Where to Elope in Chicago and a Look at My Elopement Packages

If you’re looking for an elopement experience like none other then you really don’t have to look any further than the incredible city of Chicago. The Windy City is full of so many beautiful and unique locations to plan an elopement around. Pretty much any experience you can think of can be found in Chicago, there’s truly something for everyone here! With that being said it can be difficult to start the planning process with so many different options at your fingertips. That’s why today we’re covering everything you need to know to plan your own elopement in Chicago as well as take a look at my elopement packages.

Marriage Laws in Chicago

As far as marriage laws go, Chicago’s are relatively simple, which keeps your planning nice and stress free. For starters when you apply for your marriage license there is a 1 day waiting period, then after that your license will be valid for the following 60 days. This gives you plenty of time to plan your elopement around and ensure that you handle the legalities in a timely manner. You do not need to be an Illinois resident to apply for the marriage license, you just have to provide a valid form of ID for each of you and pay the $60 marriage license fee. Illinois also does not require witnesses to be present but you will need an officiant for your elopement ceremony in Chicago!

When to Elope in Chicago

There really is no wrong answer for when you should elope in Chicago, it mostly just depends on the experience you’re looking to have for your day!

Summers in Chicago are beautiful and so much fun, but it is the busiest time of the year in the city as EVERYONE will be out and about enjoying the nice weather. Fall brings some cooler temperatures but can also lead to some incredible photo opportunities if you plan your elopement around the leaves changing colors. Winters in Chicago can be pretty frigid, but they are gorgeous especially with a fresh snowfall turning the Windy City into a winter wonderland. And finally there’s spring! The spring similar to fall can bring some cooler temperatures due to the unpredictability of the Midwest and rain is a huge factor to consider when planning a spring elopement. The beauty of the city blooming makes it totally worth it though!

Talk with your soon-to-be spouse about what you both want to do on your elopement day. Do you want a small ceremony and time to explore the city and take in all it has to offer? Do you want to stay in one location, for the most part, enjoying each other’s company and braving the snow intermittently for portraits? Once you have a vision of what your day will look like you’ll be able to plan out when to have your elopement in Chicago. If you’re not sure what you want for your elopement, you can start by checking out my Chicago elopement packages first! Then we can brainstorm for your elopement day together.

How to Find Your Chicago Elopement Photographer

For any elopement, not just those in Chicago, one of the most important parts of the planning process is to find an elopement photographer that can capture the experience of your elopement day. Finding a photographer that not only has a style that speaks to you, but also is able to provide you with an experience that makes your day everything you dreamed it would be is no small task. Start doing your research early to find photographers that fit the style you’re looking for. Use sites like Instagram and Pinterest to get a feel of their work and make note of the photographers that speak to you.
Once you have a list of potential photographers for your Chicago elopement start looking into pricing for their elopement packages to see who aligns with your budget. Then you can start sending out inquiries to potential photographers for your elopement day! I recommend only reaching out to a max of 3 photographers at a time so as not to confuse and give yourselves a headache trying to keep track of which photographer said what. Once you’ve found a photographer that fits your style and budget and is available for your date (hopefully me!) book them and get excited knowing that you’ll have incredible photos documenting this once in a lifetime special experience between you and your partner.

A Look at My Chicago Elopement Packages

Now that you know what to look for in a photographer for your elopement in Chicago let’s take a look at my elopement packages and what they include. My starting elopement package is $1600 and includes 6 hours of coverage, a minimum of 400 high-resolution images delivered, and an online gallery where you can order prints. Not only that but I also will scout potential locations for your elopement if you’re still deciding, as well as locations for newlywed portraits throughout the city.

By booking me you’ll also gain access to my expertise as a wedding and elopement photographer, meaning I can help with planning your day, creating a timeline, and general day of coordination. I also realize that every elopement day and experience is different so if you are interested in booking me for your day send me an inquiry through my contact page and we can discuss custom packages for your day!

What Vendors Are Needed to Elope in Chicago?

Now that you have an idea of what my elopement packages look like as well as what to look for in a photographer, you may be wondering what other vendors are needed for your elopement. It completely depends on your elopement plans and the experience you plan to have. Outside of a venue, your photographer, and an officiant, almost every other vendor for your day is completely optional.

Take into account the budget you’re working with as well as what you want the day to look like and include and create a vendor team around that. If florals really aren’t your thing there’s no need to hire a florist. If you’re planning on getting together with your family after the elopement to celebrate and you want catering from your favorite restaurant, reach out to them to see if that’s something they provide. The sky’s the limit with your elopement and what you want to do with it!

Where to Elope in Chicago

With my elopement packages in mind as well as when to have your Chicago elopement and the legalities of doing so out of the way, it’s time to take a look at some of the incredible options the city has to offer for your elopement! While this list doesn’t cover every possible location for an elopement in Chicago as we’d be here all day in that case, it does give you a look into some of my favorites. This not only gives you some great potential options for your day, but also gets your brain flowing on what to look for for your elopement day. Let’s get into it!

Your Favorite Restaurant

One of my favorite and most intimate experiences for an elopement celebration in Chicago is to have it at your favorite restaurant. There are SO many unique and incredible restaurants, bars, and breweries throughout the city that make for awesome elopement venues. Whether you plan to have your ceremony and reception here or plan to gather after you elope to celebrate with your closest friends and family this is such a great option.

Be sure to reach out to your restaurant of choice well in advance to make sure they can accommodate and you can get any potential fees squared away early. It also helps if you reach out as opposed to me since you’re the customers that love the restaurant enough to have this special celebration there. It means SO much more to them than if a random photographer like me was to do it. A few great options in the city are Cafe Babareeba, Beatnik on the River, Etta, The Library at Gilt Bar, and JParker Rooftop!

Lincoln Park Conservatory

This conservatory and botanical garden found on the northside of the city is the perfect elopement venue for those looking to immerse themselves in lush greenery. The Lincoln Park Conservatory is home to some of the most beautiful plants you can find in the city, both inside and outside. This is a wonderful option for your elopement ceremony, or for portraits if you plan to have your elopement somewhere else nearby.

Cook County Courthouse

Another amazing option for an elopement venue in the city is the Cook County Courthouse located in the heart of downtown Chicago. I actually recently wrote an entire blog post on the ins and outs of eloping here if you’d like to read more about it! With the courthouse’s central location it makes it a prime choice for couples looking to have an intimate ceremony followed by some epic portrait opportunities at locations such as the Art Institute Gardens or the Chicago Board of Trade.

On the Lakefront

One of the biggest draws of Chicago are the views and experiences you can create on the lakefront. With the city being located on the shores of Lake Michigan there are some insanely cool locations you can have your elopement celebrations at.

Museum Campus has SO many incredible backdrops and locations throughout it making for incredible photo opportunities. North Avenue Beach is THE best spot in the city for a sunrise elopement, not only for the view of the city’s skyline, but also for the intimacy and privacy that comes with the lack of crowds there in the morning. Belmont Harbor is another great option for an elopement right on the lakefront with a jaw-dropping view of the city just a bit farther north than North Avenue Beach. And Promontory Point is a great option for those looking to hang out and celebrate with friends and family after their elopement. There are grills and firepits that you can use at Promontory Point making it one of my favorite locations for couples to celebrate after their elopement festivities.

Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool

My all time favorite option for an elopement in the city with a focus on nature is the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool found in Lincoln Park. Not only is the Lily Pool itself a breathtaking setting for your elopement, it also is so close to tons of other great locations for portraits such as the Honeycomb and Nature Boardwalk, North Avenue Beach and more!

Now that you know where to have your elopement in Chicago as well as how to plan it and what my elopement packages look like there’s only one thing left to do. Head over to my contact page to send me an inquiry so we can start planning your elopement day together!

April 20, 2023

Sreeja Ankam

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  1. […] Like I mentioned earlier Chicago is a city that spoils couples with choices, especially in terms of location! Whether it’s the location for your elopement ceremony, or the locations for your elopement portraits there’s a ton of options to choose from. As a Chicago elopement photographer my expertise in the city and its different environments lets me scout and recommend a wide range of locations that fit your vision perfectly! When booking your elopement with me we’ll discuss the elopement day you’re looking to experience. With that in mind I’ll walk you through some location options that best fit the day you’re looking for. For a deeper look into some of my favorite elopement locations in Chicago check out my past blog here! […]