UVA Chapel Draws Engaged Couples

By: Autria Godfrey
By: Autria Godfrey

Summertime is here and that means so is wedding season. For many University of Virginia students, getting married in the UVa chapel is a rite of passage.

Those opting to use the chapel feel like it brings the UVa tradition into another phase of their lives. For Kemper and Julie Steele, deciding to have their wedding in the chapel was just common sense.

"I thought you know that it would be kind of a neat thing to do as well, and that's what her dream was and my dream was to have something involving Charlottesville and UVa and I think that it worked out well," Kemper said.

It's not uncommon for as many as six weddings to take place each Saturday, that equals anywhere from 125 to 175 weddings each year. The fee for using the chapel is reduced for full-time students and no couple is excluded, regardless of religious affiliation.

"We are almost unique in that sense that we have a chapel and no chaplain here at UVa and interestingly enough it probably ties back to the original vision here, " explained Stephanie Nixon, Events Manager for Newcomb Hall.

Since she's been coordinating events at the chapel and Newcomb Hall for years, Stephanie knows the significance of these special ceremonies.

"There's sort of this dream or vision of having the wedding or having a ceremony here in the chapel while students are enrolled," Stephanie said.

While the colors, decorations, and guests change daily, one thing remains, having a ceremony on UVa grounds seems to be the perfect conclusion to the many life changing experiences of college.

"I think it's something a lot of people definitely think about and probably not everyone, but a lot of people are like, oh we would want to get married in the chapel," Julie Steele, Kemper's wife, said.

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