21 Best Pre Wedding Shoot Locations In Chicago

Sep 19, 2022

Amid stressful wedding planning, researching a pre-wedding shoot location is just another item to add to the never-ending to-do list. Moreover, Chicago has so many great photoshoot locations that it can be almost impossible to choose. To help alleviate that stress, we’ve compiled 21 of the best spots for your pre-wedding shoot!

1. Buckingham Fountain 

Source: Tracy Petersen Photography

Located in the heart of Grant Park, this fountain is not only one of the largest in the world but also sits against a great close view of the Chicago skyline. With streams of water that shoot up to 150 feet into the air, the fountain creates an almost majestic feeling perfect for photos. In addition, the wide, open plaza creates a dynamic and versatile space for a variety of fabulous pictures.

2. Art Institute of Chicago

Source: Janet D Photography

Right by the Buckingham Fountain, the Art Institute of Chicago is the perfect place for a unique set of pre-wedding photos. With a seemingly endless variety of architecture and art, this institute has a whole host of different photo spots with entirely different moods. If you are looking to create a grand and magical feeling in your pre-wedding photos, this is the spot for you!

3. Chicago Theater

Source: Flytographer

With its iconic red sign and flashing lights, the Chicago Theater is remarkable to residents and visitors alike. That makes it an amazing photo opportunity, capturing the hustle and bustle of the city while simultaneously adding some flair with the huge sign. This is an incredibly beautiful landmark that will surely make for some great photos.

4. Millennium Park

Source: Hanna Walkowaik

Although many people have taken their photos here, it is indeed for good reason. Millennium Park hosts not only the iconic Chicago Bean but some of the most beautiful gardens in the city. If you are looking for a classic, will-not-let-you-down location, Millennium Park is the place for you!

5. Riverwalk

Source: Hanna Walkowaik

Don’t want something as popular as Millennium Park? Try a spot along the Riverwalk. Located beneath the street roads of Chicago, this is the perfect place to capture the skyline, bridges, and some nature all in one but without passing cars. Since the Riverwalk also covers a decent stretch, there are many varying spots to choose from and curate the exact photos you are looking for.

6. Navy Pier

Source: DARS Photography

Want something more fun and upbeat? Navy Pier might be for you! Outside of being a fun place to visit, Navy Pier creates the perfect backdrop different than Chicago’s typical skyline. Outside of the large ferris wheel and rollercoasters, you can also see Lake Michigan along the pier. This view is sure to serve as an amazing pre-wedding photoshoot location.

7. Promontory Point

Source: Laetitia Donaghy Photography

Located in the southern half of the city, this viewpoint is a part of the lakeshore that juts out, creating a one-of-a-kind view of Chicago. It hosts a far, long view of the skyline, and a gorgeous natural backdrop, and is right along Lake Michigan. It is so beautiful there that people have even used it as their wedding venue!

8. Magnificent Mile

Source: Emma Mullins Photography

The Magnificent Mile is another iconic landmark that makes Chicago what it is. Along this avenue are some of Chicago’s most famous and tallest buildings. With an entire mile serving as a potential photo spot, this street is perfect for the couple that wants to curate the perfect bustling Chicago backdrop.

9. Garfield Park Conservatory

Source: Earth Below Photo

The Garfield Park Conservatory is another popular photo spot in Chicago, for good reason. The conservatory is one of the most breathtaking places. Stepping in, you are transported to nature, blissful and serene. This is the perfect place for you if you are looking for a nature-based backdrop rather than an urban one.

10. University of Chicago

Source: Mark Trela Photography

To create an edgier look in your pre-wedding photos, check out the University of Chicago. Often compared to Hogwarts, the college has been named “the most beautiful campus.” The gothic-style buildings with ivy lining the exterior walls create a romantic yet sophisticated atmosphere.

11. Drake Hotel Lobby

Source: Michael Novo Photography

Are you looking for something indoors? Avoiding the Chicago winter? Try the Drake Hotel Lobby. This place is so beautiful that it even is a popular wedding venue location for many couples. Check this place out if you are looking for a glamorous and old-style backdrop for your pre-wedding photo shoot.

12. Palmer House Hilton Lobby

Another indoor hotel option is the Palmer House lobby. With the same renowned fame as the Drake Hotel, this location transports you to not only an entirely different world but also an entirely different time. The painted ceilings and sparkling chandelier create a historic yet classy background, perfect for a pre-wedding shoot.

13. Chicago Cultural Center

Source: Amrit Photography

Opened in 1897, the Chicago Cultural Center has held important events for a very long time, serving as the city’s official reception location. It also makes for an incredible pre-wedding photoshoot location! The domed glass ceiling and intricately decorated walls create a sophisticated and grand atmosphere.

14. Montrose Beach

Source: Janet D Photography

Located in the northern half of the city, Montrose Beach is a beautiful photo shoot location. If you are looking for a shoot on a classic beach with waves but still want the gorgeous Chicago skyline view, you should check out Montrose Beach. The lake views are also unparalleled so this is definitely a great spot for your shoot.

15. Caldwell Lily Pool

Source: Madi Ellis Photography

The Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool, located in Lincoln Park, is known for its lush landscaping and pavilion. Typically, people come to this oasis to escape from the bustling downtown of Chicago, but in this case, it would serve as the perfect pre-wedding shoot location. There are many different spots to enjoy the scenery and to take pictures from, creating many great backdrop opportunities. 

16. Ping Tom Memorial Park

Source: Hanna Walkowaik

Looking for something with more culture behind it? Take a look at Ping Tom Memorial Park. Located in Chicago’s Chinatown neighborhood, this park not only has incredible gardening and nature views but also intricate Chinese-inspired architecture such as its red geometric railings. This blend of scenery will create a unique set of pre-wedding shoot pictures.

17. Baha’i House of Worship

Source: Aguilar Photography

Although this is not technically in Chicago, it still had to be included as a beautiful pre-wedding shoot location. The Baha’i House of Worship is the oldest of its kind still standing and is located in Wilmette, a suburb just north of Chicago. The intricacy and architecture of the temple speak for themselves, creating an absolutely magnificent and magical atmosphere that makes it a must-consider photoshoot spot!

18. Rookery Building Lobby

Source: DARS Photography

This building, used as an interim city hall after the Great Chicago Fire, serves as one of the most unique photo backdrops in the city. Located on La Salle Street downtown, the building lobby has a patterned glass pane ceiling and intricately designed columns and staircase beams giving the space an incredibly grand and beautiful presence.

19. Alta Vista Terrace District

If you are looking for something more historic and intimate, try looking at some spots in the Alta Vista Terrace District. Far from the traditional Chicago skyline views, this neighborhood was inspired by the London rowhouse style, which explains its other-worldly feeling. Especially in the fall, when all the leaves have turned color, this district makes for a beautiful pre-wedding photo backdrop.

20. North Avenue Beach

Source: Hanna Walkowaik

Located a little closer to the downtown area of Chicago, this beach has not only great views of the lake and buildings but also has its pier. This pier creates the perfect pre-wedding shoot location if you are looking to incorporate the classic parts of Chicago without the business of people and cars around you. 

21. Civic Opera

The Civic Opera House is exactly like it sounds: sophisticated, grand, and classy. If those are the elements you are looking for in your pre-wedding shoot, then this is the location for you. The ornate railings and high ceilings create a larger-than-life feeling, while the lights cast a warm glow on the room. 

Conclusion

Regardless of where you choose to take your pre-wedding photo shoot, the only parting advice I can give you is to make it special for yourself. At the end of the day, your wedding plans should reflect your dreams and hopefully, one of these places can help bring that dream into reality. 

Author: Sabrina Cai

Edited & Photo Sourced By: Neha Garg Ahuja

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