I am working on getting rooms blocked at two hotels - one hotel in Chicago, and one hotel in a nearby suburb, probably Oak Brook. There is a convention in Chicago the weekend of our wedding, so hotels are pretty booked already. Also, Chicago hotels are not the cheapest...
Thus far, I think I will have a block of rooms at a Chicago hotel for about $180 a night (plus tax) - and parking will be about $30 a day. The rooms will be available for Friday and Saturday night. This hotel has a pool and fitness room and gorgeous views of downtown. Because the hotel is in Chicago, it will be close to all Chicago offerings -and about 5 minutes via cab/car to our reception site.
The suburban hotel is looking like $100 a night (plus tax and parking) and will be about 20 miles, 30-40 minutes from Chicago. The rooms will be available for Friday and Saturday night. We don't recommend this option for our guests who will be flying into town and thus carless - but it may be a less expensive alternative for those driving into town who don't mind being outside of Chicago and who don't mind the bit of additional travel time.
I think I'll send out a survey to the out-of-towners to see what option people guess they will choose... the hotels require a deposit and room guarantee.