Grau Mill is located in fullersberg woods forest preserve at 3800 York road in Oak Brook IL at the intersection of York and Spring roads. Grau Mill is on the Salt creek and is a working 150-year-old grist mill and museum. It features an easy to photograph bridge, beautiful working waterwheel, old time wheelhouse, and beautifully shaded views of wooded salt creek nature area. This location is popular because of its easy to get to location and it does not require a permit. It is one of the very few surviving buildings that was used by the “underground railroad” for abolitionists to hide runaway slaves. This gives this great location increased interest for couples of African American decent. This beautiful location has a lot of shade making it great for a sunny day; it is a favorite of mine and many Chicago wedding photographers .Pros: versatile place with millhouse, waterwheel, greenery, bridge, river views; lots of shade; easy to find and get to. Cons: Popular place, you might have to wait to take your turn in front of the waterwheel. Dave & Bob’s Favorite. Please click here and here to see more photos of this great location. http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Renaissance_Oak_Brook/ andhttp://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g59/
Indian Lakes Hilton Resort Lobby is located at: 250 West Schick Road Bloomingdale IL. Indian Lakes Hilton resort qualifies as a Location for Chicago Wedding Photos because they allow people to shoot their wedding photos there even if their wedding is not located at Indian Lakes resort. This is the place to go in DuPage county to do Chicagoland wedding photography on a rainy day or other inclement weather. Indian lakes Lobby (hotel entrance on right) is designed for photos because they have skylights on the ceiling for natural light. There is a 2 sided wedding photography area both have a cool rock wall with a waterfall. In the foreground is a small pond and pond plants and trees. Pros: Indoor but looks like outdoor with skylights and pond, 2 sides so if the other side is being used you can use the other side and not interfere with the other wedding. Great waterfall, pond trees. Cons: You have to get permission to shoot there. Bridal party from another hall may feel uncomfortable. To see Chicago wedding photos from this location check these galleries: http://www.milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g127/ http://www.milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g90/ http://www.milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Indian_Lakes/ http://www.milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g92/
Cantigny of Wheaton: is located at 1 South 151 Winfield Road Wheaton IL.Cantigny is a memorial army museum and botanical garden located in Winfield IL road just south of Roosevelt road (RT38). It has 2 areas that are very different making this one of the most versatile places to shoot wedding photos. To the south we have the “masculine” area that features about 20 army tanks that are restored in a shady, wooded setting complete with bridges and benches. The groomsmen love to pose on the tanks and the bridesmaids pose in front of the tanks, this makes for some great images. On the Northern “feminine” side of Cantigny there are many flowers, ponds, a gazebo, stairs for group shots and a 30-foot diameter spray fountain that is shaded and is great for shots of the bridal party. I love this place because of its versatility and it has a lot of shade making it a great place for shooting on a sunny day. You do not have to have a Permit to shoot photos here. However they charge $5 per car and $40 per Limo (or bus) if the limo holds over 18 people. If a bus holds 35 or more people it will cost $70 instead Chicagoland wedding photo buffs will a lot of patriotism will love it here Pros: Versatile place with many different areas for different shots, Great spray fountain, lots of shade, army tanks for cool groomsman photos. Cons: Small entrance fee required. Dave & Bob’s Favorite. Click here to see more photos. http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Prairie-Landing/
Morton Arboretum Lisle: Is Located at 4100 Illinois Route 53 Lisle IL.Morton Arboretum is huge, taking up hundreds of acres in Lisle IL. It is similar to Cantigny in that is features every type of tree in North America. It has open prairies, thick woods, bridges and river views of the DuPage River. There are some very hilly spots there. It is also pretty shady so it is good on a sunny day. There are also 2 reception halls on site that regularly feature weddings. It is very close to the huge Abbington reception hall of Glen Ellen. They do require a Permit of $125 to shoot there for photos. Pros: Versatile place with many areas for good and different shots, not crowed, lots of shade. Cons: Permit and pay required. Please click hereto see more photos. http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Morton_Arboretum/
Itasca Gazebo in Usher Park: The Itasca Gazebo is located on Irving park and Walnut roads in Itasca IL. This Gazebo is one of Chicagoland’s Prettiest Gazebos being white and is much larger than most Gazebos. There is not much shade there from trees, but the gazebo is great for shooting a bridal party. There is also a small bridge there for great bridal party shots. I don’t think you need a permit to shoot there. Pros: great gazebo looks great in photos, bridge makes this location more versatile. Cons: not much shade aside from the gazebo. Please click here to see more photos http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Holiday_Inn_Itasca/
Bartlett Gazebo: The Bartlett Gazebo is located on 101 North Avenue in Bartlett IL. This Gazebo is very large 32’ by 32’ and the park has a lot of trees so it is above average for shade. A permit costs $30 for 3 hours (suggested but not required) but is not required to shoot photos there. There is also a real log cabin there if you are doing a rustic wedding. Pros: Great looking gazebo is one of the largest, above average shade, easy parking. Cons: Place is not very versatile the gazebo is the only thing there (besides the log cabin) for photos. Pease click here to see more photos. http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Stonegate/
Wilder Park Elmhurst
Wilder Park Elmhurst IL is located on Prospect and church streets in elmhurst IL. Wilder park has a very pertty garden of flowers and bushes and a beautiful place for ceremonies (near Wilder Mansion, which was the original Elmhurst library years ago). It also has a small green house conservatory that can be used for wedding photos during inclement weather, (as long as you are only photographing 2 people at a time.) There is not much shade there so this is a great place for a cloudy day wedding. Pros: Great plants and plant archways for photos. Inside conservatory for indoor nature shots. Cons: Not much shade, conservatory is small inside and only be used for photos of 2-4 people at a time. Check out our wedding at the Wilder park adjoining Wilder park: http://www.milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g97/
Lilacia Park Lombard. Is located at 150 South Park ave. in Lombard IL. Lilacia Park is world famousfor its lilac festival in mid may. The flowers in spring are second to none in Chicago. It features a wood deck overlooking a reflecting pond, rows of beautiful trees, flowers of many types, shady areas, statues & benches. Lilacia Has 1,200 lilac bushes and 25,000 tulips. This is very popular place for photos. There is a fee of $75 for 1 hour for photos or wedding ceremony. Chicago wedding photography is great here Pros: Great flowers, reflecting pond, lawns, benches and great shade. Cons: Fee of $75 required (only on Saturday) Milestone Digital uses this great location for engagement photos during the week. Please click hereand here to see more photos. http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g62/and http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Arrowhead_Country_Club/
Lake Ellen Glen Ellen
Lake Ellen, Glen Ellen IL. Is located at 645 Lenox road Glen Ellen IL. Lake Ellen has beautiful huge Maple trees, Lake views, boathouse & a wood deck that overlooks the water & a veteran’s memorial. This park is small, but has great shade trees, and great lake views. Pros: Lake views, great trees, not popular for shooting. Cons: little shade near the lake. Please click here to see more photos.http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Indian_Lakes/
Churchill Woods Forest Preserve Glen Ellen. Is located along the south side of Saint Charles road in Glen Ellen between I355 and Riford Road. You can also enter from the other side of the river on Crescent road just west of I 355 bridge in Glen Ellen. Churchill woods has incredible woodsy views, Dupage river views, beautiful lawns, Limestone banks, walk a 100-foot long bridge to an island that is surrounded 360 degrees by water. This preserve is just plain beautiful, it features a huge accesable island in the middle of the Du page river system of Lagoons. Pros: great woodsy and river views, lots of shade, washrooms, picnic shelter, lots of parking, easy to find, Cons: Long walk from car if you enter on Saint Charles road, Lots of mosquitoes in the woods. Milestone Digital uses this location for engagement photos.
McDonald’s corporate campus Oak Brook. Is located at 2111 McDonald’s dive Oak Brook IL. McDonald’s corporate headquarters is a beautiful place that has a banquet hall and they cater their own weddings there. If you don’t have a wedding there you can still take pictures at this Great site. One place to shoot is by the salt creek river view. The best other place is overlooking the lagoon from the west side of the lagoon by the north-south drive.Pros: Shade, flowers Riverview, Cons: Interference from other wedding occurring there, hard to find. Please click here to see more photos. http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Empress/
Adams Park Wheaton IL. Adams park is located on the corner of seminary and Main street in downtown Wheaton IL. Adams park has a fountain, gazebo, flowers and benches in a beautiful shady setting right by the Wheaton Library. This park has a lot of trees so it is great to use on a sunny day. Pros: Shady area works great in pictures, has gazebo, flowers and fountain. Cons: Parking is harder in downtown Wheaton.
Ross Ferraro Park Carol Stream IL. Is located on Lies and Gary roads in Carol Stream IL.This Park has the 3 best things that a park needs for great photos (bridge, Fountain, Gazebo) but they did a bad job on the design so this park is not the picture place it that the designers had planned. First of all the fountain is internal, so you have to get in the center of the concrete fountain to actually see the pretty water spraying. You have to take pictures inside of a 15 or so foot circle to take photos with the water in the background. This means unless you are taking pictures of a few people at a time, you can’t zoom out enough to get a great shot of a full bridal party, unless you are using a fisheye lens (and fisheye lenses are not used all the time). Although the fountain is great for individual shots of the bride and groom. This park also has a bridge (to nowhere), which usually would be great for an awesome bridal party shot. However the bridge has a metal support bar on the sides that is exactly the height of bridal party member’s faces. Unless every member of the bridal party is a 7’ 6” NBA player, this bridge is completely useless for photos. There is a Gazebo that looks Pretty good and some flowers in several areas so this place is not bad especially if you are shooting a few people at a time in front of the pretty, internally curverd fountain. There is a fee to shoot there and if you are caught shooting without a permit, the fine is over $150. Pros: versatile place with both a Gazebo and Fountain, easy to find, easy to park. Public washroom Cons: Bridge is useless for photos; Fountain is hard to get wide enough for a shot of full bridal party, almost no shade at all. You must pay a fee (I think it is $75) or you can be fined for taking pictures without a permit.
Riverwalk Naperville: Located near Jackson and Webster streets in downtown Naperville IL. The riverwalk features an old time wooden covered bridge, beautiful trees, a fountain and it is on the banks of the beautiful DuPage River. The riverwalk also features some flowers and benches. Pros: great shade from the bridge, a place to shoot in a small drizzle because of the covered bridge. Cons: This is a popular place to shoot, be prepared to wait your turn. Check out a wedding shot at the Millennium carillon on the riverwalk.http://www.milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g11
Copyright 2011 Robert M. Busch and Milestone Photo and Video. No part of this article may be used without written permission from Robert M. Busch