There is basically not any other location in Indiana that is as varied or interesting as Hamstra Gardens. I mean, the place has a castle, a creek, a trampoline, boat, even a japanese garden. Hamstra is located out in Wheatfield in Indiana, and is basically one of the only things in Wheatfield besides actual wheat fields. Every session I photograph at Hamstra Gardens is entirely different from the next which means every couple is gets a unique experience. As you arrive the front gate is beautiful, kind of there inviting you in. The tower, classic looking buildings, and the gardens are all so well maintained it is the one place in the midwest that reminds me of Walt Disney World (on a less smaller, less mouse centric scale). The paths and greenery make it possible to find different kinds of light any time of the day, but for me the water + bridge are my favorite spots to shoot in. The boat is available to use as well, and while no one has actually fell into the water… I think it’s best to save that for next to last. I apply the same logic for the trampoline, nothing has ever happened but better to play it safe.
UPDATE: One of my couples reminded me that I actually fell in the water on their session in 2019. No couples have fallen though!*
Weddings at Hamstra Gardens
A Hamstra Gardens wedding is the picture-perfect location for all the same reasons I recommend it for engagement sessions. The garden makes a stunning wedding day stop with a natural, romantic setting! Brides and grooms love this garden but it isn’t currently a wedding venue, only a nice space for photographs on the wedding day. Wheatfield is only an hour and a half from Chicago, Illinois, making it convenient for out-of-state guests who need to fly to O’Hare. Midway Airport is also nearby, being only 50 miles from the venue. The proximity to Chicago will also be great for guests who want to sightsee before or after the wedding day! In the many beautiful landscapes of Hamstra Gardens are plenty of spaces that would make a great backdrop to the wedding ceremony. The most popular location is a set of brick ruins with an arched doorway and several windows. Behind this is a large tree line, your backdrop will beautiful plants & trees through the windows of the ruins. These ruins make a rustic, whimsical background that does not overshadow the bride and groom, but rather compliments them in a romantic way. I haven’t had anyone do this yet, but there is also a really cool tree house that I personally want to see a ceremony happen in because I really loved that movie Tarzan from Disney.
Hamstra Gardens is open to the public, but by appointment only. Request an appointment on their Visit page.
Cost to book a session at Hamstra
Hamstra Gardens does not currently charge for sessions on the property. They do request you make an appointment through their coordinator on the Visit page of thier website.
Hamstra Gardens amenities
Multiple locations on site for photographs, like the Fort, pond, a tennis court and last but not least a trampoline are all available to guests onsite.
My favorite images from Hamstra Gardens:
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