Weddings at Rockefeller and Bond Chapels
If you are looking for a place to hold your wedding, may we first say congratulations!
We book weddings up to fifteen months in advance, and it is rare for us to have availability at short notice. Please note that we are fully booked at this point through January 2017.
Rockefeller Chapel (capacity 1,700, though it’s a marvelous setting for small weddings as well as larger ones) and Bond Chapel (capacity 150) can be used for ceremonies of any cultural or religious tradition and also for ceremonies that do not have religious content. You invite your own officiant, and your officiant may be anyone who is legally authorized to conduct weddings in the state of Illinois. The only other legal requirement is that you obtain a marriage license from Cook County.
Weddings are scheduled on Saturdays and Sundays only. You may schedule your wedding at Bond Chapel or Rockefeller Chapel if you are one of the following:
- A current student, enrolled in a degree-granting program of study at the University of Chicago.
- A member of the staff or faculty at the University or the University hospitals or a member of one of the University’s boards or visiting committees.
- An alumnus/a of the University.
- The son or daughter of one of the above.
Please note that the affiliation requirements are not negotiable.
Rockefeller Chapel and Bond Chapel are each available for weddings on Saturday mornings, Saturday afternoons, and Sunday afternoons.
Beginning academic year 2016–17, reservable times (on weekends when the Chapels are not reserved for other major events) are:
- Saturday, 10 am to 2 pm (Rockefeller or Bond)
- Saturday, 3 pm to 7 pm (Rockefeller or Bond)
- Sunday, 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm (Rockefeller)
- Sunday, 2 pm to 5 pm (Bond)
For a Saturday 10 am reservation, the procession can start at 11 am, 12 noon, or 1 pm (the 1 pm start if the ceremony is brief, with photography beforehand), or on the half hour between 11 am and 1 pm.
For a Saturday 3 pm reservation, the procession can start at 4 pm, 5 pm, or 6 pm (the 6 pm start if the ceremony is brief, with photography beforehand), or on the half hour between 4 pm and 6 pm.
Sunday reservations are in three-hour blocks (not extendable), and start at 1:30 pm at Rockefeller Chapel and 2 pm at Bond Chapel. Processions must start at least 45 minutes after the start of the reservation block.
- Reservation blocks include access to dressing rooms for the wedding party.
- Vendor load-in and strike must take place within the reservation block.
- Warm-up and soundcheck for guest musicians (if any) must take place within the reservation block.
- All photography (exterior and interior) must take place within the reservation block.
A one hour rehearsal is also scheduled, usually for the Friday before the wedding.
You may place a hold on a particular time for up to three weeks, in order to coordinate the booking of the ceremony and the reception.
Weddings for academic 2015–16 (including summer 2016) were reserved on a different time and fee schedule and are honored as originally booked; contact Emily Charles for information on existing bookings.
Wedding fees are fully inclusive, and cover the use of the respective Chapel for the one hour rehearsal and the booked time on the day of the ceremony; the use of two gathering rooms for the booked time on the day of the ceremony; the services of the University organist and University carillonneur; and the presence of special events staff throughout the rehearsal and wedding time. The fee for Rockefeller Chapel is $2,700 and the fee for Bond Chapel is $2,100. A discount is available for students enrolled in degree-granting programs at the University of Chicago at the time of the wedding. A non-refundable deposit of $500 is required to reserve your date.
Accessibility and parking
Rockefeller Chapel and Bond Chapel are ADA accessible. Rockefeller restrooms and dressing rooms are accessed by stairs for the general public, and by an ADA lift in the south lobby for guests with accessibility concerns only. The lift may not be used by vendors for the moving of equipment.
Rockefeller parking is typically easily available on surrounding streets, the Midway Plaisance, and in the adjacent Lexington parking lot at 5835 S. University Avenue. The gate raises automatically on evenings and weekends and the Lexington lot may be used for vendor deliveries. There is a ramp from the Lexington lot, and dedicated parking spaces for those needing step-free access.
Rockefeller’s circle driveway is reserved for pressing dropoff needs only, and is not the best choice for step-free access (the Lexington lot, as listed above, leads directly to the southwest door for step-free access). Guests and vendors may not park in the Rockefeller driveway. Rockefeller’s address is 5850 S. Woodlawn Avenue.
Bond Chapel restrooms and dressing rooms are located in the adjoining Swift Hall and can be accessed by elevator or stairs.
Parking for Bond is available on 59th street and the Midway Plaisance. There is no vehicular access to Bond within the University quadrangles. The best access point and listable address for Bond is 1010 E. 59th Street, also known as the Arch or the Classics archway. There is a ramp from 59th street to the Arch, and signage inside points guests to Bond Chapel, directly across the Classics quadrangle.
Interior wedding photography on the Rockefeller and Bond Chapel chancels (the main front area inside each Chapel, near the altar) is strictly reserved for couples whose ceremonies are taking place in these spaces.
Exterior and casual interior photography may be arranged for other couples, only as schedule allows, by arranging for a permit with the University of Chicago. Please contact Emily Charles for more information.
Photo shoots without permit will be moved offsite immediately.
Drones are not permitted under any circumstances, interior or exterior, in the vicinity of the Chapels.
Bond Chapel and Rockefeller Chapel do not have facilities to host receptions. If you want to remain on campus for your reception, you may wish to consider a reception at the University’s beautiful Quadrangle Club, International House, Logan Center for the Arts, or the Smart Museum. Summer receptions may also be possible at Ida Noyes Hall.
Other things to note
- Bond Chapel and Rockefeller Chapel are not air conditioned.
- We do not have facilities for serving food at Rockefeller or Bond Chapels, and we do not permit wedding parties to bring alcohol on to the premises.
- The organ and carillon may only be used by the University organist and University carillonneur and their designates. The organist and carillonneur will assist you in selecting and planning your music, and are contracted by the Chapel to play for your ceremony.
- You may invite other musicians (singers, instrumentalists) in addition to the organ, but prerecorded music is never permitted.
- Floral arrangements are allowed in the chancel area, and you should make careful arrangement with your florist to deliver when your booked time begins. We cannot take delivery of flowers in advance. Flowers are not permitted in the aisles.
- You may use ceremony candles and unity candles on the altar or other table, provided that your candle holder is designed to catch all wax.
- Aisle runners are not permitted, and flowers or petals may not be thrown in the aisles.
- Bubbles, birdseed, and flower petals may be thrown outside either Chapel. Rice or confetti may not be used. Balloons may not be brought into either Chapel (please take note, whoever brought the gold balloon which has been on the Rockefeller ceiling for several months now!).
- Video recording is permitted, but should be done as unobtrusively as possible during the ceremony. If you are getting married at Rockefeller and your videographer wants a feed from the sound system, this must be arranged as part of your contract and not when the videographer arrives! There is no sound feed at Bond.
Please contact Emily Charles by email or at 773.834.8538 if you would like to ask about scheduling a wedding. Reserving a ceremony at Rockefeller or Bond Chapels indicates your acceptance of the above stipulations. Thank you for interest in these spaces, and congratulations again!