Hotels with city views and classic ballrooms are popular venue choices for couples who choose to say “I do” in the Windy City…but that doesn’t mean they are the only options! Couples who love the outdoors will be enchanted by the Chicago Botanic Garden, which 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. The expansive grounds of the Chicago Botanic Garden make wedding portraits a dream! Erica and Lance chose the Helen and Richard Thomas English Walled Garden as the location for their intimate outdoor wedding ceremony. Stone walls, ivy-covered brick, and a pond dotted with water lilies took me back to the time I spent living in England. The atmosphere of the garden is as timeless as it is magical. Once you walk 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” contained within this particular garden, and each area showcases a different aspect of historic English garden design. From the silvery wisteria draped throughout the Pergola Garden to the boxwood and greenery of the formal Checkerboard Garden, the backdrop options for wedding portraits are endless! 

Erica and Lance’s wedding will always have a spot on my “favorites” list. From her Vera Wang dress (a spectacular mermaid style) to her floral selection (roses and hydrangeas in shades of cream and blush), Erica’s classic taste shone through in every detail of the wedding day. Everything was planned to a T! And 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. One of my favorite setups! 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.