Heinz Chapel weddings are great for the couples who want to have a traditional church or chapel feel to their wedding. Heinz Chapel is located in, Oakland, Pennsylvania, the heart of the University of Pittsburgh campus, which is only about 10 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh. The chapel is non-denominational and one of the most popular churches in the entire city.
Heinz Chapel has great architecture through the buildings. From high cathedral ceilings, to stained glass windows to tall stone columns. The altar is made of a marble stone which gives it a simple look. However the alter is sounded by dark carved wood with lecterns on each side to give it a historic feel. This is also where the organ and organist will sit as they play the songs for your wedding ceremony. To learn more of the history of the chapel, visit Heinz Memorial Chapel’s Website Heinz Chapel Wedding Reservation Because of the popularity, the chapel books multiple weddings per day on Fridays, Saturday and Sundays. As of 2016, the chapel lifted the requirements that one member of the couple be an alumni of the university, which has boosted their popularity even more. The chapel does offer reduced rates, of 15%, for one or both of the couple has a degree from the University of Pittsburgh.
Weddings are now reserved up to two years (to the month) in advance. For example if it is April, 1 2017, the chapel will be taking reservations through April 30 of 2019. There are no exceptions and with the chapel now available not non alumni of the university, time slots fill up quickly. If you’re reserving Heinz Chapel for your wedding, we recommend that you call and confirm that you have the date before planning other aspects of the wedding. To learn more about the reservation process, please click here. Heinz Chapel Wedding Guidelines Because of the history (historic landmark) and structure of the chapel, there are guidelines that must be followed for every wedding that is booked at the chapel. Your wedding vendors for decorations, music, photography and videography as well as officiants must adhere to the guidelines. Be sure to consult with your vendor to ensure that they are comfortable and can adhere to them prior to booking.
Wedding Arrival & Timeline Once you’ve booked your wedding, you’ll be working with 2 wedding coordinators that will help you with your planning. They’ll coordinate the details for your wedding as well as your rehearsal. On the day of the wedding, you’ll be able to arrive forty-five minutes before your ceremony. There are two separate rooms, 1 for the bride and bridesmaids which is located downstairs and another room for the groom and best man. The second room is located on the ground level in the back of the chapel near the altar.
You have 1 hour from your scheduled start time for your ceremony and photos following. It is very important that everyone is on time because if you’re running late, then you’ll be cutting in to your photo time. Wedding Pictures at Heinz Chapel If you’re photographer isn’t familiar with Heinz Chapel then you’re going to want to have them talk because there are a few guidelines (where to stand, flash, etc.) that must be followed because of the historic building. You’re also going to want to hire a professional photographer who’s captured weddings here before, because the chapel is dark and can be difficult to light without the proper knowledge and camera equipment.
Unfortunately due to the volume of weddings, your photographer will only have about 30 minutes (depending on how long your ceremony is) to complete the photos inside the church. However with a little planning and a professional photographer, this should be plenty of time.
We recommend having your ceremony be about 15-20 minutes which will give you and your husband plenty of time for pictures. There are many great locations inside the chapel itself to take wedding photos. The stained glass, the stone columns are just a few great spots.
There are also a lot photography locations around Heinz chapel as well. For our University of Pittsburgh alumni, the Cathedral of Learning, the panther and the sign for the university are all popular.
You also have the “columns at CMU” which is across the street from Heinz chapel at the Mellon Institute Library on Carnegie Mellon campus. Heinz Chapel is also in the process of adding a garden outside of the chapel, which will make another location for great photos. You’ll want to be sure to speak with your photographer to come up with the best plan for your wedding photos based on your wedding timeline location for your reception venue.