When deciding where you want to hold your wedding ceremony and reception, you must consider all your options. Churches, barns, gardens, parks, and ballrooms immediately come to mind. But what about colleges?
Some colleges and universities offer not only higher education, but beautiful wedding venues, as well! These campuses provide a unique and unexpected location for your big day, while still maintaining the elegance and style characteristic of more traditional venues. Maybe one of these campuses will pique your interest enough to send you back to school!
Northeast U.S. College Wedding Venues
1. Penn State University
Penn State University offers several outdoor event spaces to the public in the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens. Some of those spaces include the Overlook Pavilion (pictured), Oasis Garden Terrace, and Bigler Road Lawn. The typical renting season lasts from May 16 to September 30. The University allows wedding ceremonies to take place at these facilities, but not receptions. For more rental information, click here.
2. Vassar College
The Vassar College Chapel and Shakespeare Garden is open to any students, alumni, employees, and any immediate family members of those individuals. These venues are available on approved Saturdays and can be used for wedding ceremonies. For more information, click here.
3. University of Chicago
Rockefeller Chapel and Bond Chapel at the University of Chicago are both able to be used for wedding ceremonies of any cultural or religious tradition. The former seats more than 1,500 while the later has a capacity of 150. Current students, staff, faculty, boards, alumni and children of these individuals can schedule a wedding at these locations on a Saturday or Sunday. For more rental information, click here.
4. Swarthmore College
The Scott Outdoor Amphitheater at Swarthmore College can be rented by faculty, staff, alumni, and children for weddings from mid-June through mid-August. Intended to be a ‘bonding space’ for students, seal the greatest possible bond by holding your wedding at this natural location! For more rental information, click here.
Northwest U.S. College Wedding Venues
1. Lewis and Clark College
Head just six miles from downtown Portland to Lewis and Clark College for a breathtaking venue that provides both indoor and outdoor venue options. The college is accustomed to hosting weddings, with a wedding package that includes a selection of vendors, complimentary parking, basic audio and visual equipment, and tables and chairs. For more rental information, click here.
2. University of California Berkeley
Nestled in Strawberry Canyon and overlooking the San Francisco Bay is University of California Berkeley’s Botanical Garden. The outdoor setting provides a natural backdrop of redwoods and the option of an indoor reception. All interested parties can take advantage of this venue. For more rental information, click here.
3. University of Washington
Various facilities on campus at the University of Washington are open to rent for your big event. From botanical gardens to museums to clubs, a couple can select the perfect venue that fits their needs and personalities. For more rental information, click here.
4. Seattle University
Both the Chapel of St. Ignatius (pictured) and Campion Chapel call Seattle University home and are available to be rented for weddings. The chapels follow strict guidelines in order to carry out weddings in the Catholic tradition, but their aesthetic appeal is worth it! For more rental information, click here.
Southeast U.S. College Wedding Venues
1. Duke University
The Duke University Chapel welcomes couples of all faiths and backgrounds. Current students, faculty, and staff, along with their children, are able to request a wedding at this location. For more rental information, click here.
2. Coker College
Kalmia Gardens of Coker College was named one of 50 most beautiful collage arboretums in 2015. And the gardens also happen to be available to rent for weddings! Its 35 acres contain both the gardens and a historic home. Wedding ceremonies and receptions can be held at any of its three lawns, with the Formal Garden being the most popular choice. For more rental information, click here.
3. University of Florida
The University of Florida’s Baughman Center was designed to bring the outdoors inside with large windows and natural materials. Despite being located at the heart of campus, this venue is one of the most peaceful spots in Gainesville. Any individuals, regardless of affiliation, religion, or background, can have their wedding at this experienced venue that hosts more than 100 weddings a year! For more rental information, click here.
4. Appalachian State University
The Summit Trail Solarium and Parkway Ballroom at Appalachian State University are both campus wedding venues. The Summit Trail Solarium is a unique space that brings nature indoors while the Parkway Ballroom is a traditional banquet room that features beautiful views of campus. For more rental information, click here.
Southwest U.S. College Wedding Venues
1. University of San Diego
The Immaculata Parish at the University of San Diego illustrates the potential of how beautiful a cathedral can be — from statues to paintings to stained glass windows to columns to pillars. Any couple can get married at the cathedral, as long as one member of the couple is a baptized Catholic. For more rental information, click here.
2. Scripps College
The Margaret Fowler Garden at Scripps College is a secret garden of sorts that sets a beautiful backdrop for an outdoor wedding or reception. The wedding package at this venue includes audio and visual services, catering, florists, furniture, and equipment. For more rental information, click here.
3. Point Loma Nazarene University
The landmark on the campus of Point Loma Nazarene University is its Greek Amphitheater. This historical location is also able to be used as a wedding venue! For more rental information, click here.
4. Occidental College
Occidental College offers multiple indoor and outdoor venues for weddings. The variety of venues on campus allow a couple to find the location that suits their big day. For more rental information, click here.
Who knew schools could be so beautiful? If you are considering one of these campuses as your wedding venue, look into their individual restrictions and guidelines. While all the above colleges and universities host weddings, certain ones are more restrictive about who can do so, when they can do so, and how they can do so. If everything suits your situation, go back to school with a beautiful college wedding venue!