Couples still marry in Wren despite new cross policy
February 9, 2007
Despite controversy over the relocation of the Wren cross in late October, there has been no effect on the number of marriages held in the chapel.
p. Executive director of Historic Campus Louise Kale, who also oversees marriage arrangements in the chapel, said that she booked a typical number of weddings in the months following President Gene Nichol’s decision not to display the small gold cross on the altar.
p. There have been 16 weddings and 35 bookings for ceremonies in the chapel since the end of October. However, all of the weddings since late October would have been booked long before the policy change was made, so this number does not indicate any trend relating to the decision.
p. To get married in the Wren Chapel, the bride, groom or their parents must be affiliated with the College.
p. “In January I was booking a lot of weddings,” she said. “In January, I can usually spend all day talking to brides.”
There was an active and healthy interest in the chapel in January. Though it is slow for marriages, January shows an increase in bookings because people get engaged over the holidays, Kale said.
p. “More than one-third of the weddings are booked in one-fourth of the year,” she said of the winter months.
Kale does not release names of those who marry in the chapel; this has been a policy of hers since she began directing wedding arrangements because she feels the information is too personal to release.
p. She also does not keep statistics for the various religions of weddings in the chapel. The engaged couple completes a questionnaire that includes information on what religious official will be needed and whether they want the cross displayed. It is impossible to tell from the November through January bookings (since Nichol’s decision) the percentage of weddings associated with different religions to discern any trend concerning religions of those using the chapel for marriage after the cross’s removal and subsequent controversy.
p. But Kale insists that there has been no change in the quantity of wedding bookings.
p. “Nobody has cancelled because of the cross policy,” she said.
p. “The use of the cross is having no impact on the use of the chapel for weddings.”