Queens University’s storied Belk Chapel got a facelift, and thanks to a mock wedding last month, members of the university and Charlotte communities got an exclusive preview of the newly renovated space.
In 1940, Queens College president Hunter Blakely said that the most beautiful building on campus should be the chapel. His dream was realized in 1950, when Belk Chapel opened its doors to the college and surrounding community. That year, seven couples were married there, beginning a long tradition of wedding ceremonies in the chapel, the heart of the Queens campus.
Belk Chapel has been the choice venue for several hundred weddings. Its Myers Park location and proximity to wedding reception sites in uptown and South End make it a popular choice for brides, grooms and their families. It offers the option to hold a ceremony in a spiritual place if you are not a member of a church or your church home is away from Charlotte.
Although the venue was updated, the sanctuary’s original Greek Revival architecture—characterized by clean lines, large windows and symmetry—was not altered.
“The renovation and addition has updated the existing chapel to enhance a couple’s experience on their wedding day, while maintaining the features that have been loved for decades,” says Carrie Wunner, director of conference and event services at Queens.
The addition of a 2,500-square-foot rotunda is the most significant change to the chapel. It serves as the entrance for wedding guests from the Radcliffe Avenue side. This space gives ample room for a guest book location, mingling and any special bridal displays. After the ceremony, the rotunda may be used for a small cocktail reception or a receiving line.
The narthex, front entrance to the chapel, was redesigned to include two bridal ready rooms as well as restrooms. The wedding party has use of this private area to dress and relax before the ceremony.
The sanctuary holds 500 guests, including 375 in the lower level and 125 in the balcony. The center aisle is perfect for a traditional walk to the alter. An organ and sound system are available for the ceremony and the rental includes a one-hour rehearsal time on the Friday before the event. The rental fees range from $1,125 to $2,500 depending on day, time and alumni status with the university.
The campus provides a beautiful backdrop for wedding photographs. A gazebo, clock tower, terrace and courtyard are within walking distance of the chapel. “Our brides quickly pinpoint the areas of campus that speak to them and that they will use to tell the story of their wedding day,” Wunner said.
The Queens’ campus offers a preferred vendor list and the flexibility to choose an officiant. Claudia Belk Dining Room (seats 50), Young Dining Hall (seats 200) and Withers House (seats 80) are three campus reception locations available through conference and event services.
The chapel sits close to the corner of Radcliffe and Selwyn Avenues. Parking is directly across the street in the Harris Welcome Center lot with an accessible walkway and entrance into the chapel.
Once a wedding date is confirmed with Queens’ staff, the space is held with a signed contract and a 50 percent deposit. To schedule a tour of Belk Chapel, call 704-337-2560. For more information, visit the website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.