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Where to take photos in Chicago when it rains

Photo Locations Chicago Rain - Wrigley Building Wedding Photos Rain

Rainy days are great for cuddling with your fiancé and furbaby on the couch, but when it comes to your wedding day, keeping those grey clouds away are a must! But if mother nature has other plans in mind, no need to panic. Being prepared for a day of unwanted weather can save you a big stressor and still allow you to pull off a gorgeous wedding.

So where do you take your photos at when it rains?

Here are some of our favorite spots in Chicago and the suburbs. Be sure to check in advance with your favorite location(s) regarding their photography policies so you know you have the perfect backup rain plan in place.

Garfield Park Conservatory* : My fav, fav, fav place for any indoor photos will always be this gem. This beautiful indoor plant filled conservatory is the perfect location no matter the weather. If you are aching for flowers, cacti, or palm trees, this is your kind of place!

*A $40 photo permit is required to use this location for any photo sessions / weddings. You can apply online in advance.

Photo Locations Chicago Rain Photo Locations Chicago Rain Photo Locations Chicago Rain

Lincoln Park Conservatory* : Another beautiful conservatory that allows us to pretend we live in perfect weather year round. Lincoln Park Conservatory houses stunning horticulture and a tranquil atmosphere. It is a smaller conservatory than Garfield Park, but it tends to be closer to many popular Chicago wedding venues.

*A $40 photo permit is required to use this location for any photo sessions / weddings. You can apply online in advance.

Union Station : If you love architecture, Union Station is a beauty with its gorgeous columns. You are required to have a photo permit if you want to take photos inside Union Station in the Great Hall, however, we are able to take photos outside the building without it.

TIP: Keep in mind that this is a very popular rain plan on Saturdays, so you may be sharing the space with another wedding or have to wait in line to take your photos here.

Photo Locations Chicago Rain Where to take wedding photos in Chicago rain

Lyric Opera House : This location is a great alternative to Union Station as it has a similar look / feel but isn’t as popular … meaning you might have this spot to yourselves!

Chicago Cultural Center : A Chicago landmark with gorgeous architecture, beautiful ceilings and an epic staircase.

Harold Washington Library: Whether you are book lovers or a sucker for unique ceilings and cozy places, Harold Washington Library is a great location.

Lincoln Park Honey Comb : If you can’t live without some Chicago skyline views, this covered spot inside Lincoln Park is a great option. Keep in mind, your transportation cannot drop you off right here, so you bring an umbrella and be prepared for a 5-minute walk.

TIP : Grab cute umbrellas for you + your wedding party if you have your heart set on outdoor photos.

Photo Locations Chicago Rain

J. Parker rooftop : This glass-enclosed rooftop offers views of your favorite downtown buildings while being able to stay dry inside. Win, win!

Celeste Roof Garden : Nestled in River North, this luxe rooftop feels like you are hanging out in the perfect garden tucked away from the city.

Your favorite hotel : Is there a hotel in Chicago that you adore the design and decor? If so, give them a call, and ask if you would be allowed to take photos around the hotel / in the lobby on your wedding day.

Photo Locations Chicago Rain

Bird Haven Greenhouse (Joliet)* : This adorable little greenhouse is perfect for bride + groom photos on a wedding day. And if the rain lets up, the grounds surrounding this greenhouse are filled with beautiful flowers and trees.

*A $20 photo permit is required to use this location for any photo sessions / weddings. Call 815-741-7278 to secure your permit.

Wilder Park Conservatory (Elmhurst) : A small conservatory next to Wilder Mansion. While it may be difficult to photograph a large wedding party inside of here, if the weather is especially, icky, it can save the day for bride + groom photos.

Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center (Schaumburg) : This hotel boasts gorgeous natural light throughout the space, a beautiful staircase and fun little nooks and vignettes for photos.

TIP : With any hotel location, I suggest contacting a hotel manager to ensure you can use their space for your wedding day photos.

Of course, it’s ok to be a little upset that the grey puffy clouds have covered up the blue skies, but once you embrace it, it won’t seem so awful. Laugh with your bridesmaids, cuddle into your husband, and maybe even reenact that dreamy Notebook kiss scene! 

Written by : Nikki O’Hara


Looking for more wedding planning advice?

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Just got engaged? 8 Things to do next.

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First time to the blog? Hi, I am Brittany, and I am a fine art film photographer specializing in lifestyle wedding and family photography. I travel worldwide photographing beautiful weddings, engagements, and families, and most of the time you can find me in Chicago, Naples (Southwest Florida), and Las Vegas. My light and airy editing style and candid, joyful photos are what I am best known for. Interested in working together? Contact the studio for more information.

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Hi, I'm Brittany.
Your extra set of eyes with a camera.

Florida, Chicago + destination wedding and family photographer for those who believe in eternalizing this season of life with storytelling images.

After becoming a mom and losing my own mom, I realized that the most cherished photos are moments (not the perfectly posed portrait). I'm here to let moments unfold and to document the true connection between you, your partner and your family.


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Naples, Florida + Chicago portrait photographer specializing in weddings, engagements, elopements + family photography.