Guidelines

The members of our staff are knowledgeable in wedding procedures.  It is important to us that your wedding day is joyful and memorable.  The chapel has approximately 200 weddings annually.  Your understanding and cooperation with the chapel’s busy schedule is greatly appreciated. The guidelines are designed to ensure an equitable situation for all and to preserve the fabric and integrity of this historic building.

Please Note: Heinz Chapel has adopted Public Health and Safety Measures which are consistent with the COVID -19 health guidelines established by the University of Pittsburgh Healthcare Advisory Group. Please contact the Chapel office at heinzchapel@pitt.edu to learn more.

Decorations

Please contact the Chapel Office at heinzchapel@pitt.edu regarding its COVID-19 Public Health and Safety Measures and any changes to these guidelines.

Flowers and Decorations

  • Your florist has access to the chapel 30 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.

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 and taped to the floor at both ends.  The couple must designate two people to pull the aisle runner. For safety reasons, plastic aisle runners are not allowed. Aisle runners are to be provided by the couple or their florist.

Unity Candle

Only wax candles are allowed for a Unity Ceremony at Heinz Chapel and only in the chancel area. Liquid, wine, beer, chemicals, oil, sand, dirt or grains are not permitted. The chapel can provide a brass holder for the unity candle. The wedding couple is responsible for providing a unity candle with a base diameter of 2-3 inches and two side candles.

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 the following is not permissible:

  • Throwing rice, confetti, birdseed, or flower petals (real or artificial) is not allowed inside or outside the Chapel. Pulling children or others in wagons is not allowed.
  • Sand, grains, chemicals, wine, beer, oil or any other liquids are not permitted.
  • Butterfly, insect or bird releases and sparklers are not permissible on the Chapel grounds.
  • Lighted candles, flameless candles and lanterns may not be used on pew ends, in the aisle, or in the processional.
  • Heinz Chapel follows the University of Pittsburgh's Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals Policy
  • Alcoholic beverages, except for traditional communion wine, are not allowed in Heinz Chapel.

Photography & Videography

Please contact the Chapel Office at heinzchapel@pitt.edu regarding its COVID-19 Public Health and Safety Measures and any changes to these guidelines.

Photography During the Ceremony

Photos of family members being escorted to their seats and of the wedding processional may be taken from the base of the chancel steps.

Photos of the ceremony may be taken from the following locations:  the ends of the modified front pews, the double doors of the narthex, the left and right side aisles, the center aisle behind the last seated guests, or the gallery.

Photos may be taken from the base of the chancel steps for any of the following:

  • Exchange of vows and rings
  • Lighting of the unity candle
  • Sign of peace/Greeting of the parents
  • Tribute to the Blessed Mother
  • Breaking of the glass

Auxiliary lighting may be used before and after, but not during, the ceremony.

Use of drones inside the Chapel or on the Chapel grounds is not permitted.

Videography During the Ceremony

Videography of family members being escorted to their seats and of the wedding processional may be taken from the base of the chancel steps.

Videography of the ceremony may be taken from the following locations:  the ends of the modified front pews, the ambulatory door on the left side of the chancel, the left and right side aisles, the center aisle behind the last seated guests, or the gallery.

Auxiliary lighting may be used before and after, but not during, the ceremony.

Use of drones inside the Chapel or on the Chapel grounds is not permitted.

After the Ceremony

One hour and fifteen minutes is allocated for the ceremony and photography.  A delay in the scheduled start time or a particularly lengthy ceremony will reduce the amount of time available for photography and videography.   All participants must adhere to the scheduled departure time.

Photography and videography of weddings for third party use such as television programs, advertising, etc. is not permitted.

Music

The Heinz Chapel pipe organ reflects the magnificence of the building and will enhance the beauty and grandeur of your wedding

with music appropriate to the setting.

Please contact the Chapel Office at heinzchapel@pitt.edu regarding its COVID-19 Public Health and Safety Measures and any changes to these guidelines.

Organist

A Chapel organist is available to be at your ceremony to play your chosen processional and recessional marches. The organist, whether used by the wedding couple or not, is provided as part of the Chapel fee. Requests for guest organists must be submitted in writing at least two months prior to the ceremony to heinzchape@pitt.edu along with a letter of credentials. The Chapel reserves the right to determine if the guest organist is qualified to play the Chapel organ.

Rehearsal

A Chapel organist will be present to play the couple’s chosen processional and recessional marches and rehearse with additional musicians. Please note that any practice with the organist must occur during the 45 minutes allotted for your rehearsal.

Wedding

The Chapel organist will play a 15 minute organ prelude as guests are being seated and 1-2processional marches. The wedding couple should consult with their officiant regarding the style of music and specific pieces that may be performed.  Many officiants permit only sacred or liturgical music during the ceremony.  At the conclusion of your ceremony the organist will play the recessional march and a short postlude as your guests exit the chapel.

Wedding Marches

Audio samples of the processional and recessional pieces are available on the music selection form . Your choices should be submitted electronically from the website's form two months before your wedding date.

Processional Marches
You will need one march for the attendants and one for the principal.  Or, you may elect to have one march for both the attendants and the principal.                                                  

Jeremiah Clarke, Trumpet Voluntary in D Major
John Stanley, Trumpet Voluntary in D Major
Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Prelude (from Te Deum)
André Campra, Rigaudon (from Idomenée)
Ludwig van Beethoven, Ode to Joy
Johann Pachelbel, Canon in D
Jean-Joseph Mouret, Rondeau (from Sinfonie de Fanfares)
Richard Wagner, Wedding Chorus (from Lohengrin) (Principal only)
George Frideric Handel, Overture to the Fireworks Music (Principal only)
George Frideric Handel, "The Rejoicing" (from the Fireworks Music) (Principal only)

Recessional Marches
You will need only one march:

Henry Purcell, Trumpet Tune in C Major
Felix Mendelssohn, Wedding Music (from Midsummer Night's Dream)
Ludwig van Beethoven, Ode to Joy
George Frideric Handel, Hornpipe (from Water Music)
Benedetto Marcello, Psalm 19, "The Heavens Declare the Glory of God"
Charles-Marie Widor, Toccata (from the Fifth Organ Symphony)
Jean-Joseph Mouret, Rondeau (from Sinfonie de Fanfares)
Sigfrid Karg-Elert, Now Thank We All Our God

Prelude and Postlude Music

The organist will select from a variety of fine organ music.  Violin, flute, or other chamber instruments with or without organ accompaniment may be included during the prelude/postlude. See other musicians guidelines below.

Additional Music

In addition to the prelude, processional, recessional, and postlude music, the organist may play other requested selections during the ceremony. These may include hymns, service music, or other liturgical responses. All special music requests must be made, approved, and legible sheet music provided, at least two months before the wedding date. Please note that additional music adds to the ceremony time and will reduce the amount of time for photography.

Recorded Music

Permission for recorded music must be made in writing to the Chapel at least two months before the wedding date. The couple is responsible for their own equipment and speakers and must assign someone to work the equipment. The Chapel organist can queue the person assigned to start the music. Other than microphones, no other Chapel sound equipment or systems may be accessed.

Other Musicians

Notification to the Chapel of any outside musicians (cantors, wind instruments, strings, etc.) must be made two months prior to your wedding. Musicians requesting organ accompaniment should attend the wedding rehearsal. Please note that any practice with the organist must occur during the 45 minutes allotted for your rehearsal. Musical groups must be counted as your attendees and fit within the building space. Special permission for musicians to access the balcony must be obtained. The Chapel can provide microphones, stands and music stands for musicians, but equipment is limited. No other Chapel sound equipment or systems may be accessed.

If you have any questions, please email heinzchapel@pitt.edu.

Officiants

Please contact the Chapel Office at heinzchapel@pitt.edu regarding its COVID-19 Public Health and Safety Measures and any changes to these guidelines.

Your Officiant

The chapel is nondenominational and has no clergy on staff. It is the responsibility of the wedding couple to secure an officiant to preside at the ceremony. Clergy of religious denominations recognized by the University of Pittsburgh’s Association of Chaplains are welcome, as are civil officiants.

It is crucial that your officiant be aware of the dates and times of the wedding rehearsal and ceremony. Should the officiant fail to be present for the wedding ceremony, there is no one at the chapel who could act as a replacement and your ceremony would have to be cancelled.

Rehearsal

Please contact the Chapel Office at heinzchapel@pitt.edu regarding its COVID-19 Public Health and Safety Measures and any changes to these guidelines.

Rehearsal Time

Forty-five minutes are scheduled for each rehearsal on the day prior to the wedding. Because rehearsals run every 45 minutes, it is important that all participants arrive on time. If a rehearsal begins late, the time allotted must be reduced by that amount. Note that rehearsal times for weddings near a holiday may be different than the schedule. Please check with our office during booking.

What to Expect

Two Chapel coordinators will be present to coordinate your rehearsal. Please note that the Chapel does not get involved in the details of your ceremony itself. The couple should discuss the details of the ceremony with their officiant prior to the rehearsal. The Chapel organist will be present to play the processional and recessional as you practice. A Chapel Wedding Coordinator will contact the couple two weeks before their ceremony. The couple should provide the order of their processional and other details at that time which will facilitate the rehearsal process.

Microphones

Chapel staff will have microphones available for the couple, officiant and any readers during the rehearsal for practice and sounds checks.

Wedding Day

Please contact the Chapel Office at heinzchapel@pitt.edu regarding its COVID-19 Public Health and Safety Measures and any changes to these guidelines.

Access

Each couple has access to the chapel 30 minutes before the scheduled time of the wedding. The 30 minutes allow the florist, photographer, and videographer time to set up and your guests to be seated. One hour and 15 minutes is allocated for the ceremony and photography. The access time is strictly enforced. Participants and guests who arrive prior to the scheduled access time may be denied entrance to the building.

Chapel Address for Invitation Purposes

Heinz Memorial Chapel
University of Pittsburgh
Fifth and Bellefield Avenues
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Chapel Seating

The chapel seats approximately 350 people.

Receiving Lines

Because of the limited time of one hour and fifteen minutes for ceremony and photography, receiving lines are not recommended. However, two times may be reserved to accommodate a receiving line.

Service Animals and Pets

Only service animals are permitted in Heinz Chapel. For further information please see the University of Pittsburgh's Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals Policy.

Wedding Couple Waiting Areas

The Chapel provides separate lounge areas for each of the wedding couple. These areas are available upon access time for your wedding (30 minutes before your ceremony time). Due to the limited time before your ceremony, we advise that you do not use the waiting areas to dress before the ceremony. The Chapel is not responsible for personal items and valuables. These should be removed from the rooms before the ceremony and kept with family members or friends.

Chapel Personnel

As part of your wedding fee, the Chapel provides two wedding coordinators who will coordinator your rehearsal and wedding time in the Chapel. Approximately two weeks before your date, a Heinz Chapel wedding coordinator will contact you to discuss the details of your wedding and the information you have provided on your ceremony and music selection forms.

Site Tours

Currently, the Chapel and other University buildings are closed to visitors. If you are interested in a virtual wedding tour, email heinzchapel@pitt.edu and we will set up a date and time for a virtual tour led by one of our Wedding Coordinators.

Parking & Accessibility

Please contact the Chapel Office at heinzchapel@pitt.edu regarding its COVID-19 Public Health and Safety Measures and any changes to these guidelines.

Parking

Reserved parking is provided during your access time and is located on the left side of Bellefield Avenue. A Pittsburgh Police Officer will be present to direct the parking. Please remind your guests and vendors that this parking is provided only during your access time to the Chapel and grounds. Cars not removed once your access ends, may be ticketed or towed.

Accessible Parking

There are two accessible parking spaces adjacent to the chapel on Bellefield Avenue. You must have the designated plate or hang tag to park in the spaces.

Accessible Access

A level, paved sidewalk leads from the two accessible parking spaces to an automatic door on the north side of the chapel (facing Fifth Avenue). An elevator provides access to the chapel and an accessible restroom on the lower level.

Decorations

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.

Candelabra

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.

Photography & Videography

Photography During the Ceremony

Photos of family members being escorted to their seats and of the wedding processional may be taken from the base of the chancel steps.

Photos of the ceremony may be taken from the following locations:  the ends of the modified front pews, the double doors of the narthex, the left and right side aisles, the center aisle behind the last seated guests, or the gallery.

Photos may be taken from the base of the chancel steps for any of the following:

  • Exchange of vows and rings
  • Lighting of the unity candle
  • Sign of peace/Greeting of the parents
  • Tribute to the Blessed Mother
  • Breaking of the glass

Videography During the Ceremony

Videography of family members being escorted to their seats and of the wedding processional may be taken from the base of the chancel steps.

Videography of the ceremony may be taken from the following locations:  the ends of the modified front pews, the ambulatory door on the left side of the chancel, the left and right side aisles, the center aisle behind the last seated guests, or the gallery.

Auxiliary lighting may be used before and after, but not during, the ceremony.

After the Ceremony

One hour is allocated for the ceremony and photography.  A delay in the scheduled start time or a particularly lengthy ceremony will reduce the amount of time available for photography and videography.   All participants must adhere to the scheduled departure time.

Photography and videography of weddings for third party use such as television programs, advertising, etc. is not permitted.

Music

The Heinz Chapel pipe organ reflects the magnificence of the building and will enhance the beauty and grandeur of your wedding with music appropriate to the setting.

Rehearsal

A Chapel organist will be at your rehearsal to play your chosen processional and recessional marches, finalize placement of all music for your ceremony, and rehearse with any additional musicians, if needed.

Wedding

The organist will play a 15 minute organ prelude as guests are being seated, the processional march, and any music you have requested during the ceremony.  The wedding couple should consult with their officiant regarding the style of music and specific pieces that may be performed.  Many officiants permit only sacred or liturgical music during the ceremony.  At the conclusion of your ceremony the organist will play the recessional march and a short postlude as your guests exit the chapel.

Wedding Marches

Audio samples of the processional and recessional pieces are available on the music selection form and you may submit your choices electronically from the website.  A trumpet may be used with some of the marches.  If you elect to include a trumpet, the trumpeter should attend the wedding rehearsal.

Processional Marches

You will need one march for the attendants and one for the principal.  Or, you may elect to have        one march for both the attendants and the principal.                                                  

Jeremiah Clarke, Trumpet Voluntary in D Major
John Stanley, Trumpet Voluntary in D Major
Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Prelude (from Te Deum)
André Campra, Rigaudon (from Idomenée)
Ludwig van Beethoven, Ode to Joy
Johann Pachelbel, Canon in D
Jean-Joseph Mouret, Rondeau (from Sinfonie de Fanfares)
Richard Wagner, Wedding Chorus (from Lohengrin) (Principal only)
George Frideric Handel, Overture to the Fireworks Music (Principal only)
George Frideric Handel, "The Rejoicing" (from the Fireworks Music) (Principal only)

Recessional Marches

You will need only one march:

Henry Purcell, Trumpet Tune in C Major
Felix Mendelssohn, Wedding Music (from Midsummer Night's Dream)
Ludwig van Beethoven, Ode to Joy
George Frideric Handel, Hornpipe (from Water Music)
Benedetto Marcello, Psalm 19, "The Heavens Declare the Glory of God"
Charles-Marie Widor, Toccata (from the Fifth Organ Symphony)
Jean-Joseph Mouret, Rondeau (from Sinfonie de Fanfares)
Sigfrid Karg-Elert, Now Thank We All Our God

Prelude and Postlude Music

The organist will select from a variety of fine organ music.  Violin, flute, or other chamber instruments with or without organ accompaniment may be included during the prelude/postlude. The organist will not play transcriptions of piano or orchestral works or popular contemporary tunes.

Other Musicians

Vocalists and instrumentalists are welcome at Heinz Chapel.  The wedding couple should make arrangements directly with any additional musicians they wish to include.  Those requiring organ accompaniment need to attend the wedding rehearsal and should provide complete and legible sheet music, in advance, to the organist.  During the ceremony a limit of three musical selections is advised.

Recorded music is not permitted in the chapel.

If you wish to discuss any of the above please call the Heinz Chapel office, 412-624-4157, to speak with one of our wedding coordinators.

Officiants

Your Officiant

The chapel is nondenominational and has no clergy on staff. It is the responsibility of the wedding couple to secure an officiant to preside at the ceremony. Clergy of religious denominations recognized by the University of Pittsburgh’s Association of Chaplains are welcome, as are civil officiants.

It is crucial that your officiant be aware of the dates and times of the wedding rehearsal and ceremony. Should the officiant fail to be present for the wedding ceremony, there is no one at the chapel who could act as a replacement and your ceremony would have to be cancelled.