Ringing the UGA Chapel bell is a tradition famous amongst students. Indeed, the Chapel is also a fantastic spot for another tradition- holy matrimony. Many UGA alumni return to Athens for weddings at the chapel given its history and beauty.
Built in 1832, the Chapel was one of the first Greek Revival structures in Athens. The Chapel has a place on the National Register of Historic Places, which one might not expect given its excellent condition. It has survived 2 fires and despite being constantly renovated, still maintains a very historic feel. Right outside the Chapel is a sundial, which marks a spot famous for speeches from the early days of UGA. Inside the Chapel is one of the world’s largest framed oil paintings: a 17 by 23.5 foot painting of Saint Peter’s in Rome. The painting was completed in 1847 and was originally created for the home for Daniel Pratt. After his gallery became infested with dry rot, the painting was given to the university in 1867 at the request of the artist’s widow, who married an Athenian. The Chapel was extended specifically to house the painting.
The location on UGA’s north campus is perfect for weddings as it resides adjacent to downtown Athens, and there are many spots ideal for wedding photos. Only feet away from the Chapel is the UGA arch, the fountain at Herty Field, and the lawns of north campus. Not only that, but the lighting inside the Chapel is excellent and the seating gives a flawless view of the bride and groom. The chapel theater can hold over 400 people. The chapel also has a green room ideal for rehearsal dinners.
Not only that, but what better way to commemorate your marriage or engagement than by a ringing of the bell? Originally cast in 1835 by George Holbrook, the UGA Chapel bell was placed in the Chapel in 1913. This 185 year old landmark still rings as strongly as the day it was hung. The Chapel bell has been rung for every reason from air raid drills during WW2 to the end of finals to the celebration of football victories. There is no better reason to ring it than to announce the start of your new family.
Couples interested in seeing the venue for themselves can book private tours. It is important to make a quick booking, as the Chapel is not available year every weekend. The Chapel can not be booked during holidays, commencement weekends, or home football weekends (to avoid gate crashing tailgaters). The cost of reserving the Chapel includes custodial cleanup and the use of their sound and lighting equipment. The Chapel provides hand held microphones and a CD player.
The classic design and the history of the UGA Chapel speaks to weddings as a tradition. The venue is antique, and anyone who has their wedding here is sure to enjoy a lively celebration. Between the convenient location and wonderful natural light in the Chapel the local is sure to be the perfect spot to rejoice in marital bliss.
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