The Helen Hills Hills Chapel serves the functions of the religious and community service groups on campus to the extent that their scheduled activities are priority. The building may be reserved by additional members of the Smith College community when the space is not in use. Members are defined as: current students, current employees, alunma, and graduates of the Campus School and the Clarke School, Northampton. The family of a Smith College community member is eligible to reserve the space. Family members include: grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, siblings, and children.
Wedding ceremonies are scheduled on Saturdays at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 5 p.m. We cannot accommodate Friday or Sunday weddings during the academic year. Rehearsal times are restricted to one hour starting at 4 p.m., 5 p.m., or 6 p.m. on the Friday evening before the ceremony. Your reservation begins 30 minutes before the time of the ceremony and lasts for a total of 2 hours. For example, if your wedding is scheduled for 2 p.m., your reservation is from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m., including photography sessions. There are no exceptions to these timeframes. Please be sure your photographer is aware of this time constraint in fairness to the custodial staff and the next bridal party.
To obtain information about use of the chapel for a wedding or other events, please email Maureen Raucher in the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life.
In addition to the sanctuary, the Bodman Lounge and kitchen are available for meetings and receptions. Wine is the only alcoholic beverage allowed anywhere on the premises, and it is permitted only in the Bodman Lounge. Smoking is prohibited.
The cost for the use of the building for a wedding is $575 (this fee is waived only for currently enrolled Smith students). The fee includes a one-hour rehearsal, two hours for the wedding, and the services of a custodian for both the rehearsal and the wedding. The charge for the use of the Bodman Lounge and kitchen for a reception is $100.
The use of flash cameras or floodlights during services is discouraged. Arrangements for video recording and photographs should be discussed with the clergy officiating.
The length of the aisle is 75 feet. Maximum capacity on the main level is 308. Additional seating can be found on the balconies.
Floral decorations are restricted to the chancel and tables in the vestibule. Any bows or flowers must be attached to the chairs by a bracket available through most florists. Candlelight services are possible.
Music in the Sanctuary
The sanctuary has excellent acoustics and the use of the built-in sound system may not be necessary. Musicians will need to provide their own amplification. Please indicate your use of the sound system or microphones on the application form.
The use of rice, confetti, bird seed, and flower petals is prohibited both inside and outside of the Chapel. Aisle runners are not permitted. Awnings may not be erected outside the building.
Smith College requires that all outside groups using campus space provide liability insurance for a minimum of one million dollars, covering the actual dates and times the group plans to use the space. Please note that the general liability insurance is applicable to everyone renting space at Smith.
The following insurance is required with these minimum limits of liability:
- General Liability - $1,000,000 CSL per occurrence/$2,000,000 aggregate
The Program (wedding) must provide proof of insurance through the issuance of a certificate of insurance showing the above coverages and limits specified. If the Program carries higher limits than those specified above, such limits must be shown on the certificate. Smith College has the right to demand a copy of any insurance policy. Certificates must be filed with the college before the Program is permitted on campus. The Program is required to add Smith College to its General Liability and Employer's Liability insurance policies with the following wording, "Smith College, including its current and former trustees, officers, directors, employees, volunteer workers, agents, assigns and students, is added to this policy as additional insured." This insurance requirement shall not be construed as limiting in any way the extent to which the Program may be held responsible for the payment of damages to any persons resulting from its operations or the activities of any person or persons for which it is liable.
Persons reserving the Chapel facility are responsible for making their own arrangements with clergy, an organist, or other musicians. Visiting clergy and musicians are always welcome. Please keep in mind the following:
- Only recognized clergy of established religious communities may conduct weddings in the sanctuary.
- Clergy who reside outside Massachusetts must meet legal requirements of the Commonwealth in order to conduct weddings within the state. Details may be obtained by calling the office of the Secretary of State of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in Boston at 617-727-7030.
- Current students and alumnae wishing to be married in the Roman Catholic tradition must comply with certain requirements of the Diocese of Springfield. For more information, please call the Diocese at 413-732-3175.
- The College Organist, Grant Moss, who plays both organ and piano, is happy to participate at a wedding. He may be contacted at the Chapel 413-585-2757, or at his home 413-534-7730. Mr. Moss's fee is $250.00. Mr. Moss can provide names of local musicians and soloists as well.
- The matter of an honorarium for clergy is one that should be arranged directly with the participating clergy person.
- Gardens on the campus may be used for photo taking. For information and availability, contact the Events Management Office at 413-585-2162.
- The Helen Hills Hills Chapel is Smith College facility. Occasionally, art exhibits and other projects are displayed throughout the building. These exhibits and projects cannot be changed or removed during wedding rehearsals or ceremonies.