Welcome gorgeous! Your search for top Chicago wedding venues has started. He asked the question, you said ‘Yes!!!’ (I am assuming) and you have a sparkling ring on your finger now. The date is set and it is time to find the perfect place for the biggest, greatest, most fabulous day, the day you have been waiting for your whole life, your wedding! There is a chance you were not expecting to find this information on a wedding photographer’s blog… but rest assured, you are in the right place. As an experienced Chicago wedding photographer I have been to so many great (did I mention already that Chicago is an AH-MAZ-ING city to get married? I am probably going to repeat myself a few times here…) venues to photograph all those special moments that I need to share this list with all of you.
Well, Chicago, or the Windy City if you prefer to call it that, it is. For decades, Chicago has been a top wedding destination mainly as a result of its great vibe and selection of elegant wedding venues. I have been a wedding photographer in Chicago for a while now and during that time, I have been to all the best wedding venues in Chicago. Below is my list of my top
Chicago wedding venues
Founded in 1887, the University Club is one of the oldest and most iconic wedding venues in Chicago. The building has a country club vibe with plenty of event space and comes with views overlooking Lake Michigan and Grant Park. The Cathedral Hall, which is where most weddings take place, has elegant wood-paneled walls and stained glass windows creating a modern yet romantic edge. It accommodates up to 300 guests.
This is a high-end venue set in a gallery-like environment that has some historic flair and is located close to downtown Chicago. It’s vaulted ceiling, skylights, exposed brick, and wooden floor and beams make Gallery 1028 such a cool space with a warm, romantic and intimate feel. It can accommodate up to 250 guests.
Union League Club of Chicago
Founded over 140 years ago, the Union League Club of Chicago is another wonderful wedding venue that is known for culinary expertise, highly personalized service, and professional planning capabilities. You can choose to hold your wedding in the Main Dining Room which accommodates up to 325 guests or the Crystal Room which accommodates 175 guests.
Bridgeport Art Center
This is a perfect venue especially if you expect to have a lot of guests. It has two event spaces, the Sculpture Garden and The Skyline Loft. The Skyline Loft is larger than the Sculpture Garden with over 18,500 square feet to use. Along with being spacious, the Skyline Loft offers spectacular views of the Chicago skyline which makes the perfect backdrop for beautiful wedding pictures. If you prefer an outdoor wedding, the Sculpture Garden is perfect as it has a spacious outside patio with a stunning brick archway which makes it perfect for hosting ceremonies.
The Crystal Gardens
This is a stunning six-story glass atrium with an elegant 50-foot arched ceiling. It is located on the famous Chicago Navy Pier which is the perfect place for a memorable wedding. In addition to its natural backdrop, this venue also provides views of the Chicago skyline, Lake Michigan and Navy Pier’s Dock Street; so you will have plenty of spots to take photos. The Crystal Gardens has a capacity of 500 guests.
Wyndham Grand Riverfront
This is a chic venue located in downtown Chicago. It’s centrally located near Michigan Avenue, Navy Pier, Millennium Park, and The Magnificent Mile. It comes with beautiful views of Chicago’s skyline and the Chicago River. The hotel can accommodate 300 guests in any of their indoor ballrooms. The Penthouse Ballroom and Terrace on the 39th floor is a great spot to take amazing pictures.
Another top venue, Carnivale encapsulates all amazing things for a truly unique wedding venue. Everything from the colorful design, tasty food and drinks menu, and beautiful views is meant to create lasting memories of your special day. You can choose any of 3 spaces to host your wedding; the Samba Room is ideal for your wedding with its 200-guest capacity, floor to ceiling windows, and large chandeliers.
Steeped in tradition and history, Galleria Marchetti is a venue that sets the tone for a flawless and unforgettable wedding. It has five unique outdoor and indoor which can be combined to suit your needs. The Pavilion is a combination of three of the spaces that accommodates up to 600 guests. La Pergola is an outdoor open-air venue that accommodates up to 300 guests.
This is the perfect place for an intimate wedding. A New Leaf boasts a spacious outdoor courtyard and a beautifully designed multilevel interior of exposed brick, modern metalwork throughout, and “suspended” concrete staircase.
With a capacity of 150 guests, A New Leaf offers beautiful decor, tranquil ambiance and a backdrop for an unforgettable wedding.
W Chicago Lakeshore
This is another unique wedding venue in Chicago that makes it possible for you to celebrate your special day suspended 33 floors in the air while enjoying breathtaking views of Downtown Chicago, Lake Michigan, and Navy Pier. The W Chicago can provide food and catering, bar and drinks, and service staff if needed. It has a capacity of up to 200 guests.
This is a classic hotel wedding venue that can easily turn your elegant wedding ceremony into a weekend-long celebration. You may host up to 220 guests at the hotel with five available event spaces to choose from. The Adler Ballroom is a great space for the ceremony after which you should hold the reception in Baleo Restaurant. Their staff will work with you to make sure your wedding is perfect.
With a capacity of up to 500 guests, the Mid-America Club offers pure elegance and fantastic views to you and your guests. This elegant city venue will allow you to personalize space in any way to suit your needs. It sits on the 80th floor of AON center providing picturesque views of the entire city. With full in-house delicious catering options and bar services, what more could you possibly need?
There you have it. My list of top Chicago wedding venues. By any means this is a complete list, oh no! In such a historically rich city and with new, exciting venues opening every year the possibilities are endless. My list is more of an introduction and quick guide to Chicago wedding venues from the photographer point of view. After all, you would like your wedding day to be exceptional and the one to remember, right?
In case you would like to see more weddings from these and other wedding venues in Chicago (and suburbs, yes Chicagoland is not just the city) visit my wedding photography blog HERE.