Are you dreaming of a calm, low-stress, and gorgeous elopement experience? If so, you’re in the right place! In this guide, I’m going to share the best Chicago elopement locations, where to celebrate with loved ones, where to stay, and other helpful tips for an epic day!
Maybe I’m biased as someone who’s grown up outside of the city, but I absolutely love Chicago for an intimate wedding day experience. There are so many incredible places to tie the knot, celebrate, and take photos. What’s not to love?!
You might also be interested in reading: How to Plan an Elopement
Why not get married in Chicago?! Chicago is one of the best US cities if you ask me! It boasts natural beauty, world-class dining, eclectic architecture, picture-perfect scenery, and an incredible art scene. It’s the perfect combination of city life and nature, with gorgeous skyscrapers, beaches, and parks.
It’s also one of the best destinations with all four seasons. Whether you’re dreaming of a sunny summer elopement, a spring ceremony surrounded by flowers, a colorful fall setting, or a winter wonderland experience, Chicago’s got it!
Chicago is one of the best cities to elope because there are so many location opportunities! There’s a place for every kind of ceremony, including micro weddings, simple events, picturesque scenery, and more.
Here’s a quick list of some of the best Chicago elopement locations:
Interested in Chicago elopement packages? Check out The Wild Aisle Experience!
The Chicago Cultural Center is a historic, luxurious building with captivating architecture and is one of Chicago’s most visited landmarks. If you want to elope somewhere with an elegant backdrop in a one-of-a-kind setting, this is it! There’s even space for wedding guests if you plan on inviting loved ones.
You can find tons of incredible event spaces to say “I do” at the Chicago Cultural Center. There are two magical stained-glass domes, galleries, halls, and a theater you can use for your Chicago elopement and/or reception venue. The Chicago Cultural Center is the perfect spot because it caters to small elopements and intimate or big weddings.
If you and your love enjoy nature, the Oak Park Conservatory could be a great spot to celebrate your big day. This botanical garden offers the ideal space to tie the knot, with outdoor gardens and Conservatory greenhouses.
The Oak Park Conservatory is a dreamy location surrounded by natural sights and sounds. Marry your love in a serene oasis, and invite a few guests if you choose. There’s also a cozy room for a small reception.
The University of Chicago’s campus is absolutely stunning and offers the perfect setting for a Chicago elopement. Beautiful courtyards, green spaces, and buildings with intricate architecture make for gorgeous backdrops. There are also a couple of chapels on campus, The Quadrangle Club, and a boutique hotel, The Study.
Contact Wild Aisle Photography for help planning your elopement day!
Another outdoor space in Chicago that elopement couples appreciate is Lincoln Park. This expansive outdoor urban refuge is massive! It’s home to its own zoo, museums, theater, and conservatory. As Chicago’s largest park, there are countless places to say “I do” and pose for photos to document your special day.
Whether you’re dreaming of a spring elopement surrounded by greenery and flowers, or a holiday wedding with colorful lights and snow, Lincoln Park is an amazing elopement destination year-round.
Millennium Park is a famous, award-winning park that features the iconic Cloud Gate, green spaces, and colorful gardens. Whether you choose to exchange your vows next to the Bean, surrounded by flowers in spring, or in a grass area backed by city views, this is an incredible Chicago elopement destination.
Frank Lloyd Wright, a famous architect and designer, spent years creating jaw-dropping homes in Chicago – and you can have your elopement ceremony at one of them! I love Airbnb weddings because it offers a private setting and a place to get ready and spend the night. It’s convenient and often offers a special experience.
Chicago is home to several Frank Lloyd Wright Airbnbs, including this 4,000 square foot Old Town penthouse with a rooftop deck offering picture-perfect cityscape panorama. These rentals are perfect for spending quality time with your love and capturing unique photos.
One of the coolest things about Chicago is its beaches. With 26 miles of shoreline along Lake Michigan, there are tons of beautiful beaches to have your elopement ceremony. Whether you choose to have your wedding on the beach itself or nearby with Lake Michigan views, the opportunities are endless!
For one of Chicago’s best skyline scenery, North Avenue Beach is the place to go. If you’re up for a small hike, Rosewood Beach is the best spot for privacy – & it’s stunning in fall! And if you’re interested in a hotel wedding with a rooftop restaurant and bar with Lake Michigan views, J. Parker on top of Lincoln Hotel is the place for you!
What about a simple courthouse ceremony before exploring the city? If this sounds like your style, I recommend heading to City Hall. Having your ceremony at City Hall is easy and quick. Then, you can spend the rest of your day celebrating your special day any way you like!
Once you say “I do” and pose for some pictures, it’s time to eat, drink, and celebrate! Whether you want to have an intimate celebration with your new spouse or get together with all of your loved ones, these restaurants are some of Chicago’s best!
Aba is the perfect wedding day restaurant! This trendy spot serves delicious Mediterranean fare and cocktails. The cozy rooftop is an excellent place to grab drinks, too.
Appreciate fashion and exotic decor at Michelin-starred Porto. Porto specializes in Galicia, Spain, and Portugal seafood, and it’s one of the best places to splurge as newlyweds! You can also enjoy exclusive wines, culinary cocktails, and unique desserts.
For London, circa 1926 vibes, Armitage Ale House is a local favorite. This is the perfect place to celebrate your Chicago elopement with just the two of you, with a super cozy atmosphere, incredible food, even better drinks, and piano tunes.
Located just across from the iconic Millenium Park, Cindy’s Rooftop offers a hip vibe and picturesque scenery. The open-air terrace offers panoramic scenery of the park, Lake Michigan, and more. It’s also a romantic spot for just you and your love or spacious enough for family and friends to join you.
Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse is a Chicago icon with some of the best surf ‘n’ turf options around. Enjoy a classic menu, an extensive wine list, and a high-end setting. Grab a high-top or patio table with your honey for an elopement day date or gather your loved one to join you!
Interested in a laid-back atmosphere to celebrate your elopement? Ravinia Brewing Company is another Chicago favorite where you can enjoy local beers and Mexican street food. There’s a large indoor and outdoor beer garden space to have your friends and family join you. There’s even an option to rent out the space for a big reception.
If you’re traveling to Chicago for your elopement or have loved ones visiting, there are endless accommodation options.
Here are a few of the best places to stay in Chicago:
I hope this guide has inspired you to start planning your big day, and I’d love to help you! I’m more than an elopement photographer – I work with couples to create a personalized experience, offering help selecting your elopement location, activity suggestions and more. I can even officiate your wedding! The whole enchilada.
January 4, 2023