Weddings and Civil Union Ceremonies at Evelyn Chapel

1301 Park Street
Bloomington, IL 61701

Revised January 2016


Thank you for considering Evelyn Chapel on the Illinois Wesleyan University Campus for your wedding or civil union ceremony. Please review the process and expectations for reserving the Chapel for your ceremony and then complete the Wedding and Civil Union application, located at the end of this page in PDF form.


Evelyn Chapel is available for weddings and civil unions primarily to members of the Illinois Wesleyan University community (students, faculty, staff, alumni, and children of aforementioned members) and, on a limited basis, to those outside the University community.

Application Process

To reserve the Chapel for a ceremony:

Reservations are not final until completed forms and fees are filed and confirmed in writing by letter from the Chapel Office. Do not make any firm plans until your reservation is confirmed in writing. Due to the large number of services and programs at the Chapel, it is important to obtain a reservation as early as possible. The University reserves the right to refuse an application because of scheduling conflicts or other reasons at the discretion of the University Chaplain.

Application Deadline

Couples affiliated (IWU Student, Alumnus or child of Alumnus, Faculty or Staff) with Illinois Wesleyan University may submit the application for Evelyn up to 15 months in advance of the requested date.

Couples not affiliated (Not IWU Student, Alumnus, Faculty or Staff ) with Illinois Wesleyan University may apply up to 12 months in advance.


Weddings and civil unions may be performed by clergy who are ordained and in good standing within his or her denomination. Visiting clergy must provide their own vestments and any other liturgically related items (i.e., chalice and paten for communion). Be sure to contact your clergyperson soon, as there are meetings which most clergy require beginning months before your wedding. The University Chaplain does not preside at weddings for couples unaffiliated with the University, but can preside at weddings and civil unions for affiliated couples, if her schedule allows. The Chapel Office can recommend clergy from several different denominations if you need help finding a clergy person.


The couple must meet all the requirements of the State of Illinois and supply the officiant with the Marriage or Civil Union License. It is the officiant's responsibility to make sure that all appropriate information is completed and sent to the County Clerk's office.


University events have priority over the scheduling of ceremonies and rehearsals. For instance, reservations are not made for Orientation/Registration in late August/early September, Alumni/Commencement weekend in late April/early May, or during Winter Break.

No more than three ceremonies will be scheduled on any given weekend at Evelyn Chapel, and not more than two in one day. Each couple is only allowed three hours of chapel space to complete their ceremony, pictures, and whatever else is needed. The given three hours that will be reserved for each ceremony may be scheduled for one of the following blocks of time. If our calendar allows, a maximum of one hour of additional time may be booked at a prorated fee.


10:00a.m. to 1:00p.m.

2:00p.m. to 5:00p.m.

6:00p.m. to 9:00p.m.


2:00p.m. to 5:00p.m.

6:00p.m. to 9:00p.m.

We prefer ceremonies to start no later than 11:30am (10:00am to 1:00pm), 3:30pm (2:00pm to 5:00pm), and 7:30pm (6:00pm to 9:00pm). Chapel staff finds that starting a ceremony no later than one and half hours into the time slot provides adequate time for guest dismissal, final pictures, and clean up prior to the end of the scheduled three hours.

One hour will be reserved for the rehearsal. Rehearsals take place on Fridays or Saturdays between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Officiants must be present at the rehearsal. The provided IWU Ceremony Coordinator will be present at the rehearsal to help facilitate and answer any questions that arise.


This fee is determined by the couple's affiliation with the University. All checks should be made payable to Illinois Wesleyan University. A deposit of 50% of the Chapel fee is required with the application. The remaining balance is due at least two weeks before your wedding.

Affiliated (IWU Student, Alumnus or child of Alumnus, Faculty or Staff): $750

Required Deposit due with Application $375

Not affiliated (Not IWU Student, Alumnus, Faculty or Staff ): $950

Required Deposit due with Application $475

The Chapel Fee includes:

  • The Chapel space for 1 hour at your rehearsal and 3 hours at your wedding
  • One hour music consultation with Dr. Susan Klotzbach, University Organist and Pianist, who will contact you directly once a reservation is confirmed. The University Organist plays the organ and/or piano for all ceremonies. Under special circumstances, you may also request to bring in outside musicians, who are expected to work with Susan to coordinate all instrument and rehearsal needs.
  • An Illinois Wesleyan Ceremony Coordinator, who will serve as your host and assistant at the rehearsal and wedding day and who can also be available to answer specific questions in the weeks leading up to your wedding. She is also responsible for helping people know where to go – florist, photographer, bridal party, relatives, guests, and specifically the seating of guests, the procession, forming the receiving line, and minor clean up following the ceremony
  • Free parking for you and your guests on the wedding day in parking lots adjacent to or across the street from the Chapel
  • Use of the entire building including the second floor meditation area, and lower level Fellowship area and conference room
  • Use of such liturgical supplies as white taper candles, a kneeler, flower stands, etc.
  • Six weeks before your scheduled ceremony, it is possible to reserve and extra hour before or after your allotted time if the Chapel calendar allows. The fee for this extra hour is $50 for affiliated couples and $75 for unaffiliated couples and would be added to final amount due.

Officiant Fee

Most couples provide their own ordained minister as officiant for ceremonies, and pay that person directly. The University Chaplain is available, when her schedule allows, to preside at weddings for IWU-affiliated couples. This fee is $250 and includes pre-marital counseling, planning, rehearsal, and service, and is due two weeks before the wedding.

Cancellation Fee

In the event that you cancel your wedding or civil union reservation for any reason, you will be refunded your Chapel fee, minus a $100 cancellation fee, up to six weeks before the scheduled ceremony.

Confirmations and Changes

Once the application has been processed and approved, you will be mailed a letter of confirmation. Should there be any changes in the information you have provided, please notify the Main Office of Evelyn Chapel immediately. Once your wedding or civil union is scheduled and confirmed, changes will be considered, but cannot be guaranteed.

Building Decorum

The location of the pews may not be changed. The set up of the Chancel (i.e., altar area) may be changed, with exceptions. The Chancel contains the altar, lectern, and piano. The space is small so we ask all parties to plan accordingly.

Adhesive tape and tacks may not be used to hang pew markers or ribbons. Please inform your florist. No markings of any kind are allowed on the Chancel area. The Ceremony Coordinator will be able to answer your questions about decoration of the space.

Helpful information

  • The Chapel seats no more than 215 people.
  • The Chapel includes 14 rows of pews.
  • The length of the aisle is approximately 45 feet by 3.5 feet.
  • The Chapel can provide a kneeler.
  • Two small and two large flower stands are available.
  • There is a room downstairs in which the party may wait or dress.
  • The Chapel is handicapped accessible.
  • Drugs and alcohol are prohibited throughout the Chapel building.
  • Rice, bird seed, confetti, etc. may not be thrown in, or in front of, the Chapel.
  • Real flower petals are not allowed to be thrown down the aisle. If artificial petals are requested, the wedding party is responsible for collecting these before they depart the chapel.


All pictures in the Sanctuary must be completed thirty minutes before the ceremony begins. (Pictures may be taken outside and in other areas of Evelyn Chapel.) Flash pictures may not be taken in the Chapel during the actual ceremony; however, flash pictures are allowed during the processional and recessional. Only non-flash pictures taken from the back of the Chapel or the side and back areas of the balcony are permitted during the ceremony, subject to the approval of the officiating clergy.

Videotaping is permitted only with the express permission of the officiant and following the same guidelines of decorum required for still photographs. Please inform those working for you, as well as guests, of these rules. Under no circumstance are photographers, wedding/union party, or guests allowed in the area underneath the cross. This is a safety hazard and is prohibited.


Facilities for a reception are not available in the Chapel, but the Joslin Atrium at the Memorial Union is available, as well as other locations across campus. For inquiries regarding reception spaces call Director of Conference Services Michelle Wu at (309) 556-3591 or email her at


Ceremony day parking is complimentary to you and your guests. Upon availability, the University parking facility behind the Chapel and behind the Welcome Center will be used. Parking for the rehearsal is available after 5:00 p.m.

Additional Information

Evelyn Chapel is not responsible for items that are lost, stolen, left behind, or broken. To insure safety of your personal items, please lock property in the Ceremony Coordinator's office. Keep in mind that this is a college campus and the Chapel is open to the public from 8:00 am to 11:00pm every day.

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Contact Information

Rev. Elyse Nelson Winger, University Chaplain
Chapel Office
Illinois Wesleyan University
1301 Park Street
Bloomington, Illinois 61701

Wedding and Civil Union application