Maybe I’m biased, but the city has the most amazing spots for gorgeous Chicago wedding photos! Here are 12 of my favorite Chicago wedding photography locations.
Chicago Board of Trade
If you look around my site, it’s probably pretty clear I love the Board of Trade building. Little known fact, working at the Board of Trade was my first job out of college. Memories aside, it’s such a gorgeous structure and I love shooting there. It’s the perfect wedding location because it doesn’t see direct sunlight, so you can shoot there in the blazing summer sun.
This is definitely not a hidden secret. It’s one of the most popular photography spots in Chicago. And it’s no wonder, it’s picture perfect. Be prepared for crowds and make sure your photographer knows how to use photoshop – it’s near impossible to get a clean shot without people in the background.
Fun fact: The Wrigley company began packaging chewing gum with each can of baking powder. The chewing gum eventually became more popular than the baking powder, and Wrigley’s reoriented the company to produce the gum. Thankfully people love chewing gum so that we have this gorgeous building to take wedding pictures in front of!
Chicago Riverwalk & Bridges
The Chicago Riverwalk has so many fantastic little spots for pictures. The architecture, bridges and the river are such a perfect combination. Aside from a gorgeous backdrop, the Riverwalk is a great location for weddings because there are many shaded spots. If it’s high noon in July, you will want some shade!
The Riverwalk is comprised of different sections of the river, spanning Wabash Avenue to Lake Street. My favorite section for weddings is the most western parts, the Jetty & the Riverbank. These sections are wonderful for weddings because there is not as much pedestrian traffic and you can get the full view of the river and bridges.
There are a few select spots along the lakefront for fabulous images. Montrose Harbor, North Avenue Beach and Museum Campus are among the most lovely spots for great skyline and lake views.
Flowers, city views and the Lilly pond make the Lincoln Park area a diverse and beautiful place for gorgeous pictures.
The Pavilion is the honeycomb structure near the south pond and Lincoln Park Zoo. It’s a beautiful spot, but it’s popular! During busy wedding months, there are a lot of wedding parties waiting in line.
The gardens at Millennium Park is one of the most beautiful spots in the city for wedding pictures. Even in the winter when nothing is in bloom, the foliage is lovely and the backdrop of the Chicago skyline is the perfect contrast. Be aware, they are now requiring a permit to shoot there.
Lyric Opera House
The Lyric Opera House is a beautiful spot in the loop with grand columns. This is a great spot if the weather is rainy because it’s covered.
The Art Institute of Chicago Garden
The gardens on either side of the Art Institute are beautifully maintained with arching trees over an intimate garden and giant fountain. Toss a coin in the fountain for good luck!
Chicago Cultural Center
Home of the famous Tiffany Dome, the Chicago Cultural Center is a stunning spot for wedding photos.
Union Station is such a gorgeous throwback to old Chicago. Stepping into the station, you can feel the history of travelers that have passed through the majestic building.
Buckingham Fountain & Grant Park
Wedding days move fast and sometimes you need to make snap decisions. Our plan for Erin + Elliot’s wedding was to stop at Grant Park on our way to the ceremony. Chicago traffic threw a wrench in our plans and we had no time at all to stop for pictures. I had the trolley driver pull over near Grant Park and we all hopped out for a quick 5 minute shoot and this is still one of my favorite images.
It was January, it was freezing. You can see the ice on the lake. But this was a dedicated bridal party! They had to walk through mud and puddles to get here. Cristina’s dress was soaked! But we got this lovely image.
Near the lakefront is the legendary Grant Park rose garden. Just a few steps away from Buckingham Fountain, the lush green garden is a perfect contrast to the city views.
The Theater District has some unique options for wedding photography. It is a challenging spot because it’s always busy with people and cars, but you have an opportunity to walk right into the middle of the street for an iconic shot of the Chicago Theater sign.