Weddings at Ford Chapel
Allegheny College welcomes the use of Ford Memorial Chapel for weddings. Built in 1902, the Chapel has been beautifully restored to showcase the warmth and character of its original Victorian design. Cream-colored walls are set off with a dark rose accent wall at the back of the sanctuary, maroon pew cushions and carpet, and dark oak pews, paneling, and ceiling. Ford Chapel comfortably seats 350 guests, with 325 on the main floor and 25 in the balcony.
Ceremonies can also be performed at various outdoor sites around campus. However, due to changing weather conditions, a rental fee is required to reserve the Chapel if the ceremony needs to be moved indoors.
Scheduling a Wedding
Image caption: “Allegheny College is where we met and holds so many special memories for us. Getting married at Ford Chapel brought us back to the roots of our relationship as we started this new chapter, allowing us to share that magic with family and friends. We had a perfect day and Allegheny now holds even more memories and meaning for us.” – Samantha Schulz Phillips (’11) & Dalton Phillips (’11), married July 16th 2016.
Contact Conference & Event Services to schedule your wedding
Wedding fees include rehearsal and ceremony: $350
Weddings of Allegheny Employees or their children: $175
Planning Your Wedding
The Chapel is generally available the afternoon/evening prior to the weddings for a rehearsal.
A staff member will attend both your rehearsal and the wedding itself, and someone can meet with you at the Chapel to answer questions as you plan your wedding.
When deciding what time of day to hold your ceremony, remember that summer days can be warm and humid in Meadville, and Ford Chapel is not air-conditioned. We can provide fans, but if the heat is a problem for some guests, you may want to schedule your wedding earlier in the day.
The Oratory, a side room in the Chapel, can be used as a dressing space, and other rooms are available in the adjacent building. You may have snacks and non-alcoholic beverages in the Oratory, but smoking and alcoholic beverages are not permitted in the building.
There are two all-gender restrooms, one of which can be blocked off for the bridal party to use.
Please note that there is no indoor passage from the Oratory to the back of the sanctuary, so the bridal party will need to go outside and around the building or through the sanctuary.
Any qualified officiant may celebrate your wedding. For a list of officiants in this area, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 814-332-2800.
For ecclesiastical permission to hold a Roman Catholic wedding in Ford Chapel, contact Father Jeff Lucas at email@example.com or 814-336-4459.
The Chapel is equipped with a Shigeru Kawai grand piano and a Tellers Digital Electronic Organ. If you prefer to use recorded music, we can connect a laptop or smartphone to the Chapel sound system.
For a list of musicians in this area, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 814-332-2800 or Allegheny’s Music Department at 814-332-3304.
The main floor of Ford Chapel is arranged in three sections, with no center aisle. The chancel area, or stage, is five steps up from the floor.
The grand piano is on the stage and cannot be moved. At the second step, there is a small thrust stage, centered, that is 9 ½’ wide and 8 ½’ deep. Depending on the size of your wedding party, you may use the thrust and/or the stage area.
Ford Chapel is equipped with one oak table (32” square, 28 ½” high), a dark oak communion table (54” wide x 24” deep x 40” high), and two oak podiums, or lecterns. There is no kneeling bench available in Ford Chapel.
Please use dripless or no-wax candles and place plastic under unity candles and candelabras.
We can provide 10 white pew bows, but if you prefer to make your own, please affix them to the pews with elastic, string, or felt pipe cleaners. There are 34 pews, 12 in the center and 11 in each side section.
If you plan to use an aisle runner, we suggest you contact your florist for rental information, as we do not provide runners. There are two aisles, which are 33’ long, and from 42-44” wide. If you scatter flower petals, please use those that are silk or other artificial material rather than real flowers.
You may refer your guests to this parking map, where Ford Chapel is building 8. We recommend parking in College lots 13 and 15 (available for open parking on evenings and weekends), or on East College and Sherman Streets. We will post signs directing guests to these areas on the wedding day.
Ford Chapel is wheelchair accessible, but there are two sets of steps from the street to the building. You can access the building without steps from one-half block away, just above Ruter Hall (building 9 on parking map). There is a brick walkway where a car can pull off the street and safely unload a passenger, however, for safety reasons the car will then need to be moved to a designated parking area.
There are two all-gender/family restrooms in Ford Chapel.
Following the Ceremony
You are welcome to use bubbles or birdseed outdoors as the couple exits the Chapel, but please do not throw rice, or send off balloons or lanterns.
Because Ford Chapel is used for many events, you must make arrangements to have floral pieces and other decorations removed and make sure someone takes all your belongings before the end of the day.