Chicago Cultural Center Wedding 

My favorite part about photographing weddings in Chicago is the beautiful architecture and buildings in this city. Not only does Chicago have beautiful views of the lake, great food, and amazing entertainment, but it also has some of the best architecture in the world. Nikki and Ryan’s Chicago Cultural Center wedding was so fun to document because of this. This building opened in 1897 and houses the city’s official reception venue. The Cultural Center is where the city’s mayor welcomed presidents, royalty, diplomats, and community leaders.

The Langham – A Chicago Hotel Favorite

Nikki and her gals got ready at The Langham, one of my favorite places for getting ready photos. The suites are beautiful and provide so much space for everyone to relax and hang out while getting ready. Nikki had a great time and was in positive, smiley, and happy spirits in the morning. And can we talk about her Betsy Johnson shoes? They brought such a fun, chic moment to her wedding look and paired beautifully with her gown. Another piece of her wedding day look I was completely obsessed with. 

First Look

Nikki and Ryan opted to share a first look. It was important that Nikki and Ryan felt comfortable and relaxed throughout the wedding day. It was also important for Nikki and Ryan to be able to spend time with their people and ride the party bus with them and enjoy some time hanging out before we went to their Chicago Cultural Center wedding. 

Modern Love

Nikki and Ryan grew up in the same town but ended up at different high schools. The two-year age gap kept the odds of running into each other low. Until later in life when they matched on Hinge. After the first date, they talked non-stop and officially became a pair after a date to the Zoo Lights.   

Chicago Cultural Center Wedding

Their wedding ceremony and reception were both hosted at The Chicago Cultural Center and was planned by Chrissy at Big City Bride. Nikki wanted a wedding that was classic yet modern. With the historical archictecture combined with the modern touches of white and green (that pulled from the colors in the inlays on the walls and floors!), I think Chrissy’s design and exuction of Nikki’s vision was perfect in every way. The couple were married by their friend surrounded by all of their loved ones – I cannot imagine a day that fit this couple and their personalities better.

The Reception

Nikki + Ryan’s Chicago Cultural Center wedding reception carried over the themes from their reception – just bigger and bolder! Guests were greeted with a seating chart in a grand display – I still can’t get over the colors here and how they took from the surroundings without competing – the perfect level. The space for their reception was transormed with soft draping juxtaposed against the cool stone walls and floor. It’s details like this that keep the design interesting – which is always my favorite to photograph!

Night Shoot

We capped off our evening with the most romantic night shoot. Nikki + Ryan, thank you for including me in your perfect wedding. Here’s to many more!


Photographer: Alexandra Lee Photography | Planner: Chrissy with Big City Bride | Venue: Chicago Cultural Center | Florist: Northern Greenhouses | Cake: Sweet Mandy B’s | Cinematographer: Old North | Ceremony Music: Artistrings | Reception Music: DJ Daily | Caterer: Limelight | Makeup: Shannon O’Brien | Hair: Luxe Brides by Nicci | Transportation: Signature Transportation | Photobooth: Snapbooth |

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