Enjoy an Elegant, Traditional Wedding at the Duke University Chapel

Couples who desire elegant, formal weddings should host their ceremony at one Durham, N.C.’s most esteemed venues. Duke University’s historic chapel is an ideal setting for a traditional wedding. The interdenominational chapel has hosted matrimonial ceremonies since the 1930s. Learn why this renowned chapel is the perfect location to host your wedding day.

About the Duke University Chapel

The grand, historic chapel sits on Duke University’s West Campus. Construction on the project in October 1930. Builders finished the project in 1932 when they held their first commencement ceremony. They formally dedicated the structure on June 2, 1935.

Architect Julian Abele designed the breathtaking structure. He incorporated England’s neo-Gothic elements in the Duke University’s Chapel. The regal building has statuesque piers made from Hillsborough bluestone. This material varies in color from slate gray to rust orange.

The facility has charming choir vaults constructed from Guastavino ceramic tiles. Cathedral ceilings hover high above the altar. Flying buttresses and stained glass windows adorn the structure’s interior.

The chapel is an outstanding setting for wedding pictures. Hire our photography experts to capture unforgettable shots of your wedding ceremony.

Reserving The Chapel for Weddings

The Duke University staff works hard to preserve the timeless beauty of its historic chapel. It has strict rules and regulations that all couples must follow when using the chapel. The campus allows couples of all faiths and backgrounds to use the Duke University Chapel. Unfortunately, only couples with university ties can reserve the facility. These include employees, students, Board of Trustee members, or alums (and their relatives).

The campus only hosts Saturday weddings during school months. During the summer, the university allows Sunday afternoon weddings. Couples may reserve the facility no less than six weeks (and no more than a year in advance) before a wedding. On Fridays, there are one-hour rehearsals for Saturday weddings.

Once a month, Duke University conducts this sign-up period on a first-come, first-serve basis. The campus gives priority to individuals who schedule their dates in-person. After the wedding coordinator finishes in-person signups, he or she will accept phone and email reservations for any remaining spots.

Duke Chapel Groom Prep
Photo by Dajuan Jones for Joe Payne

Please contact the wedding coordinator to verify your eligibility and check for available dates. For details, please email chapelweddings@duke.edu.

Amenities

Duke University’s Chapel doesn’t include many amenities in its packages. Once you reserve the chapel, the campus will assign a wedding director and assistant to help plan the ceremony. A chapel attendant will help set up the church for your special day. Sound technicians will provide lavalier microphones or the officiant and readers. Housekeeping will clean the area afterward.

Additionally, the chapel requires couples to hire an organist. Couples must pay a separate fee for their services. The professional has to approve each musician and vocal soloist. He or she will ensure that all musical selections meet campus guidelines. Wedding parties should hire the organist no later than six weeks before the wedding.

Duke Chapel bridal entrance
Photo by Dajuan Jones for Brian Mullins

You must contact Chapel Media six weeks before the wedding to arrange live streaming. This service is optional. Wedding parties must hire outside officiants and florists. The chapel also has parlors that brides can use to prepare for the wedding during the first 45 minutes of their reservation. Visit this page for details about its packages.

Guests can stay in two five-star hotels while visiting the area. The Durham Hotel has fabulous guest packages including food tours and a rooftop restaurant. Another boutique hotel your guests will love is the 21C Hotel. It has a spa and a full-service boutique.

Duke Chapel wedding entrance
Photo by Dajuan Jones for Brian Mullins
Bride's entrance to Duke Chapel
Photo by Dajuan Jones for Jameka Autry
Bride escorted down the isle at Duke Chapel
Photo by Dajuan Jones for Jameka Autry
Duke Chapel wedding processional
Photo by Dajuan Jones for Jameka Autry

Photographic Opportunities

Duke University has many settings ideal for wedding photos. The chapel’s classic design is ornate and artistic. Its palatial altar has a jaw-dropping beauty. The stained glass windows provide a colorful mosaic backdrop. Pointed arches tower above cascading stone steps. Hanging chandeliers provide warm lighting inside the worship area.

Duke University wedding ceremony
Photo by Dajuan Jones for Joe Payne

Manicured courtyards surround the chapel’s exterior. The neo-Gothic chapel serves as an elegant backdrop. Its campus has additional photographic opportunities in front of Allen Building’s rose beds.

The university allows photographers to take engagement and bridal pictures before the wedding on the chapel’s grounds. You must contact the chapel to schedule a time. All couples must have direct or familial ties to campus.

Duke University wedding ceremony
Photo by Dajuan Jones for Joe Payne

Trusted Professional Photographers

On your wedding day, you need trusted professionals to take your pictures. In His Image Photography has more than 20 years experience of professional photography experience. Our studio follows a documentary-style process to take stunning pictures that couples can share with their family and friends.

Duke Chapel wedding kiss
Photo by Dajuan Jones for Jameka Autry

You deserve an exceptional wedding day that your guests will talk about for years. The Duke Univesity Chapel is one of the nation’s most renowned chapels. Their venue will provide you with a spectacular ceremonial setting, and our studio will be there to capture every moment on film. Visit this page to inquire about open dates at Duke University Chapel. Then, contact us and find out how we can photograph your special day.

Duke University Chapel

401 Chapel Drive, Durham, NC 27708

https://chapel.duke.edu/weddings

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Raleigh, NC
Residential Studio

In His Image Photography

1000 Holtridge Dr
Apex, NC 27523
Phone: (919) 404-9707
Email: studio@inhisimagephotography.com

By Appointment Only

Studio Hours
(By Appointment Only)

SundayClosed
Monday11:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday11:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday11:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday11:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday11:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday11:00 AM - 8:00 PM