Photography/Videography Rules

General guidelines

We are delighted that you are considering the Chicago Botanic Garden as the location for your photos and videos. To ensure a positive experience for you, while maintaining a pleasant experience for our many visitors, please be aware of the rules and guidelines that follow.

Photo Restrictions

  • Please do not enter flowerbeds, plant displays, or mulched areas. Remain on the pathways and grassy turf at all times.
  • No alcoholic beverages may be brought into the Garden.
  • Do not disturb or remove plants, plant labels, or containers.
  • Do not block the access to the entrance, pathways, or Garden areas for use by others.

Please be courteous and do not block pathways or other access areas in any way. Remember that the Garden is a public place where visitors are welcome in all public areas, and that regular business continues during normal operating hours. Some festivals and special events draw exceptionally large crowds. A listing of events is posted online at

Formal photography/videography guidelines

The Greenhouses and adjacent galleries will have limited access January 27 - February 9, 2014. From February 10 – 14 they will be closed in preparation for The Orchid Show; from February 15 – March 16, the Greenhouses will be open to The Orchid Show ticketed visitors only. Posed photography is not permitted in the exhibition. For safety reasons, tripods will not be permitted in the exhibition.

Please note that the Garden does not accept reservations for wedding and portrait photo sessions.

The general photography/videography guidelines outlined here are intended for all guests, but in addition to observing the photo restrictions, photographers must obtain a permit if they wish to use the Garden's setting as the background for formal, posed photography/videography. This category includes weddings, family, portraits, graduations, engagements, quinceañera celebrations and bar and bat mitzvahs, or similar.

Media photography, commercial photography, video and film shoots must be arranged at least one week in advance of the shoot. Contact Public Relations for more information on policies and fees.

When you arrive

Permit Fee: If you need to obtain a permit for your weddings, family portraits, graduations, engagements, quinceañera celebrations, bar- and bat mitzvahs, or similar events, a photography/videography permit fee of $125 will be charged. Permits are only issued the day of your visit. The permit is valid only on the date it is issued, and valid for one seating per photographer. The fee for this permit can be paid for with Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express. Cash and checks made out to the Chicago Botanic Garden will also be accepted. Permits are available at the Information Desk in the Visitor Center. Entire party must be present in order for permit to be sold. Last permit sold at 2:30 p.m. each day.

Parking: Regular parking fees will apply for each vehicle within the party. Vehicles may load and unload passengers at the drop-off area within parking lot 1. NO VEHICLES MAY PULL IN FRONT OF THE VISITOR CENTER.

To avoid congestion in the Visitor Center, please meet and collect your party either outside in front of the Visitor Center (weather permitting) or inside the Boyer Room (across from the Information Desk) if it is unoccupied. Please do not congregate in front of the Information Desk.

For your convenience, public restrooms may be used for clothing changes.

Some friendly reminders

We encourage you to visit the Garden in advance at your leisure to scout locations for your photography/videography session. Parking fees apply. Parking fees are waived for Garden members.

Visit for information on having a wedding reception or other private event at the Garden.

Please remember that any party that has booked a private event in a particular location of the Garden has exclusive right to that reserved area.

The Garden reserves the right to refuse admittance for photography/videography and/or to change its photo policy without advance notice.

During your visit you may be filmed, videotaped, and/or photographed by a Garden employee or contract photographer. Your attendance serves as permission for the use of your image by the Garden and its constituents.


Thank you for choosing the Garden for your wedding, family, and individual portraits!