If you’re in the middle of wedding planning, you’ve already been inundated with decisions you need to make: What venue is right for us? What time of year? Who should we invite? What kind of dress am I going to wear?! How do we find the right photographer, videographer, florist, dj, etc. etc. etc.
Ah! All of the pressure that comes with planning this all-important day can quickly become…….shall we say….a little overwhelming.
That’s why I love doing everything I can to help all y’all whenever I can! One of the most common questions I get from my lovely brides is , “Where should we take our engagement/wedding photos?!”
Fear not, you beautiful soon-to-be-newlyweds. I’ve collected a list of my absolute favorite spots in and around the city of Chicago in order in order to help you choose the perfect location(s) for you!
And so, in no particular order, please scroll on down to learn more!
MONTROSE BEACH & BIRD SANCTUARY
What’s that you say? Can’t decide between having your engagement session on the beach, in the woods, featuring a lovely skyline or in a flowering prairie? If only there was someplace in the city that boasted all of these wonderful features…..oh, wait! I’m here to tell you that such a place exists and it may just be my all time favorite place to take engagement photos. Where else can you get all of these elements in in the space of an hour, I ask you? This is always, always a solid option.
Right in the heart of the Chicago’s north side, Lincoln Park is an amazing option. The iconic Honeycomb sculpture is always fun to play around in (and you can’t beat that skyline in the background). Ample green spaces, the beautiful architecture of Cafe Brauer, winding paths and so much more definitely makes this beautiful park a fabulous choice for engagement or wedding photos.
North Avenue Beach, Adler Planetarium & Olive Park
While many locations on the list definitely have peeks of the skyline here and there, if you’re looking to really feature Chicago, leaving no shred of doubt as to where on Earth you had those beautiful photos taken, North Ave Beach, Adler Planetarium and Milton Lee Olive Park are hard to beat. Just note that time of day matters if you don’t want want a bunch of shirtless merrymakers in the back ground!
CHICAGO RIVERWALK AND BRIDGES
The lakeshore here in Chicago is, obviously, amazing. But there is certainly something so special about the Riverwalk, especially on a beautiful summer’s day. Winding through the very epicenter of the action, this gorgeous stretch features beautiful mirrored arches, incredible views of some of Chicago’s most iconic buildings and fabulous lighting. And the brides! Wells Street, La Salle, DuSable, I love ‘em all.
My husband and I lived in a tiny apartment in Lincoln Square for the first three years I lived in the area and that beautiful little ‘hood will forever feel like “home” here in the city for me. I go back to visit every chance I get and we always, always celebrate our anniversary at the wonderful Bistro Campagne every October 8th because it’s just so…..”us”, if you get me. I love when couples choose places in and around the city that play an important part in their love story. The cafe where you had your first date, the bar where you met, the neighborhood you made into your first home. There’s something so wonderfully personal about these choices.
HYDE PARK, SPRING VALLEY NATURE CENTER, BAHAI TEMPLE, LAKE KATHERINE & LILACIA PARK
I could go on all day listing places I love photographing in and around the city but you have a wedding to plan and don’t have time for that! Above are some of my favorite photos from other amazing locations I’ve photographed. Hyde Park, particularly the Garden of the Phoenix, is breathtaking. Spring Valley has this amazing old farm, beautiful fields and horses. Yes, HORSES. The Bahá'í Temple on the glistening shores of Lake Michigan is incredible. Lilacia and Lake Katherine are also beautiful choices outside of the city if that suits you better.
basically, we are completely spoiled for choice
The good news is, you really can’t go wrong! Whatever the season, forecast or time of day, Chicagoland is an incredible place in which to have your love story take place. If you have any hidden gems or additional advice, feel free to pass it on in the comment section below!