Weddings at Rockefeller and Bond Chapels
COVID-19 update: the 2021 and 2022 calendars are at capacity including rescheduled weddings and University ceremonies. With few exceptions, our wedding season is April-October to accommodate the academic calendar; we began taking 2022 reservations on April 1 of 2021. We expect to be able to release 2023 dates on April 1, 2022. We ancitipate Rockefeller Chapel itself may be under major renovations in 2023 and that Bond Chapel will accommodate most or all weddings.
The Chapel business coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org) can respond to questions on existing / pending deposits.
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 2021, Bond Chapel will be closed for fire suppression system installation
- in summer 2022, both chapels are reservable
- in summer 2023, Rockefeller Chapel may be under major renovations (we can begin accepting reservations in April of 2022, mostly at Bond Chapel)
Currently, Rockefeller and Bond Chapels are considered fully booked through the end of 2022 due to COVID-19 rescheduling of 2020 and 2021 ceremonies. 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.
The single contact point for wedding questions and scheduling is the email@example.com 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 child 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 only, with ceremony start times of 12 PM or 4 PM.
For noon ceremonies, the reservation window is 10:45 to 1:45. All activities must occur and conclude within this window.
For 4 PM ceremonies, the reservation window is 2:45 to 5:45. All activities must occur and conclude within this window.
- 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.
At time of inquiry, you may place a courtesy hold on one ceremony window, which holds for three weeks while your review. A $500 deposit, transferable if you change dates, is then required by mailed check to confirm the ceremony date and time.
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 and the fee for Bond Chapel is $2,300. A modest 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, along with the new Rubenstein Forum. Summer receptions may also be possible at Ida Noyes Hall. Such receptions are coordinated directly with the venues and not through us (Rockefeller). Outside the University, The Sophy, The Study, and The Hyatt in Hyde Park have reception or rehearsal dinner possibilities.
- 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, ethernet) connectivity is not made available. Vendors should generally plan to bring hotspots.
- 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 wedding day.
Thank you for interest in these special places, and our best wishes once again!