By Melanie Falina

For many couples who are planning their wedding, choosing the perfect location for wedding photos is just as important – if not more so – than the dress and reception locale. Long after the gifts have been unwrapped and thanked for, for years to come after the dress has been packed away, wedding photos will still be viewed, shared, and enjoyed by not only the newlyweds, but their close family and friends as well. Depending on your personalities and personal style, there is always an array of different backdrops that can be utilized to create the perfect setting – be it in a big city with a wall of majestic sky scrappers behind your wedding party, on the beach as the bride and groom sink their toes into the sand, or amid of field of flowers – the possibilities are pretty close to being endless. Fortunately in the Chicago area, there is simply a plethora of beautiful, fun, and stately venues and areas to choose from – here are some of the best places to take wedding pictures in Chicagoland…

Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, IL. 60022
(847) 835-5440
www.chicagobotanic.org

Sitting pretty upon 385 acres and within 27 gardens and nine islands, for more than four decades now the Chicago Botanic Gardens has shown visitors that a plush and exotic living museum can indeed thrive right in the midst of a sprawling city. Choosing the Chicago Botanic Gardens for your wedding photos is far from an original idea and there’s good reason why it’s become such a popular setting to capture these priceless moments. Be it before the rose garden, their stunning waterfall, amid the tranquility of the Japanese gardens, or a combination of all three – and more dazzling scenes – you’d be hard pressed to find a bad place to take beautiful pictures in the Chicago Botanic Garden. Located in near-by Glencoe, Illinois, a trip to the Chicago Botanic Garden is easy regardless of where you hold your ceremony in Chicago. Or, couples can also hold their receptions, rehearsal dinners, or even the wedding itself right in the Gardens as well.

Garfield Park Conservatory
300 N. Central Park Ave.
Chicago, IL. 60624
(312) 746-5100
www.garfieldconservatory.org

Referred to as “landscape art under glass,” the Garfield Park Conservatory boasts one of the largest and unquestionably beautiful conservatories in the entire country. From their exquisite flowers to lush tropical flora, the Conservatory naturally creates an elegant setting for wedding photos in every corner of space. For weddings in the warmer months of the year, there are 12 opulent acres of outdoor gardens to explore and capture on film, and when Mother Nature isn’t cooperating, another two acres indoors that are just as alluring. Media permits are required for engagement or wedding photos occurring within the Garfield Park Conservatory, but are easily obtained. And there is also a multi-room greenhouse are available to host warm, tropical special occasions like reunions, family gatherings, and of course weddings.

Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: 312-744-6630
www.cityofchicago.org

One might not often view a building at the same level of beauty as a mountain range or a breath-taking beach scene, but when it comes to the Chicago Culture Center in downtown Chicago, this ‘building’ easily prompts just as many oohs and ahhs as what nature can provide. Opened in 1897, the Chicago Culture Center is a Chicago Landmark that has welcomed presidents, royalty, and community leaders in its extensive history, whilst also remaining a place where anyone can enjoy, explore, and learn – and normally completely for free. Designed by the architectural firm Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge as Chicago’s central library back in 1892, the structure features two ornate stained-glass domes, mahogany doors, coffered ceilings, white Carrara marble walls, a grand staircase, and so many other remarkable details, it creates a striking backdrop your wedding photos.

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Adler Planetarium
1300 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL. 60605
(312) 922-7827
www.adlerplanetarium.org

As you near the date of your nuptials, you and your better half may very well feel that your love is written in the stars – so what better place to capture the moment then at a place like the Adler Planetarium? A public museum dedicated to the study of astronomy and astrophysics, the Adler Planetarium was founded in 1930 and is located on Northerly Island on the shore of Lake Michigan in Chicago. Not only does this locale create somewhat of a heavenly feel when visiting, it’s location also allows for gorgeous wedding photos that can include the iconic Chicago skyline, or nothing by the deep blues of Chicago’s vast and powerful Lake Michigan.

Jacob Henry Mansion Estate
20 S. Eastern Ave.
Joliet, IL. 60433
(815) 722-1420
www.jacobhenrymansion.com

While planning your fairy tale wedding, why not take your wedding photos is a setting that is just as magical? Located in Joliet, Illinois, the moment you lay your eyes upon the Jacob Henry Mansion you’ll release it was well worth the drive down from Chicago. Built in 1873, the mansion sits upon 16,800 square feet and includes more than 40 rooms of black walnut and oak hand-carved woodwork, lavish period decorations, stately fireplaces, and the prestige of old Victorian charm. With lush gardens on the estate, the grand Victorian Ballroom, and withing a short walk to the historic Old Central Church, there are countless opportunities to capture the perfect photograph moments that will be cherished for generations to come.

Related: Best Community Gardens In Chicago

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