Founded in 1958, the Rice Memorial Chapel is a symbol of the right and responsibility of the university to deal with spiritual values, and it serves thousands of worshipers from all faiths and backgrounds. Established as a non-denominational Chapel by a generous gift from Mr. and Mrs. J. Newton Rayzor, the Rice Chapel was dedicated on February 8, 1959, less than 2 years following the introduction of the residential college system. The architect of the Chapel was Harvin Moore. The Chapel's design was inspired by the Church of Saint John of Laterano in Rome. Located also in the Chapel is the classical Baroque organ of seventeen ranks and 1120 pipes, built by the Andover Organ Company of Methuen, Massachusetts. The Chapel is open daily for interdenominational worship services.
The Bride or Groom must be a current Rice University student, current faculty/staff member, alumni, or the child of a current faculty/staff member or alumni, or formally sponsored by a current faculty/staff member at Rice University. For pricing purposes student status for weddings expires on August 31st following graduation.
The chapel rental fee includes up to 3 hours in the chapel on the day of the ceremony, and an optional one hour for a rehearsal on the evening prior to the wedding. Any set-up, clean-up, or wedding pictures must be done during the ceremony hours. Additional hours are available at an additional cost. A Chapel reservation will be confirmed only upon receipt of the the $250 non-refundable deposit, the $135 insurance fee, and the signed documents listed below, except for the organist agreement, which is optional. Dates and the reservation time must be confirmed no later than one month after the initial reservation is made. Additional charges may apply.
- Chapel Use Agreement
- Chapel Use Policies
- Insurance Information Sheet
- Chapel Organist Agreement (optional)
It is your responsibility to give a copy of these regulations to your bridal consultant, florist, etc.
- No lighted candles on the ends of pews or on the carpeted areas. Only drip-less, contained candles may be used.
- Plastic or other protection must be placed under any live plants.
- There is no storage available before or after the wedding; decorations must be removed as soon as the guests leave the Chapel.
- Tape, tacks, or nails may not be used to affix items to any surface in the Chapel.
- There may be no rice, rice bags, or confetti distributed on the premises. Birdseed may only be distributed outside of the Chapel. A minimum automatic $70.00 clean-up fee will be assessed if this policy is not upheld.
- The pulpit and lantern must not be moved.
- The wedding party is responsible for the return of the facilities to regular use in the same condition as received. Costs incurred in extraordinary cleaning, or in the repair or replacement of any item damaged will be assumed by the wedding party. Additional clean-up charges may be assessed after the event, based on the extent of the clean up required at $35.00 per hour of service per custodian, with a minimum of $70.00.
All fees are to be made payable to Rice University, except the $300 organist fee, made payable to the selected organist. The Student Center must receive all the paperwork filled out and signed, together with the $135 insurance fee, and the $250.00 non-refundable deposit, which is applied towards the total, before the reservation can be confirmed. The insurance and deposit fees ($385.00) can be paid all in one check, made out to Rice University. Full balance payment must be made 30 days prior to the wedding date. The chapel seats 126 without the use of extra chairs. Up to 100 additional chairs may be added to the Chapel at no additional cost. Please mail all checks to the following address.Henny Halliburton,
Student Center – MS 530
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, TX 77251-1892
Food and beverages are not allowed in the chapel.
If an outside organization (Facility User) rents space in a Rice facility the organization must provide proof of liability insurance coverage prior to the scheduled event. The limit of liability coverage required of the user is $1 million per occurrence/$2 million aggregate. If the facility user is unable to comply with the insurance requirement Rice can obtain liability insurance coverage for the event and the cost is $135.00.
This insurance policy provides coverage for events that are held in University facilities. The policy addresses claims filed by third parties for bodily injury or property damage. This policy also covers host liquor liability claims. The insurance company has the right and duty to defend the insured against any “suit” seeking those damages.
Use of the chapel organ is restricted to authorized Rice University music instructors and students. No exceptions will be granted. The organist fee is an additional $300. A tape deck and CD player are also available. Information concerning other musical instruments can be obtained through the Shepherd School of Music at (713) 348-4854.
Parking is available on any visitor lot, go here for details Visitor Parking.
Recommended lots include:
- North Annex Lot
- Central Campus Garage
- Greenbriar Lot
Here is the link to our campus location map.
The Student Center can provide parking validations for $9 each, available to anyone having an event in our building.
Rice shuttle buses are available for hire to transport guests from the Cohen House/Faculty Club, or the Greenbriar Lot, back and forth to the chapel for an additional fee. See the Chapel Shuttle Map for more information. If you're interested in using this service, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the Shuttle Service Agreement.
When having an event at The Student Center, you are only allowed to take pictures in our area, including the Rice Memorial Chapel, the Rice Memorial Center (e.g. Grand Hall, Ray Courtyard), and the Ley Student Center (e.g. Farnsworth Pavilion, Brown Garden).
For bridal pictures in Lovett Hall (Sallyport), or anywhere else on the Rice University Campus, please contact the Office of Public Affairs.
Wedding receptions may be held in the Grand Hall, Farnsworth Pavilion, the Ray Courtyard or Brown Garden, or a combo of these. If using the Ray Courtyard or Brown Garden, you will also need to book a rainsite.
The Cohen House/Faculty Club is also another option on campus for your reception. Go here for details.
If you are eligible, and are interested in renting the chapel, please review the following documents. Email email@example.com if you have any questions.