Choosing Bridal Party photo locations
PHOTO TAKEN BY: TALENT CITY ARTISTS, BRYAN CREELY
I came across a great article written by event planner Shannon Gail. I found this information very helpful for brides which suggests locations for outstanding photography to be taken prior to their wedding ceremony that can be conveniently located in proximity to their hotel accommodations.
When choosing Bridal Party photo locations, you’ll want to have a couple things in mind. First, you have to consider the neighborhood or area of the city that you’re in. If your hotel and wedding venue are both in The Loop, you’re most likely not going to want to have your First Look in Lincoln Park; you are much better off making the most of the area that you’re already in and taking amazing photos there. The second thing you’ll want to do is to ensure you allow enough time for photos in your wedding day schedule. While taking pictures may seem like something quick and easy, it’s typically what can take up the majority of your day. Our biggest tip here is to just be realistic. If Google maps says that something is 20 minutes away, we also like to factor in at least 10 minutes of traffic, as well as the time it takes to herd your entire Bridal Party in and out of the trolley/limo. This is why we almost always advise our couples to choose no more than two locations, and to allow at least two hours for Bridal Party photos. It may seem like a lot, but trust us, you’ll be so happy when you arrive at your ceremony on time (or even a few minutes early!)
Luckily, our city is dripping in fabulous photo locations. No matter what neighborhood you’re in, you’ll undoubtedly get your “dream” wedding photos. To make this part of the planning a little bit easier today, we’ve broken down our favorite photo locations by neighborhood below!
If you're in the Lincoln Park/Old Town area…
Chicago History Museum staircase (1601 N Clark). If you’re not getting married at CHM, you still need to take a spin over to their beautiful staircase and get some great Bridal Party shots.
Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool (Cannon/Fullerton). This is definitely one of the most popular spots in the city for wedding photos, so we suggest adding some ‘cushion’ time for photos here. Though it will most definitely be packed, the photos here are incredible.
Lincoln Park Zoo (2001 N Clark). The Lincoln Park Zoo is kind of a 3-in-one deal when it comes to photo locations. You’ve got the bridge that overlooks the entire park and also has the amazing skyline view, you’ve got the “honeycomb” shot, and you have the gorgeous grounds of the zoo and Cafe Brauer, all in one stop.
Chicago Board of Trade (Adams/Lasalle). To say that this location is iconic is an understatement. You simply cannot skip the #CBOT shot if you’re anywhere near the loop on your wedding day.
Union Station (500 W Jackson). This is another “iconic” spot in the city – you can either head inside for photos in the gorgeous Great Hall (you’ll need a permit, so plan ahead here!), or can stay outside under the pillars on Canal.
Art Institute of Chicago (111 S Michigan Ave). We absolutely love the Art Institute for those super modern pictures. If you’re on Michigan Ave, this is a must-stop.
Olive Park. Another very popular location that you’ll want to add extra time to your timeline for. Olive Park boasts one of the best views of the city and is absolutely one of our favorite spots for wedding photos.
The Riverwalk. This is definitely our number one “go-to.” With so many surrounding hotels, and endless gorgeous staircases, it’s the ideal spot for a First Look.
The Wrigley Building (400-410 N Michigan Ave) is one of the most famous buildings in the city, and has to be on your photo list if you’re staying on the Magnificent Mile.
The mother of all locations, the Adler Planetarium (1300 S Lakeshore Drive). This is undoubtedly one of the best views of the city and an absolute must if you’re in the South Loop.
Grant Park South Gardens. Just off of Congress & Michigan Ave, the Grant Park South gardens are a beautiful spot for both Bridal Party photos and a First Look.