Bates will offer its support of weddings and commitment ceremonies for members of the Bates community within its capacity to provide this support without compromising its core educational role.
The Chapel is available for weddings and commitment ceremonies without receptions throughout the year. For members of the college community, Bates will host weddings and commitment ceremonies with receptions when the college is not in session. Bates requires everyone to provide liability insurance. Assistance for purchasing a policy is available through the Conferences and Campus Events Office.
The college also reserves the right to schedule weddings and commitment ceremonies on the basis of available space and staff resources, and to commit to a reservation for a wedding or commitment ceremony only once the college’s calendar is final. No events will be hosted on Federal or State holidays.
Bates College Chapel Wedding/Commitment Ceremonies Policy
1. The Bates College Chapel is available for weddings and ceremonies of commitment between same sex partners, provided these events do not conflict with regularly scheduled college functions.
2. The fee for the general public to rent the Chapel is $500.00. For Bates students, staff, alumni/ae and their immediate families, the rental fee is $250.00. We also require you to purchase TULIP Insurance.
3. Reservations for the Bates Chapel must be made through the Conference and Campus Events Office and approved by the College Chaplain. No reservation will be accepted until a deposit is received. Reservations will not be accepted before the college calendar is approved. Refunds will be made only if reservations are canceled six months prior to the scheduled date.
4. Persons must understand that occasionally several events are scheduled for the same day in the Chapel; therefore, a reservation entitles the party to use the Chapel for:
- 1 hour of rehearsal time (this generally occurs the night before the ceremony). Please be sure to be on time for your rehearsal and not to exceed your allotted scheduled time.
- 1 hour prior to the service
- 1 hour for the service
- 1 hour after the service
5. The following items will be provided by the college: four chairs, two altar candles and an altar cross if desired. The college does not furnish candelabra, additional candles, white runner, flowers, or dressing rooms. The length of the Chapel aisle is 110 feet long with 27 pews on each side of the aisle. No special arrangements can be made for parking. Parking near the Chapel is especially difficult during the periods of September 1 to November 15 and April 15 until early June. Limousines are NOT allowed on any sidewalk adjacent to the Chapel. Please do not leave the Chapel doors propped open at any time. The altar fountain and the Chapel banners cannot be removed. Flowers are to be placed beside or in front of the fountain. The college has a no open flame policy. You may use candles with flames as long as they are the dripless kind or placed in a secure holder which allows the wax to drip into a metal plate. If you look at the current church candles, they are the long stem kind with a metal plate to catch any of the dripping wax. However, Bates HIGHLY RECOMMENDS that you use flameless candles because the Chapel is not sprinkled.
6. The handicapped entrance (equipped with an electric door operator) is on the College Street side of the Chapel.
7. Throwing rice, confetti or bird seed is strictly prohibited.
8. If you need an officiant, you may contact Rev. Brittany Longsdorf, Multifaith Chaplain at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-786-6125.
9. Roman Catholics who wish to be married at the Bates College Chapel by any Roman Catholic priest or deacon need to make a request to the local Catholic parish, Prince of Peace Parish (tel: 207-777-1200, PoP@portlanddiocese.org). In order for a Roman Catholic priest or deacon to officiate at their wedding at the Bates College Chapel, the couple will need to complete all the necessary paperwork required by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland. In addition, they will need to show evidence of a direct and substantive affiliation on the part of either party with Bates College. Permission will then be sought from the Bishop of Portland for the wedding to take place at the Bates College Chapel rather than in one of the parish churches, the usual place for Catholic weddings. Catholics are advised to refrain from making a final commitment to the Bates College Chapel until permission has been granted by the Bishop of Portland.
10. If you wish to have organ music as part of the ceremony, you must contact the College Organist, John Corrie (office 786-6409, home 783-8099). If he is not available to play, he will arrange for another approved College organist. Fees for the organist are paid directly to him/her. Charges will be refunded only if reservations are canceled six months prior to the date of the service.
Guidelines for Weddings with Receptions by Members of the Bates Community
The bride, groom or partner must be:
- A Bates graduate or student
- Son, daughter or grandchild of a Bates graduate
- Bates employee/retiree
- Son, daughter or grandchild of a Bates employee/retiree
The College will host wedding receptions when it can, but has a limited number of suitable locales, and reserves the right to limit access to ensure its primary educational goals, including summer construction and maintenance work. The Gray Cage, Benjamin Mays Center, Muskie Archives, Commons and the three lounges in Chase Hall are the normal locales where receptions can be held. Bates will also allow outdoor weddings and receptions and permit a tent to be set up for such outdoor events, with proper approval and support from the Facility Services Department.
Fees for the use of reception locations are set each year in accordance with the college’s expenses in providing support for weddings and receptions. These fees are published in a schedule, available from the Conferences and Campus Events Office.
Catering for Weddings
All catering for receptions must be done by the Bates Catering Office. The costs for catering are drawn up as part of the contract for services to be provided.
For more information about weddings/commitment ceremonies, questions about the above policies, along with the reservation form and payment, please reach out to to Brenda Pelletier, Associate Director of Conferences and Campus Events, 136 Central Avenue, Bates College, Lewiston, ME 04240 (207-786-6400). Checks should be made payable to Bates College.