It’s no secret that I LOVE a beautiful wedding venue, and as an Illinois wedding photographer, some of my favorites are Chicagoland wedding venues. An iconic city like Chicago is FILLED to the brim with historic sites full of character. If you’re looking to have your wedding in or around Chicago, there are plenty of beautiful venues to choose from that are rich with history. Here, we’ll go through 10 of my favorite wedding venues in Chicago that’ll surely charm you.
My top tip for couples planning their wedding is to look for a space where you’ll want to spend your entire day. You’re spending all of this money to rent out the space for your wedding day, you might as well enjoy it to the fullest and take beautiful photos throughout the experience. I always advocate for versatile venues that can serve multiple purposes on your wedding day. If you can find a place that has a dressing room, ceremony space, and reception space, then you’re in business. Also, if you can find a venue that’s rich with history and charm, it might make your big day that much more special for you and your partner. Once you find your venue, you’ll want to try to book at least a year in advance.
If you want to have a classic Italian wedding, you should consider Salvatore’s. This venue is in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago and has a minimum capacity of 25 guests and a maximum capacity of 220 guests. This spacious venue has a stylish multi-room indoor space as well as an outdoor patio. Its elegantly designed Grand Lobby with a checkered marble floor and grand piano makes for an awesome spot to take portraits. The outdoor walkway and garden on the venue’s left side is a more intimate spot for you to have your portraits done. Its outdoor patio makes for a great space to host your reception when the weather’s nice.
About an hour-long drive outside of Chicago is the Bird Haven Greenhouse in Joliet, IL. This Italian-Renaissance-style greenhouse is rich with history as it was built in the early twentieth century. It can accommodate 254 seated guests and 299 guests reception style. Its waterfall which pours into a koi pond is a beautiful backdrop for wedding portraits. Also, having your wedding just outside of Chicago can potentially make your big day a lot less hectic if you aren’t up for the hustle and bustle of the city.
About 30 miles outside of Chicago is the Bridge Lemont in Lemont, IL. This rustic-industrial Chicagoland wedding venue is 7,000 square feet and has a maximum capacity of 250 guests. It is family owned and operated which makes for a highly personalized experience. It includes a private bridal suite, an outdoor ceremony space, a full bar in each room, and much more. The natural light featured throughout this venue makes for plenty of beautiful spaces for portraits.
If you’re looking to have an environmentally conscious wedding in a chic space, look no further than Greenhouse Loft. As a part of Chicago’s Green Exchange, Greenhouse Loft is a leader in energy and environmental design. The building which Greenhouse Loft occupies was built in 1913 as a knitting mill and later became a manufacturing plant in 1967. The fully customizable space is 3600 square feet and features floor-to-ceiling windows on its east side providing plenty of natural light. It has a capacity for between 150 and 175 guests depending on the floor plan you decide on.
Located in Chicago’s West Town, Salvage One is a unique multi-room 60,000-square-foot event space with a TON of character. It has a capacity for between 175 and 250 guests depending on which floor plan you go with. Its three-room suite is a space with incredibly tasteful furnishings that are perfect for portraits. Its outdoor space by the building’s exposed brick wall with ivy growing on it makes for another great backdrop.
This historic wedding venue was built in 1906 as a firehouse with a high tin ceiling and 4 horse stables. It has undergone many transformations but has since undergone renovations to bring it back to its original state. Located in the city’s Edgewater neighborhood, Firehouse Chicago has a capacity for up to 100 people and features both indoor and outdoor event spaces. Its spiral staircase and large vintage doors make for charming spots to take portraits and of course, there’s a fireman’s pole that can make for some fun photos.
The Joinery is a former woodworking shop in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago that is now a gathering space and wedding venue. It has a vintage warehouse type of feel with a large beautifully designed skylight window which adds a beautiful element to wedding portraits. It has a capacity for up to 150 guests and includes an outdoor event space. There’s also an assortment of antique woodworking equipment that’ll surely add some character to your wedding portraits.
About 30 miles outside of Chicago is the Morton Arboretum which is a public garden and outdoor museum. It was founded in 1922 by Jay Morton and is home to multiple wedding venues that are rich in history. The Founders Room at the Morton Arboretum was formerly a library in the mansion of the Morton family. It features walls paneled with ornately carved woodwork, a marble fireplace, and stained-glass windows. It can accommodate up to 100 people for a ceremony and 130 for a reception.
Just about an hour outside of Chicago, Riverside Receptions in Geneva, IL is a historic natural stone and brick building right along the Fox River. It has a maximum capacity of 260 guests and has both indoor and outdoor ceremony spaces. There is a beautiful balcony overlooking the river that makes for a great spot for portraits. The brick exterior of the building as well as the ivy which grows on it during the summer makes for another beautiful backdrop.
As you can see there are PLENTY of incredible wedding venues throughout the Chicagoland area that are all incredible spaces for you to host your wedding day celebrations. And if you’re still in need of a photographer for your wedding day be sure to send me an inquiry through my contact page as I’d love to be a part of your day!