University of Pittsburgh


The decorating guidelines are based on past experience and are designed to protect the chapel structure and ensure an equitable situation for all who schedule weddings in the building.

  • Your florist has access to the chapel 45 minutes prior to the scheduled ceremony time.  Please keep in mind that the arrival and seating of guests also takes place during that time.
  • All decorations brought in for a wedding must be removed at the end of the ceremony.
  • The florist must provide sufficient staff for the placement and removal of decorations within the allotted access and departure times.
You or your florist may provide any or all of the following decorations:

Altar flowers

The top of the altar measures eight feet long and 21 inches deep.

Bows on the ends of pews

Flowers may be incorporated in the bows.  The bows may only be attached with ribbon, rubber bands, or elasticized thread.  Arrangements on metal or plastic clips may be used if the clips are wrapped.  There are 48 pews (24 per side). The measurement around the end of each pew is 36 inches.  Allow enough extra ribbon for tying.

Aisle Runner

If an aisle runner is used, it must be 100 feet in length.  For safety reasons, plastic aisle runners are not allowed.

Unity Candle

The chapel can provide a brass holder.

Only wax candles are allowed for a Unity Ceremony at Heinz Chapel.  Wine, sand, chemicals, beer, oil or grains are not permitted.  Alcoholic beverages, except for traditional communion wine, are not allowed at wedding ceremonies in Heinz Chapel.


Two floor candelabra may be used in the chancel area.  The use of dripless or mechanical candles is strongly recommended.

Boutonnieres and Corsages

These may be distributed from the desk in the narthex.  It is essential that all boutonnieres and corsages be clearly labeled and that the florist or a family member be present to identify the recipients.

Please note:

  • Throwing rice, confetti, birdseed, or flower petals is not allowed.
  • Lighted candles may not be used on pew ends, in the aisle, or in the procession.