Frequently Asked Questions
How long is the wait to get married at the Chapel?
It's not five years! Reservations are made at the Chapel on a first come, first served basis and there is no limit to how far in advance you can book your wedding. Reservations are made based on the Chapel's availability. If the slot you want is available, you can book it whether its two years or two weeks away! Typically, the afternoon and evening timeslots are the most popular, especially in the spring and summer. Our advice to you is to make your reservation as early in your planning process as possible so that you have the best chance of getting the date and time you want.
Do you have to be affiliated with the University of Maryland, College Park to get married at the Chapel?
No, anyone can be married at the Chapel regardless of their affiliation with the University or religious or faith preference. However, University affiliates do receive a discount.
Who receives the Chapel affiliate discount?
To qualify for the affiliate discount, the bride or the groom must meet one of the following criteria:
- They are a current full-time student at the University of Maryland College Park
- They are a graduate of the University of Maryland College Park
- They are a current employee of the University of Maryland College Park
- They are the son or daughter of a current employee of the University of Maryland College Park
- They are a US veteran or active duty military member
Can any religion use the facility?
Yes, we are an interfaith facility. Couples and ceremonies of all faiths and cultures are welcome.
What if I plan to have a Catholic ceremony?
By permission of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, any part-time or full-time student, faculty, or staff member of the University of Maryland may marry at Memorial Chapel. For further information, including additional steps, faith requirements, and protocol, please contact the Chapel office at email@example.com or the Catholic Student Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can we include different religious elements and/or religious traditions in our ceremony?
Yes, however, anything that will involve the burning of incense, open flames, or other deviations from Chapel policy must be approved by the Chapel Coordinator prior to your event. Approval from the Chapel Coordinator is required for water ceremonies and sand ceremonies.
How long are the time slots?
Main Chapel reservations include 2 hours and 45 minutes in the Main Chapel on the wedding day. West Chapel reservations will have 2 hours and 30 minutes. The wedding ceremony, set up and clean up must all take place within this time.
Can we purchase additional time?
Yes, you may always book a double time slot at the time of your reservation or anytime thereafter as space permits. Hourly purchases must be discussed with the Chapel staff and approved by the Chapel Coordinator. Typically, requests for one hour additions to a reservation are only accommodated within one month of the event date.
Can you reserve both the Main and West Chapel?
No, the timeslots are not aligned in a manner that would allow you to reserve both Chapels for your wedding ceremony. The only exception to this policy is if you are booking a double time slot for the Main Chapel, then you will also have access to the West Chapel during your reserved time.
Can we alter the time for our wedding ceremony?
No, ceremony start times are staggered to ensure that each ceremony is not disturbed by another party. In order to ensure that each wedding runs smoothly it is very important that your ceremony begins at the designated start time. The only exception to this policy is if you book two consecutive timeslots. Then you will have both Chapels with your reservation and you can start your wedding anytime you choose within your contracted rental time.
Can we have food and beverages?
There is no food or drink allowed in the Main or West Chapel. Food and drink are allowed in the Lounge (used as a dressing room for Main Chapel weddings) and Conference Room (used as a dressing room for West Chapel weddings.) Alcohol is strictly prohibited in the Memorial Chapel and on the grounds.
Is there a place to dress?
Main Chapel couples will have use of the Bridal Suite on the second floor and the Lounge on the first floor. West Chapel couples will have access to the Conference Room on the first floor for storage or dressing.
Do we provide ministers?
No, however we can provide contact information for officiants that regularly perform weddings at the Chapel.
Will there be anyone from the Chapel to assist us, if so is there an additional fee?
Yes, the services of a Chapel Event Manager are included in your reservation fee. Your Event Manager is primarily responsibly for the set up and use of the Chapel facility and equipment. Please do not expect them to perform personal services for you. Your Event Manager will assist you with making decisions regarding set-up, placement of altar items and other equipment when you meet with them at the start of your rehearsal. On your wedding day they will have all the Chapel items set up according to your plans when your reservation time begins. Event Managers will be on site at the Chapel for the entirety of your contracted time.
Is there space for advance storage?
Unfortunately, we do not have any storage space. Please ensure that your deliveries are made within your scheduled time block.
How early before the wedding can you decorate?
All decorating and set-up must be accomplished within your contracted time block. Decorating at your rehearsal is not permitted.
What happens to items left behind after the ceremony?
Items that are left behind will be kept in the Chapel Office. If they are not claimed within one month, they will be donated to charity or thrown away.
What happens to my ceremony if it snows?
In the event of inclement weather, such as heavy snow, Memorial Chapel will make every possible effort to hold all scheduled weddings while looking out for the safety of our guests and staff. If the renter chooses to postpone the wedding due to inclement weather and notifies the Memorial Chapel more than 24 hours before the event's start time, the wedding may be postponed at no charge. If Memorial Chapel must postpone the event due to inclement weather, the renter will be contacted immediately after a decision is made, and the paid reservation fee will be applied to the new date. The event will be rescheduled for a mutually agreeable date and time.
What happens to my ceremony during game days?
Memorial Chapel holds wedding ceremonies on home football game days. If your wedding is scheduled for a game day we will notify you as soon as the schedule is released and email you alternative directions to share with your guests. In addition, the Chapel provides a parking lot attendant to ensure that the Chapel's lot is reserved for wedding guest parking only. Please visit the section on game days for more information.
Does the Chapel recommend reception sites?
No, we do not recommend any specific facility for receptions. However, we can direct you to several locations on campus or give you listing of local facilities.
Can we have a Saturday night rehearsal?
No, Saturdays are wedding days, our last ceremony starts at 8:00pm.
How long should my ceremony last?
To make sure that everything fits into your allotted time, your ceremony needs to be 45 minutes or less.
Is my wedding the only one scheduled on my day?
No, between the West Chapel and the Main Chapel 7 weddings can be accommodated in the Chapel on Saturdays. However, our time blocks are structured so that no two weddings take place at the same time and each wedding is a private event.
Can we use candles in our decorations?
Due to state fire code, no wax candles may be used inside Memorial Chapel. For this reason the Chapel provides beautiful brass and white oil-filled candles. The only exception to this policy is if the couple wishes to bring in their own unity candle. If you choose to use your own unity candle, the ensemble must remain on the altar during the entire ceremony. If you would like to use candles in your pew decorations or in the windows, then they must be battery operated.
What happens if the bride or groom is late?
You contracted access times to the Chapel are not flexible. If the bride or groom is late, you still must exit the Chapel when your reservation time ends. In most cases another event will be taking place after yours and we can not disrupt the next party's scheduled time because you were late. We encourage the bride and groom to arrive well before the ceremony start time so that everything can run on schedule on the wedding day.
What are my clean-up responsibilities?
The Chapel must be left in the same conditions that it was found. You must remove any and all flowers, bows, ribbons, floor runners, programs, etc. and clean up after your guests. We recommend having designated members of your wedding party responsible for clean up.
Do you have a payment plan and if so what is the schedule?
No, we do not have a payment plan. We require that all weddings be paid in full one year prior to the wedding date. If you book your reservation more than one year in advance, then you will be required to pay the $50 Administrative Fee along with 50% of the total rental fee. On the first of the month one year before your event the remaining balance will be due.
How far in advance can I reserve the Chapel?
Are you handicapped accessible?
Yes, the Main Chapel has a handicapped entry located on the side of the Chapel (Chapel Drive entrance) and the West Chapel is accessible from the Chapel Drive entrance or the Lot Y entrance. All doorways and bathrooms on the ground floor are wheelchair accessible. Handicapped parking spaces are available near the Chapel.
What happens if my guest number increases?
As a general rule one single wedding timeslot has a 300 guest maximum; any variation within this allotted number will require no action. However, if your guest count exceeds 300 then you will be required to reserve an additional timeslot.
Where does the Limo park?
If your wedding is in the Main Chapel, then your limo may remain parked in the front of the Chapel as long as the driver remains with the vehicle with the flashers on. For West Chapel weddings, the limo can park in Lot Y or on the side of Chapel Drive.
Where is guest parking?
Your guests will have parking in the Lot Y which is located directly behind the Chapel. For overflow parking please refer to the parking section of this website.
Where do we take pictures?
If your wedding is in the Main Chapel, you can take photos anywhere inside the Main Chapel and on the front steps of the Memorial Chapel. West Chapel couples will be able to take pictures inside the West Chapel and outside in the West Chapel Garden.
Where else on campus can we take pictures?
You may take pictures anywhere on campus as long as you do not disrupt the flow of traffic or disturb classes or other campus events. We recommend that you take all of your Chapel photos first and then take photos on campus to make the best use of your time at the Chapel.
Can we have more than one photographer?
Yes. You can have as many as you like.
Can pictures be taken during the ceremony?
The Chapel has no specific policy on when pictures can be taken during the ceremony. We recommend talking with your officiant to see if they have any guidelines.
Are there music restrictions?
No, your music selections are completely up to you. All we ask is that your selections respect the integrity of the Chapel as a historic building, campus icon and place of worship.
Does the Chapel provide a musician?
No, you must hire your own musicians. The Chapel welcomes musicians of all kinds and does not restrict the kind of music or the performers you select. If you are using the Moller Pipe Organ in the Main Chapel, we have listed on our website a list of approved organists. If you choose to bring you own pipe organist then he/she must make an appointment with this office so that their qualifications can be verified. Please make this appointment at least 6 weeks before your event to ensure that you have ample time to select another organist if necessary.
Can we use pets?
Yes, however we require that someone in your wedding party be responsible for your furry friend to ensure that their "business" is taken care of. Please note that you will be held financially responsible for any clean up needed as a result of your pet. Using a pet in the ceremony MUST be approved by the Chapel Coordinator prior to your event.
How do we get a marriage license?
Law requires that your marriage license come from the Maryland county where your wedding ceremony is held. The University of Maryland is located in Prince George's County and you can refer to the following website for information on marriage licenses: http://www.goprincegeorgescounty.com/Government/JudicialBranch/Clerk/marriage_license.asp?nivel=foldmenu(2)
Do you have a reception site at the Chapel?
No, however we can provide general information regarding reception sites in the area. Also on our website you will find links to reception sites on the University campus.
Can we use a horse and carriage?
Yes, however, we don't have contact information for any vendors. If you do decide to use a carriage please inform the Reservations Office so that we may notify the appropriate authorities on campus.