Ping Tom Park Engagement Photos


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Ping Tom Park engagement photos are more than just snapshots; they’re an opportunity to capture the essence of your love story against a picturesque backdrop. When it comes to breathtaking locations in Chicago, Ping Tom Park stands out as a hidden gem for couples looking to create lasting memories. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through everything you need to know to plan the perfect engagement photoshoot at Ping Tom Park.

Ping Tom Park Engagement Photos

Click here if you want to check out a full gallery!

Why Choose Ping Tom Park?

  1. Scenic Beauty: Nestled along the Chicago River, Ping Tom Park offers a stunning natural setting. Its serene waterfront, lush greenery, and unique architectural elements provide a captivating backdrop for your photos.
  2. Architectural Marvels: The park features a beautifully designed Chinese-style pavilion, bridges, and pagodas that can add a touch of elegance and uniqueness to your engagement photos.
  3. Seasonal Variety: Ping Tom Park’s charm evolves with the seasons. Whether you visit during spring when the cherry blossoms bloom, the vibrant colors of autumn, or even a snowy winter day, each season offers a distinct and captivating atmosphere.

Preparing for Your Photoshoot

  1. Choose the Right Time: Timing is crucial for the perfect photos. The “golden hour” (shortly after sunrise or before sunset) provides soft, warm lighting that enhances your photos. Plan your photoshoot accordingly.
  2. Permits: Check whether you need permits for photography at Ping Tom Park, especially if you’re working with a professional photographer. It’s always best to have the necessary paperwork in order to avoid any issues.
  3. Outfits and Props: Coordinate your outfits to complement each other and the park’s surroundings. Consider bringing props that hold sentimental value or symbolize your journey together.
  4. Posing and Candid Shots: Discuss your vision with your photographer. While posed shots are essential, candid moments can capture the genuine emotions and connection between you two.

The Perfect Spots for Ping Tom Park Engagement Photos

  1. The Chinese Pavilion: This elegant structure is an iconic spot for engagement photos. Its intricate architecture and serene surroundings make for enchanting pictures.
  2. The Riverwalk: Stroll along the Chicago Riverwalk that borders the park. The river’s reflections and the city skyline provide a contemporary urban touch to your photos.
  3. The Cherry Blossom Garden: Visit in the spring to capture the magic of cherry blossoms in full bloom. The sea of pink and white flowers makes for a romantic and dreamy backdrop.
  4. The Bridges: Ping Tom Park features several charming bridges, perfect for intimate shots. They add a touch of old-world charm and a sense of connection to your pictures.


Engagement photos are an artistic and heartfelt celebration of your love story. Choosing Ping Tom Park in Chicago as your backdrop ensures a blend of natural beauty and architectural elegance that will make your photoshoot truly memorable. Remember to plan ahead, make the most of the park’s stunning features, and cherish this special time in your journey together. Your engagement photos will become cherished memories that last a lifetime.

Reach out to us when you are ready to set up your engagement session.

Ping Tom Park Engagement Photos

West Town Chicago Engagement Photos

Engagement Session

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West Town Chicago engagement photos offer a perfect blend of urban charm and modern sophistication. This makes it an ideal location for your engagement photo session. In this blog post, we’ll explore why West Town is a fantastic choice for capturing your love story. We will also share tips to ensure your engagement photos in this vibrant neighborhood turn out stunning.

West Town Chicago Engagement Photos

Click here if you want to check out a full gallery!

Why Choose West Town Chicago Engagement Photos?

  1. Artistic Backdrops: West Town is a hub for art and creativity. Also, the neighborhood is adorned with colorful murals, street art, and trendy graffiti walls, providing a unique and artistic backdrop for your engagement photos. Let your love story come to life against these captivating urban canvases.
  2. Historic Architecture: With its historic brownstones, vintage storefronts, and tree-lined streets, West Town oozes character and charm. You’ll find endless opportunities for classic and timeless shots that reflect the rich history of the neighborhood.
  3. Scenic Parks: West Town is home to beautiful parks and green spaces. Humboldt Park, in particular, offers lush greenery, lagoons, and stunning gardens, making it an ideal spot for romantic, nature-inspired engagement photos.
  4. Local Flavor: This neighborhood has a unique, eclectic atmosphere that’s perfect for showcasing your personality as a couple. Pose in front of your favorite local coffee shop, brewery, or the neighborhood’s iconic Ukrainian Village arch for a personal touch.
  5. City Skyline Views: West Town’s strategic location allows for breathtaking views of the Chicago skyline. Sunset or twilight engagement photos with the cityscape in the background create a captivating and romantic ambiance.

Tips for a Perfect West Town Engagement Photoshoot

  1. Timing is Key: To capture the neighborhood’s beauty at its best, consider scheduling your session during the golden hour. That’s the time just before sunset or right after sunrise. The soft, warm lighting adds a touch of magic to your photos.
  2. Wardrobe Choices: Coordinate your outfits with the neighborhood’s aesthetic. Earthy tones, neutrals, and subtle patterns work well with West Town’s urban and natural backdrops.
  3. Location Scouting: Work closely with your photographer to explore West Town’s hidden gems and iconic spots. A local photographer with knowledge of the area can help you discover unique photo opportunities.
  4. Props and Personal Touches: Incorporate props or items that hold sentimental value, such as a vintage bicycle, a bouquet of your favorite flowers, or even your pet. These personal touches can add depth to your engagement photos.
  5. Stay Relaxed and Natural: While posing is essential, allow moments of spontaneity and authenticity to shine through. Candid shots often capture the genuine love and connection between you and your partner.
  6. Hire a Local Photographer: Choosing a photographer familiar with West Town is key. This ensures that you make the most of the neighborhood’s diverse settings and unique features.


West Town, Chicago, offers a diverse and visually stunning backdrop for your engagement photoshoot. Whether you’re drawn to the neighborhood’s artistic flair, historic charm, scenic parks, or vibrant local culture, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to capture your love story in a way that’s both timeless and uniquely you. Lastly, by following the tips mentioned above and working with a local photographer, you can create a collection of engagement photos that beautifully reflect your love in the heart of the Windy City’s West Town neighborhood.

Let’s chat about your thoughts for your engagement session!

West Town Chicago Engagement Photos

Old Town Chicago Engagement photo

Engagement Session

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Old Town Chicago engagement photos are some of my personal favorites! Old Town, Chicago, is a neighborhood steeped in history, charm, and romance. With its cobblestone streets, historic architecture, and vibrant atmosphere, it’s the perfect backdrop for your engagement session. In this blog post, we’ll delve into why Old Town is an ideal location for your engagement photoshoot and offer some tips to make the most of your session. Let’s explore the magic of love in the heart of Chicago!

Click here if you want to check out a full engagement gallery from Old Town Chicago.

Old Town Chicago Engagement photo

Why Old Town Chicago Engagement for engagement sessions?

  1. Historic Charm: Old Town’s streets are lined with beautiful, preserved historic homes and buildings that exude character and charm. The architecture, including Victorian-era houses and quaint storefronts, provides a unique and visually captivating setting for your engagement photos.
  2. Scenic Beauty: Nestled along the shores of Lake Michigan, Old Town boasts picturesque views of the city skyline. You can capture breathtaking images against the backdrop of the Chicago skyline, the tranquil waters, or amidst lush green parks.
  3. Artistic Vibes: Old Town has long been an artistic hub, home to theaters, galleries, and performance spaces. Incorporate the neighborhood’s creative energy into your engagement session by posing in front of colorful murals or under the marquee lights of the Second City Theater.
  4. Cobblestone Streets: The cobblestone streets in Old Town are a photographer’s dream. The textured stones add a touch of nostalgia and romance to your photos, making them truly unique.
  5. Variety: Whether you prefer a rustic, urban, or garden setting, Old Town offers a diverse range of backdrops for your engagement photos. From Wells Street’s bustling energy to the serene Lincoln Park, you’ll find the perfect spot to reflect your unique love story.

Tips for Your Chicago Engagement Session

  1. Time it Right: Consider scheduling your session during the “golden hours” of sunrise or sunset to capture the soft, warm lighting that enhances the romantic atmosphere of Old Town.
  2. Plan Your Wardrobe: Choose outfits that complement each other and the surroundings. Neutral tones work well with Old Town’s historic aesthetic, but don’t be afraid to add a pop of color or personal style.
  3. Location Scouting: Collaborate with your photographer to scout out the best locations in Old Town for your shoot. This ensures you make the most of your time and capture the neighborhood’s essence.
  4. Incorporate Personal Touches: Bring along props or items that hold sentimental value. Perhaps a picnic setup, your favorite books, or even your furry friend can add a personal touch to your engagement photos.
  5. Embrace Spontaneity: While planning is essential, don’t forget to let your love shine through naturally. Candid shots can often capture the most authentic and heartwarming moments.
  6. Trust Your Photographer: Finally, choose a photographer who knows Old Town well and understands your vision. Their expertise in the neighborhood will be invaluable in capturing the essence of your love story.


Old Town Chicago engagement sessions offer a magical backdrop for all of your photos. History and romance come together to create stunning memories. Also, its historic charm, scenic beauty, and artistic vibes make it an ideal choice for couples looking to capture their love story in a unique and timeless setting. Lastly, with the right planning and a talented photographer, your engagement session in Old Town can be an unforgettable experience that beautifully captures your love. So, why wait? Let your love story unfold in the heart of Chicago’s Old Town!

Reach out to us if you want to chat more about your engagement session!

Old Town Chicago Engagement Photos

The Farmhouse Plainfield top wedding venues in the Chicago suburbs


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What makes a venue one of the top wedding venues in the Chicago suburbs? We go to so many places and meet so many people own a regular basis. For us, people make a huge difference in how we feel about a location. However, the aesthetics, options available, pricing, and guest experience have huge impact on the bride and groom’s decision when choosing the one of the top wedding venue in the Chicago suburbs.

The city has so much to offer but also still falls short in so many places. Commuting around in the city is always a chore. Also, Parking is never cheap and almost always hard to come by. Then there is that additional price tag added on just for being in the good old Chicago zip code. Move your wedding out to the Chicago suburbs and the cost comes down. Hotels are more affordable, parking is easy, and everything is much more accessible for most guests.

More and more incredible wedding locations are popping up in the Chicago suburbs. Here are some of our favorite wedding venues in the suburbs.

Top Wedding Venues in The Chicago Suburbs and Chicago:

The Farmhouse Plainfield | Top Wedding Venues in The Chicago Suburbs

We did a whole blog post just on how incredible this place is. Go check that out! The Farmhouse Plainfield can accommodate up to 200 guests and has a ton of great Google reviews. The property features a large main event building, bridal suite, groomsmen suite, outdoor ceremony and patio area, multiple bars, multiple outbuildings for anything your mind can imagine, and some of the best natural landscaping any wedding venue around.

The staff here is super accommodating and has been nothing but great to us. Go check out Farmhouse if you are looking to have your wedding in the Chicago suburbs. It surely will not disappoint!

The Farmhouse Plainfield top wedding venues in the Chicago suburbs

Goose Island Barrel House Wedding Venue

GIBH is one of my newest favorites to join the list. In fact, we changed the title of this blog form Chicago suburbs to include the suburbs just because of the addition of this city venue. Instead of me ranting and raving here about this venue you should just head over to the blog and check it out for yourself. The little space I have to talk here is not enough. It ratings and reviews speak for itself.

Morton Arboretum | Top Wedding Venues in The Chicago Suburbs

Morton Arboretum, do I need to say anything else? Because of Morton Arboretum’s large size, we used to get lost on the property. I feel like every time I go there I find some new spot that I have never seen before. Every season brings new life.

Morton Arboretum is rated 4.8 on The Knot and listed as a moderate cost. They have several spots for ceremonies to take place but can handle up to 300 guests in the larger facility. The natural beauty of the location makes it so easy to find several great locations for couples photos after the ceremony. Here is a link to their pricing sheet for your reference.

Morton Arboretum Wedding top wedding venues in the Chicago suburbs

Fishermen’s Inn | Top Wedding Venues in The Chicago Suburbs

Fishermen’s Inn is located in Elburn. It could be a bit of a drive for some but would be well worth checking out. The times that we have shot at Fishermen’s Inn we noticed that the staff takes a lot of pride in their facility. They are always willing to help make the bride and groom’s day as special as possible.

Fishermen’s Inn has a 4.9 star rating on The Knot. They are listed as a moderate cost and can host up to 300 guests. Fishermen’s Inn is described as rustic and elegant as well as naturally beautiful. That coupled with exquisite cuisine and top notch professional services makes it a must check out location for brides and grooms in the area.

Fishermen's Inn Wedding Venue top wedding venues in the Chicago suburbs

The Brix on The Fox

The Brix Carpentersville is located in the fox valley. It is known for having incredible flexibility in its two separate wedding venue spaces. They can accommodate up to 320 guests in the industrial modern wedding venue. The prime location offers easy access to highways and any hotel accommodations you need.

Head on over to our blog for all of the pricing information and real wedding photos.

The Brix Carpentersville

Warehouse 109 | Top Wedding Venues in The Chicago Suburbs

Warehouse 109 is in the heart of Plainfield. I like this area due to the very popular downtown area. Also the close proximity to highways and Naperville and Joliet make it convenient for visitors. There are plenty of hotels, bars, and restaurants for guests to stay overnight as well as party before and after.

Warehouse 109 is a smaller boutique venue that can handle up to 150 guests. They are also listed as being a moderate cost on The Knot and have a ton of really great reviews. Their starting price for a Friday is right around $4000.00. Here is a quick link to their current pricing sheet.

Whitetail Ridge | Top Wedding Venues in The Chicago Suburbs

Whitetail Ridge is another Western suburb gem. This one lands you all the way out in Yorkville. This golf course wedding venue boasts a combination of rustic feels, as well as elegance touches. There are so many photo opportunities including a white barn, an s-shaped bridge, lush forests and open fields.

They are listed on The Knot as affordable. They can handle more than 300 guests. So if you need a large venue, this could be the one for you. They have an incredible 4.7 star rating and the ceremony site cost starts at $750.00. All other costs depend on the package selected and number of guests. Here is a link to their pricing information.

Whitetail Ridge Wedding Venue top wedding venues in the Chicago suburbs

Chicago Marriott Naperville | Best Wedding Venues in Chicago Suburbs

We recently shot a wedding at the Chicago Marriott Naperville after the ceremony in downtown Geneva. There is definitely a benefit to having your wedding at a larger venue attached to a hotel. Naperville wedding venues have the added benefit of being close to the highway and downtown Naperville. All of your guests can stay in a room right on site and you don’t have to worry about traveling or people driving when they shouldn’t. It is a well oiled machine. Hotels are also usually all-inclusive.

The Chicago Marriott Naperville has a 4.7 rating on The Knot. Also, it is listed as moderate cost and can accommodate over 300 guests. The ceremony sites start at $300.00 and the per person cost for the reception starts at $85.00. All the pricing information can be found on our blog about the venue.

Chicago Marriott Naperville
Interior photo of Chicago Marriott Naperville Wedding reception

Gathering Barn | Top Wedding Venues

The Gathering Barn is not considered a Chicago suburb wedding venue but I still wanted to add it to the list. This one is up in Fort Atkinson Wisconsin and set on a farm. The staff there has always been super helpful and willing to make anything happen. They off a separate bridal suite and groomsmen’s suite for all the getting ready needs. The Gathering Barn is well landscaped. Also, it has a ton of different locations for all the photography needs.

The Gathering Barn has a 5.0 star rating on The Knot and is listed as an affordable wedding venue. They can accommodate more than 300 guests and have a ton of parking right on site. If you are up in the Wisconsin area and looking for a great wedding venue, go check them out. We already wrote a great blog specifically on this venue. Here it is! There are plenty of rustic wedding venues chicago and Wisconsin have to choose from.

The Gathering Barn Wedding Venue top wedding venues in the Chicago suburbs
Outside building at The Gathering Barn Wedding venue
Interior Photo of The Gathering Barn Wedding Venue
Wedding reception at the Gathering Barn Wedding Venue

Medinah Country Club | Top Wedding Venues

Medinah Country Club wedding venue is one of those places that will take your breath away from the second you drive onto the property. The grounds are so well maintained and the venue is incredibly large. We have had nothing but great experiences there.

Medinah can handle up to 250 guests and is listed as being a moderate cost on The Knot. They are able to handle everything on site including full planning and all meals. They boast a 4.9 star rating and their pricing information can be found here.

Outdoor view of Medinah Country Club wedding Venue top wedding venues in the Chicago suburbs

Bridge 410 Chicago

I get it….. This West Town Chicago venue is not in the suburbs. However, I figured since it is not downtown and I love it so much I just needed to put it in here. They converted an old carriage house into an incredible wedding venue with all the amazing updates you could ask for. This place deserved an entire blog post dedicated just to itself so go over and check that out.

As Chicago wedding photographers we know you will not be let down by this place!

West Town Chicago Wedding ceremony
West Town Chicago Wedding ceremony

Westin Chicago Northwest Weddings

The western suburbs seem to be a hot spot for great wedding venues. I have so many more I need to add here and plan to do so over the next few months. There are several advantages to having your wedding at a hotel. You can get ready, get married, party, and stay the night all in one spot. I know this type of place is not for everyone but some go above and beyond. The Westin Chicago Northwest wedding venue is definitely one of them. The grand hotel lobby and incredible ballrooms give you the flexibility and sophistication your wedding needs. Go check out our blog about the place for an extensive wedding gallery.

The Westin Chicago Northwest


No matter what you are looking for you are sure to find a top wedding venue in the Chicago suburbs. We like going to a venue that we have shot at before, it’s comfortable. However we love going to new places and discovering new things. We will try to keep this updated and moved around as we find more places that just speak to us and that we think you will love. You will find some affordable wedding venues Chicago has to offer and some a little higher end. Head on over to our gallery page for some more inspiration during your search.

The Chicago suburbs have so much to offer. There are wedding venues to suit all of your needs.

Top wedding venues in the Chicago suburbs

Eight Hands Photography – Artistic Chicago Wedding Photographers

Top Wedding Venues in The Chicago Suburbs and Chicago

Goose Island Barrel House wedding

Wedding Venue

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I feel a little left behind here on this one. Apparently the Goose Island Barrel House has been hosting weddings for a few years now. The entire Eight Hands Photography team was blown away the second we walked in. From the outside you have no idea what gem of a Chicago wedding venue lies inside. The Goose Island Barrel House wedding venue should be at the top of every engaged couples list of venues to check out. It comes with tone of amenities, character, and value.

The Goose Island Barrel House wedding venue is described as an event space for craft beer lovers. This is THE spot where they age their world renowned Bourbon County Brand Stout. Every craft beer lover should be begging to have their wedding here. Even for the couples that don’t love craft beer this place offers more character and beauty than most wedding venues in Chicago and the Chicago suburbs. It is truly a unique event space that pays tribute to Chicago Industrial roots with great staff, great space, and great beer. We will try to highlight as much about the space as we can but it would be impossible to show the entire thing without actually being there.

Goose Island Barrel House wedding

When you are ready to book this incredible space give us a call so we can chat everything photo. There are so many incredible spaces just within the building including the massive barrel storage facility. Don’t pass up this gem of a wedding venue in Chicago.

Read more below about our newest addition to our Top Wedding Venues in Chicago and the Chicago suburbs list.

GIBH Amenities

The Goose Island Barrel House wedding venue offers so many incredible amenities, especially from a Chicago venue. So many venues are going bare bones and a la carte so to see a space including so much is so refreshing.

Weddings at Goose Island Barrel House include:

  • Seating provided for up to 100 guests(more can be rented)
  • (10) 10′ walnut tables
  • (5) Walnut Highboy tables and Barrels
  • Cellar Room with 3 hightop tables and 30 stools
  • Grounds security personnel
  • Complimentary valet parking for all guests
  • 10 hour rental time for set-up and tear down with a 5 hour event time
  • (3) classic Goose Island beers included for up to 100 guests(Charge for more than 100 guests)
  • Cider and additional beer selections available for an additional charge
  • Personalized beer tasting for the bride and groom
  • 4K laser projector

If you want, which you should, you can add Barrel House tours for $150. This includes tour guides four your guests. Almost every guest takes advantage of this opportunity so don’t pass it up!

Then scroll to the bottom for pricing information.

Wedding Ceremony at Goose Island Barrel House

A wedding ceremony at the Goose Island Barrel House is held in the main venue space. It is all held in the same space so there is no need for moving guests around and flipping ceremony and reception spaces. Your wedding ceremony at Goose Island will be held in front of your guests comfortably seated at their tables with a beautiful background of old bourbon barrels floor to ceiling. Also, the ambiance of the space is so industrial yet romantic with exposed brick, dark floors, arched doorways, and tributes to the beer that is barreled here.

Goose Island Barrel House Wedding Reception

The main room at GIBH is approximately 4200 square feet and can accommodate 150+ guests seated or 250 guests for a cocktail reception. The venue includes seating for up to 100 guests but more seating can be rented if needed. The main room is where the massive 50 foot long bar sits. There is plenty of room for gift tables and every decoration your heart desires. The 12 taps that span the bar are sure to keep your guests moving. It would be rare for you to see a line forming at this bar with the speed they work at.

Tasting Room at The Goose Island Wedding Venue

The tasting room at the GIBH is right around 1100 square feet and has tons of character. You feel like you are walking into an old wine cellar through the arched brick doorways. Massive high top tables give your guests a place to get away and snack on hors d’oeuvres and sip on an iconic Goose Island beer in a cozy atmosphere. Also, the wall is lined with real bottles of all the high end and rare Goose Island Beers from the years past. Plenty of high top tables and and stools make this such a versatile space.

Goose Island Barrel House Wedding Pricing

Weddings at Goose Island Barrel House have a starting range of $5,000-$10,000. Their pricing is pretty straightforward and doesn’t seem to have any hidden stuff. Events held Monday through Thursday start at $5,000. Events held on Friday and Sunday start at $8,500 and weddings on Saturday start at $10,000. You truly can’t go wrong at this place. For everything that you get, including one of the most unique weddings venues, this is a steal.

This is the newest addition onto our top Chicago and Chicago suburbs wedding venues list!

Head on over to their website and go check out the space ASAP.

Location: 603 North Sacramento Blvd, Chicago, IL 60612


Goose Island Barrel House Wedding

Fairlie Chicago

Wedding Venue

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Fairlie Chicago

The Fairlie Chicago Wedding Venue

The Fairlie Chicago is an incredible wedding ceremony and reception space located in Chicago’s Kinzie Industrial Corridor. Located at the intersection of Fulton and Bell it provides some of the best amenities that a legit city wedding venue can offer. Also,iIt is one of the most sophisticated and versatile venues we have seen in the area to date.

Fairlie Wedding Space

Fairlie Chicago offers 15,000 square feet of space including ceremony and reception space as well as mezzanines and dressing lounges. The venue can accommodate up to 250 guests for a wedding and up to 400 for corporate style events. The elegant yet industrial space offers a clean and open space for couples to design their dream wedding. This incredible Chicago wedding venue has tons of natural light along with amazing industrial light fixtures to bring the space together and make it a wedding photographers dream. Also, we love using the exposed brick walls and marbled concrete accents to pop in our wedding photos at Fairlie Chicago.

Fairlie Chicago Photos + Amenities

The amenities include:

  • 15,000 square feet of space
  • windowed atrium
  • custom staircase
  • seating for up to 250 guests
  • coat check
  • Customizable LED lighting
  • On-site security
  • On-site parking
  • Pet-friendly ceremony
  • Farm style table and steel chairs included
  • engagement photo shoot access
  • two getting ready rooms
  • prep kitchen
  • WiFi

Fairlie Chicago Cost

The Fairlie Chicago is competitively priced amongst the other comparable wedding venues in Chicago. The starting cost of a wedding at Fairlie is $5,500 at last check. This includes the listed amenities but will likely increase for higher than 100 guests. Further, according to their WeddingWire page most couples with 100 guests are spending between 5k-9k for a wedding ceremony and reception.

Fairlie requires a 50% deposit for booking with the remainder due 1 month prior to the wedding.

Finally, if you want to check out the wedding venue owned by Alexis Leverenz give them a call and schedule a tour or take a virtual tour on their website.

If you want to check out other wedding venues in the area check out our top wedding venues blog!

The Fairlie Chicago – 339 North Bell Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60612

Phone – (312) 622-1152

Email –

Schedule a tour here

Take a virtual tour here

Fairlie Chicago


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Picking what to wear for an engagement photo session can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.  We have so many couples that reach out prior to the engagement session with questions about this topic that we wanted to create a quick guide to help.  We will dive deeper into the specifics as we go along but the biggest things we want you to take away from this is to be yourself and be comfortable.  I know that you can have both of those and look incredible if you just follow this guide.  

Very few of our couples are professional models or stylists so it can feel foreign to dress for an engagement photo shoot.  It is incredibly normal for pretty much everyone to feel stressed about the session and what to wear.  You hired a professional for a reason, let us take care of you and relax.  We will walk you through the entire session and try to make you feel as natural and comfortable as possible.  First things first, let’s get you set up with what to wear and how to wear it.

Be Yourself and Be Comfortable

I totally understand the desire to go out and buy a fancy new outfit for your engagement photo session but that may not be totally necessary.  Would you be more comfortable in a stiff new outfit or something tried and true.  You know what moves and feels the way you want it to. 

Chances are you will still want a new outfit, something you have never been photographed in, and that’s okay.  If you want to shop around and find the perfect new engagement photo session outfit take stock of your current favorites first.  What colors do you typically wear? What fabrics feel and flow the best on you?  Do you have certain brand that you feel fits you better?  Knowing the answers to these questions can help narrow down the search from the very start and reduce some of the stress.  

Match Your Outfit to The Time and Place

Before you start diving into exactly what you want to wear you will hopefully know where you are having your photos taken.  If you don’t have an exact location yet, that is okay, just have a general idea of where.  Is it going to be in the city, forest area, beach, at your house, or any other number of places.  Knowing this information will help you with the vibe of your engagement session outfit choices.  

Engagement photos happen year round so make sure that you are matching your outfit to the season that is reflected in the photos.  It may seem obvious but you won’t want to wear summer clothes in the snow and vice versa.  If you have seen any of our session galleries you know we love to tell stories.  Part of your engagement session story is a cohesive feel and storyline.  Try to plan your outfit around the season, location, vibe, and your comfort.  By all means, you can be super fancy if that is the vibe and feel you want.  Just make sure to also be comfortable in that super fancy outfit.  

Add Movement and Texture

We all have different body types and looks.  The old family portraits are typically not what couples want from their engagement photo session.  This engagement photo style guide is trying to steer you away from everything that those old department store photo sessions embodied.  Static photos with dull backgrounds in uncomfortable clothes are not what you want or what we want for you.  You want fun and real.  What makes a photo look fun and real? It is a couple that is really having fun and loving what they are doing together!  Capturing movement in your photos shows that off the best.  The movement can be you physically moving or natural movement from the environment.  Textures that flow with your body and the wind can add movement to every photo.  You can also add some comfortable and cosy feels through texture or add to that sunset glow with clothes that filter the sun.  

Colors, Colors, and More Colors

So far we have been talking about some of the details that may not necessarily come to mind first when choosing your engagement session outfit.  Now we are ready to dive into colors and what makes sense.  Just understand that these are basic rules and that there are many other rules out there.  We can’t cover all of them but this should be a great start.  Also, know it is okay to break the rules form time to time.  

Most of the time it is best to stick with more neutral earth tones and metallics.  We are looking to compliment to environment and these do a great job with pretty much any outdoor spot.  It doesn’t need to be straight earth tones and nothing else, just a more earthy version of the colors.  Softening the colors a bit helps create that naturally beautiful look you are going for.  

Our main goal here is to compliment or contrast our natural environment.  For example mustard color dress in a dark green forest would look incredibly epic.  This probably isn’t the place for a bright pink patterned dress.  Compliment and/or contrast your environment.  On top of the environment we want to make sure you follow these same rules with each other.  

Color Theory

Now that we are ready to pick our colors let’s talk a little color theory.  Again, this isn’t every rule out there but should be a great basic overview.  I want to go over complementary colors and analogous colors as a start.

Complementary colors are what we all learned in grade school.  I never thought these would come back and be useful but here we are talking about your engagement photo session.  Complementary colors look great together because they create visual harmony and compliment each other.  If you look at the color wheel these colors sit across from each other.  Remember that there are various shades in between that also compliment one another.  Use those more earthy versions.

Here is a simple color wheel with the various shades. The closer you get towards the center the more earthy these colors tend to look. Colors across from each other would be considered complimentary. You can also look up other color theories including split complimentary.

Analogous colors are a better fit for those couples that don’t want the contrasty color pop.  Analogous colors sit next to each other on the color wheel and are more comforting and soothing to the eyes.  Varying hues of similar colors are the best example of this.  You can wear mustard as an analogous color to red or orange next to pink.  

Here are some examples of the analogous colors. Again, you can look for the more muted, earthy tones for a natural look.

Now that we are talking colors I feel like I need to get this one out there.  Complimenting is very different than matching.  Wearing the same exact color or a very similar shade would not be a great example of complimenting each other.  If both of you wear a dark color it can be hard in those sunset photos to tell where one of you ends and the other begins.  Be sure to pick varying colors, textures, and tones while still complimenting one another.  Look great together but don’t look the same.

Patterns and Prints

Subtle and small patterns work the best if you want to add some pattern to your outfit.  The large bold patterns can take over the photo and take away from you two as the main focus.  We usually tell our couples to limit yourself to one pattern.  Trying to compliment patterns between two people can be super tricky.  I will count logos as patterns or prints.  They probably just don’t have a great place in your engagement photos.  One of the only times it looks good is if it a part of a theme of the day.  If we are going to U.S. Cellular Field then go ahead and wear that White Sox jersey.  Themes are great, free ads for clothing companies are not.  I wouldn’t even try it, just stick to one if needed.  If you have any questions just email or text us a photo and we can help out.  

Layering For the Weather

One of the trickiest parts about outdoor winter and spring engagement photo sessions is the weather.  You just never know what you are going to get.  If the weather turns cold I’m sure you don’t want to have every photo of you with a winter coat on.  Plan ahead for these sessions and have some layering options.  While we may not see you actually shivering in a photo you can definitely see the stiffness in the shoulders and face that come with it.  Wear clothes that will keep you as warm and comfortable as possible while still looking great for your photos.  Again, it doesn’t make sense to wear short sleeves when there is snow in the background.  

Extra Tip: Bring some hot chocolate in a thermos for after as well as some hand warmers.  We try to being these to every cold session for you too but it doesn’t hurt to have extra.

Accessories and Shoes

Accessories are a great way to take your outfit to the next level.  Unique hats and jackets are a great add-on for some fun photos but keep it simple and plan to just wear the themed pieces for portions of your shoot.  Sunglasses are another accessory that are great to have for certain portions but it should be everyone or no one.  It might look awkward is only one person has sunglasses on and the other doesn’t. 

A common question we get is should I or shouldn’t I wear my prescription glasses.  My view on that one is if you normally wear them then wear them.  If you normally only wear them driving or wear contacts then do that.  The only place we get into the weeds is with transition lenses.  Even if they are what you wear everyday your engagement photo session may not be the best place to wear them.  Seeing the emotion in your eyes is sometimes the entire photo.  

I feel like everyone is wearing a smart watch these days, including myself.  I know for me it leaves an incredibly sharp tan line on my wrist all year round.  Your engagement photo session may not be the best time for the beat up Apple Watch.  You probably don’t want to feature that incredible new ring on your finger with your everyday watch right next to it.  It will take away from the grandiosity.  If you want to wear a watch grab something simple and clean.  

Shoes, shoes, and more shoes.  I feel like this topic is either super important to you or you don’t care at all.  There doesn’t seem to be much middle ground.  While I don’t want you to stress over any part of this process I do want you to take a little time to think about the shoes.  They matter more than some would think.  Shoes are a key part of your entire look and comfort.  They must compliment the rest of your outfit.  Pretty much the only time they don’t matter is during a sandy beach session when you take them off anyway.  Plan to walk around quite a bit fi you are doing an engagement session with us.  That takes us back to the very beginning of this article, be comfortable.  We will most likely be walking across many types of terrains including some soft ground so be mindful of the shoes you wear.  Make sure they fit the outfit and the environment.  Give them a quick cleaning before the session and make sure to remove any stickers on the bottom of the shoes.  While we don’t feature the bottom of your shoes often and big white sticker stands out on the bottom of your brown boots in photos.

Hair and Make-up

You know you better than I know you so I don’t feel like I have much to say here.  Wear your hair and makeup in a way that looks like you.  You need to feel confident and beautiful in every part of your engagement photo session look.  Simple and natural looks best on most people.  Keeping your hair down and loose will let it flow and move in the wind.  Sometimes those little movements make for the best photos.

Part of our storytelling process involves getting in nice and close on those important details.  What is detail is more important in an engagement session than the engagement ring?  It may not be a bad time to head out for a manicure to make sure every detail looks great.  This goes for both of you ring wearers and non ring wearers.  We love hand holding photos and when both people have incredibly manicured hands it really makes a difference.  

Quick Guide

Be yourself and comfortable

Dress for the location and the season

Complimentary or analogous colors

Avoid multiple patterns

Natural textures and earthy colors look great

Engagement Session Style Guide

Hotel Baker Wedding

Wedding Venue

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Hotel Baker Wedding

The Hotel Baker wedding venue and hotel was originally built in 1928. It is now on the national registry of historic places. This riverfront hotel is woman owned and known for its exquisite architecture, decadent 1920’s feels, swanky soirees, and old Gatsby style gatherings. It offers several options for reception rooms and ceremony sites depending on the size and style of your wedding. The historic splendor matched with the scenic Fox River and spectacular cuisine can make your fantasy wedding dreams come true.

Located in St. Charles, Illinois this Chicago western suburbs wedding venue is a great choice for everyone. It is located so close to amazing restaurants and bars while conveniently located near the highways. Also, who doesn’t love the fox river area and everything it has to offer.

Outdoor ceremonies at Hotel Baker wedding venue can be held in the Rose Garden or on the Waterfront Patio while receptions are traditionally held in the Rainbow Room or Waterfront Ballroom.

Hotel Baker Wedding Rose Garden + Waterfront Patio

The Rose Garden at Hotel Baker sits right along the fox river in a private area behind the hotel. The garden was designed after a traditional English rose garden and is equal parts beauty and bloom. The colorful rose petals and green hedges offer an incredible backdrop for all of your wedding portraits and bridal party photos. If you are looking for a great first look location, this is your spot.

The Waterfront Patio overlooks the Fox River and is an amazing cocktail hour area for a warm weather Chicago suburbs wedding.

Hotel Baker Rainbow Room

The Rainbow room at The Hotel Baker Wedding venue is the main attraction. The unique oval shape and old world elegance come together to give you the romantic charm you need for your western suburbs wedding. Also, the lighted dance floor can change colors to match your aesthetic. You are in awe as soon as you walk through the doors because of the circular balcony and richly detailed mahogany columns. It is a picture perfect setting for your Chicago wedding.

The two tiered Rainbow Room at Hotel Baker wedding venue is so unique. I have not been to another wedding venue in the Chicagoland area with multi-colored lights shining through the dance floor.

Waterfront Ballroom

The Waterfront Ballroom at hotel baker is a great small wedding reception location. However, it is also a great cocktail hour spot for larger weddings. Large windows overlook the Fox River. The rich history of Hotel Baker oozes through the elegant chandeliers and European marble flooring. If the space ends up feeling too crowded guests can overflow right out to the Waterfront Patio to relax.

Hotel Baker Wedding Pricing

The elegance and exceptional personal service at Hotel Baker is unmatched by anyone in the area. The professional wedding specialist will help you every step of the way. The pricing sheet that Hotel Baker lists on The Knot is from 2016. The list includes pricing of $98-$119 per person depending on the meal choice. Before you make a decision on that price alone know that their prices may have changed since they last updated that website. Also, they include so many items in their wedding package.

Hotel Baker wedding packages include:

  • 4 hour open bar
  • champagne toast
  • wine service
  • starter meal
  • sorbet
  • entree
  • custom wedding cake
  • one late night snack
  • coffee bar
  • coat check
  • king room

Also, they do offer discounts during off-peak times and a 10-15 room block with their wedding packages.

If you are looking for a sophisticated feel for your Chicago western suburbs wedding this is your place. The on-of-a-kind dance floor, ornate millwork, impressive ceilings, and panoramic river views make it ideal. Finally, if that wasn’t enough, they go above and beyond with their exceptional service to make sure you have the perfect wedding day.

If you are ready to book your wedding at Hotel Baker wedding venue head on over to their website and fill out their contact form. Otherwise you can call them at the numbers listed below.

Hotel Baker – 100 W. Main Street, St. Charles, IL 60174

Call them at (630) 584-2100 or (800) 284-0110

If you would like to check out some other great wedding venues head on over to our favorite wedding venues blog.

You can also contact us to see some of our full galleries from Hotel Baker

Hotel Baker Weddings

Wedding Venue

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The Westin Chicago Northwest is a pretty amazing hotel wedding venue located in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. This Northwest Chicago wedding venue is known for its all-inclusive wedding packages, unique aesthetic, and modern spacious suites. The Westin Northwest has 19 event rooms to choose from but 4 main ones that are used for weddings. This Itasca wedding venue also has 2 ceremony sites for couples to choose from. They have been around the wedding venue industry for over 35 years and have multiple awards from The Knot and Wedding Wire. Whether you want to exchange vows in the garden or indoors this place is definitely worth checking out.

We placed a ton of our favorite photos at the end of this blog. Go check them out!

If you want to check out some other venues head on over to our local favorites blog.

The Westin Chicago Northwest

Westin Chicago Northwest Itasca

The 14 story Westin Chicago Northwest is located 12 miles from O’Hare International airport and right next door to the very busy Schaumburg Illinois. It is a part of the Marriott Hotel family and has over 400 rooms as well as 29 luxury suites. The luxury interiors, picturesque grounds, and modern, atrium style design make it feel like a luxury resort when you walk through the front doors. It is known to be a AAA Four Diamond Hotel and an incredible destination for a NW Chicago wedding.

The Westin Grand Ballroom

The Grand Ballroom at The Westin Chicago Northwest is the largest ballroom they offer. At 9600 square feet it can host up to 550 wedding guests for dinner and dancing. The grand ballroom offers huge, vaulted ceilings. The adjacent, breezy atrium offer guests another space to stretch their legs.

Westin Northwest Lakeside Pavilion

The Lakeside Pavilion wedding space is the most popular reception location at The Westin Itasca. At 6,720 square feet it can accommodate up to 320 guests year round in its climate controlled, tented space. It is right outside the hotel atrium facing the lakes and incredible willow trees. The spacious tent also has an incredible outdoor ceremony space and cocktail hour space right outside its doors. An airy outdoor wedding ceremony is the perfect addition to a reception in the Lakeside Pavilion.

The Westin Lakeside Pavilion
Westin Itasca Lakeside Pavilion
Westin Itasca Wedding Details
Westin Itasca Wedding

Lakeshore Ballroom and Abricot Ballroom

The Lakeshore Ballroom is a little smaller at 3870 square feet. For a banquet the website says it can handle about 270 guests. Of course it still features spectacular views of the verdant grounds as well as vintage chandeliers and chic accents. The Abricot Ballroom is a similar size at 5300 square feet and can handle around 280 guests for a banquet style event.

Westin Chicago Northwest Wedding Pricing

The Westin Chicago Northwest is located in the $10,000-$12,000 starting range according to their WeddingWire site. They boast about their all-inclusive packaging, incredible culinary team, and their Marriott certified wedding planners. Included in their starting fee is a bridal suite, chairs, china, clean-up, event planning, flatware, glassware, linens, parking, set-up, tables, cake cutting, and servers. They also have options for open bars, premium liquor, signature drinks, and customized wedding cakes. The chefs at the Westin Chicago Northwest will customize dinner to your taste.

Westin Northwest Atrium

Wedding at The Westin Northwest

Whether you are looking for an indoor wedding venue or outdoor wedding venue in the Schaumburg area The Westin Northwest can be your place. Their certified planners are experts at handling weddings for a diverse range of traditions. The outdoor ceremony sites are incredible spaces that overlook swans, willow trees, bridges, lakes, and grand fountains. The indoor wedding reception and cocktail hour areas are grand with plenty of space. The cocktail hour and pre wedding drinks at 400 Park Bistro in the atrium is elevated by marble floors, high ceilings, and tons of natural light for prefect wedding photos.

Westin Chicago Northwest Wedding Photos

This very accessible wedding venue in Itasca has 4.8 stars on The Knot and comes highly recommended. Check out some incredible wedding photos from the Chicago Westin Northwest Itasca below.

The Westin Chicago Northwest

400 Park Boulevard, Itasca, IL 60143

Call them at (630) 773-4000, You will be in great hands with Aileen and Monica!

Get more information at

Westin Chicago Northwest Wedding

Chevy Chase Country Club Wedding

Wedding Venue

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Chevy Chase Country Club Wedding

The Chevy Chase Country Club Wedding venue in Wheeling, Illinois was originally built in 1927 with Tudor style construction. The country club wedding venue is located just 45 minutes from Chicago and close to O’Hare International airport. Additionally, the facility is run by the Wheeling Park District and offers and incredible number of amenities to fit every bride and groom. The Chevy Chase Country Club can accommodate up to 500 guests in the Grand Ballroom and 280 in the Devonshire Room. Also, it is highly reviewed by a ton of Chicago Brides and Grooms and in our experience has been a great venue to work with as a vendor. The stylish event space is intimate yet grand and provides the classic country club ambiance.

Chevy Chase Country Club Wedding

The Bridal Suite

Every bride needs the perfect space for her and all of the bridesmaids to get ready. The Chevy Chase Country Club definitely had their brides in mind when they designed the dedicated bridal suite. It is a private and secluded space on the second floor of the wedding venue. There is a private bathroom, ample seating, and several mirrors for all of your getting ready needs. Also, a short walk down the stairs puts you right into the event space so you don’t have to walk too far.

The Abbey

The Abbey is just inside the private entrance into the Grand Ballroom area. A large, vintage, horseshoe bar dominates the space and gives plenty of space for every guest to feel comfortable throughout cocktail hour and the reception time. Also, the vaulted ceilings and large windows also provide great window light for bridal portraits if the outside weather doesn’t want to cooperate.

Outdoor Terrace

The outdoor terrace is a great option for an outdoor ceremony in the warmer Chicago months. But, it is also a great option for quick bridal and bridal party portraits even when it is cold outside. Doors right off of the Grand Ballroom allow easy access for warm-ups. The outdoor stone terrace is expansive and so beautiful in every photo.

Chevy Chase Country Club Wedding – The Grand Ballroom

Chevy Chase Country Club weddings are incredible because of the breathtaking Grand Ballroom. The elegant indoor space can accommodate up to 500 guests comfortably. Expansive windows seem like they are everywhere in this portion of the building providing the perfect ambiance for your wedding day. The darker wood of the Grand Ballroom in this Wheeling Illinois wedding venue feels intimate with its serene atmosphere. The 5,000square foot dance floor is at the center of the grand Ballroom. It gives you plenty of space to fill with every guest from your wedding. However, make sure you find an incredible DJ that can make sure this space is full the entire night!

Chevy Chase Country Club Wedding Cost

The Chevy Chase Country Club wedding price will depend on a lot of factors and what you choose to include. Hearing from previous brides I know they include a lot in their packages making the cost totally worth it. For examples, just read through their reviews on any of their platforms and you will see that reiterated over and over again. The Chevy Chase Country Club lists on The Knot as affordable and having a starting price listed on Wedding Wire of $900 for a wedding ceremony only on site. However, they also show on there that they are usually priced between $10,000-$12,000 for a 100 guest wedding reception. That seems to be in line for most wedding venues in the Chicago area.

They also have a great staff of event planners, do wedding cake design, and cake cutting. Also, the Chevy Chase wedding venue in Wheeling offers integrated are, sound, and lighting for their space in the Grand Ballroom. Plenty of on-site parking and nearby hotels will ensure your guests are as comfortable as possible.

Chevy Chase Country Club

1000 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Wheeling, IL 60090

Call them at 847-465-2311

Email at

Head on over to our venues page to see more venues that we love

We would love to chat with you about your plans for your wedding day!

Chevy Chase Country Club Wedding Venue