Planning a wedding? Here are the most frequently asked questions about having Mead Chapel as your wedding venue.
Please call Ellen McKay, the Chaplain’s Office Program Coordinator, at (802) 443-5626 to have a more in-depth conversation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Graduates of Middlebury College, as well as faculty and staff and their children, may use Mead Chapel for weddings.
The base fee for using the chapel for weddings is $350. One hour is scheduled for each rehearsal. Two hours are scheduled for each wedding. Additional time may be added to your wedding reservation for a charge of $75/hour. You and your guests will have access to the Chapel 30 minutes before the ceremony, and 30 minutes after the ceremony. For example, if your wedding ceremony is at 4 p.m., your reservation for the Chapel space begins at 3:30 and continues until 5:30 p.m.
To confirm your booking, you must return the Chapel fee, the Wedding Confirmation form (contract), and the Hold Harmless Agreement form to the office. Your tentative reservation will be held for 30 days. If you are not able to confirm your booking within 30 days, but would like to hold the date and time, please contact the Chaplain’s office.
If you must cancel your reservation, please inform the Chaplain’s office as soon as possible. Full refunds will be made if the cancellation occurs prior to three months before the reservation date.
Due to the increased use of the chapel for all kinds of events, we now very rarely schedule weddings during the academic year. We would be happy to assist you in reserving summertime dates for your ceremony.
Reservations may be made as early as one year in advance.
Because we have limited weekends available for weddings, we encourage couples to schedule either a 1:00 p.m. or 4:00 p.m. ceremony, so that two wedding parties can use the space on those few sought-after weekends.
The Chapel plays an active role in the College and therefore its programming and appearance are subject to many changes during the academic and liturgical seasons. We will do our best to inform you of any Chapel, College or community event that may coincide with your wedding date or place unusual demands upon the Chapel’s appearance or accessibility. Though not likely, unusual circumstances may disrupt reservations made months or even years in advance.
It is the responsibility of the couple to arrange for a cleric or justice of the peace to officiate.
A minister, priest, or rabbi holding ordained status in their denomination or a justice of the peace is welcome to officiate at your wedding in Mead Chapel. However, special arrangements pertaining to particular religions may have to be made. Please check with the local congregation of the church with whom your officiant is affiliated (i.e. St. Mary’s Catholic church has certain protocols for visiting priests in the area).
If the cleric performing your wedding is not licensed in the state of Vermont, by state ordinance, the cleric must write a letter stating his/her formal education, date and place of ordination, by whom he/she was ordained, as well as their present standing in the church. This letter must be signed by the cleric. The bride and groom must write a letter requesting that this cleric be permitted to perform the ceremony. Include in the letter the date, time and location of the ceremony. Both letters should be mailed (together if possible) no later than one month prior to the wedding, to the Addison County Probate Court, Addison County Courthouse, Middlebury, VT 05753.
After you have purchased your marriage license at the Middlebury Town Clerk’s office, you must go to the courthouse where they will issue a permit for the cleric, and attach it to your license. Please call (802) 388-2612, ahead of time to ensure that the permit has been prepared.
Clergy and Justices of the Peace are traditionally given an honorarium for their services. Honoraria vary according to the individual officiant. Checks should be made payable to the officiant performing the ceremony.
The following is a list of people who have performed weddings at Mead Chapel. An asterisk denotes member of college community.
*Mark R. Orten, Presbyterian, College Chaplain, (802) 443-5886. Email email@example.com
*Larry Yarbrough, Episcopalian, (802) 388-4169
Justices of the Peace:
Walter Richard Calhoun (802) 388-2534
*Mary M. Hurlie (802) 482-3927
Peg Martin (802) 388-7697
*Michael Olinick (802) 443-5559
*David Rosenberg (802) 443-5612 (W) or (802) 338-6453 (H)
The Chaplain’s Office Program Coordinator, Ellen Blackmer McKay, is available to answer questions regarding Mead Chapel. The best time to talk by phone is Monday-Friday from 8:30-4:30. You can also email Ellen at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Mead Memorial Chapel is accessible to physically challenged persons via a ramp attached to the on the north side of the building. There are no accessible bathrooms. Handicapped parking is available on Hepburn Road, at the chapel’s back door.
We can no longer host receptions on campus.
The wedding party provides their own floral arrangements for their ceremony. Most local florists are familiar with Mead Chapel; we are happy to provide interior photos if that will be of assistance. Keep in mind while discussing arrangements with the florist that the wedding party will likely be using the steps at the front of the chapel. If decorating the pews is desired, flowers and/or bows may be hooked, clipped, or draped on the ends of the pews. Most florists will supply the devices necessary for safe attachment. We ask that nothing be stuck on, into or taped to the pews or any other surface within the Chapel.
Couples are obligated to arrange for their own clergy person to conduct the ceremony. A custodial staff person will be on hand during the wedding ceremony.
Due to fire laws, candles may only be used within the context of the wedding ceremony such as a Unity Candle. Candlelight services are not permitted.
Aisle runners are permitted in the Chapel. The length of the aisle from doorway to altar steps is approximately sixty feet.
Brassware on the altar includes two candlesticks and a cross. These may be removed and placed in the side closet if they are not desired. The chapel is not equipped with a candelabra, nor are evening services lit only by candlelight allowed.
Rice, confetti, balloons, birdseed, rose petals, etc. may not be thrown or released inside the Chapel, on the outside steps, or on the sidewalks around the Chapel.
Wedding parties may not tape, tack, or nail anything to the pews or woodwork of Mead Chapel. All decorations must be set up and removed completely within your two-hour reservation period. Again, please be considerate of other wedding parties.
Rehearsals are usually scheduled at 6:00 p.m. on the night before the ceremony.
Middlebury College cannot provide lodging for wedding parties or their guests, but Addison County has lots of great places to stay. Here are just a few:
- Basin Harbor Club, Panton, (800) 622-4000
- Blueberry Hill Inn, Goshen, (802) 247-6735
- Brandon Inn (802) 639-8685
- By the Way Bed & Breakfast, East Middlebury, (802) 388-6291
- The Chipman Inn, Ripton, (802) 388-2390
- Churchill House Inn, Brandon, (877) 247-3078
- The Greystone Motel, Middlebury, (802) 388-4935
- The Inn on the Green, Middlebury, (802) 388-7512
- The Lilac Inn (800) 221-0720 or (802) 247-5463
- Mary’s at Baldwin Creek, Bristol, (802) 453-2432
- The Middlebury Inn, (802) 388-4961
- The Sugar House Motor Inn, Middlebury, (802) 388-2770
- The Swift House Inn, Middlebury, (802) 388-9925
- The Waybury Inn, East Middlebury, (802) 388-4015
- The Whitford House, Addison, (800) 746-2704
- Willow & Lotus Bed and Breakfast, Cornwall, (802) 462-2519
Mead Chapel’s official address is 75 Hepburn Road in Middlebury.
Microphones are located in each of the podiums on the chancel. The Chapel is equipped with a cassette player for taped music. Controls for sound are located in the cabinet just inside the sanctuary as you enter the front of the chapel. Even when locked, the on/off button can be accessed through the cut-out in the cabinet.
Light switch panels are located behind the organ console and near the stairway at the rear of the chapel.
Photographs in the chapel before or after the service must be completed within the two hours allotted for your reservation.
It is the Chapel’s policy that no flash or other photographic illumination for picture taking be used during the actual ceremony. We ask this with respect to the solemnity of your marriage vows and the Chapel sanctuary. Your photographer and guests are welcome to take pictures during the processional and recessional of your service. Please inform your photographer and guests of our policy.
Your entire service may be videotaped with a stationary camera with existing lighting only. Neither the Scott Center staff nor the College Media Services staff are available to do video or audio recordings of weddings and civil unions.
- Brett Simison (678) 852-4761
- Green Mountain Photography (802) 862-8222
- Kristin Hirsch (802) 545-2149
- Gillian Randall Photography (802) 425-4242
- Curtis Rhodes Photography, (800) 673-1213
- Loveworks Photographic, Christopher J. Clements. (802) 453-5988
- Annalisa Parent, Middlebury College Class of 1997, Parent Studios (802) 865-4209
There are several local musicians who are familiar with the Mead Chapel organ and piano; their fees vary:
- Emory Fanning (organ), email@example.com
- Susan Mason (organ, piano, harp, recorder), firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kevin Parizo (organ), (802) 388-6971
- Ann Rowell (organ), (802) 388-8410
Organists generally do not attend wedding rehearsals, but will meet with couples, musicians, or soloists as necessary.
The organ (Gress-Miles, 1970) in Mead Memorial Chapel is a large instrument with three keyboards and pedal board controlling 48 sets of pipes. Guest organists must have experience with such classical organs. Prof. Jeff Buettner (chair of the Music Dept.) must be contacted directly at (802) 443-5938 or at email@example.com regarding all guest organists, as instruction for its use are necessary.
Contact Mr. Buettner directly for any questions pertaining to musical apparatus or acoustics.
The Dragone Carillon (1986, 48 notes), located in the tower, is available for qualified players. A practice clavier is located in the basement green room. George Matthew is the Middlebury College Carilloneur and can be reached at (802) 247-9873 to answer any questions.
- Samuel Guarnaccia, classical guitarist, (802) 985-2917
- David Gusakov, violin/chamber music/ensembles, (802) 453-5725
- William Kirby, trumpet, (802) 388-0267
Hepburn Road, directly behind the chapel, will be opened at the beginning of your reservation time and will be closed at its completion. If a problem occurs during weekend hours, please call Campus Security at 443-5911.
Guests may park in any campus parking spot. Campus Security will be notified that there will be many guests on campus for your ceremony, and will not ticket off-campus cars. We can reserve up to four spots behind Mead Chapel on Hepburn Road for guests who have mobility challenges.
Public Safety’s phone number is (802) 443-5911.
There is one tiny bathroom in the chapel. It is in the lower level, and is not handicapped accessible. There are both men’s and women’s rest rooms in Proctor Hall, across Hepburn Road from the chapel. Proctor Hall is handicapped accessible.
There are no facilities within the Chapel for changing into wedding attire. Please make arrangements to do so at another location. There is a very small “green room” (capacity: 5 people) in the lower level of the chapel that can be useful in some circumstances. However, there is no access between it and the front of the chapel; the wedding party must go outside, around the building, to get to the front door. Usually the groom and best man are encouraged to relax there prior to the ceremony.