means you can bring your own religion or culture—or leave it at the door for all we care—and completely personalize your ceremony. “Gone are the days of the heteronormative processional order,” says Yates. “And good riddance. We love a couple who wants to flip the traditional script, get creative and be themselves. You want an Indian sangeet and a commitment ceremony all rolled into one? We got you.”

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