Joseph Bond Chapel – Chicago, IL

The historically rich and architecturally ornate Bond Chapel is part of the University of Chicago campus. More specifically, it belongs to the University of Chicago’s School of Divinity and has been home to varying kinds of special ceremonies for decades. Weekly worship services are held in the chapel, and it is host to many funerals, weddings, art performances, and concerts throughout the year. The beautiful architecture and intricate stained glad windows make it a lovely choice for wedding ceremonies. Brides who desire a whimsical look and historical setting for their ceremony will find that Bond Chapel weddings give precisely the right effect.


The chapel was completely renovated in 2013, giving potential brides the peace of mind that every aspect of the venue will be up-to-date and working properly on their special day. The chapel is, unsurprisingly, extremely popular, and therefore reservations must be made well in advance.


One thing is certain, brides and grooms who choose the Joseph Bond Chapel at The University of Chicago as the backdrop to their vow exchange will never regret it. One simply needs to see a few Bond Chapel photos to see what a unique and fantastic space it is for a wedding ceremony.

The History

Prior to the divinity school’s origination existed the Baptist Theological Union. A man by the name of Joseph Bond was, at one time, a Trustee of this union. Upon his death, his wife donated the funds for the construction of a chapel in his memory. Construction of what was to become Bond Chapel began in 1925 and was completed in 1926. Mrs. Joseph Bond herself laid the initial cornerstone of the chapel as a memorial to her late husband.


Edgar J. Godspeed, part of the university faculty, married the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Bond. When she later passed away, Mr. Godspeed added to the rich history and culture of the chapel by donating stained glass windows in memory of his late wife, whose family history was so closely tied to the chapel.


Unfortunately, this beautiful venue is not currently open to the general public. Those hoping to marry at The University of Chicago’s Bond Chapel must be closely connected to the university through one of the following ways: a student currently enrolled in a degree-seeking field at the university, an alumnus, a staff or faculty member of either the university or the university hospital, a member of one of the university boards or committees, or a son or daughter of any of the previously mentioned. These guidelines are strictly enforced at the present time.


Any type of religious affiliation is welcome at the Bond Chapel, and, in fact, weddings of a non-religious nature are also acceptable. There is no ordinance on the specific denomination or affiliation of the wedding officiant either, as long as they are licensed to perform marriage ceremonies in Illinois.

The Location

The Bond Chapel is on the campus of The University of Chicago, which is located in Hyde Park. Hyde Park is a mere ten minutes from city center, and easily accessed by both car and public transportation. With two airports nearby (O’Hare being thirty minutes from campus and Midway being only ten) wedding guests will find no inconvenience in attending the bride and groom’s special day. A location in the heart of such a large, thriving city means that entertainment, lodging, and restaurants abound. Hotels near the campus include Chicago Lake Shore Hotel, South Loop Hotel, and Hyatt Place Chicago.


The chapel is part of the university’s School of Divinity, which is located in the center of campus, making it easy to find for both guests and wedding party alike! The Bond Chapel address is the same as that for the divinity school: Swift Hall, 1025 E. 58th Street, Chicago, IL 60637

The Space

Built in the neo-gothic style, the Bond Chapel is obviously beautiful right from the first impression. A stone building that seems right out of a whimsical fairytale is what the chapel boasts from the outside, complete with an arched wooden door and covered in vibrant, green ivy.


The inner space of the structure is no less breath-taking, as it is filled with intricately carved walls, fantastic stained-glass windows, dark wooden pews, a rich, deep red aisle runner, and high ceilings. The stained-glass is magnificently displayed right behind the altar, providing a picturesque backdrop to any vow exchange.


The space is decently sized while still giving the impression of an intimate and cozy ceremony. The chapel allows for up to 150 guests in attendance of a ceremony, which is a lovely bonus as many chapels of this intricacy only provide enough space for a handful of guests.


The chapel contains a balcony, giving the photographer a wonderful vantage point for incredible shots of the space. The balcony is also home to the famous Reneker Memorial Organ.


The chapel is unable to host any receptions, but the University of Chicago is home to several other wonderful spaces that make for lovely wedding receptions, including the Quadrangle Club, The International House, The Logan Center for the Arts, and more.