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We conduct weddings and other rites of passage at First Unitarian because we see providing a sacred space and a meaningful ceremony to those without a church home as part of our inclusive ministry.

We believe that entering the covenant of marriage is one of the most important decisions in life, and we seek to make your marriage ceremony joyful and memorable.

Our Senior Minister or his appointee conducts all weddings at First Unitarian. You should consult with the minister as early as possible ( If you have an officiant you would like to include in your wedding, please discuss it directly with our Senior Minister, who may grant such permission.

Wedding ceremonies can be held in the Main Sanctuary (seating for 250) or Hull Chapel (seating for 90). These rooms are adjoining, so Hull can also provide overflow seating for the Main Sanctuary.


Scheduling & Fees

The prime wedding blocks usually include all day on Saturdays (10 am, 1 pm, and 4 pm are the typical time slots) and Sunday Afternoons after 2 pm. Wedding times are possible though most days of the week. Reservation blocks include access to dressing rooms for the wedding party. All event decorations, music set up, catering, and other vendor load-in and take-down must occur within the reservation block. All photography (exterior and interior) must also take place within the reservation block.

A one-hour rehearsal is also scheduled, usually for the day before the wedding. The coordinator (see below) will facilitate the rehearsal. 

You may place a courtesy hold on one ceremony window at the time of inquiry. This hold will last one week while you review it and complete your consultation with our Senior Minister. A $500 non-refundable deposit is then required to make the reservation.

The fee for a three-hour wedding block is $2,500 for the Sanctuary and $1,500 for Hull Chapel. Additional time is available at $500 per hour. Full payment is due 30 days before your confirmed ceremony via check or PayPal. We are only able to facilitate rehearsals or ceremonies once payment is complete.

Facility fees cover the use of the respective location for the one-hour rehearsal and a three-hour ceremony window, two gathering/dressing rooms in the ceremony window, the presence of event staff, and audio/visual support throughout the rehearsal and wedding service.

Minister fees are not included above and start at $500 for all non-member services on-site. Full payment is due 30 days before your confirmed ceremony via check, cash, or PayPal and is paid directly to the minister.

Audio, Visual, and Music

The organ and pianos may only be used by the Director of Music and their designees. Music fees are not included above and start at $300 for non-member services, paid directly to the Director of Music. Other pianists/organists may be approved at the discretion of the Director of Music, but the Director of Music has the right of first refusal. If other pianists/organists/musicians will be performing in lieu of the Director of Music, the Director of Music is to be paid a flat fee of $150 for planning, coordination, and correspondence paid directly to the Director of Music. You may engage other musicians (singers, instrumentalists) in addition to the Director of Music as well. 

If requested, in-house audio/amplification, video streaming, and recording are available at an additional cost, which will be included in your church bill. The in-house audio/visual system may only be used by the AV Technician and their designees. Personal video recording by one individual per ceremony is permitted but should be done unobtrusively during the ceremony. The Church wireless network is available to the wedding party, their designees, and vendors. Other (wired, ethernet) connectivity is not made available. Vendors should generally plan to bring hotspots.

Flowers and Other Arrangements

Floral arrangements are allowed, but flowers are not permitted in the aisles. Ceremony candles are permitted only in the Sanctuary by permission, provided that your candle holder is designed to catch all wax. Aisle runners are permitted, but flowers or petals may not be thrown in the aisles. Bubbles, birdseed, and flower petals may be thrown outside the church. Rice or confetti MAY NOT be used in or outside of the church.

Accessibility and Parking

The Sanctuary and Hull Chapel are not air-conditioned, but they are both ADA-accessible. Ramps into the church are available in front of the church. Restrooms and dressing rooms are also accessed by ramps and stairs for the public, and an ADA lift on the south side of the Sanctuary is also available to guests. Vendors may not use the lift to move equipment.

Parking is typically available on surrounding streets. Parking is also available two blocks away at the Midway Plaisance and in the parking lot at 5835 S. University Avenue. There is a drop-off point in front of the church for those who need a ramp or other assistance. Vendor load-in is available in the alley behind the church.

Smoking and Alcohol

Wine and beer are permitted in the reception areas only. Smoking of any substance is not permitted on the First Unitarian property.


Completing a space-use agreement and deposit for your ceremony indicates your acceptance of the above stipulations. Please contact the administrator ( to inquire about scheduling a wedding. One month before your ceremony, we will assign staff for your rehearsal and wedding day.

About the neighborhood

19-firstu-inside-neigborhoodFirst Unitarian Church is located at 57th Street and Woodlawn Avenue, in the historic Hyde Park neighborhood. Two blocks to the south of our building is the Midway, site of the Columbian Exposition of 1893. One block to the west are the old quadrangles of the University of Chicago, constructed beginning in 1893. Our congregation moved to our present location in 1897. Our stately English Gothic sanctuary, which echoes the architecture of the old quadrangles, was erected in 1929, at the same time as the construction of the towering Rockefeller Chapel, one block to the south and across from Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous Robie House.

Today Hyde Park is a thriving middle-class, racially integrated community. The University of Chicago has grown into one of the great universities of the world, and its campus and medical center continue to expand. The University has taken a great interest in its neighborhood and its improvement and has assisted its staff in settling here. Commuting to downtown Chicago is an easy 15-minute ride on either Metra trains or express buses. One can also bicycle downtown on the lakefront bicycle path.

Two large parks border the neighborhood – Jackson Park on the south, location of the “White City” in 1893, and Washington Park on the west. On the lakefront a mile east of our church is the Museum of Science and Industry, one of Chicago’s top tourist attractions. Hyde Park has many other interesting museums, galleries, book stores, and restaurants. Many University students live off campus throughout the neighborhood. Many of the older three-story apartment buildings in the neighborhood were converted to condominiums years ago, and have been maintained in top condition. Also, there are many newer and older townhouses, and a few tall high-rise apartment buildings. The stretch of Woodlawn Avenue where our church is located has spacious old mansions, some of which have been converted to University use.