Vendor Protocols and Agreement for Use of the Chapel

Because the Chapel is an historic building (listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings), every effort must be made to safeguard the building. As an approved vendor, you are to assist in assuring proper regard for the building and its artifacts through observing all of the protocols enumerated in this Agreement. Your agreement to comply with the following protocols will help to insure the survival of this building for future generations. Also, if you observe behavior during an event not in keeping with these protocols, please contact the Associate Director at 540-458-8767.

Facility Use

  • Only the Chapel auditorium is available for rehearsals and wedding ceremonies; the Museum is off limits to the wedding party, guests, officiant, and vendors. All arrangements must be made by the bride with the Museums office.
  • Vendors: Arrangements for all vendors must be made directly between the wedding party and the vendor. All vendors (florists, photographers/videographers, musicians, and wedding director) must be on the approved vendors list or approved by the Associate Director in advance. The Associate Director has the authority and discretion to approve/disapprove any vendor.
  • Dressing and Restrooms: There are NO dressing facilities available in the Chapel. After museum hours, there is no access to the restrooms, since they are located within the museum area.
  • Statue Chamber: Gates will remain locked and closed during all weddings and rehearsals. If the couple requests it, the solid fire doors may be closed for the ceremony removing the statue from view.
  • Piano: The piano must remain in its position at the left of the stage. Any movement of this instrument must be made by permission of the Associate Director, but it cannot be removed from the stage. The large lectern will be moved to the right side of the stage, against the side wall. It may not be removed completely from the stage.
  • Balcony: The balcony is off limits to guests. Only the musicians and photographers/videographers may access the balcony. The ropes should remain up to keep guests off the stairs after the musician(s) and photographer(s) access the balcony.
  • Decorations: No tape may be used on the pews or elsewhere in the Chapel. All decorations must be confined to the stage area, except to mark reserved pews. No decorations are allowed in the windows, on the columns, or hanging from the balcony. No strewing of petals (real or silk) rice, birdseed, or any other material is permitted inside or outside the chapel. No ladders, stepstools, chairs, or similar items for use in decorating may be brought into the Chapel.
  • Clean Up: Prior arrangements must be made for the prompt removal of all items brought into the Chapel for the ceremony and any debris left in the aisles and on the stage. Any clean-up that is necessary is the responsibility of the wedding party. The Chapel must be left in a clean and orderly condition, ready to receive public visitors. All clean-up must be completed within the 2.5 hour time limit allowed for the wedding.
  • University Chapel Staff: A public safety officer and a Museums staff person are assigned to each wedding. If you have questions, please direct the question to the Wedding Coordinator.
  • Photography and Videotaping: Arrangements for photography, including videotaping, during the ceremony should first be discussed with the ceremony officiant. Locations for set-up for both still photography and videography must be cleared in advance by the Associate Director. It is preferred that wedding parties use photographers/videographers on the local approved vendor list, as these individuals are very familiar with the Chapel protocols and layout; however, brides may request to have the Assocaite Director approve another individual/firm approved for their wedding, which is within the discretion of the Associate Director.
    • Where Photographs May Be Taken
      • Prior to the Ceremony - Photos of the groom, groomsmen and parents may be taken at any time on the Chapel grounds or inside on the auditorium stage during the one hour period before the ceremony. There will be no access to the museum in the lower level for this purpose.
      • Prior to the Ceremony - Photos of the bride, bridesmaids and parents may be taken in Washington Hall or on the Chapel grounds at any time.
      • During the Ceremony - Speak with the officiant as to his/her preferences regarding photography and videotaping. Many clergy have restrictions on this.
      • After the Ceremony - The two and one-half (2 and 1⁄2) hours scheduled for weddings allows sufficient time for posed photographs of the wedding party after the ceremony. Please note: a delay in starting a ceremony or having a particularly lengthy ceremony will reduce the amount of time available for photography. A penalty fee will be charged if a wedding party goes beyond its reserved time.
    • Videotaping: If clergy approves, ceremonies may be videotaped. All videography must be done with a stationary camera and with existing lighting only; the best location for this is in the balcony. Neither the Museums Office nor the University AV department is available to do video or audio recordings of weddings.
    • Restrictions on Photography and Videotaping Equipment: Equipment must be limited to cameras, built-in or attached flash, and a stationary tripod. NO ladders or portable lights may be brought into the Chapel. The balcony is open for use by approved photographers and videographers ONLY.


  • No candles and open flames are allowed.
  • No food or beverage is permitted in the Chapel. Bottled water is permitted for the wedding party only.


Weddings are limited to a 2.5 hour timeslot on the wedding day. Use of the site begins one hour prior to the service for preparations and continues 1.5 hours from the time the service begins. Because we are open to the public, NO ONE affiliated with the wedding should arrive at the chapel prior to the hour immediately preceding the service. All decorations must be installed and removed during this time period.

A one hour rehearsal is permitted the evening prior to the wedding. Rehearsals are scheduled preferably after the chapel closes to public visitors. Additional rehearsal time for musicians is available on request.

Signature Information

Thank you for your compliance and stewardship of this historic building.

Please sign and date the linked PDF document and return to the Associate Director, Museums at Washington and Lee University, 204 N. Main Street, Lexington, VA 24450-2116.

By signing, you agree that you have read and understand all of the above rules and protocols governing the use of the Chapel for weddings. You further agree that as an approved vendor, you are charged with assisting in maintaining the above protocols. You understand and agree that you are responsible for any loss or damage to equipment and supplies brought to the wedding site, and that you are responsible for any loss or damage to Washington and Lee University property, including the University Chapel property and all items contained therein, as a result of your activities (and those of your staff/crew, if applicable). Non-compliance with or disregard of the protocols listed in this Agreement or failure or refusal to comply with the directives of the Associate Director or other university officials, may result in removal of a vendor from the wedding event itself and/or from the approved vendor's list.

You may optionally agree to allow the Museums to copy a picture of this wedding from your official website for use on social media.