Our Navy Pier Engagement Photoshoot

Olive Park Navy Pier

After a month of patiently waiting for our full-size files to arrive they’re finally here! While I’d love to upload and share all 400+ images, that’d take a lot of time to edit down to a shareable file size, so we picked out our favorites. We also want to talk a little bit about how the day ran for other brides and grooms looking to make memories at these great locations.

Interested in the logistics?

I’m sharing a bunch of good-to-know details at the end of this post. Check them out if you’re thinking about having your engagement (or any other) photoshoot at Navy Pier!

Milton Lee Olive Park

Kevin proposed on one of the outlooks in Olive Park on December 23, 2017.


The Polk Bros Park

This is the area just outside the Chicago Children’s Museum at the entrance of Navy Pier.

Our Navy Pier Engagement Photoshoot

Walking down the pier

We found a few great spots when we starting walking down the pier.

Our Navy Pier Engagement Photoshoot

Our Navy Pier Engagement Photoshoot



Ferris Wheel and Merry-Go-Round




Various spots indoors at Navy Pier





Crystal Gardens

I can’t stress enough that this spot is a MUST if you’re doing photos at Navy Pier. It’s also climate controlled indoors so it’s great for rain-outs, days when it’s too hot or just taking a break from the outdoors.

Polk Bros Park Fountain

I spotted this fountain on the way in and knew I wanted to get some shots here, but not until after we got all the other ones. Because as you can see, this was a shoes-off, cool-down situation. This was a really fun spot because Kev and I basically just played in the water, had fun and forgot we were even being photographed.

fountain3Our Navy Pier Engagement Photoshoot

Food Wine & DIY

Thinking about having your engagement photoshoot at Navy Pier?

We both really recomend it! We’re both fun, free-spirited people who knew we wanted a few traditional romantic shots but to also be surrounded with fun. What better place for a twist of both than by a ferris wheel and merry-go-round? If you’re thinking of shooting here, we recommend scheduling your session around 10am or earlier if it’s in/around summertime. Our session was on Memorial Day Weekend and it ended up being a hotter day. We had our photoshoot from 10-11:30am and avoided a better chunk of the unbearable heat, thankfully.

The Logistics

We started at Milton Lee Olive Park and then walked over to shoot both inside and outdoors at Navy Pier, all within our 90-minute session timeframe. It was more than enough time and we never felt rushed. Olive Park is a five minute walk off the north side of the pier, which made it perfect to get some shots in the park and also fun shots at the pier. Truth be told, we did a lot of wandering and stopping at spots we were drawn towards, hardly any of it was planned out ahead of time.

Where can we go on Navy Pier to shoot?

Literally all over. I just kept pointing out spots that caught my eye to our photographer (because I’m a crazy person with a million different visions/ideas, but it really paid off here) and she happily obliged, doing the same.


  • “Navy Pier” stone wall is right at the entrance by the Chicago Children’s Museum
  • On the top deck by the ferris wheel and merry-go-round
    • Side note: they wouldn’t let us sneak on without buying a ticket so we shot in front which I think turned out even better. Looking back, it’d be too hard/awkward to do in a dress anyway.
  • Crystal Gardens – this is where our pictures with the greenery were all taken. This is perfect if you get rained out (or it’s incredibly hot that day) and can’t/don’t want to reschedule.
  • The tree lined part of the pier right as you walk on
  • Polk Bros Park (the fountain and park area just out front of the pier)
  • Milton Lee Olive Park (“Olive Park”)
    • Side note: the park is not actually part of Navy Pier but is only a block inland down Illinois Street, before you cross under Lake Shore Drive. This is where we met our photographer and got started. We got the great skyline and park shots here (and this is also where Kevin proposed, so it was special to us).
  • Various modern walls and pieces of art scattered throughout the pier – both in and outdoors – keep your eyes open!

Our Photographer

A HUGE thank you to Vanessa Buholzer via George Street Photogrpahy for her amazing shots. She really captured some great moments, I feel like I’m reliving that very moment every time I look at one of the photos. George Street really did a lovely job of enhancing and editing the photos to bring out the color, just like we asked. If you follow me/the blog you’ve probably guessed I love a world filled with bright, vibrant color – and they provided just that.

Our Navy Pier Engagement Photoshoot


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