You met the person of your dreams, decided they are the one and only for you, and just got engaged. Congratulations! I could not be happier for you. But as the excitement fades, the daunting preparations that a wedding entails start to surface, and one of the first things you’ll need to plan is your Chicago engagement photos.
Engagement photos are a must for your save-the-date cards, wedding invitations, and – let’s be honest – announcing your engagement on social media. As a result, you’ll want your photos to feel as beautiful and special as your relationship. The right location can make all the difference, which is why I compiled this list of the best locations for Chicago engagement photos.
North Avenue Beach
Located at Lincoln Park, North Avenue Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Chicago, and its view of the Chicago skyline makes it one of the best places to take your engagement photos. Since Chicago is positioned on the west side of Lake Michigan, the best times to be photographed at North Avenue Beach are at sunrise and at sunset.
The sunrises over the lake have a whimsical blue shade, and the lake is perfectly still and peaceful most mornings. Together, they give a peaceful element to the shoot. It might feel difficult to get out of bed and look picture perfect before the sun is out, but the results are totally worth it and last a lifetime.
If, on the other hand, you want your photos to feature the city skyline, with the Hancock building front and center, then sunset is the best time to get your photos taken, as the sunlight falls onto the buildings in shades of orange most evenings. Giving the scenery a golden aura that embraces the couple.
There could be no list of the best locations for engagement photos in Chicago without mentioning the magnificent Wrigley Building. Located across Michigan Avenue, the Wrigley Building was inspired by the Giralda tower of Seville’s Cathedral and French Renaissance. It is rich in details and grandeur and provides a wide variety of photo opportunities.
You can have your photos taken at the balcony, overlooking the water and signature Chicago buildings. There is a softness and light to the building views that brings a soft romantic feel to the photos while keeping Chicago’s lively nature intact.
Alternatively, you can be photographed in front of Wrigley’s majestic golden entrance. It is hard to believe the difference a few steps can make, from the waterfront to the entrance. The building has such detailed stonework, you get transported to a historical moment, where the couple shines.
Lincoln Park South Pond
This beautiful water body, located in the middle of Lincoln Park Zoo, surrounded by grass, elms, and maples, is one of the most popular engagement photo locations in Chicago. And it’s easy to understand why, as it brings together nature and the Chicago skyline.
Apart from the waterside photos, with the Chicago skyline peeking behind the park trees, you can also get your photos taken at the popular Education Pavilion, or as some call it, the Lincoln Park honeycomb. A stone structure that provides endless photo opportunities and a chance to get creative.
Art Institute Garden
The iconic Art Institute of Chicago has two modern gardens. But when you talk of engagement photos it is the south garden that calls your attention. There is a pattern of granite planters, with beautiful hawthorn trees in orange gravel, on both sides of a rectangular pool, leading to the Fountain of the Great Lakes.
The colors of the garden change according to the season, as the hawthorns produce white blooms in the spring and red berries throughout winter. And its leaves turn from dark green to orange and red in the fall.
Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool
This is the perfect location for couples who are looking to escape the city imagery for their engagement photos, without actually having to leave the city. There is a beautiful pavilion next to the pond, and a serene waterfall.
The feel of this location completely changes according to the season. If you have an autumn shoot, you will be surrounded by golds and browns, with darker water reflections. If you get your engagement photos in the spring, you can count on incredible greens, and a pool filled with native plantings.
There is an enormous diversity of Chicago locations that are perfect for your engagement photos. Hopefully, now you have an idea of what location better fits your taste and vision. This is the first peek into your big day, and you definitely want to make sure it reflects you as a couple.
If you are still unsure, talk to your photographer, we always have tons of ideas when it comes to photoshoot locations, and different ways to portrait them!