Bowdoin Chapel Weddings
The Bowdoin College Chapel is available for weddings as the College schedule permits. Generally, weddings can only occur during periods of the year when classes are not in session such as the summer months and semester break. From May 1 - October 31, the Chapel is reserved only for members of the Bowdoin community. In this context, Bowdoin community is defined as alumni and their immediate family members, active or retired faculty and staff and their immediate family members, and members of the Association of Bowdoin Friends. From November 1 - April 30, the Chapel is available to the public.
Reservations for the Chapel must be made through the Office of Events and Summer Programs, reachable at 207-725-3433. Reservations cannot be guaranteed until the academic calendar for the year in question is finalized, and until the fee for use of the Chapel is received by the Office of Events and Summer Programs.
Your reservation entitles you to one and one-half hours from the start of the rehearsal and two hours from the start of the wedding. The Chapel will be open one half hour before the start time of your rehearsal, and two hours before the start time of your wedding to allow time for decorating.
As evidenced by its elaborate murals depicting biblical scenes, the Chapel was initially designed as a church. Today, it acts as a non-denominational facility and is host to a variety of ceremonies. Arrangements for an offiating clergy person or public notary must be made by the bride and groom.
The official capacity of the Chapel is 200; however, we recommend no more than 180 to allow your guests some elbow room. The balcony may not be used to seat guests; only a photographer or several musicians may have access to the balcony. Please plan accordingly as a dressing room for the bride is not available. The groom may wait at the side entrance to the Chapel.
In addition to the piano and organs, furniture in the Chapel includes a permanent podium located in front of the main organ. You must seek permission from the Events and Summer Programs Office if you have special arrangements in mind that require labor for the movement or addition of furniture. Restrictions apply and you will be billed for any labor charges (see Music).
The center aisle of the Chapel is 66 feet long and 9 feet wide.
There is no single lot on campus to accommodate your guests. Guests may park in any campus lot after 5:00 pm on Friday and throughout the weekend. We recommend that they park in either the Coffin Street lot, the North and South Campus Drive lots, or along Upper Park Row. A campus map is available through the Events and Summer Programs Office.
The College does not provide a center aisle runner, kneeling bench, candelabra or other special wedding items; these can be rented from Taylor Rental in Brunswick, reachable at 207-725-5348.
The College assumes no responsibility for rented items. The bride and groom are responsible for returning rented items to the vendor.
If candles are used, votive candles are mandatory to keep wax from dripping onto the carpet or woodwork.
Flowers and containers not removed from the Chapel at the end of the ceremony will be disposed of by College housekeeping staff.
Custodial service is included in the rental fee. A staff person from the College housekeeping department will be on-duty before and after, but not during, the rehearsal and wedding.
We ask that your guests refrain from throwing rice, flower petals or confetti inside the Chapel and that outside, only bird seed, flower petals or bubbles be used.
The Austin organ, the smaller Cooper organ, and a piano are housed in the Chapel year-round.
If you are interested in using the CD sound system in the Chapel, we will hire a Bowdoin technician to run it for you (see Fees). Please make these arrangements through the Events and Summer Programs Office.
If you wish to have the organ played at your wedding, you must contact our organist, Ray Cornils, at 207-443-9700 or at email@example.com. If he is not available, he will refer you to other available organists.
The fee for use of the Chapel is $750. Rental of the Bowdoin Chapel covers use of the sanctuary only. A check made payable to Bowdoin College must be received by the Events and Summer Programs Office three months prior to your wedding to confirm your reservation. In the event of a cancellation by the wedding party, a refund will be made provided 120 days notice is given to the College.
Sound System Technician - $20 per hour for student staff or $50 per hour for professional staff.
Costs are approximate.