Hotels with city views and classic ballrooms are popular Chicago wedding venue choices in the Windy City. However, that doesn’t mean they are the only options! The Chicago Botanic Garden is an enchanting venue for couples who love the outdoors. It provides the perfect setting for a summer garden wedding in Chicago! 

As a Chicago wedding photographer who shoots film, I simply love beautiful outdoor weddings with lots of natural light. Wedding portraits are a dream on the expansive grounds of the Chicago Botanic Garden. The backdrop options are endless! Erica and Lance’s intimate outdoor ceremony took place in the Helen and Richard Thomas English Walled Garden. The stone walls, ivy-covered brick, and pond dotted with water lilies remind me of the time I spent living in England. After walking past the stone lion that guards the entrance, you are greeted by the sound of water trickling into an antique cistern. Talk about idyllic!


There are six “rooms” in this particular garden. Each area showcases a different aspect of historic English garden design. The silver wisteria draped throughout the Pergola Garden is as romantic as it gets. By contrast, the structured boxwood in the Checkerboard Garden lends a formal feel to wedding portraits. Both gardens are completely photogenic. In short, no matter where you choose to take your portraits, the atmosphere of the Chicago Botanic Garden is as timeless as it is magical! 

Erica and Lance’s wedding has a permanent spot on my “favorites” list. From her Vera Wang dress to her floral selection, Erica’s classic taste shone through in every detail of the day. Everything was planned to a T! By the way, did you see that charming settee with the rolled arms? I loved posing this Chicago bride, her bridesmaids, and her cute flower girl around the sofa for a few portraits. It was one of my favorite setups! Happily, Style Me Pretty just so happened to agree. See more details from Erica and Lance’s romantic, sophisticated wedding at the Chicago Botanic Garden here.