Marriage Service Information and Policy
The following information is intended to help in planning wedding ceremonies at Miller Chapel of Lebanon Valley College. Couples who sign the Application for Use of Miller Chapel for a Wedding Ceremony
agree to abide by the policies described here.
Who May Use the Chapel for Weddings?
Miller Chapel is available for use on a first-come, first-served basis at a basic rate of $500 (plus tax) for rehearsal and wedding. A discounted rate of $400 (plus tax) applies to faculty, staff, students, alumni, and trustees and the children of faculty, staff, and trustees. The schedule for use of facilities is, of course, subject to the College calendar, prior commitments, and availability of staff. Weddings are not scheduled on specific College holidays or when College events preclude the use of the Chapel.
Can We Have Our Reception at the College?
Lebanon Valley College can sometimes accommodate receptions, which are arranged through the Office of Conference Services (717-867-6310). Note that, without explicit permission, possession and use of alcoholic beverages is not permitted on College property.
Can We Have Our Wedding Outside on College Grounds?
No outdoor weddings will be scheduled on campus through the Office of Conference Services.
What Spaces are Included in Our Reservation?
An approved wedding reservation allows you access to the Chapel sanctuary, narthex (lobby), and dressing rooms for your rehearsal (usually on Friday evening) and ceremony (usually on a Saturday).
If there are no events scheduled in the Chapel during the day before your wedding, the Chapel may be accessed three hours prior to the start time of your rehearsal for decorating. Note that the organ may be in use during this time; if so, please be sensitive. (Contact Conference Services to determine if events are scheduled in the Chapel in the morning or early afternoon before your wedding. We do our best to limit the use of the Chapel at these times.)
Two rooms are generally available for dressing: Fellowship Lounge for the bridal party and a Chapel classroom for the groom and groomsmen. These rooms may be accessed three hours prior to the start time of your wedding ceremony and will be supplied with hanging racks for garments.
All spaces must be clean and cleared out three hours after your ceremony.
Is Miller Chapel Wheelchair-Accessible?
Miller Chapel is accessible by elevator. Couples who anticipate the use of the elevator must contact the Office of Conference Services at 717-867-6310 to arrange for the necessary staff help. (No additional fees apply.)
Where Will Our Guests Park?
Guests may park in the College lots. You can find the location of parking lots A-P on the campus map available at http://www.lvc.edu/safety/parking-map.aspx. Note, however, that no parking is allowed on either side of Sheridan Avenue.
What Do We Need to Do to Reserve the Chapel?
Couples who desire to use the Chapel must submit an Application for Use of Miller Chapel for a Wedding Ceremony, as well as a Use of Premises Waiver.
Due to the high demand of the Chapel facilities, these forms should be submitted as soon as possible to the Conference Services Office. You may tentatively reserve dates more than a year in advance, but they cannot be confirmed until one year prior to the requested date. The fee for use of the chapel must be paid at the time of application. Dates will not be confirmed until the application and fee are received by the Conference Services Office. If you decide not to use the chapel after your date has been reserved, please contact the Conference Services Office so that the date can be made available to others.
If your application and fee are not received six (6) months prior to the date of your wedding, the date will be opened for others. A complete refund will be given on cancellations made at least six (6) months before the scheduled date of the marriage service.
Keep in mind that Miller Chapel is on a college campus and we cannot guarantee that there will not be ongoing construction or other groups using campus facilities on the day of your wedding.
What Costs are Involved in Having Our Wedding at Miller Chapel?
At present, a fee of $500 (plus tax) is charged for use of Miller Chapel for rehearsals and weddings. A discounted rate of $400 (plus tax) applies to faculty, staff, students, alumni, and trustees and the children of faculty, staff, and trustees. Fees may change from year to year. This fee does not cover honoraria for organist or clergy.
Honoraria for clergy and musicians are the responsibility of the couple being married and should be paid directly to the persons involved at or before the rehearsal. Organists request a minimum of $225 for a service. Clergy honoraria should not be lower. Expenses for travel may also need to be taken into consideration when determining fees for clergy and musicians.
Couples will also need to purchase a marriage license from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Information for obtaining a marriage license specific to Lebanon County only is available here. All marriages solemnized at Miller Chapel will be entered in the Chapel Marriage Register. A copy of the license must be given to the Conference Services Office to keep on file, or the license number and name of the county issuing it must be given to the Conference Services Office to enter into the Marriage Register. The license is due at or before the rehearsal. Under no circumstances can a marriage service proceed if a proper license according to the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has not been presented.
What Restrictions Apply to Floral Decorations?
Florists may access the sanctuary for the delivery of flowers between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Fridays or three hours prior to the start time of your wedding ceremony. Bows or other decorations are allowed on the ends of the pews provided they do not damage the wood. (String or wire hooks work well.) The Chapel does not provide vases. There are 22 pews on each side.
What Decorations are Available at the Chapel?
The chancel is decorated with a large altar (40" x 120") and six wooden chairs. Two large brass candlesticks with fresh candles (both 32" tall), a wooden cross (24" tall), a large bookstand, and a large Bible (measuring 24" x 12" when opened) are available for use on the altar in the chancel.
May We Use Candles in the Chapel?
Dripless candles may be used in Miller Chapel. (Note: most candles can be made dripless by placing them in a freezer for 24 hours anytime prior to use.) Candles will be provided for the altar. Candelabras and a wedding unity candle may be used; however, you will need to supply your own. Candlelight weddings are not permitted for safety reasons.
Does the Chapel Have a Runner for the Aisle?
An aisle runner, if desired, will need to be supplied by the couple. Many florists rent aisle runners for weddings. The length of the aisle is approximately 75 feet from the back pew to the chancel step.
Who May Perform Our Wedding?
All persons qualified by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to solemnize marriages are welcome to conduct marriages in the chapel. Couples being married in the chapel are encouraged to invite the clergy from their worship community to officiate at their wedding. When the officiant has been selected, the Conference Services Office should be informed so an appropriate invitation can be extended.
Does the Chapel Provide an Organist?
It is the couple's responsibility to contact an organist or other musicians for the wedding service. Use of the organ must be cleared through the Music Department by submitting a form. A list of local organists who are familiar with the Chapel organ is also available; please note (as described under "Costs" above) that organists request a minimum of $225 for a service.
You may invite a guest organist to play at your wedding. However, because of the limited practice time available on the organ, your invited organist should have previous experience playing a large pipe organ. Guest organists preparing to play the organ in Miller Chapel will be helped by the attached note and list of stops.
The Chapel organ is used on a regular basis by students of the College for practice and lessons. Because of this heavy schedule, practice time is limited for guest wedding organists. The organ will be available to the organist and the wedding soloist one hour prior to the start of the wedding rehearsal and one hour after the conclusion of the wedding rehearsal. Guest organists may also schedule two hours practice time on the day of the wedding. All practice arrangements must be made by calling the Conferences Services Office at 717-867-6310.
What Music Should We Include in Our Wedding?
Speak directly with the organist or other musician(s) that you have contracted to play for your wedding about ideas for music. In many cases, you may already know what you want for your wedding and all discussions can be done over the phone. In other cases, you may want the organist to play several selections for you to aid you in your decisions. If you have hired a local student organist, they will play for you on an organ in one of the College practice rooms. If you have a guest organist, they will need to play for you at their own church. In some cases, you may be charged an additional fee for a consultation meeting.
Will the Chapel Provide a Printed Program for Our Wedding?
No. Printed wedding programs are to be supplied by the couple. However, printable directions for inclusion in your invitation may be downloaded here.
Are Microphones and a Sound System Available?
Yes, the chapel is equipped with a spoken voice type sound system and microphones can be provided. With the rental of the chapel, you may request two microphones (e.g. a wired lavalier for the clergy member and a microphone at either the pulpit or lectern) to be interfaced with the existing system at no charge. This request needs to be made with the Media Services office at 717-867-6200 or firstname.lastname@example.org at least three weeks before the date of the rehearsal.
For events requiring more extensive sound reinforcement (additional microphones, wireless microphones, CD players, microphones in different locations, etc.), arrangements can either be made with the Media Services office (a charge will be incurred for every additional piece of equipment needed), or by contacting an off-campus vendor to provide a sound system. Please note that the Media Services office will not be responsible for contacting an outside sound vendor and that an outside sound vendor, if used, will not be permitted to interface with the existing system.
May Flash Photography Be Used During the Ceremony?
Photographers and videographers are expected to be respectful during the ceremony. In general, flash pictures are to be discouraged during the wedding service. For further details, consult the officiating clergy.
What Do We Need in Order to Celebrate Communion during Our Wedding?
Couples who wish to celebrate communion will need to provide the necessary supplies. If requested, the Chapel will provide a kneeling bench. The chapel does not provide altar coverings.
What Do You Suggest for Our Formal Departure from the Chapel?
A growing number of persons are using bubbles and they are highly recommended by the chapel staff. No substances--rice, birdseed, etc.--may be thrown inside or outside the chapel. Balloons may not be released as they can present an environmental hazard to wildlife and they can become entangled in the trees on campus. Due to fire hazard, sparklers are not an option. Any other items that may be used must be approved by the Conference Services Office.
A limousine may park in the pull-off in front of the chapel to load and unload passengers providing it is attended at all times. Please contact the Conference Services Office before scheduling anything out of the ordinary for your wedding. (For example, horse and carriages are not permitted on Sheridan Avenue or college grounds and sidewalks.)
When Will We Need to Clean Up?
Removal of all decorations is your responsibility and should be completed immediately following the ceremony. Decorations remaining in the Chapel more than 3 hours after the official beginning of the ceremony may be disposed of at the discretion of College staff.
What If We or Our Guests Smoke?
Smoking is not allowed in the chapel. Please see that any residue remaining from those who smoke outside is removed.
Thank you for considering the use of Miller Chapel for your very special day. If you have further questions, feel free to contact the Conference Services Office at 717-867-6310.