WEDDINGS

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Welcome to the Wedding Page for

Lehigh University's Packer Memorial Church

 

The Church and it's reservations for weddings are managed by
the Office of the University Chaplain under the guidance of, The Rev. Dr. Lloyd Steffen. 
All the information you need about requesting a reservation and the Wedding Ceremony Process can be found below. 
Please be sure to read it thoroughly as it contains some very important information. 
If you have any questions after reading this material, please feel free to contact our office at
incha@lehigh.edu or 610-758-3877

 

 

See what couples have to say about their experience at Packer Memorial Church...
  • Campbell Renewal
    "My husband and I met at Lehigh in 1997 and always wanted to come back and celebrate a milestone wedding anniversary. We were thrilled to have our vow renewal honoring 20 years of marriage at the Lehigh Chapel. It was a dream come true!" Dr. Deb Campbell

The Packer Memorial Wedding Process

General Reservation Information for Packer Memorial Church
First and most importantly, congratulations
on this new chapter in your book!
The Chaplain's Office is currently booking Packer Memorial Church rentals for 2021 - 2022!  
Certain dates may be held for possible university events which take precedence over outside reservations.  

IMPORTANT:  THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE "WEDDING" PAGE OF THIS WEBSITE IS A PART OF THE RESERVATION AGREEMENT - PLEASE READ IT ALL CAREFULLY AND UNDERSTAND YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO SIGN THAT YOU HAVE READ IT AS PART OF YOUR CONTRACT.  Thank you. 

Here is a VERY brief overview of the entire wedding reservation process.  Please be sure to read all of the information included herein. 

  1.  It is not necessary, but it does help to know your reception venue availability before requesting the Church availability using THIS RESERVATION DATE REQUEST.

  2. Once your receive a confirmation or email with questions, you will be asked to complete the RESERVATION REQUEST FORM.

  3. Once the request is received, you will receive a formal confirmation email with all of the details and a link to digitally sign the RESERVATION AGREEMENT. Please make sure to read all of the information on the Wedding Page of our website  (below) before siging this agreement. 

  4. You then can secure your officiant if not using the LU Chaplain or requesting a Catholic Service.  If you are requesting a Catholic service, you must confirm first with Ron Koach of the Newman Center / Diocese of Allentown who will advise our office if the Catholic Ceremony is good to move forward.  Please see the pages dedicated to "Roman Catholic" or "Catholic" services. 

  5. Select your musicians, vocalists, organists, florist, decorations, program design, etc. etc.  Yes, it's a long list but well worth the effort to be organized.  

  6. Our office will be in touch with you 2 months, 2 weeks, and 2 days prior to your Ceremony on schedule, but we are available for questions at any stage in your planning process!

  7. The Rehearsal is typically scheduled for early evening the day before the Ceremony at the church with the Officiants, the Wedding party, musicians are welcome to join, and the Chaplain's Office Staff will there to guide you through the process including what extras/options are available to you the next day. 

  8. The big day.  The Church will be opened according to the contracted times.  Florists/decorators arrive for the first half hour of the contracted time.  The next half hour is guest seating and then....well....this will the moment you have been waiting for! 

 

WE WANT YOU TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR SCHEDULED TIME - COME PREPARED AND ON TIME TO ALL APPOINTMENTS - WEDDING GUESTS ALSO DO NOT LIKE TO WAIT

 

Office hours are Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.   

Email and telephone reservation requests will be returned in the order in which they were received.

Please contact Lynn Spina at incha@lehigh.edu or LYS218@lehigh.edu.  610-758-3877. 

Please leave a message with details if there is no answer. 

Thank you! 

NOW HERE WE GO!......

Who can request to be married at Packer Memorial Church

The great news is that ANYONE can have a religious marriage ceremony at Lehigh's Packer Memorial Church.  Unlike many universities and regligious establishments, we open our doors to anyone who wishes to be married here in a religious ceremony.  

  • Lehigh students, alumni, faculty, and staff and their immediate family members which include children of faculty/staff/alumni, mother, father, sister, brother and grandparents.

  • Roman Catholic Weddings:  in accordance with the Diocese of Allentown, brides and/or grooms must be graduates or current full time students of Lehigh University to be eligible for a Catholic wedding.  Children of faculty/staff are not eligible unless they are graduates of Lehigh.  Faculty/staff who wish to marry Roman Catholic must currently be employed by Lehigh University.  Further pertinent information in this regard is found in the clergy section of this information guide.

  • Couples Non-affiliated to Lehigh may reserve the Chapel, but must use the services of the University Chaplain, the Rev. Dr. Lloyd H. Steffen.  If the Rev. Dr. Lloyd H. Steffen is not available, another officiant will be assigned or other consideration may be accepted as approved by the Rev. Dr. Lloyd H. Steffen.

  • The only thing we are not able to make a reservation for at Packer Memorial Church is non-religious wedding ceremonies by a judge or justice of the peace.

Where and how to request a reservation?
  • Weddings will be reserved only through the Office of the University Chaplain AFTER you know that your date is available utilizing our RESERVATION DATE AVAILABILITY REQUEST FORM,  or through contacting or visiting the chaplain's office at the Dialogue Center listed below at least 6 weeks prior to the desired rehearsal/wedding date.    Please make sure to contact the Chaplain's office at 610-758-3877 to confirm that your requested date is available prior to submitting your reservation and payment.   Please see calendar at the bottom of this page for a general idea of what dates show may be available.  This calendar can also be found once you open the RESERVATION DATE AVAILABILITY REQUEST FORM,

  •   

    • PROCESS:  After confirming a date with the Chaplain's office, you will be sent the RESERVATION REQUEST FORM  for the details of your reservation.  Within that reservation form, you will find the Payment Portal link with which you can complete your reservation payment.  Your reservation date will not be secured until the reservation payment is made.  A payment receipt will be sent to you when payment is made, but a separate reservation confirmation/Agreement email will be sent to you from the Chaplain's office within 3-5 business days confirming all of the details you have requested in your reservation request.  There will be a link within this email where you must digitally sign off on the details listed within it in order for your reservation to be solidified and posted to our calendars.  This is a very important step, so please make sure to send this form back as soon as you can. 
       
    • RESERVED TIME:   Exact dates and times for the rehearsal and the ceremony must be stated to avoid conflicts with other scheduled events in the Church.  Acceptance of a reservation guarantees a two-hour period (or two and a half hours if a Full Catholic Service is requested),  one hour which is understood to be the hour preceding the scheduled time of the service/ceremony.  Included is a One Hour rehearsal, typically scheduled the night before the ceremony.  We must insist the wedding, including photography, fit within your scheduled two hour (Roman Catholic Mass - two and a half) contracted rental time.  Please inform your clergy person and photographer of these time restrictions.  The Packer Memorial Church is open daily from 9:00am - 4:30pm during Lehigh's normal academic schedule if you wish to come and view the Church.  The Church is closed during vacation and semester breaks, and will be opened only by special arrangement with the Chaplain's Office outside of these listed hours.  
       
    • IMPORTANT FACILITY NOTE:  Packer Memorial Church is a University facility and as such the University calendar will take priority with respect to scheduling.  The University and the Chaplain's Office reserves the right to hold final confirmation of requested dates until the University has announced its spring and fall events calendar or adjust previously confirmed wedding or other dates should the university require the use of the Church for a previously unscheduled University event.  This is part of the confirmation agreement.  The Chaplain's Office will, however, make every effort to communicate notice of the likelihood of University events that may prevent confirmation.  Occasionally, rehearsal times may be adjusted after the scheduled time.  Applicants will be notified immediately should the situation arise. 
What fees are involved in having a wedding or renewal?
  • Fee Schedule
     
  • UNIVERSITY FEES: University fees as outlined on the fee schedule must accompany the Reservation Application.  These fees cover the cost to the University for supplies, application processing, and custodial services (custodial staff will be present at the rehearsal and wedding ceremony).  Should the wedding service be cancelled and submitted in writing or by telephone call to the Chaplain's Office at least 2 weeks before the scheduled date half of the rental fee shall be refunded.  There is a $100 fee to change the date of the reservation and the couple is responsible for notifying all parties of the change. NOTE:  DUE TO COVID19  THERE MAY BE ADDITIONAL CLEANING FEES TO BE DETERMINED WITHIN 2 WEEKS OF THE RESERVATION DATE NOT TO EXCEED A MAXIMUM OF $200.  We will make every effort to do what we can to keep this fee as low as possible or eliminate it if at all possible.  
     
  • CLERGY FEE:  Lehigh University has set the minimum honorarium for all clergy performing weddings in Packer Memorial Church.  Honorarium costs are outlined in the fee schedule but are subject to change.  Efforts will be made to help couples locate alternative clergy if the University Chaplain is unavailable.  The Chaplain's Office must be informed of the name, address and affiliated church of the officiante performing the wedding as requested on the reservation request form.  The clergy honorarium should be paid in advance directly to the clergy at the ceremony rehearsal.   Catholic Weddings may be assessed additional fees as set by the Newman Center / Allentown Diocese.  Please make sure to review all necessary requirements with Ron Koach a the Newman Center for ANY type of Catholic Ceremony. 
     
  • MUSIC AND MUSICIAN FEES:  Music is by the choice of the wedding party.  A piano is available in the church as is the beloved Packer Memorial Church organ (restrictions apply - see below).  Musicians and ensemble groups may be contracted at the will of the wedding party.  Portable music devices supplied by the wedding party are permitted in the church, but please be aware that there is no piped in sound system in the church.  Sound may be amplified, however, by microphones provided by the church custodial staff.  Microphone placement should be coordinated with the custodial staff at the rehearsal.
     
  • Organists must be chose from the offical organist list.  Fees vary according to the musicians' time requirements and may vary.  Music selections must be set in advance.  When contacting organists, please make sure you have a clear understanding of teh music to be played, their fee and their attendance at the rehearsal.  The organist or any musicians participation is the responsibility of the couple.

 

Who will or can perform the ceremony?
  • UNIVERSITY CHAPLAIN:  Any couple that is affiliated with Lehigh University or not can requests to use the University Chaplain. 

  • OUTSIDE CLERGY:  Couples that are affiliated with Lehigh University may choose to select their own Clergy.  Clergy persons not affiliated with Lehigh University must be licensed members of a fully recognized religious organization and their credentials must be emailed to Lynn Spina at lys218@lehigh.edu no less than 2 weeks prior to the Ceremony.  If you wish to have a Catholic Ceremony - you must contact Ron Koach at the Newman Center / Allentown Diocese to get special permission before the reservation is even confirmed through the Chaplain's Office.  Please read more on this below.  Packer Memorial Church is not available for non-religious ceremonies conducted by a judge or justice of the peace.  

  • ROMAN CATHOLIC:  Any Roman Catholic Service or Service that involves a Roman Catholic - it is required that at least the bride or the groom MUST be an Alum, a current student, or a present employee of Lehigh University.  There are no exceptions to this rule.  Additionally, the bride and groom must inform the Coordinator of the Newman Center, Office of the Catholic Campus Ministry, 417 Carlton Avenue, Bethlehem, PA  18015  610-867-9382 - Mr. Ron Koach, who has been assigned by the Diocese of Allentown to serve the Lehigh University community.  All Roman Catholics who wish to marry on campus are reminded that in roder to have their marriage recognized and approved by the Catholic Church they must comply with the Marriage Preparation Policy which is in effect in the Diocese of Allentown.  This policy applies to all Catholics, even if they live in another diocese or wish to invite a priest other than the Catholic Chaplain to witness their marriage.  The most immediate terms of this policy requires that the couple contat the Catholic Chaplain at least six months prior to the proposed wedding date.  Failure to comply with the terms and fees of the Marriage Preparation Policy will jeopardize Catholic Church recognition and approval of your wedding. Please note that all Catholic Weddings must be scheduled before 3pm if on a Saturday.  

Will anyone from the Chaplain's Office be there for the Ceremony?
  • The custodian has the complete Packer Memorial Church Schedule incuding all Rehearsals and Weddings.  This will ensure that the Church is open and the custodial staff is avaiable during the rehearsal and wedding times requested.  Our scheduling attempts to ensure adequated time for the custodial staff to prepare before, between and after events.  Please adhere to your scheduled times for this reason.  If you do believe you will need additional time for your ceremony, additional time can be purchased utilizing this Payment Portal for $50/half hour. 
What about florists or decorations for the church?

Most local florists are familiar with the inside of the Church.  Customarily they can furnish a white runner (100ft), but we don't recommend these as they can be a safety hazzard.  Only free standing battery candles are permitted anywhere in the church except for unity or memory candles on the Altar.  All floral arrangements should be made directly with the florist.  Advise your florist that delivery should be made at the rear of the Church in the sacristy and they can contact Lynn directly at 610-758-3877 to confirm a delivery schedule if needed.  Please remenber that set up time for this is scheduled for the first half hour of your reservation on your ceremony day.  Note that all flowers or arrangments left for any length of time in the foyer are not guaranteed their security since the Church is open to the general public. 

Are there any restrictions on Photography, Video or Sound?

We do offer corded microphones for readings or musicians, plus a cordless lapel mic for the officiant that are all connected to a whole-church sound system.  We have extensive lighting options as well and we will worth with you and your wedding crew to help make sure everything is perfect for you.  Keep in mind, that the back part of the church, where the pews are, the lighing can be relatively dim if it is a gray day or if you are having a nightime ceremony. 

What do you tell your guests about Parking?

The pedestrian walkway between Packer Church and Packard Lab may ONLY be used by cars dropping off those with any physical disabilities or by your wedding party transporation vehicles to drop off and pick up the bridal party at Packer Church prior to and after the wedding. Limosine drivers must be mindful of the pedestian nature of this area and proceed slowly, with caution.   Vehicles can drop off guest by entering University Drive from Packer Avenue.  They can then stop in front of the church to drop off, but then must immediately proceed up University Drive, turn right onto Memorial Drive West and then turn right onto Broadhead Avenue and then can again turn right to go back to Packer Avenue.  NO vehicles are permitted to park on campus under any circumstances as the campus is a pedestrian only campus.  Only authorized vehicles are permitted on campus.  Any vehicle parked for longer than drop off/pick up time will be fined or towed at the owner's expense.  Metered spaces are available on Packer Avenue, or other street locations, Zoellner Garage, New Street Garage and Alumni Memorial Garage, where there are parking meters on the first level or guests can use the "Text2Park" feature on levels 2-6 if it is after 4pm and on the weekends.  Signs are posted in the garage for this method.  Packer Avenue and the Alumni Memorial Garage tend to be the most convenient.    Here is a helpful map of the campus.

Important Special Notes
  • The Chaplain's Office is not responsible for personal or wedding tiems left in the Church during the contracted rehearsal and wedding times.  This includes wedding candles, flowes, pew bows, fans, etc.  All items to be kept or returned to a florist or rental company must be removed from the Church at the end of your contracted time.  It's easiest to assign someone to manage this for you.  Tell them to look for "Lynn or Geno" to help guide them. 

  • There are 20 rows of pews on each side PLUS 8 rows of chairs with 8 chairs in each row in front of the pews on each side of the aisle.  So there are 128 individual seats in the front of the church before you reach the pews.   These chairs cannot  be removed - they are a permanent part of the Church.  Pew bows can be attached with pipe cleaners, wrapped wire or ribbon, but NO TAPE or glue of any kind may be used. 

  • The center aisle of the church will allow for a 3' x 100' runner should you choose to use one, although we do discourage it.  The center aisle, pew to pew, is 64"   Lehigh does not provide this runner - but you can purchase one online or at most florists.

  • Dressing rooms for the bride are NOT AVAILABLE in the Church.  It is suggested you arrive prepared for the ceremony.  Many wedding party's often remain in the Wedding Party vehicle(s) until just before beginning the Ceremony.  Your Officiant and Church Staff can help with these details at the rehearsal.    There is a single water closet located behind the altar in the church, but it is not conducive to Bride preparation.  There is a room for the groomsmen to wait behind the chancel area toward the front of the church.  These areas can be reviewed with you at your rehearsal time, or arrangements can be made to view the area in advance.  

  • Toilet facilites for guests are availaible in the basement of the church.  Unfortunately, these are not handicapped accessible facilities.  Please note that this is area is only accessible by going outside of the church, and around the back to the right side of the church.  We know this is not ideal, but our beautiful and historic building does not offer quest facilities within the church itself.  Handicapped accessible rest rooms will be made available for guest access in another building nearby on Campus, as again, the Church itself does not have handicapped accessible bathrooom facilities.  

  • We ask that you do not request to have your pets as part of your ceremony.   Guest who require documented service animals will be accommodated according to their needs.  

  • Rice, birdseed, confetti, flower petals or anything thrown is not permitted inside or outside of the Church, nor is a baloon release.   However, bubbles, butterflies, and other items that do not require additional clean up are encouraged.   An additional $50 clean up fee will be billed for additional custodial services as needed for non-compliance.  We appreciate your cooperation. 

  • All candle holders used in the Church must have plastic beneath them, includeing candles that are considered "dripless".  Candles that are free-standing in the aisle or attached to the pew in any way are not permitted.  Guest are not permitted to light and hodl candles during the ceremony.  Six candles are provided on the high altar and two candles on the portable altar for your wedding ceremony.  All other candles must be provided by you or the florist, i.e., unity candles, tapers, etc. 

  • Alcohol of any kind (including champagne) is not permitted inside or on the grounds of the Church.  We ask that your wedding party and guest do not consume alcohol on Church property during your contracted time. 

  • For invitation puposes, the correct name of the Church is Packer Memorial Church.  The mailing address should read: Packer Memorial Church, 18 University Drive, Lehigh, University, Bethlehem, PA  18015.  However, this address does occasionally give some GPS or phones a hard time.  This link may be helpful.

  • Summer Weddings:  Please be advised that the church is not air conditioned.  There are standing fans located in the church. 

Is the date we want available?

 This calendar is for basic reference only, and you will still need to utlize this RESERVATION DATE AVAILABILITY REQUEST FORM or contact our office to confirm availability at incha@lehigh.edu or lys218@lehigh.edu / 610-748-3877.   

Please keep in mind that the university ALWAYS has primary use of the facilities and can change schedules at any time with or without notice. 

Events here will show only as "busy" if that day/time is booked for any Church event. 

 

Other Questions??

Please email Lynn at lys218@lehigh.edu or call our office at 484-201-0138 with any additional questions you may have.   

We are pleased you have considered Lehigh's Asa Packer Memorial Church for your Celebration of Love, and we will do all that we can to make it all you have dreamed of.