bride and groom hold hands and walk along lake michigan with Chicago in background
photoographer: Dabble Me This | event planner: Shannon Gail Events | florals: Vale of Enna | venue: Chicago Illuminating Company
The Best of | Chicago | Weddings

15 Ways to Have an Iconic Chicago Wedding

bride and groom hold hands and walk along lake michigan with Chicago in background

It’s no surprise that many couples honor the city of Chicago in their weddings. The city boasts a beautiful lakefront, stunning cityscape, and too many museums and sports teams to count. It is also a perfect place for a beautiful and memorable wedding — and a city in which many couples meet or call home.

We love to see all of the creative ways that couples pay respect to the Windy City in their Chicago wedding celebration. Whether it’s a cake with the city’s iconic skyline or a hidden homage to a favorite team on the bottom of stilettos, these couples show us new ways to love your hometown. Read on for 15 unique ideas for your Chicago wedding.

1. Choose a Historic Chicago Venue

When it comes to a classic Chicago wedding, the setting matters. Consider an iconic venue steeped in history for your “I dos.”

Romantic Garden Wedding at Cafe Brauer at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, IL
photographer: gerber + scarpelli photography | SQN Events See More
Gold, Ivory & Dinosaurs | Intimate Summer Wedding Ceremony & Reception at the Field Museum in Chicago, IL
photographer: Jill Tiongco Photography | Field Museum See More

2. Say “I Do” With a View

From the deep blue of Lake Michigan to the sparkling skyline, Chicago features views galore. Why not use them as a back drop for your nuptials?

Timeless Wedding at Thompson Chicago in Chicago, IL
photographer: Husar Photography | Clementine Custom Events See More
photographer: Colin Lyons Wedding Photography | The Metropolitan See More
Boho-Style
photographer: Marissa Rae Photography | The Penthouse Hyde Park See More
photographer: IGphotovideo | K&K Celebrates See More

3. Chicago Wedding Invitation Suite

Set your wedding scene, and get your friends and family excited to celebrate in The Second City by including Chicago’s iconic skyline or street map on your wedding invitation.

Katelyn & Kris Chicago Winter Wedding
photographer: J. Brown Photography | Wedicity Wedding Event Detailing See More
Hannah & Chadi Chicago Themed Wedding
photographer: City Savvy Imaging | Wedicity Wedding Event Detailing See More
Elegant and Classic Wedding at The Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago, Illinois
photographer: Carasco Photography See More
Elegant and Timeless Wedding in Chicago, Illinois
photographer: Natalie Probst Photography | Hotel Zachary See More

4. Represent Your Chi-Town Team

We love a subtle homage like this. And when it comes to Chicago sports, you’re bound to have your hometown faves.

Classic Chicago Ballroom Wedding
photographer: LaCour Images See More

5. Get Pics Against Chicago’s Best Backdrops

The Windy City is filled with the perfect spots to visit with your photographer, either for your engagement photos or the first look on your big day. Capture your love in the city that you love.

Garden Inspired Wedding at The Metropolitan in Chicago, IL
photographer: Rebecca Marie Photography | The Metropolitan See More
Elegant and Classic Wedding at The Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago, Illinois
photographer: Carasco Photography See More
Alluring and Bright Wedding at Chicago Illuminating Company in Chicago, Illinois
photographer: Dabble Me This | Shannon Gail Events See More
Two Day Chicago Wedding
photographer: Rush Photography and Video Productions | Preoccupied Bride See More
Laura & Aurelijus Chicago Wedding Vow Renewal
photographer: VV Photography Wedding Stories | Wedicity Wedding Event Detailing See More
Laura & Aurelijus Chicago Wedding Vow Renewal
photographer: VV Photography Wedding Stories | Wedicity Wedding Event Detailing See More
photographer: Hanna Walkowaik Photography See More
My Quintessential Chicago Wedding!
photographer: Phil Goldman Photography | Tracy Fisher Events See More

6. Ride to Your Wedding in Chicago Style

The last streetcar in Chicago might have run in 1958, but you can still have a trolley good time by renting a gas-powered version to ride your nuptials.

Iconic Chicago Wedding at the Field Museum
photographer: Kent Drake Photography | Christina Currie Events Inc See More

7. Chicago Skyline Wedding Place Cards

Place cards are an elegant way to show guests to their seats — and remind them exactly where they are (hint: in The Windy City).

Katelyn & Kris Chicago Winter Wedding
photographer: J. Brown Photography | Wedicity Wedding Event Detailing See More
Luminous and Alluring Wedding at Theater on the Lake in Chicago, Illinois
photographer: KingenSmith | Arlen Music Productions See More

8. Chicago on Ice

The joke is almost too easy; after all, Chicago is on ice for half of the year. Why not memorialize the city with a stunning ice sculpture that will turn into a favorite photo spot at your wedding?

Colorful Spring Wedding
photographer: KingenSmith | Jennifer Anderson Events See More

9. Chicago Map Table Names

Choose classic Chicago places like Lake Michigan, the Art Institute, or Willis Tower for clever table names, or make like the couple below and employ your neighborhood street names.

Elegant, Chicago Themed Wedding at The Metropolitan in Chicago, IL
photographer: Maui Chasing Skills | The Metroplitan See More

10. Chicago-Theme Lighting is Illuminating

You can still have a skyline view on the first floor —even without windows. Projection lighting can conjure any version of the city you love for a fun, immersive vibe.

Hockey Theme Bar Mitzvah
photo courtesy of: Magic Moments Parties and Events See More

11. Chicago Mascot Photo Op

Chicago sports legendary teams, from the Cubs to the White Sox, and da’ Bears to the Blackhawks, why not have a mascot do a drop-in for a surprising moment for your guests?

Elegant, Chicago Themed Wedding at The Metropolitan in Chicago, IL
photographer: Maui Chasing Skills | The Metroplitan See More

12. City-Themed Dance Floor

Custom dance floors give you options galore. We like how this one mimicked a Chicago transit map with favorite spots marked.

Chicago Theme Bar Mitzvah
photographer: Tell Draper Photography | Partie Girl Tracie Simkin See More

13. Chicago-Centric Sweets

Illinois’ iconic shape and Chicago’s identifiable place in it make for great themed iced cookies. We could imagine the image in cupcake shapes too. And these Chi-town hot dog-inspired cookies? All we can say is No Ketchup!

Gorgeous Wedding at the Thompson Chicago in Chicago, IL
photographer: Tuan B & Co | Michigan Avenue Events See More
Romantic Garden Wedding at Cafe Brauer at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, IL
photographer: gerber + scarpelli photography | SQN Events See More

14. Cityscape Wedding Cake

Your wedding cake is the perfect canvas on which to show your love for each other — and your favorite city.

Elegant Pink & Gold Wedding at The Metropolitan in Chicago, IL
photographer: Colin Lyons Wedding Photography | The Metropolitan See More
Lavish Gold Indian Wedding Waterford Banquet and Conference Center in Elmhurst, IL
photographer: Dybala Studio | Events by C See More
Greenery & Gold | Stunning Fall Wedding Reception at the Field Museum in Chicago, IL
photographer: J. Brown Photography | Field Museum See More

15. Chicago Wedding Groomsmen Gifts

Consider gifting your groomsmen with a Windy City-themed gift like tickets to a game or concert. Or consider the groom’s gift pictured below and pair a great bottle of whiskey with “maps.” brand rocks glasses etched with a Chicago city map.

Gorgeous Wedding at the Thompson Chicago in Chicago, IL
photographer: Tuan B & Co | Michigan Avenue Events See More

People Also Ask…

What is the best month to get married in Chicago?

We think that every month is a great time to get married in Chicago. Obviously, because of the more reliable weather, a summer wedding in Chicago is a great choice. But, each season has its charms. Whether you’re envisioning a fall wedding rich with rustic detail, a winter wedding with modern touches, or a spring wedding with fresh blooms and lots of color — Chicago makes a beautiful backdrop.

How should I start planning my Chicago wedding?

We always recommend starting by hiring an experienced wedding planner. Start with our list of the Best Wedding Planners in Chicago. Your skilled planner will advise you on venues to see based on your wedding vision and budget as well as help you line up the right vendors for you.

Where can you get married outside in Chicago?

When it comes to getting married outside in Chicago, you have two options: wait for warm weather or opt for a venue with weather safeguards in place. For a venue with an outdoor space for nice days, visit our venue directory and click the venue type filters to find “Outdoor & Rooftop” spaces, “Yachts & Boats,” “Farms & Barns,” “Venues & Wineries,” and more.