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Chicago Fact: President Obama served as a state senator in the Illinois legislature representing much of the area you see on our Downtown Tour.

Photo Tour Ideas

Put your entire wedding party, parents and your photographer on board a trolley for a Chicago Photo Tour. One of the most important aspects of your wedding day are the photos. Everyone wants great photos to show off their wedding day and Chicago has many spectacular places for great photographs. Photographers love to capture wedding moments in the architectural paradise known as Chicago. It doesn't hurt that the lake, parks, and landscape architecture live up to Chicago's official motto, "Urbs in Horto" ("City in a Garden").

When planning your Chicago Trolley Photo Tour, we recommend that you check city schedules for any festivals, sporting events, film shoots, etc. that might interfere with access to your preferred sites. Plan ahead to avoid delays if your wedding day coincides with citywide or major events such as the Marathon, Air & Water Show, and Taste of Chicago.

Remember: No matter how glorious the backdrop, you and your betrothed are the main attraction!

Chicago Trolley's Favorite Outdoor Photo Venues


Millennium Park is located adjacent to the Art Institute, this 24-acre architectural showcase features numerous photogenic backdrops such as Cloud Gate ("The Bean"), Crown Fountain, and the Lurie Garden.


The Magnificent Mile is known as one of the great avenues of the world, North Michigan Avenue ("The Magnificent Mile") is the perfect place for Chicago-esque wedding pictures. Here are just a few of the great stand out spots along the Magnificent Mile:
  • At the southernmost tip of the Mag Mile is Pioneer Court, surrounded on all sides by stunning architecture including the Wrigley Building, the Tribune Tower, and the Michigan Avenue Bridge Gatehouses.
  • The staircase that leads from the NE Bridgehouse to the promenade overlooking the Chicago River.
  • With its changing floral designs, the Mag Mile median across from the Wrigley Building is ideal for the classic Chicago photos.
  • On the north end of the Mag Mile is the photogenic Water Tower (1869), which, as the most famous survivor of the Great Fire, is the symbol of the city.
The Magnificent Mile


There are numerous photo possibilities in this leafy, tranquil park nestled by the banks of Lake Michigan. Choose from various sites like:
Lincoln Park


Shedd Aquarium & Adler Planetarium jut out into Lake Michigan, looking North this peninsula boasts the ultimate panoramic skyline view of Chicago.
*Solidarity Drive is sometimes closed for day and evening events (e.g. Northerly Island concerts, Chicago Bears game days). Be sure to check city schedules in advance.
North Avenue Beach has a beautiful Southern view of the Gold Coast and the buildings at the top of the Magnificent Mile.


Buckingham Fountain is a wedding photo favorite. Known to many from the opening credits to the sitcom "Married with Children", the awe-inspiring fountain epitomizes grandeur and romance.
*The fountain is closed to traffic during Grant Park festivals such as Jazz Fest, Taste, Blues Fest, and more.


Bridges are natural symbols of support and transition--perfect for wedding photos. Spanning the Chicago River, these magnificent 1920s-era bascule bridges afford unparalleled views of Chicago architecture past and present.
*The bridges still open to allow sailboats passage, so check bridge lift schedules (the raised bridges happen to make for wonderful photos, but they cause traffic delays).

Chicago Bridge


The Chicago Theatre sign (now a replica of the original 1920's sign) is instantly recognizable and makes for a classic background image.


Today home to Macy's, this landmark building will forever be known to nostalgic Chicagoans for its famous clocks and windows. Featured in countless films, postcards, and a Saturday Evening Post cover by Norman Rockwell, the 2-ton corner clocks are Chicago icons.

THE ART INSTITUTE (Michigan/Adams)

Go to The Art Institute and stand on the museum stairs or next to one of the two stately bronze lions guarding the entrance on either side. Sculpted by Edward Kemeys for the Columbian Exposition of 1893, the north lion is "On the Prowl" while the south lion "Stands in an Attitude of Defiance." Don't forget to rub their well-worn tails as a token of good luck!


Wrigley Field is like an old friend, the classic marquee at Wrigley Field is where baseball, love, and passion intersect (technically, it's where Clark St & Addison St. intersect, but let's not spoil the wedding mood!).
Wedding Photos at Wrigley Field


THE ROOKERY (202 S LaSalle)

The Rookery, an 1880's landmark masterpiece by Daniel Burnham and John Root, is the crown jewel of Loop architecture. The famous atrium light court lobby, revamped by Frank Lloyd Wright, is among the city's most beautiful indoor settings. LaSalle Street still retains much of its 1920's charm, making it a favorite for period films. We recommend that you call the Rookery office to make photography appointments.


The Chicago Cultural Center, formerly the Public Library, has a gorgeous beaux-arts style design and is well-suited for wedding pictures. Stand on the Grand Staircase or pose beneath the largest Tiffany Dome in the world (estimated worth: $38m).


Originally designed by Daniel Burnham, The Great Hall of Union Station is a dramatic and elegant Beaux Arts style location with soaring Corinthian columns, terracotta walls and rich marble floors.