The Mills College Chapel offers your family a serene and memorable setting in which to celebrate your important moments. The handsome, welcoming Mills College Chapel is all warm cedar and rough brushed aggregate, brought to life by the leaf-dappled sunlight pouring in through low walls of glass doors which open onto outdoor patios. A massive and striking brushed stainless steel pipe organ provides a sculptural backdrop. Designed by Callister and Payne and completed in 1967, it is contemporary in design. Built in the round, its four curved redwood pews direct attention toward a central slightly raised altar. A small choir loft is tucked behind the beautiful pipe organ.
Chapel Services and Facilities A reservation includes a two-hour event and a one-hour rehearsal. Be sure to reserve your rehearsal time when you reserve your event date. The Chapel comes with seating for 175 people, a 30-foot aisleway, and a dressing room located on your left as you enter, equipped with a full-length mirror. Smaller mirrors are available in the restrooms. Most of our facilities are ADA accessible, but if you have special accommodation needs, please let us know. We will make every effort to match your needs with our accommodations.
Reservations For reservations, call the Mills College Events Office at 510.430.2145 to determine Chapel availability on the date you have in mind and a to schedule a brief tour of the building. It’s wise to reserve at least six months ahead for spring and summer dates. No reservations are made without a completed reservation form and payment. Payment is equal to the security deposit and the rental fee. The College Events Office does not “hold” a date for the chapel without a completed chapel reservation form (40k, pdf) and full payment. Cancellation and Refund Policy The College Events Office will give a complete refund for both the rental fee and security deposit when we are given more than one year’s notice in writing. We can return only the security deposit fee if we are given less than one year’s notice in writing.
Scheduling The College Events Office only schedules the chapel for weddings, bat and bar mitzvahs, recitals, anniversary events, or memorial ceremonies. The only days that can be scheduled are Saturdays and Sundays. We allow one hour between each wedding or other ceremony for our staff to clean and check the Chapel. No more than two weddings or other ceremonies can be booked per day, each with a two-hour time frame for set-up, ceremony, and load out. No more than four events can be scheduled in any given weekend. Rehearsals are booked up against one another on Friday evenings, beginning at 5:00 pm for a one-hour time frame. No rehearsals are scheduled on Saturday or Sunday unless approved by the College Events Office.
Fee Structure The fee structure includes the following: upright piano, dressing room, janitorial service, and the organ. Please note that only organists authorized by Mills College may play the pipe organ. (Please see the list below.) The fee structure is as follows for a two hour time frame: $800 for the general public and $640 for Mills alumnae/i and Mills College faculty/staff. The discount cannot be used for cousins, nieces, nephews, or friends. A security deposit of $500.00 will be charged in addition to the set fee. Please see below. This security deposit will be reimbursed in part or in full, depending on how clean and tidy the chapel is left and whether there are any damages that need to be assessed.
If additional time is needed, the fee is $400.00 per hour for the public, and $320 per hour for alumnae, alumni, and Mills College faculty/staff.
Clergy, Florists, and Photographers The bride/groom must contact their own clergyperson, florist, and photographer and arrange for the services required, including such items as floral stands, vases, candelabra, or aisle runners, which are not provided. The organist must be hired from the College Events Office preferred list of qualified organists familiar with the Chapel's pipe organ. An upright piano is also available and you are welcome to choose your own pianist.
Chapel Organists Only organists authorized by Mills College may play the pipe organ. Using the organ requires two weeks advance notice in writing.
Karin McPhail, Organist 510.848.0870
Safety, Security, and Maintenance Please make arrangements for a friend or relative to be responsible for removing any materials or personal items before leaving the Chapel. We ask that you leave our Chapel in the same clean and tidy condition that you found it, ready for the next family to enjoy—perhaps on the same day. All decorations and flowers must be removed from the sanctuary, foyer, dressing room, and restrooms and taken by the renter. No tacks, tape, or adhesive of any kind are allowed. Pew decorations must be the tie-on variety. All remaining personal items and debris, including stray tissues, programs, candles, clothes hangers, florist boxes, etc. are to be removed from the building and taken out by the renter. If the furniture has been moved it must be restored to its original place.
As a safety precaution and because of maintenance difficulties, we must ask that no rice or birdseed be thrown in or about the Chapel. Please respect this College policy. Fire regulations stipulate that candles may be used only on the center altar. Please inform your party, and your florist if necessary, of this policy. Smoking is not permitted within 30 feet of the Chapel. If the party does not clean up or follow this policy, they will be charged.
Receptions The Reinhardt Alumnae House and Faculty Lounge and Dining Room, located on the Mills campus, are both available for receptions and other special events. Reinhardt Alumnae House comes equipped with a working kitchen, patio, and landscaped yard, perfect for outdoor receptions. The attractive Mills Faculty Lounge comes with a fireplace and piano and the Faculty Dining Room can seat up to 120. To reserve any of these venues, contact Sandy Vavak in the College Events Office at 510.430.2145 or firstname.lastname@example.org.