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Weddings

Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials!

Everything about our experience perfectly embodies what it means to be a part of the St. John Fisher College family. -David '13 and Caitlin '15 Van Gorder

Everything about our experience perfectly embodies what it means to be a part of the St. John Fisher College family. -David '13 and Caitlin '15 Van Gorder

We are delighted that you have chosen St. John Fisher College’s Hermance Family Chapel of St. Basil the Great for the celebration of your wedding. 

To inquire about celebrating your wedding at St. John Fisher College, please contact Sarah Mancini Goebert, office manager and liturgy/music coordinator, at smancini-goebert@sjfc.edu or by calling (585) 385-8368.

Start Planning

If you’re ready to start planning, below you can find answers to some commonly asked questions.

Who can be married in the Hermance Family Chapel?

For a wedding ceremony to take place in the Chapel, the couple must meet the marriage requirements of both Roman Catholic and Civil Law. For wedding ceremonies that do not meet these requirements, there are other wedding venues on the campus.

The following requirements must be met to celebrate the Sacrament of Matrimony in the Chapel:

Either the bride or the groom is:

  • currently a St. John Fisher College student;
  • an alumnus/alumna of St. John Fisher College;
  • a member of the faculty or staff of St. John Fisher College; or
  • a son or daughter of a current student, member of the faculty, staff, Board of Trustees or Board of Regents of St. John Fisher College;
  • in addition, at least one person (either the bride or the groom) must be Catholic (Latin or Eastern Rite).
When are weddings scheduled in the Hermance Family Chapel?

Weddings can be scheduled on Saturdays year-round at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., or 5 p.m. We ask that couples book the Chapel at least a year in advance. Due to College activities, certain weekends may be excluded. Occasionally weddings may take place on Friday afternoons during the summer.

Weddings are not scheduled on major holy days, particularly Christmas and Easter, or during Holy Week. Lenten weddings are discouraged. Wedding ceremonies may also not be scheduled during certain vacation periods or during Buffalo Bills Training Camp.

What costs are associated with celebrating a wedding at the Hermance Family Chapel?

The fee is $500, and we ask for a $250 deposit to hold your wedding date/time.

Do we have to provide a wedding coordinator and musicians?

As part of your preparation for your wedding, you will have a planning meeting with the liturgy and music coordinator for the College’s Office of Campus Ministry. At this meeting, you will discuss appropriate music and the proper placement of this music within your liturgy. Music must be approved by the liturgy and music coordinator and/or director of campus ministry. As a part of the fee to the Chapel, a wedding coordinator from the College will be present to run your wedding rehearsal and at the ceremony on the day of your wedding.

You are also welcome to bring a priest or deacon in good standing with the Church from your parish to preside over the wedding. If you do not have a priest or deacon, the director of campus ministry or his delegate will be available to marry you. If one of the parties is not Catholic, a non-Catholic clergy person may participate in the ceremony in some way. The couple must discuss such participation by a non-Catholic clergy person with the Catholic minister.

The Office of Campus Ministry will provide you with the St. John Fisher College Wedding Music Guidelines. You are financially responsible for your music, subject to the approval of the officiant and the director of campus ministry. All music and musical texts must be performed live by music ministers of high quality. They must be appropriate for a church ceremony and support its sacred, religious nature. The Responsorial Psalm, Gospel Acclamation, and the Eucharistic Prayer Mass parts (Holy, Holy, Holy, etc.) must be sung. Secular music is not appropriate for a religious ceremony. The Chapel is equipped with a piano. You may choose to bring in certain stringed instruments such as a cello or violin.

Please note that the cantor fee is $100 and the pianist fee is $150.

What is the capacity of the Chapel?

The Chapel has a seating capacity of 250.

Is the Chapel accessible and near ample parking?

The Chapel is accessible and is closest to Lot N. Guests can also park in Lot A near the College’s main entrance, and take the short walk to the Chapel.

Are there restrictions in terms of décor inside of the Chapel for a wedding?

The beauty of the Chapel calls for minimal enhancements. Respect for the prayerful nature of this celebration guides the way in which flowers, photography, and music are involved. In celebrating the Sacrament of Matrimony, the Chapel looks to Sunday celebration of the Eucharist as its model. Nothing that distracts from the atmosphere of worship and prayer should be included. The primary focus in the celebration of Matrimony is always the couple’s deepening love and commitment to Christ and each other.

As a general rule, none of the furniture or furnishings in the Chapel can be moved or removed. All aisles and exits must remain clear to allow safe entrance and regress to and from the Chapel.

No candles, candelabras, torches, etc. are to be brought in or used anywhere in the Chapel. If you are having a unity candle as a part of your wedding (please note - this is an optional part of the wedding and not a part of the Catholic Ritual of Marriage), you should bring the candles and stands to the wedding rehearsal.

Floral arrangements have long been a significant part of the decor of any worship environment. The attractive decorative qualities of our beautiful Chapel reduce the need for elaborate floral decorations. Simple and elegant arrangements, however, can enhance the worship environment of the Chapel. Flowers should be used as they would be on Sunday. Flowers and other decorations must not inhibit the movements required of the presider, the wedding couple, the attendants or guests, nor block sightlines especially around the altar and ambo (pulpit). The Chapel does not allow the excessive use of flowers in the sanctuary or aisles of the Chapel; they are not permitted on the altar. Artificial flowers are not permitted. Couples are invited to leave floral arrangements in the Chapel after the celebration. The Chapel cannot be responsible for property left before or after a wedding celebration by florists, family members, etc.

Once you have reserved the Chapel for your wedding, you will receive more specific information on permitted décor for the space on your wedding day.