Chicago is a vibrant city situated along the southwest corner of Lake Michigan. It's the third most populous city in the United States and home to many world-famous attractions and iconic architecture. Chicago has long been known for its unique culture, rich history, and diverse neighborhoods. It’s also famous for its delicious food, lively music scene, and various festivals.
With its world-renowned restaurants and extensive nightlife opportunities, the Windy City will keep everyone entertained throughout their visit. You can also go on romantic cruises along the riverfront or up Lake Michigan to thrilling sports games or chilly winter ice skating excursions. You’ll experience no dull moment as soon as you set foot in this magnificent city!
If you’re looking for a gorgeous destination to celebrate the union of love, there are plenty of outdoor wedding venues in Chicago for couples who prefer a more natural setting. From lush gardens to grand waterfront views, Chicago doesn’t disappoint! Many venues also offer unique features like rooftop terraces or spacious lawns that will provide beautiful backdrops for wedding photos.
Outdoor Wedding Options in Chicago
From local food trucks to five-star restaurants, there are plenty of caterers in Chicago that can help make your wedding a success. Be sure to ask about their experience with outdoor weddings and whether they can accommodate special requests.
Many great florists in Chicago can help you decorate your outdoor wedding venue. Whether you want essential centerpieces or elaborate floral arrangements, they'll be able to surprise you with something unique for your wedding.
- Wedding Equipment
If you're planning an outdoor wedding in Chicago, you'll need to rent some wedding equipment. This includes things like tents, tables, chairs, and dance floors. Ask your venue if they have any recommendations for rental companies.
- Wedding Photographer
Perhaps, one of the most significant investments you'll make when planning your garden wedding is a wedding photographer. An experienced wedding photographer will be able to capture all the special moments of your big day, from the first kiss to the final dance. When looking for a photographer, ask about their experience with outdoor weddings to help you ensure they're prepared for any challenges with shooting in an outdoor setting.
- Hair and Makeup
Your hair and makeup should be perfect on your wedding day, so choosing a great stylist is crucial. Luckily, it isn't hard to find talented hair and makeup artists in Chicago who specialize in outdoor weddings. Don't be afraid to ask questions to know whether they're right for you and can meet particular demands.
Outdoor Wedding Vendors in Chicago
- Blue Plate Chicago
If you're looking for a reliable catering company for your outdoor wedding, Blue Plate Chicago might be the right one for you. This local caterer has plenty of experience with outdoor weddings and can accommodate special requests. They also have a wide variety of menu options, so you're sure to find something that everyone will love.
- Dilly Lilly
Located in historic Lincoln Park, Dilly Lily is a high-end floral design shop and full-service wedding and event company. Headed by a talented team of floral artists, the shop has been creating beautiful custom arrangements for years inspired by color and nature. Their accomplished designers are dedicated to making each detail perfect for weddings or other events, from conception to execution.
- Victoria Sprung Photography
Victoria Sprung Photography is a diverse group of professionals with decades of industry expertise. They've worked with hundreds of ecstatic couples in the past. Victoria, the lead photographer, has been a full-time wedding photographer since 2007 and specializes in real moments, beautiful portraits, and fantastic lighting. Her team comprises skilled professionals passionate about their work, so you'll know you're in good hands!
Pros and Cons of Outdoor Weddings in Chicago
When it comes to an outdoor wedding in Chicago, there are a few significant factors you need to take into consideration. To assist you with this decision-making process, here is a helpful listing of both the benefits and drawbacks:
- You can save money on decorations since you already have beautiful outdoor settings.
- It can be more convenient for guests if the ceremony and reception are in the same place, which is common in outdoor wedding venues. This way, they don't have to travel between locations.
- Outdoor weddings allow you to take advantage of the natural beauty of your surroundings. Whether in a park or near the water, nature provides a stunning backdrop for your special day. You'll have fantastic wedding photos to keep for life!
- The weather is one of the most important considerations when planning an outdoor wedding in Chicago. It would help if you were prepared for the possibility of rain or other inclement weather conditions. If it rains on your wedding day, you'll be stuck scrambling to find an indoor location last minute.
- Another thing to consider is bugs. If you're getting married in the summer at a garden wedding venue, there's a chance that mosquitoes and other insects will be present. Be sure to have a plan for dealing with them so they don't cause a nuisance among your guests and ruin your important day!
- You must also be aware of noise restrictions if you marry in a public wedding venue. You may need a permit to have amplified music at your reception.
Tips on How to Organize Outdoor Weddings in Chicago
Allow yourself to daydream of a romantic outdoor wedding—the sun beaming, the wind blowing, and the fresh air invigorating. However, planning a wedding isn't a walk in the park. Here are a few simple tips that will help you pull off an outdoor wedding and ensure everything runs smoothly:
- Choose a scenic and practical wedding venue: You shouldn't only focus on the aesthetics but also on the venue's functionality. You'll want a spot that is large enough to accommodate all your guests comfortably and has enough natural beauty to make it unique and visually pleasing.
- Start planning your decor: Consider incorporating elements of nature into your wedding venues, such as using trees for aisle markers or wildflowers for centerpieces. Not only will this add to the overall aesthetic of your wedding, but it will also save you money on decorating costs.
- Be prepared for weather changes: Even if you're planning your wedding during the summer, it's always a good idea to have a backup plan in case of rain or other inclement weather. Renting a large tent is an excellent way to ensure that your guests will still be able to enjoy your wedding, no matter what Mother Nature has in store.
- Prepare your guests: An outdoor wedding requires careful planning and preparation not only on the part of the couple but also for your guests. Indicate your outdoor setting in the invitation or wedding website so that they can decide on their attire. You don’t want your guests to wear stilettos sinking in the ground throughout the ceremony and reception.
Famous Locations in Chicago
- The Field Museum
The Field Museum is a natural history museum located on Lake Michigan. It is one of Chicago's oldest museums, featuring exhibitions centered on Egyptian artifacts, dinosaurs, scientific discoveries, animal biology, meteorites, and more! With its iconic architecture and beautiful setting, it's no wonder this museum is a popular destination among out-of-state tourists and locals alike.
- Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanic Gardens
Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanic Gardens is a perfect outdoor destination for people who want a gorgeous natural setting to spend their day. The botanic gardens offer plenty of photo-worthy locations, including a scenic trail around the lake and near a beautiful waterfall. Plus, the nature center provides educational displays and live animal exhibits that you will love exploring.
- The Morton Arboretum
The Morton Arboretum is a beautiful public garden and outdoor museum in one, advocating for the importance and protection of plants and trees. This garden has over 1,700 acres of land, so you'll have plenty of space to explore the beautiful grounds and appreciate the opportunity to learn about the different trees and plants. The Arboretum also offers lots of fun programs and activities, such as nature photography, hiking, and drawing for adults, and art, reading, and plays for children and families.