9 Best Chicago Photo Spots for Stunning Wedding Photos

December 7, 2021

Not to brag but when it comes to Chicago photo spots, we’re kind of pros. 

After all, as Chicago wedding photographers, it’s our job to know the very best places to take pictures and capture memories in this wonderful city. We love it here, and exploring as both photographers and residents is one of our favorite things to do!

Whether you’re still searching for a wedding venue in Chicago, you already have the perfect place picked out and are looking for some nearby photo locations, or you’re hoping to elope in a beautiful spot, we’ve got you covered! From natural landscapes to urban backdrops, from the most Instagrammable places in Chicago to quiet hidden gems, you’ll find it here.

Amazing Chicago Photo Spots for Wedding Photos

Here are a few that never disappoint!

Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool at Lincoln Park

The Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool at Lincoln Park is a beautiful nature spot, hidden away in the middle of the city. Entering Lincoln Park feels like walking off the metropolitan streets and straight into a fantastical secret garden—for real! Located on the north side, this photo spot is easily accessible from many popular Chicago wedding venues. Awesome!

A beautiful couple poses at Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool for engagement photos in Chicago with Ed and Aileen Photography.
A couple hugs and smiles brightly during golden hour engagement photos in Chicago.
A couple kisses in front of the setting sun at a popular Chicago photo spot, Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool.

Alfred Caldwell was a well-known landscape architect who lived from 1903-1998. He designed the park to be a hidden spot where people could relax in nature, and we think he nailed it.

We love wedding photoshoots at the Caldwell Lily Pool because there are so many different options for natural backdrops all in one place. Stroll along the stone paths and admire the lily pool, waterfall, pavilion, and plenty of lush plants. It’s seriously gorg! 

Important things to know about taking photos at Lincoln Park: Timing is important because they close before sunset, so don’t forget to plan for that! Also, it’s only open seasonally from mid-April to mid-November. 

Garfield Park

Garfield Park is another one of our favorite Chicago photography spots. Located on the west side, it’s one of the oldest parks in this area of the city. 

One of the biggest draws is definitely the Garfield Park Conservatory. When you walk in, you can hardly believe your eyes! It’s a breathtaking sight and a fabulous place for unique wedding photos. 

Garfield Park Conservatory is one of the largest botanical conservatories in the country 🤯 and is open year-round, so it’s a great wedding photo spot no matter the season. If you’re getting married in the winter in Chicago but still want some photos with lush nature, this is the place to go! 

On top of the incredible displays of nature inside the Conservatory, there are also over 10 acres of outdoor gardens to enjoy. Cue the cartwheels. 

Important things to know about taking photos at Garfield Park: Shooting at Garfield Park requires a permit, so don’t show up without one!

Art Institute of Chicago

If you’re looking for photo locations that are super unique and interesting, add the Art Institute of Chicago to your list! 

This downtown Chicago photo spot is perfect for couples who have an interest in art and architecture. Located in Grant Park, the Art Institute is one of the largest and oldest art museums in the US. This city has SO much history…it’s one of the many reasons why we love it!

A bride and groom have their first look during their wedding at the Art Institute of Chicago, while Ed and Aileen Photography capture the moment at one of the best Chicago photo spots.
A bride and groom stand together in front of a beautiful piece of art for unique wedding photos at the Art Institute of Chicago.
A bride and groom hold hands and laugh together during their wedding at the Chicago Art Institute while the moment is captured by Chicago wedding photographers Ed and Aileen.
A couple embraces each other for unique engagement photos in Chicago, at the Chicago Art Institute.
A bride and groom stand together on the spiral staircase at the Chicago Art Institute for wedding photos with Ed and Aileen Photography.

And, since the weather in Chicago can be a tad—ahem—unpredictable, it’s always great to have an indoor backup plan. That’s another reason why we love this location—it doesn’t require a permit, so there’s no need to plan ahead. You just have to pay for admission tickets and you’re good to go!  

Important things to know about taking photos at the Art Institute of Chicago: No florals are allowed, so leave the bouquet at home! Also, visits are limited to groups of six, so if you’re bringing a wedding party then this isn’t the spot for you.

Milton Lee Olive Park

For a combination of cityscapes, nature, and lake views in your Chicago wedding photos, Milton Lee Olive Park is the perfect place! 

Nicknamed Olive Park, this beautiful green space is located north of Navy Pier. Even though it’s located so conveniently, this park is a bit of a hidden gem in Chicago. Decorated with honey locust trees, fountains, open grassy areas, and pathways, it’s an awesome place to spend an afternoon strolling and snapping pictures. 

A couple walks hand-in-hand during an engagement photoshoot in Milton Lee Olive Park in Chicago.
A groom uses his key to shotgun a beer during his wedding photoshoot with Ed and Aileen Photography at Milton Lee Olive Park in Chicago while his groomsmen watch.

One of our favorite things about Olive Park is that it offers views of Lake Michigan and the renowned Chicago skyline in the background. *Chef’s kiss!* 

Important things to know about taking photos at the Milton Lee Olive Park in Chicago: It’s a beautiful spot, but be prepared to do lots of walking to get to the prime portrait spots!

16th Street Murals in Pilsen 

Remember how we mentioned Instagrammable places in Chicago? Well, 16th Street in Pilsen is definitely one of them! 

Pilsen is a neighborhood that’s full of amazing street art and murals and wow, is it ever incredible. It’s one of those things you have to see for yourself to believe!

A bride and groom stand in front of the murals on 16th street in pilsen, one of the most popular chicago photo spots.
A bride and groom walk hand in hand during wedding photos on 16th Street in Pilsen with Ed and Aileen Photography in Chicago,
A bride and groom hold hands and smile at each other during a wedding photoshoot in Chicago in front of colorful murals in Pilsen.

The viaduct on 16th Street is especially impressive—a two-mile-long embankment of murals by celebrated artists from Chicago and around the world. It’s the perfect wedding photo spot for couples who are looking for something one-of-a-kind, urban, and truly unforgettable.

Important things to know about taking photos at the 16th Street Murals in Pilsen: The murals started as a movement to celebrate Mexican culture and oppose the Vietnam War in the 60s, which has since grown into a public art initiative in Chicago. Remember to learn about and respect the culture and history behind these photo spots that we are so lucky to have!

The Chicago Loop’s Financial District 

The Chicago Financial District is located in the Loop, the heart of the city. The Financial District isn’t necessarily the most popular tourist attraction, but it’s perfect for metropolitan-inspired wedding photos with its mix of big skyscrapers and cool, old architecture. 

A couple smile at each other while walking hand-in-hand down the middle of a street in Chicago's financial district, one of many unique Chicago photo spots, during an engagement shoot with Ed and Aileen Photography.
An engaged couple embrace and kiss in front of the impressive buildings in the financial district on the Chicago Loop.

The Loop has unlimited opportunities for stunning wedding photos in Chicago, just waiting to be explored! The Financial District is just one of them that we love. 

Important things to know about taking photos in the Chicago Financial District: The best days to shoot here are definitely Saturdays and Sundays. Otherwise, the streets are too busy with people hustling and bustling! 

Ping Tom Memorial Park

Ping Tom Park is another Chicago photo location that offers a little bit of everything—grassy fields, cool murals, interesting architecture, river views, and the city skyline in the background. What’s not to love?

This urban park is located in Chinatown on the South Side. The pagoda-style pavilion has become quite iconic!

Important things to know about taking photos in Ping Tom Park: It’s a popular spot with a playground and the Ping Tom Memorial Park Fieldhouse (a facility with a gym, fitness center, and meeting rooms), so be careful to avoid accidental photo-bombers (as pro wedding photographers, we take care of that for you!). 

A Chicago Hidden Gem

Now that we’ve covered some of the popular urban photo spots in Chicago, let’s talk about somewhere a little off-the-beaten-path! 

One of our absolute go-to’s is a six-acre natural habitat full of wildflowers, grasses, shrubs, and a large stone birdbath. Plus, it’s located right on the lake, so you can soak in allllll the views! 

A bride and groom stand together in a beautiful field for Chicago wedding photos with Ed and Aileen Photography.
A bride and groom hold each other in a beautiful field at a secret Chicago photo spot with Ed and Aileen Photography.
A wedding party goof around at the bride and groom kiss during fun wedding photos in Chicago.
A bride and groom sit together on a ledge overlooking the lake in Chicago during wedding photos with Ed and Aileen Photography.

It’s a picture-perfect place right near the city, and definitely one of our all-time favorite wedding photo locations in Chicago. It’s just so darn pretty!

One of the reasons we love this photo spot is because it’s not too busy—so we’re keeping it our little secret for now. 😉 

Important things to know about taking photos at this spot: There’s a bit of a walk from the parking lot!

Your Special Place

This one is tough to beat and, in our opinion, always creates some of the very best wedding photos. 

If you’re a local, or you’ve had the chance to travel and create memories here with your partner in the past, there are probably some places that hold a special place in your heart. 

A couple kisses at their favorite bar during engagement photos in Chicago.
A couple enjoys beers together at their favorite bar in Chicago.
A couple sits and laughs together during an at-home engagement session in Chicago.
A couple kisses while holding a sparkler out of a champagne bottle in their favorite bar, a fun Chicago photoshoot idea.

Whether it’s your home, your neighborhood, the place you went on your first date, or your favorite bar…we’d love to hear all about it, and turn it into the perfect photo spot for YOU!

Choosing a photo location that has meaning to you makes your wedding photos all that much more special and personal. And wherever it is, we are down to make it happen! 

Wedding Photography in Chicago

If you’re looking for wedding photographers in Chicago to capture your special day, give us a shout! We look forward to getting to know you better and are happy to answer any questions you have about photo locations or our wedding photography services. 

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