During a meet-cute pertaining to something to do with a lost snow boot, upturned umbrella, or  Norovirus, you meet The One.

They’re everything you’ve been looking for in a partner: you like the same songs on Spotify, you both prefer Douglass over Danforth, and there’s no one you’d rather spend D-Day with.

Somehow this low-key relationship survives through each summer, two master’s degrees, one Ph.D., an awkward haircut, and a few years of unemployment. That’s when you know The One is The One Forever, right? Sure.

But everything leading up to this point is a walk in the park, because the next step in your relationship is, possibly, a wedding.

According to the CDC, 2,118,000 people get married every year in the U.S., and 20 to 25 of those occur at the Interfaith Chapel here on campus. You and The One could be one of those few couples who choose to marry on campus.

Why would you, though?

Elizabeth Fronczak is the Administrative Coordinator for the Interfaith Chapel, and she provided some insight on the couples who choose to marry on campus.

“Because they met on this campus or have a special connection, they love to come back to be married at the Chapel,” she said. “Many of our couples are both alumni, or, at least one of them is, and often they no longer live in Rochester area.”

So, maybe the meet-cute isn’t necessary. Maybe you met off-campus later in life, or were high school sweethearts. Maybe you were faculty members with a meet-cute—yes, I admit I’m hung up on this meet-cute idea—because Fronczak says that faculty do occasionally get married here.

Or, even further from my little daydream, your parents graduated from UR. Wait, did I write that correctly? Fronczak says aye. “Many of our couples are alumni,” she said. “However, we find that children of alumni and staff also reserve the Chapel for their wedding.”

And even further from my quaint and fanciful dream? The chapel is also open to greater Rochester community.

So far, there have been three wedding ceremonies in 2016, but the most popular times to wed on campus are summer and early fall. If you can’t wait until after the two master’s degrees, one Ph.D., an awkward haircut, and a few years of unemployment to wed, you’re in luck.

Current students, as well as alumni, faculty, staff, their children and grandchildren, receive a discounted Chapel fee of $625, as opposed to $725 for non-affiliated couples. The chapel books Saturday weddings year-round, “as long as they don’t conflict with the religious holidays and activities of the Interfaith Chapel communities and major University events,” Fronczak added.

Would any current students want to be married on campus, though?

Given the option to have their wedding in the Interfaith Chapel, “setup with 200 comfortable chairs,” “two separate rooms for couples to prepare and relax before their ceremony,” and a possible reception in the Frederick Douglass building, the question received an overwhelming “no,” according to Fronczak.

For the most part, it comes down to the setting.

Sophomore Caleb Krieg said the Interfaith Chapel “doesn’t feel like the right setting for me.” Junior Ibrahim Akbar said he preferred “outdoor natural settings like mountains, lakes, or the forest.”

On the topic of faith, Fronczak said that “many couples come to us because we offer welcoming environment to all faiths and those with no faith. We allow them to bring their own minister or they choose to use one from our clergy list.”

And, although this would be beneficial to some, sophomore Elizabeth Scheuerman said she would never marry on campus because “it’s not a proper church.”

“I’d want to get married in a congregation belonging to my or my spouse’s religious community,” she added.

Among other students who declined the offer, senior Steven Winkleman joked that, “knowing UR, we’d get interrupted halfway through by a group of prospective freshmen. The Meridian would say: To your right, you’ll see a lovely wedding ceremony. Our campus is top-ranked for wedding opportunities, small wedding sizes, and even allows students to create their own distinct wedding opportunities. So many choices, here at the University of Rochester.”

One student offered a  “yes,” but even that was an uncertain affirmation.

“If my future husband and I couldn’t afford the getaway of our dreams, I would be content being married in the Interfaith Chapel,” freshman Luke Jenkins said.

But, most importantly, he added, “it has gorgeous stained glass windows that I know would accent my ginger locks.”

Even though the idea was met with such resistance from current students, it’s doubtful the tradition of on-campus weddings will halt with the next generation.

“There have been weddings taking place at the Chapel from the time it was built in 1970,” said Fronczak. “We have children of those that got married here long time ago, coming back to marry at the same place their parents did.”

If the past is any indication, the UR wedding tradition will continue well into the future.



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