Weddings at William Peace University

WeddingsA bride poses with her bridesmaids at WPU

You only get one chance on your wedding day. Make it memorable by booking WPU. Our historic charm, mixed with a modern downtown setting, is perfect for you and your guests. Options include the serene and historic James A. Dinwiddie Chapel or the Gaddy Garden (adjacent to Finch Library), which offers a lovely setting for small, intimate outdoor ceremonies.

Rehearsal Dinners/Wedding Showers

The University offers rental of the President’s Dining Room in Belk or Main Parlor in Main Building for rehearsal dinners — 45 or fewer guests in the President’s Dining Room, or 60 or fewer guests in Main Parlor. The caterer is William Peace University Dining Services exclusively.

Bridal Portraits/Engagement Photography

Consider WPU for the site of your bridal portrait or engagement photos. This service is free to alumni; WPU charges a modest fee to relatives of alumni.

Wedding Guidelines and Information

Wedding Music

In Dinwiddie Chapel, should you wish to have organ music as part of your ceremony, please contact the Office of Visitor Services to receive contact information for those musicians who are approved to play the historic instrument. Arrangements for organ music are contracted directly with the organist and only those musicians on the approved list are permitted to play the Chapel organ.

In Gaddy Garden, musicians and recorded music are welcome as long as the amplification level does not disrupt activities in Finch Library nor residents in the various residence halls on campus.

Officiant

The University welcomes clergy of your choosing to officiate your wedding. The University Chaplain, Tanner Brown, is also available to perform weddings. Contact him directly for his schedule and fee.

Alcohol

William Peace University policy prohibits guests from casual consumption and storage of alcoholic beverages on campus at any time before, during or after the ceremony. Alcoholic beverages are provided by the University’s caterer by contract only for events which are planned and contracted in advance, such as wedding receptions. Please inform wedding party members of this policy in advance of your ceremony. The use of alcoholic beverages outside of a planned, contracted event will result in forfeiture of the damage deposit, at a minimum.

If you wish to provide light, non-perishable snacks for wedding party members prior to the wedding, please utilize the Faculty/Staff lounge on Main Building, first floor, if not being used for dressing purposes. Please do not provide any food or beverages of any kind in the Blue Parlor or Chapel. Providing refreshments in these areas will result in forfeiture of the damage deposit, and additional charges for cleaning.

Cancellation

Should there be a need to cancel or change any aspect of the ceremony, please notify the Office of Visitor Services as soon as you are aware of the cancellation or change.

NOTE

Should you decide to cancel your wedding six months or more prior to the wedding, your rental and deposit fee payments will be refunded, less a deduction of $100 for administrative work already performed. Cancellations received with less than six months’ notice prevent others from the opportunity to use the Chapel, thus result in refund of the damage deposit only.

State of North Carolina Statutes

Wedding ceremonies shall comply with the laws and statutes of the State of North Carolina. A photocopy (only, not an original) of the State of North Carolina marriage license is required thirty days prior to your wedding.

Assembly

The Blue Parlor, directly adjacent to the Chapel may be used for assembly of the bridal party immediately prior to the ceremony, and for photography only, and is not available for floral arranging, dressing, dining, or for supervision of children during the ceremony. The Board Room adjacent to the Parlor is not available for use. Male members of the wedding party (groom, best man and minister) may use Main Parlor for assembly prior to entering the Chapel from the east fire escape stairwell or prior to entering the Garden.

Dates

Weddings quotes are provided, and wedding rehearsals and weddings are scheduled and confirmed by the Conference & Events Office once a written request is received including the information listed below. Requests may be sent by email, fax, or postal service.

Please provide the following information:

  • The name of the requesting couple
  • The mailing address of the requestor
  • Daytime telephone number
  • Home telephone number, if different from cell phone number
  • Cell telephone numbers for couple
  • Year of graduation or attendance, if connected to University
  • Date and time of wedding
  • Date and time of wedding rehearsal
  • The couple’s formal as well as familiar/preferred first names
  • Wedding director or coordinator’s contact information: name, mailing address, website address, business telephone and cell telephone numbers

A contract will be sent by email once the written request is received. Please sign and return the contract within thirty days after receipt, acknowledging that you agree to the requirements noted below and dates by which we need certain information. The total rental and deposit payment is due with the return of the signed contract. Your wedding date will be held for thirty days after the written request is sent. However, if the contract and payment are not received by the due date noted in the contract, the date will be released for the next requestor.

If there is a change of mailing address between the issuance of the contract letter and the date of the wedding, please provide updated mailing address information as soon as known to expedite the deposit refund payment after the wedding.

Venues

INDOOR CEREMONY: THE JAMES DINWIDDIE CHAPEL

  • The capacity of the Chapel is 250. The aisle is 66-feet long and there are 10 windows. There are 20 pew rows, divided by a five foot wide center aisle. A sound system is not installed in the Chapel; the acoustics are very resonant and most ministers do not need amplification. If amplified sound is preferred, WPU can provide two basic speakers with a wireless microphone.
  • The heat or air conditioning is turned on, as appropriate to the season, prior to the ceremony and rehearsal. Every attempt will be made to insure your comfort, recognizing the limitations of an historic structure such as Main Building and its systems.
  • Decorations in the Chapel must not cause any damage or leave debris.
  • Confetti and rice are not permitted in the building.
  • Drip-free candles only, not wax, may be used and lighted in the chancel only and must be extinguished immediately following the ceremony.
  • No lighted candles of any kind may be carried into the Chapel, down the aisles, attached to pews, or placed in the windowsills.
  • Fresh candles are provided on the communion table candle holders for each wedding. We invite the bridal couple to take these candles as a gift and token of their ceremony, if desired.
  • Battery-operated candles are required, if candlelight is preferred in windows.
  • No items may be taped or wired to pews or other furniture; florists have resources which do not damage wood and other surfaces.
  • Whenever necessary to change the paraments from the seasonal color to white for weddings, please replace existing paraments and any other liturgical items which were in place in when you arrived, following your wedding.
  • If hymnals are removed from pews or furniture moved temporarily, please return these items to their original location.
  • The University can provide a kneeling bench in the chancel, and a podium for the guest registry, if requested in advance.
  • Please alert your florist or service providers that the University does not provide any items such as candelabra, plant stands, candle lighters, or other furniture or accessory items to supplement the existing Chapel decor.
  • If floral decorations are placed on the communion table, they should be constructed so as to provide the organist a clear view of the Chapel aisle.

NOTE

Failure to return any items which have been moved, including furniture, back to their original location will result in forfeiture of the security deposit.

OUTDOOR CEREMONY: GADDY GARDEN

  • The maximum capacity of the Garden is 25 people. Climate should be considered when renting this location.
  • It is advisable to rent chairs for guests.
  • A small sound system may be provided by the wedding couple, if desired.

NOTE

Amplification levels may not disturb students studying in Finch Library, nor residents living on campus. Music selections and amplification level must be approved by the Director of Visitor Services prior to the ceremony.

  • Other items that you are welcome to provide include a table for a unity candle, a podium or other ceremonial items, and electrical cord for use with the electric box on the exterior of Finch Library.
  • All items must be removed by two hours after the wedding or by advance arrangement with the Office of Visitor Services, if a different time is required. The University does not assume responsibility for items which are damaged or removed without permission.
  • Decorations in The Gaddy Garden must not cause any damage or leave debris.
  • Confetti and rice (small particle decorations) are not permitted; natural rose petals are suggested.
  • Drip-free candles only, not wax, may be used and lighted, but must be extinguished immediately following the ceremony. Battery-operated candles are recommended due to climate in this outdoor area.
  • No items may be taped or wired to the arches in the garden. However, seasonal tulle or cloth may be used, and removed immediately following the ceremony.
  • Please alert your florist that the University does not provide any items such as candelabra, plant stands, candle lighters, or other furniture or accessory items to supplement the three existing wood benches in the garden.
  • If floral decorations are placed around the Garden, they should be constructed so as to be easily removed and no debris left behind.
Fees

Please contact us at conferenceandevents@peace.edu for a quote.

  • Please note, WPU requires a security/damage deposit, a facility rental fee, a venue supervisor fee, and provides optional usage of the historic organ for a fee, as well as an optional facility for the groom’s usage for a fee.
  • Facility rental fee includes Dinwddie Chapel (capacity 250), updated Bride Room, public restrooms, and the use of Blue Parlor (adjacent to Dinwiddie Chapel), and open use of campus grounds for photos throughout your wedding.

NOTE

  • To provide an inclement weather option, Dinwiddie Chapel will be reserved along with the Garden, and appropriate fees will apply, should the Chapel have to be used, with the balance refunded.
  • If you prefer an alternate, off-campus inclement weather location, please indicate that site in your initial written request.

Please return the payment for the rental and deposit with your signed contract. The damage deposit amount will be refunded by William Peace University within 30 days following the wedding, and upon satisfactory inspection of the facilities used.

Services
The rental fee includes the services of our departments, which consists of:

  • Housekeeping to clean the facilities before and after both the rehearsal and wedding;
  • Facilities to provide appropriate climate control to the season (Chapel) and routine facility maintenance and grounds keeping needs;
  • Public Safety to provide access to the facilities, and assist wedding party members and guests
    with directions to the Chapel or Garden; and
  • Conference & Events Office to reserve the facilities, provide a contract for its use, communicate wedding information to Peace staff members, assist with questions and needs prior to and after the wedding day, and coordinate on-campus rehearsals with the organist prior to each wedding (Chapel).
  • The University requires a venue supervisor to provide assistance or supervision on the day of the wedding and rehearsal, but highly recommends you also hire a day-of wedding planner as the venue supervisor does not act as such. We also recommend your wedding coordinator or day-of wedding planner to contact the Conference & Events Office several weeks prior to the ceremony to review questions about these guidelines and the facility.

NOTE

The University does not provide assistance or supervision for the wedding or the rehearsal; thus, we recommend that you hire a wedding director, planner or coordinator to assist you, your family and your guests. We also require that the coordinator (along with any other service providers and family members who wish to attend) conduct a site visit with the Conference and Events Manager at least three months prior to the ceremony to review any questions about these guidelines, the facility and the recommended dressing areas, and to receive the University’s emergency guideline training.

Access
William Peace University has taken major steps in improving physical accessibility across all parts of campus.
To insure prompt access to the facility at your arrival times for the rehearsal and wedding, and for any other planning purpose visits, please call Public Safety at -919-833-2277 before reaching campus, especially during campus holidays, summer, and weekend hours.

Access to facilities is provided once the first wedding party member or service provider calls for access. Also, if emergencies occur during your usages, please call this number to ask for assistance with any facility-related or other need.

Dressing
  • It is recommended that wedding party members arrive on campus in wedding attire, or dressed as fully for the wedding as possible, since spacious facilities for dressing are unavailable. If dressing facilities are desired, however, they include, on Main first floor, a small women’s restroom on the west office wing (located directly underneath the Chapel), or the Faculty/Staff lounge. On Main second floor, a room across from the women’s restroom is reserved for female dressing as long as not used as a student residence in the semester in which the wedding date occurs.
  • Male members of the wedding party will find men’s restrooms available on the first floor of Main Building near the lobby as well as the first floor Frazier Hall, (adjacent to Main on the east side of campus); however, due to the small size of the available spaces, we recommend that male members of the wedding party especially are advised to arrive dressed for the wedding.
  • No offices are available for dressing and assembly; please do not ask Public Safety to open offices for any purpose.

NOTE

Use of the Blue Parlor or Williams Board Room for dressing purposes will result in forfeiture of the deposit and additional charges assessed if damages occur. Please notify your wedding party in advance of this policy.

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