Winter time in Chicago translates to wedding planning time for so many of my brides and grooms. For those of you early in the wedding planning process, I thought I’d share my favorite and most photogenic wedding venues in Chicago. These are just a few from recent years. Would love to hear more about your favorite wedding venues in the comments.
Address: 2021 N Stockton Dr, Chicago, IL 60614
Cafe Brauer is hands down one of my ultimate favorite wedding venues in the city and lucky for me, I’m usually there at least a few times each year. I’ve seen the space transformed in more ways than I can count, so please reach out anytime with questions. Pro tip: this architectural gem deserves to be illuminated in all of its glory. The ballroom itself is stunning and once the sun goes down, it’s hard to see. Because of this, I always recommend splurging on professional lighting. You won’t regret it.
The extra awesome part about Cafe Brauer is it’s Lincoln Park location. Some of the most popular photo locations in the city are literally right outside and waiting for you. There are sweeping views of the Chicago skyline, the South Pond, nature boardwalk, and so much more. It’s the perfect place for couples hoping to do it all at one location.
Address: 209 S LaSalle St, Chicago, IL 60604
The Rookery is an architectural gem located in the heart of downtown Chicago. The venue itself has all the beautiful views you need. The historic Light Court, designed by none other than Frank Lloyd Wright, will wow your guests. The famous spiral staircase is any photographer’s dream come true, especially for wedding portraits. Keep in mind you can only take your wedding photos at the Rookery if you are hosting your event here. Plan to take advantage of this! As for the rest of your wedding portraits, all you have to do is walk right outside. The Rookery is a part of the Financial District in Chicago and offers stunning scenery. From the gold doors, neoclassical columns and the facade of the Board of Trade all within view, you’ll love this location for your wedding plans.
Address: 78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602
The Chicago Cultural Center is a classic choice for a wedding. Like with the Rookery, the views are right inside this historic landmark. Formerly the Chicago Library, the Chicago Cultural Center is filled with history and iconic architectural details. The main ballroom features a Tiffany glass dome that is truly one of a kind. The bonus to this venue is it’s proximity to Millennium Park. Sitting right off of Michigan Avenue, there are nothing but beautiful views and wedding portrait locations within short walking distance.
Address: 600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
If you are looking for something outside of the box (literally), you may consider hosting your event on a boat. It’s not a conventional option, but it’s certainly a show stopper and a perfect way to show off the city to out of town guests. Imagine slowly cruising down the Chicago River for an evening of drinks, dinner and dancing. The views are incredible and it will be a night no one will ever forget.
Address: 12 E Ohio St # 100, Chicago, IL 60611
Just north of downtown Chicago, the Ivy Room serves as a garden-like oasis. With its lush, green ivy, the courtyard is a show stopper. The outdoor space can be used for your ceremony, cocktail hour, and possibly even a small reception. Inside, the ballroom is beautifully chic with french doors opening up to juliet balconies that look over the courtyard.
My favorite part about this venue is the incredible photo opportunities. To capture the iconic Ivy Room wide shot, I literally get to climb up a firescape to the rooftop of another building and it makes me feel like Indiana Jones.