Chapel Guidelines for Weddings/Unions

Facility Use and Information Guidelines for Wedding/Unions

Kilworth Memorial Chapel is admired within the on- and off-campus communities as an exceptional venue for weddings/unions. Classically elegant, the New England style chapel holds a special place in the hearts of many and is an inclusive and accessible space for everyone. The chapel welcomes all students, staff, faculty, alumni, or relatives or friends of any of these constituents. The chapel is also available to community members, provided space is available and with special permission from the chapel office.

I. Reserving Kilworth Memorial Chapel

The chapel is available for weddings/unions throughout the year, with the exception of:

  • Memorial Day Weekend
  • University of Puget Sound Graduation Weekend
  • July 4th Day/Weekend
  • Last two weeks of August
  • Labor Day Weekend
  • Last two weeks of December

The chapel may be reserved for up to 4 hours anytime between 9 a.m. - 10 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The 4-hour block must include times for set-up, the wedding/union, clean-up, and photography. For information about a weekday wedding/union or hosting a reception at the chapel as well, please contact the Kilworth Memorial Chapel Manager at 253.879.2751 or

Reservations may be made by completing and submitting the reservation form, contract, and payment in full to the Kilworth Memorial Chapel Manager. These forms may be requested by contacting the chapel staff at 253.879.2751 or Reservations may be made up to one year in advance of the ceremony.

Forms and payment may be submitted via email, fax, or mailing them to:

          University of Puget Sound
          Office of Spirituality, Service, & Social Justice
          Attn: Kilworth Memorial Chapel
          1500 N. Warner St, CMB 1082
          Tacoma, Washington 98416-1082

We accept checks, Visa, or MasterCard. Please make checks payable to University of Puget Sound. If paying by credit card, please bring payment to our office, located in the Wheelock Student Center, Suite 203. A copy of the receipt and a confirmation will be mailed within two weeks to the primary contact address provided.

Upon receipt of the reservation form, contract, and payment, a chapel assistant will be assigned to the wedding/union and will serve as the primary contact. In addition to the reservation on the day of the wedding/union, a 1.5 hour rehearsal will be scheduled. This typically takes place the day before the wedding/union.

II. Chapel Tours

Tours are given by appointment only with the chapel assistants. Please email them at to schedule a tour.

III.Chapel Address for Directions & Invitations

          Kilworth Memorial Chapel
          3410 North 18th Street
          Tacoma, WA 98416

IV. Chapel Capacities

Kilworth Memorial Chapel: 300 guests

  • 36 pews (18 on each side of the aisle)
  • Aisle is 55 feet long, 5 feet wide
  • Wheelchair accessible

Gail Day Chapel: 30 guests

Lounge: 175 guests standing; 100 guests seated

  • Wheelchair accessible

V. Food & Drink

Food and non-alcoholic beverages may only be served and consumed in the chapel lounge and foyer. 

VI. Alcohol and Smoking Policies

Smoking is prohibited inside and within 25 feet of the chapel. Any person exhibiting behavior consistent with substance use must be turned away by the responsible party.

The use and distribution of alcohol is prohibited anywhere on the grounds or inside the facility of Kilworth Memorial Chapel unless authorized by the Use Agreement and chapel office, and then only in compliance with the further limitations stated within the Kilworth Memorial Chapel Alcohol Policy.

VII. Chapel Use Fees

University of Puget Sound students, faculty/staff members, alumni, friends and relatives of one or more of these constituents, or community members not affiliated with the university are welcome to reserve the chapel for their special ceremony at a use fee of:

Students           $200
Faculty/Staff            $400
Alumni $500
Relative or Friend of the Above     


Community Member (no affiliation)


The use fee includes:

  • Space rental
  • Table and chair set-up and breakdown
  • Audio/Visual set-up and breakdown as well as an experienced chapel assistant to run sound
  • Use of:
    • Sound System (Main Chapel) - house speakers, CD and iPod capable
    • Steinway Grand Piano and Schneebeck Organ*
    • Altar (7'x22")
    • Large Sterling Silver Cross
    • Two Sterling Silver Altar Candle Holders (the chapel will provide 18" beeswax candles)
    • Two Seven-Candle Brass Candelabras (you provide smokeless/drip-less beeswax candles)
    • Easel(s)
    • And more! Please ask our chapel assistants if you have any questions.

A chapel assistant will be in attendance for both the rehearsal and wedding/union. This chapel assistant will help with the set-up of university equipment, the locking and unlocking of doors, the sound system, and other building-related concerns.  

The chapel assistant does not serve as a wedding coordinator.

*The Bethel Schneebeck Organ

The organ in Kilworth Chapel is named in honor of Bethel Schneebeck. Ms. Schneebeck has generously enriched the artistic and cultural life of the University of Puget Sound and the community.

Many small village chapels throughout northern Germany and Holland house pipe organs built over 300 years ago during the early Baroque period. Their pipes, stop and key mechanisms, and valves have survived numerous changes in style and technological advances. Paul Fritts and Company designed the organ in Kilworth Chapel after these European masterpieces.

Paul Fritts, University of Puget Sound '73, built his first organ in 1978. The Paul Fritts and Company organs are known and respected throughout the world. Built in 1990, the Bethel Schneebeck Organ is the largest and most intricate of his creations. Each level of construction, from the shaping of the pipes to the detailed touches on the ornate cabinet, was customized for the chapel. The 20 foot tall façade of piped and delicate gold scroll-work above the dwarfed bench and keyboard is a magnificent sight for all guests.

Only organists approved by the University of Puget Sound may play the Bethel Schneebeck Organ. Payment should be arranged between the person using the facility and the organist.

VIII. Ceremony Regulations

  1. The Use Fee must be paid in advance according to the instructions on the Use Permit.  The fee is not refundable.  The Use Fee does not include payment of the officiating minister.  Couples should make financial arrangements with their chosen officiate.
  2. Candles are not permitted in the aisle. Please inform your florist of this fire regulation. If candles are used in the windows or on the altar, there must be a protective barrier underneath them.
  3. Decorations may only be attached to the chapel pews by plastic pew clips. Nothing may be taped, pinned or nailed to the pews. The florist should be notified of this regulation by the bridal party so that pew clips are attached to the prepared arrangements. You may purchase pew clips from a florist or floral supply company. The chapel also provides pew clips if needed.
  4. The use of rice or birdseed is not allowed in or around the chapel. Acceptable substitutes for outdoor use only are bubbles or real flower petals.
  5. The pipe organ and grand piano are available for use in the chapel. Only organists from the approved list may play the organ. It is the responsibility of the bridal/ceremony party to contact and make arrangements with an approved organist.

IX. General Use Regulations

The University of Puget Sound is a private educational institution and use of its facilities is similar to any use of private property. These privileges of use are extended by the university under a Permit for a Fee, which approximates the cost to the university for such use. Any use of the facilities is subject to prior agreement and payment of the permit fee. Failure to comply will result in the cancellation of your reservation.

Any function not specified by and for Puget Sound students, any non-university related group, or any program imposing charges (including, but not limited to, a registration fee, tuition, or donation) will be subject to both the permit fee and approval of the use.

Use of university facilities is subject to the following terms, conditions, and limitations. All rules and regulations regarding public meeting places must be observed. In addition, the university imposes the following regulations:

  1. Damage to, or destruction of, the building or any fixtures, equipment or furniture therein which may result from the operation of the user shall be promptly repaired or replaced by the user to the satisfaction of the university, or, in lieu of such repair or replacement, the user shall pay to the university an amount of money sufficient to compensate for the required repair or replacement at the time the facility is vacated.
  2. The user of university facilities agrees to save harmless, indemnify and defend the university from any and all claims that may arise as a result of the user's use of the facility. The University of Puget Sound is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen items. Users are encouraged not to leave personal belongings unattended.
  3. The University of Puget Sound is not to be associated or advertised in any manner as a sponsor or endorser of activities generated by the user.
  4. Absolutely no alcohol is allowed on the premises unless pre-approved and permitted by the chapel office and alcohol policy requirements are met. Any person exhibiting behavior with alcohol use and use in the alcohol in the chapel lounge/foyer was not pre-approved/permitted must be turned away by the responsible party.
  5. Any person exhibiting behavior with substance use must be turned away by the responsible party.
  6. In accordance with the state "No Smoking" regulation (WAC 248-152-030), there is to be no smoking allowed in university classrooms, lecture halls or in the chapel.
  7. Food and drink may only be served or consumed in the chapel lounge and lounge foyer (the basement).
  8. For food, you are encouraged to use the university's Dining and Conference Services department (253.879.2785) or an approved and licensed cater. Our office requires a copy of the caterer's license. Any other arrangements for food must be pre-approved by the chapel office.
  9. Persons using campus facilities during the academic year are expected to observe campus traffic and parking regulations as stipulated by Security Services.
  10. The university reserves the right to establish additional and/or special restrictions on facility use according to need.
  11. Violations of these aforementioned requirements shall be grounds for the cancellation of permit privileges at the university.