As an auditorium, the University Chapel does not have an altar, the religious accoutrements or the antechambers of a traditional church. Because of this, as well as the historic nature of the building, there are a few things which you need to consider as you make your plans.
Does the University Chapel Have A Chaplain Who Can Perform Our Ceremony?
The University Chapel is non-denominational and the University does not have an appointed Chaplain affiliated with the Chapel. You must provide your own officiant for your wedding ceremony.
Does the University Chapel Provide a Wedding Director?
You are responsible for hiring a wedding director. The Events and Conference Coordinator is not a professional wedding director and is here to help you only in arranging schedules and guiding you in your planning as it relates to the site. You should not ask the chapel staff to perform duties that relate to the progress of your ceremony; it is their duty to protect the integrity of the site.
Does the University Chapel Have A Dressing Room For The Bridal Party?
We regret that there are no dressing facilities in the University Chapel itself, however, there are some options close by:
- Dressing facilities are available at The Morris House located on the front lawn of the campus. Please contact Sue Woodruff at 540-458-8200 to make a reservation.
- There is also a dressing area adjacent to the Women's Restroom in Evans Dining Hall which will work for a small wedding party.
- There are no antechambers in the chapel and the museum (including the lower level entrance foyer and the crypt area) is strictly off-limits to the wedding party.
May We Schedule An Outdoor Wedding In Front of the University Chapel?
The University Chapel does not handle outdoor weddings. The University Chapel is not available as a rain site for outdoor weddings held elsewhere.
If you wish to request the use of an area of the campus for an outdoor wedding, you should contact Steve McAllister, Vice-President for Finance, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-458-8942.
Please note that University policy states:
- The lawn, defined as the space bordered by the Colonnade and the University Chapel and by the Morris and Red Houses and the Reeves Museum of Ceramics and Letcher Avenue, will not be used for events. Difficulty in maintaining the lawn over the years is the driving factor for this guidance. This area should be "picture perfect" as a key visual element of the campus. (NOTE: This means the area directly in front of the University Chapel is off limits.)
What Happens If It Rains?
You need to plan carefully for the event of rain. The foyer in the University Chapel is extremely small and there are no other waiting areas in the building. Make sure that, at the very least, you have plenty of umbrellas to make the walk from either the parking area, Letcher Avenue or the Morris House, and supply a container or plastic sleeves for the umbrellas.
What Will the University Chapel Provide For Our Wedding?
We can provide the following for you to create a beautiful church-like setting that will enhance your ceremony:
- One Jacobean-style table measuring 34" H x 47.5 " W x 23.5 " D
- One console table measuring 27.5" H x 48" W x 28.5" D
- One large lectern, original to the 1868 Chapel, 38.5" H x 56" W x 28.5" D
- Two wooden lecterns without mics or lights
- Two black wooden arm chairs with W&L crest
- 1872 Erben organ
- A piano on the stage
- Pair of white column flower stands
For views of these furnishings, you may request photographs. Please note, that to use these items, you must make arrangements in advance with the Events and Conference Coordinator. Furniture may not be moved without prior permission.
What Do We Need To Provide For Our Wedding?
You are responsible for providing the following personnel:
- An officiant for your ceremony and wedding vows
- A wedding director for your rehearsal and wedding (optional)
- Someone to receive deliveries for your wedding within the hour before your ceremony begins
- Someone to clear all items belonging to the wedding party and guests and to ensure that all trash and debris are removed promptly from the premises
- Musicians (visit Music and Sound for guidelines)
- Photographers or videographers (visit Resources for guidelines)
You are responsible for providing the following items:
- Flowers and pew decorations (visit Decorations for guidelines)
- Chuppahs or arches (Due to delivery, installation and pick-up, these decorations must be arranged in advance with the Events and Conference Coordinator.)
- Altar cloths, cross, kneeling bench or other religious accoutrements
NOTE: The University assumes no responsibility for rented items. The bride and groom are responsible for returning rented items to the vendor.
Are There Any Restrictions We Need To Know About?
Because of the historic nature of the building and for safety's sake, there are restrictions that we must enforce. Please see the Wedding Party Protocols Form on the Forms page for a complete list of restrictions.
May We Have A Receiving Line In The Chapel?
There is, unfortunately, no area in the University Chapel that can accommodate a receiving line. Additionally, if there is another wedding or event that follows your ceremony, there will be no time to have a receiving line outside either. We strongly suggest that you plan for this event at your reception.
Where May We Have Our Reception?
The University Chapel has no facilities for receptions. However, there are several on-campus options that you may wish to explore. Visit Resources for more information on reception sites and catering services, both on and off campus.