Hosting Weddings at Allegheny College

Built more than a century ago, Ford Memorial Chapel is a historic building on the Allegheny College campus and a meaningful place for a graduate to be married. Ceremonies can also be performed at various outdoor sites around campus. We hope this guide helps in your consideration of returning to campus for your wedding.

Campus Contact

For Weddings Scheduled To Take Place During the Academic Year:
Brenda Armstrong, Religious Life, (814) 332-2800

For Weddings Scheduled To Take Place During the Summer:
Conference and Events Services, (814) 332-3101

Outdoor Services

Ceremonies can be performed at various outdoor sites around campus. However, due to changing weather conditions, a $300 fee is required to reserve the Chapel if the ceremony needs to be moved indoors.

Wedding in Ford Chapel
“We wanted to get married at Ford Chapel because it is a sacred space that we shared. Allegheny is a place we both love and feel at home so it only made sense to get married there.”
—Carolyn Roncolato Allgeier ’05 and Mike Allgeier ’02
Ford Chapel Amenities
  • Approximately 350 people can be seated comfortably in Ford Chapel, 25 in the balcony and 325 in the pews on the ground floor.
  • When scheduling the time of day for your ceremony, remember that summer days can be warm and humid in Meadville, and Ford Chapel is not air-conditioned. If the heat is a problem for family members, you may want to schedule your wedding earlier in the day.
  • The Oratory is available for the bride prior to the ceremony, and in the summer it may be possible to reserve rooms in Ruter Hall for the men to prepare. However, there is no designated space for preparations for the bride and groom. The wedding party should plan to dress for the occasion at an off-campus location prior to arrival for the ceremony.
  • There are two unisex bathrooms available on the left side of the Chapel by the Oratory.
  • Ford Chapel is wheelchair accessible.
  • An attendant will be on-site if requested.
  • Please note that smoking or the use of tobacco products is prohibited in campus buildings, and alcoholic beverages are not permitted in the Chapel or the Chapel grounds.
  • Please view the parking map for campus and help your guests plan accordingly.
  • The Security Office (phone: 814-332-3357) is available in case of any emergencies.
  • Please note that Ford Chapel is NOT air conditioned.
Wedding in Ford Chapel
“We chose to get married back at Allegheny because over the years the school has meant so much to my family and to exchange our vows in Ford Chapel made it that much more special.”
—Randy Hutton ’98 and Mollie Hutton
Clergy

It is the responsibility of the wedding party to find a duly ordained or licensed clergyperson to officiate at the wedding. The Chaplain may be available upon request. For Roman Catholics, it is possible to receive ecclesiastical permission to be married in Ford Chapel. For specific requirements, contact St. Mary of Grace Roman Catholic Church at 814-333-6161.

Decorations
  • The Chapel is available the Friday evening before (for a Saturday ceremony) and possibly as early as Friday during the day in the summer.
  • Ford Chapel does not provide any decorations such as candles, candelabras, flowers, etc. There is no kneeling bench available in Ford Chapel, but they may be rented elsewhere.
  • Weddings held in Ford Chapel must use the furnishings and paraments provided. Candles may be rented from a florist but must be dripless or no-wax candles.
  • Live floral arrangements are permitted but must be removed immediately following the service. Arrangements should be made with the florist to remove greenery or other decorations as soon after the service as possible.
  • We do NOT provide aisle runners but if you are interested in using an aisle runner, there are two aisles in the Chapel, each are 13 feet from back of pews to front of pews, the width ranges from 44 to 50 inches (narrows toward altar); we suggest you contact your florist for aisle runner rental information.
  • Bows or other decorations may be affixed to the pews with felt pipe cleaners or string.
    Pews:

    • 36 half pews on the ground floor, 3 sets of twelve rows (left, center, right)
    • 3 shorter pews stationed in back of chapel
    • 20 pews of mixed length on upper floor, 5 rows
    • Approximately 19 inches of leg room between pews
  • The practice of scattering flowers on the aisle before the entrance of the bride is not permitted in Ford Chapel.
Wedding in Ford Chapel
“We wanted to get married at Allegheny because it was a special place that was significant for both of us and our relationship. We met at Allegheny and both loved it so much we wanted to have our families share and experience our love for Allegheny.”
—Julie Piekanski LaConte ’01 and Matt LaConte ’02
Reservation and Fees

There is a $300 reservation fee to book the chapel. This covers both the reservation and any custodial fees; additional fees for other services may apply. The chapel will be reserved the night before (for rehearsal) and the day of the ceremony. No more than one ceremony will be booked on the same day.

Music Accommodations
  • Ford Chapel houses a magnificent Tellers Digital Electronic Organ. Organists approved by the Office of the Chaplain may perform weddings in Ford Chapel. A list of names of approved organists may be obtained by contacting Religious Life (814) 332-2800. It is the responsibility of the wedding party to make arrangements for music for the service.
  • There is also a baby grand piano available for general use in the Chapel.
  • There are no parameters regarding what type of music can be played during the service.
Post Service

Birdseed is permissible following the ceremony, however rice, confetti, etc. are not.