Weddings at Rockefeller and Bond Chapels
COVID-19 update: 2020 ceremonies have been rescheduled or refunded as gatherings are still suspended. At this time, we are not accepting new 2021 inquiries since most weekends will contain rescheduled ceremonies from the past year. The below information is provided for reference for existing bookings.
Congratulations on your engagement, and thank you for your interest in the beautiful University Chapels!
When permitted by University Facilities and related governance, we are customarily able to reserve weddings 14 months in advance at the University chapels, excluding academic breaks, convocation weekends, and major holidays. The wedding season is typically April-October. Please note the following as we draw near to the 100th anniversary of both buildings later this decade:
- in summer 2020, construction work at Ida Noyes Hall across the street limited the original availability of some July and August dates
- in summer 2021, we anticipate Bond Chapel may be closed for roof and facade repairs (wedding activity will likely center at Rockefeller Chapel)
- in summer 2022, we anticipate Rockefeller Chapel may be closed for roof and facade repairs (wedding activity will likely center at Bond Chapel)
Currently, Rockefeller and Bond Chapels are considered fully booked through the end of 2021 due to COVID-19 rescheduling of all 2020 ceremonies. You may email email@example.com and the autoresponse or coordinator may be able to indicate any Saturdays with remaining availability. We regret we cannot accommodate inquiries about short notice availability, and we do not offer a lower-service package for more intimate or impromptu ceremonies.
We expect to be able to advise on potential availability for the 2022 season (April through October) starting in April 2021. As noted above, the University has advised us there may be construction limiting activities at Bond Chapel that (2021) summer and at Rockefeller Chapel in the 2022 summer.
The single contact point for wedding questions and scheduling is the firstname.lastname@example.org mailbox. Other Rockefeller, Bond Chapel, and Spiritual Life staff do not have scheduling calendar access for weddings and should not be consulted. An autoresponse from the weddings account may have an update on availability; no personalized response means no date is available for your inquiry, as is often the case as the University constituency grows.
You can scroll down this page for information about eligibility (University affiliation), scheduling, fees, accessibility and parking, and photography. There are also some important things to note if you are getting married at Rockefeller or Bond.
Rockefeller Chapel (pew capacity 1500, though it works beautifully for intimate ceremonies as well) and Bond Chapel (seating 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. You must obtain a marriage license from Cook County.
Weddings are scheduled on Saturdays 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 Medical Center or a member of one of the University’s boards or visiting committees.
- An alumnus/a of the University, including the Laboratory School
- The son or daughter of one of the above.
- On a case-by-case basis: a member of our Sunday congregation, or related volunteer staff from area seminaries
Please note that the affiliation requirements are not negotiable.
Rockefeller Chapel and Bond Chapel are each available for weddings on Saturdays, with four-hour windows for booking from 10 am to 2 pm, and from 3 pm to 7 pm, availability permitting.
For a 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 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.
- 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. The coordinator (see below) will facilitate this important practice. The organist and carillonneur do not attend the rehearsal.
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.
Wedding fees are all-inclusive, and cover the use of the respective chapel for the one-hour Friday rehearsal and the four-hour Saturday ceremony window; the use of two gathering rooms in the ceremony window; the unique services of the University organist and carillonneur (tower bell musician) with customized repertoire for you, including possible collaboration with your own guest musicians; and the presence of a coordinator throughout the rehearsal and wedding time. The fee for Rockefeller Chapel is $2,900 ($2,700 for ceremony dates prior to October 1, 2019) and the fee for Bond Chapel is $2,300 ($2,100 for ceremony dates prior to October 1, 2019). A student discount may be available if one or both parties are actively enrolled at the time of the ceremony (not the time of the booking). A non-refundable deposit of $500 is required to reserve your date.
Important note: The $500 deposit must be made via personal or cashier's check, payable to Rockefeller Chapel, and mailed or delivered to the Office of the Dean, 5850 S. Woodlawn, Chicago, IL 60637. See our public hours here. We are not able to accept cash or credit card payments. Your balance is then due 30 days prior to your confirmed ceremony, again via mailed or delivered check. Thank you for understanding that we are unable to facilitate ceremony rehearsals until payment is complete.
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 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 are fully accessible.
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.
Professional photography of costumed persons, as for weddings and promotions, or any posed or commercial photography, is strictly reserved for University-affiliated parties with paid event reservations. See our Visit Us page for further details.
Drones are not permitted on University property.
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. Such receptions are coordinated directly with the venues and not through us (Rockefeller).
- Bond Chapel and Rockefeller Chapel sanctuaries are not air conditioned (though dressing rooms and restrooms are).
- 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 pre-recorded 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.
- Video recording is permitted, but should be done as unobtrusively as possible during the ceremony. We do not provide sound feeds.
- The University Guest Wireless Network is made available to the wedding party, their designates, and vendors. Other (wired) connectivity is not made available.
- At either chapel, basic wireless amplification is provided to your officiant, reader, and (if applicable) one solo instrumentalist or vocalist on our excellent house sound systems. We do not provide area / ensemble microphones. We encourage you to consider a cappella (unamplified) performance in the beautiful chapel acoustics whenever possible.
Contact and Agreement
Completing a deposit for a ceremony at Rockefeller or Bond Chapels indicates your acceptance of the above stipulations.
Please contact the weddings desk to inquire about scheduling a wedding.
Initial communications are handled by the University Chapels office. Once your deposit is received, we will introduce you to the University organist and carillonneur to coordinate the overall musical plan. One month before your ceremony, we will assign a weekend coordinator for your rehearsal and Big Day.
Thank you for interest in these spaces, and our best wishes once again!