Weddings / Ceremonies

The Bates Chapel is available for weddings and commitment ceremonies to the Bates community.  Please feel free to email with information.

 Policy of Use of Facilities for Weddings and/or Commitment Ceremonies (with or without Receptions) and Gatherings after Funerals

The College 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. Bates requires everybody to provide liability insurance; assistance for purchasing such a policy is available through the College Event Office. In addition, for members of the College community, Bates will host weddings and commitment ceremonies with receptions when the college is not in session.

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. We can not host events on Federal or State holidays.

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.  Gray Cage, the Mays Center, Muskie Archives, New Commons and the three lounges in Chase Hall are the normal locales where receptions can be held.  We also will 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.

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.

Fees for the use of various campus locations for receptions 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 Office of Conference Services.


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 Chapel must be made through the College’s Conference Office  (207-786-6400 or 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, 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.  Please note that the College has a no open flame policy.  You may use candles with flames as long as they were the dripless kind  or if they are placed in a secure holder which allows the wax to drip into a metal plate.  If you look at the church candles they have the long stem ones with a metal plate to catch any of the dripping wax.  However, we HIGHLY RECOMMEND that we use flameless because of the Chapel not being sprinkled.

6.    Please note that the handicapped entrance (equipped with an electric door operator) is on the College St. 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 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, 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. Catholic 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 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.

11.    Questions about these policies, along with the reservation form and payment, should be directed to: Brenda Pelletier, 136 Central Avenue, Bates College, Lewiston, ME 04240 (207-786-6400). Checks should be made payable to Bates College.