The quiet dignity and simplicity of the Lee Chapel, with its historical connections to the University family and the surrounding community makes it a perfect setting for a wedding. If you are contemplating having your wedding ceremony here, we hope this information will make your planning experience easier.
This online brochure provides basic information about who is eligible to use the Lee Chapel, our schedule of wedding times, fees and important guidelines to assist you in planning your wedding. If you have any questions, the Lee Chapel Staff will be happy to help you. You may call them at (540) 458-8768 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday or at (540) 458-8767 on Saturdays.
Since the days of Robert E. Lee, the "College Chapel" has been at the heart of campus life at Washington and Lee University. As evidenced by its architecture, it was initially designed as a place of worship for Washington College (now Washington and Lee University), although it was never consecrated. Today, the Lee Chapel acts as a non-denominational facility and host to a variety of ceremonies and activities; it carries on the tradition, established by President Lee, of being a gathering place for the University's most important events.
We need to remind you that University activities are a priority and scheduling is subject to many changes during the year. Please be sure to read our use policy at Facility Use. We will do our best to inform you of any University, Museum or community event that may coincide with your wedding date or place unusual demands upon the Chapel's appearance or accessibility. Although extremely unlikely, unusual circumstances may disrupt reservations made months or even a year in advance. Please bear this in mind when planning your dates.
Weddings are scheduled year-round on Saturdays and Sundays, although we will consider other days. A two and a half hour period is reserved for the wedding date and rehearsals are scheduled in one hour increments on Friday and Saturday evenings prior to the wedding. Some weekends are reserved strictly for University use and these dates are clearly marked on our Lee Chapel Calender.
The Chapel is a charming Romanesque style structure that is deceptively small in its appearance; it has hosted both very large and extremely intimate weddings. It is an elegant space in which to be married. With its arched, leaded glass windows, decorative wall sconces and reserved beauty, it requires little decoration.
The entrance to the red brick chapel is through arched white double doors that lead into a very small foyer. The interior is painted white and is fully carpeted in a neutral light brown. The ceiling is shallowly arched, complemented by decorative ribbing. The auditorium does not have a central aisle, but rather two long side aisles lead to an elevated stage that is reached by a set of six stairs on either end. Portraits of the University's namesakes flank the central archway, which leads to a chamber that holds the Edward Valentine statue of the Recumbent Lee. Decorative grill gates enclose this area for all special events, including weddings. The lights in the statue chamber are turned off so as not to interfere with the focus of the wedding ceremony. The statue chamber may be closed off entirely by closing the white fire doors upon request.
The main floor of the Lee Chapel auditorium can accommodate about 350 guests comfortably, with a maximum capacity of 400. The balcony is off limits to guests except for major University events (Freshman Orientation, Homecoming, convocations, Alumni Reunion). Access to the balcony is permitted for musicians and photographers.
If you would like to reserve the Chapel for your special day, please visit Reservations and we will guide you through the process.