Weddings at Cafe Brauer

A Luxurious Wedding Venue

Cafe Brauer is a one-of-a-kind wedding venue surrounded by Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Illinois that hosts luxurious events. As a wedding photographer with over 15 years of experience working at this beautiful gem, I wanted to share my insight to having the picture-perfect wedding at Cafe Brauer.

The History of Cafe Brauer

Built in 1908, Cafe Brauer is a historical landmark in the heart of Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Illinois.

It’s designed in the Prairie style of architecture and features a red brick and green roof exterior. The building has a small restaurant on the first floor, a ballroom for private events on the second floor and two loggias.

Cafe Brauer is surrounded by beautiful Lincoln Park which includes the zoo, the Nature Boardwalk, the South Pond, the Lincoln Park Conservatory and Chicago skyline views. Weddings at Cafe Brauer are refreshingly elegant and truly one-of-a-kind.

Cafe Brauer Ceremony & Reception Sites

Wedding ceremonies and receptions can both be held in the main ballroom which resides on the second floor of Cafe Brauer. If you are hosting both your ceremony and reception in the ballroom, plan for an extended cocktail hour. Depending on your decor, set up typically requires 1.5 hours or more to flip the space.

The Ballroom

The Loggias

Cafe Brauer features two covered, outdoor patios, called the loggias. Wedding ceremonies can be held on the loggias. Cocktail hour is typically held on the loggias year-round. During winter, the loggias are enclosed and space heaters are provided

Foreman Pavilion

Known by Chicago residents as the “Honeycomb”, the Foreman Pavilion is an outdoor wedding ceremony location that perfectly frames the Chicago skyline as your backdrop. 

Cafe Brauer Wedding Portrait Locations

When you get married at Cafe Brauer, some of the most beautiful settings in all of Chicago are right outside of your wedding venue. These portrait sessions are a few of my personal favorites as a wedding photographer.

Cafe Brauer Entrance

Kissing Bridge

Nature Boardwalk

Lakefront at Fullerton


North Avenue BeACH

Lincoln Park Conservatory

Alfred Caldwell
Lily Pool

North Pond

Cafe Brauer Entrance

Kissing Bridge

North Avenue Beach

Nature Boardwalk


Fullerton Lakefront

Lincoln Park Conservatory

Lily Pool

Location Information

Cafe Brauer is located at 2021 N Stockton Drive, Chicago, IL 60614. It is positioned on the southern end of Lincoln Park Zoo and resides along Lincoln Park’s beautiful South Pond.

Cafe Brauer offers valet parking for weddings and events. Guests can also find free parking on Stockton Drive and paid parking in the Lincoln Park Zoo parking lot and the Chicago History Museum parking lot. 

Nearby Hotels

Cafe Brauer is positioned in the heart of Lincoln Park and is within a short drive of many luxurious hotels that can be used for getting ready and for guest accommodations.

My favorite Chicago hotels include the Ambassador, Hotel Zachary, The Gwen and the Waldorf Astoria. All of these hotels are under 15 minutes to Cafe Brauer.

Photo taken at the Ambassador Hotel.

Real Weddings at Cafe Brauer

As featured in Style Me Pretty and Inside Weddings Magazine, please view more of my portfolio from Cafe Brauer to see if I'd be a good fit as your wedding photographer!

My greatest joy as a wedding photographer is coming to know my clients as friends and capturing their day in a way that feels personable and genuine to them. 

I’m known for my calming presence, professionalism and innate ability to make everyone feel instantly comfortable in front of the camera. Hopefully we’ll feel like best friends in 10 minutes!

And while I’ll certainly capture a blend of magazine-worthy portraits and beautiful details, my speciality lies in capturing the candid moments and emotions that make your day so special and unique.

Meet the Photographer: Ashley Biess


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I'll be in touch within 48 hours, Mondays through Thursdays. 

If you have any quick questions in the meantime, please visit my FAQ Page linked below.


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I'm excited to get to know you and hear more about your vision for your boudoir photos!
I respond to all emails within 48 hours, Mondays through Thursdays. 

If you have any quick questions in the meantime, please visit my Boudoir FAQ page linked below.


Thank you for your inquiry!

Cafe Brauer Wedding Photography FAQ

Should I invest in professional uplighting at Cafe Brauer? 

From a photography perspective, yes.

I’ve photographed dozens of weddings at Cafe Brauer, and professional venue lighting always makes your wedding photos turn out a million times better.

Once the sun goes down, it’s a very dark space and the iconic architectural details get lost. Investing in lighting will enhance the ambiance until the very last dance at your reception. 

Where should I take family photos?

You can take family photos inside and outside of Cafe Brauer. 

For indoor photo options, I recommend the Ballroom (using your ceremony florals and decor) or one of the Loggias. 

For outdoor, I love the Kissing Bridge, Nature Boardwalk and Cafe Brauer entranceway.

What are your favorite photo locations in Lincoln Park?

If you are getting married at Cafe Brauer and want to keep all of your wedding portraits on-site, there are so many great options, and most are within walking distance. 

My favorite locations within walking distance are the "Kissing Bridge" and the Nature Boardwalk around the South Pond. 

A short drive away includes the lakefront at Fullerton and North Avenue Beach.