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Weddings

Please Note:  All weddings will be subject to COVID guideline that are current at the time of the wedding ceremony.

We will begin to accept and reserve wedding ceremony requests for 2022 in September of 2021.  A Wedding Request Form must be submitted and reviewed before a reservation can be made.  

 Congratulations on your engagement! We hope that this information will be helpful to you as you inquire about having your ceremony in the Alice Millar or Jeanne Vail Chapel.  Please read the information below carefully to determine whether you are eligible to reserve one of the Chapels for your wedding.

Wedding Information:

Northwestern University is happy to make Millar and Vail Chapels available to persons who are currently related or have been related to the University.  Millar Chapel is a major worship center at the University, and it is often used for concerts and other cultural University events.  Weddings are not scheduled during periods when the University is closed (holidays, weeks between quarters, etc.) or when University events preclude the use of the Chapels.  No more than one wedding can be scheduled on any day.

Millar Chapel has a seating capacity of just over 700 on the main floor of the nave.  The style of the building is contemporary Gothic, providing a blend of the traditional and modern.  Jeanne Vail Chapel can seat 125.

Eligibility:

At least one of the principals in the wedding must be:

 

 

 

A. Review Our Wedding Contract

Wedding Ceremony Contract (PDF). This contract contains the wedding rules and regulations that must be agreed upon to reserve the Alice Millar or Jeanne Vail Chapel.

B. Review Ceremony Pricing Tiers 

chapel pricing tiers
Chapel Alumni Current Student, Staff, or Faculty
Alice Millar Chapel $2,000 $1,800
Jeanne Vail Chapel $1,400 $1,200

Affiliation documentation is required from alumni and current students, staff, or faculty. One person of the couple getting married or one of their parents must be able to provide affiliation documentation to qualify for a wedding reservation.

 Accepted affiliation documentation is a Northwestern email address, copy of a Northwestern diploma, or status confirmation from the Office of Alumni Relations and Development.

C. Schedule a Tour

We offer tours by appointment only. Please contact weddings@northwestern.edu to schedule your tour.

A. Select a Date

Alice Millar or Vail Chapel are Generally Available for Weddings:

Saturday

  • 12:00pm (Chapel reserved 11:30am-1:30pm)
  • 3:00pm  (Chapel reserved 2:30pm-4:30pm)

Sunday

  • 3:00pm  (Chapel reserved 2:30pm-4:30pm)

 *Weekday weddings may be scheduled at the discretion of the University Chaplain.

View available wedding ceremony dates and start times:

 

B. Complete the Wedding Request Form

Once you have checked that your desired date is available, please complete and submit our Wedding Request Form. 

C. Place Your Deposit

The wedding deposit is a non-refundable $300 which will be applied to your wedding balance. It may be made by credit card online at https://nuweddings.securepayments.cardpointe.com/pay.  

D. Sign Your Contract

Once the deposit and request form are received you will receive an email inviting you to sign the contract. With the contract, your ceremony date and time will be secured.

A. Select your Officiant

Couples are strongly encouraged to bring their own officiant. Our university chaplains officiate weddings based on their availability. If you are interested in having a university chaplain officiate your wedding, please contact them at least 6 months prior to your ceremony. 

B. Pay your Balance

Your final balance is due at least 3 months before your ceremony date. Any cancellations less than 3 months before the ceremony will result in the forfeit of the entire wedding fee.

C. Purchase Special Event Insurance

Should any wedding party have difficulty obtaining the required insurance, Northwestern University’s Risk Management department has arranged an access program that meets minimum levels of coverage at an affordable price. Connect with the Chapel Wedding Coordinator for additional information. Evidence of insurance must be received by the Wedding Coordinator by the date the wedding balance is paid.

D. Book your Rehearsal

Rehearsals are scheduled by our Chapel staff based upon your Day-Of Details. Most rehearsals take place the evening before the ceremony between 3pm-7pm. Rehearsals are limited to 60 minutes and will be staffed by our Chapel staff and lead by the wedding officiant. Musicians are not present at rehearsals. Late rehearsals will incur a late fee at $5/minute.

E. Book your External Vendors

Florists, photographers and wedding coordination for the ceremony are the responsibility of the wedding couple.  It is the responsibility of the wedding couple to share Wedding Policy with their vendors.  Please note that decorating must be completed during reservation time and that none of the Chapels' liturgical appointments can be moved.  All decorations must be removed at the completion of the wedding ceremony.

F.  Select your Music

The Chapel Music Coordinator will be in contact with you 4-6 weeks prior to your ceremony. Approved music selections are available for review on our Wedding Music Sample Page.

A. Start on Time

Rehearsals are limited to one hour the day before the ceremony.  All members of the wedding party and the officiate must arrive on time. Chapel staff will be present during your rehearsal. Any musicians are not required to attend.

B. Practice 

The officiant will run the rehearsal. 

C. Officiant Honorarium

Please remember to give your Officiant their honorarium at the rehearsal.  It is customary to provide an honorarium to the officiating clergy and is not included in the total wedding fee. The standard honorarium for the clergy of the university chapel is $350.

 

A. Pre-Ceremony

30 minutes before the scheduled start time you and your guests may arrive at the Chapel. We ask for any decorating to be completed during this time. The building will not be open until the reserved time. The  bridal party should begin to line up 10 minutes prior to the start time. You are responsible to account for traffic conditions before your arrival. Please be on time!

B. Ceremony

Weddings are expected to begin at the printed start time. Weddings which start late risk losing their musicians, a shortened photography time and a $300 late charge. When ready, the officiant or designate will signal the musicians and send the bridal party down the aisle.

C. Post-Ceremony

After your ceremony is finished you will have ~30 minutes in the Chapel for photographs. If you go over the designated time you will be subject to a $300 late fee.

D. Receptions

Receptions can be booked in our Reception Hall (PKS 122), a short indoor walk from the chapel. Please see the Wedding Policy for more information.