Weddings

chancel steps Are you looking for a beautiful place where you can celebrate your wedding in a sacred atmosphere? Consider Universalist National Memorial Church!

With such a fine, historic building and a commitment to inclusion, we consider weddings part of our ministry to the community and welcome non-church members, including divorced persons, interethnic and interfaith couples, and same-sex couples to explore having their ceremony here. Several spaces — from the bright, informal parlor to the cathedral-like sanctuary with its wonderful acoustics — are available to accommodate events of almost any size.

Frequently asked questions
Is our date available?
Please ask! Even though most couples book many months in advance, we often can make space available on short notice.

Do you allow same‚Äźsex marriages?
Yes, we hosted 10 wedding ceremonies on the first day that same-sex marriage was legal in DC and many more since.

What is your view on interfaith weddings?
We expect your ceremony to be appropriate for our sacred space, but leave the details up to you and your officiant(s).

What are your fees?
The cost of your UNMC wedding will depend on the location, date, and options you select. Wedding income helps maintain our beautiful, historic building for future generations.

Contact Us for More Information
If you are interested in having your service at Universalist National Memorial Church, contact the church office at (202) 387-3411 or rentals@universalist.org for a packet of information, including rules and fees. It helps immensely if you include the following information in your inquiry:

  • Preferred date(s) for your ceremony, including the year
  • Number of guests expected
  • Names of wedding couple and your officiant, if you have arranged for one

Information about obtaining a marriage license or registering as a wedding celebrant in the District of Columbia is available from Superior Court of DC – Marriage Bureau. The marriage license application asks for the name of the intended celebrant, and as noted above, that person must be registered with the District.

Our congregation includes several officiants who are registered with the District of Columbia Superior Court (a DC requirement) and authorized to preside at weddings. Many local Unitarian Universalist ministers and ministers of other denominations also are familiar with our sanctuary and duly registered.

We also welcome clergy with whom you already have a trusted relationship and strongly encourage you to engage in a conscious period of marriage preparation with either your officiant, a counselor, or some other trusted advisor.

If you select an out-of-town officiant to perform your ceremony, that person will need to go through the registration process with the District before you can apply for your marriage license, as the full name of the intended celebrant must be given on the license application. Only the officiant whose name is on the license can sign it after the ceremony.

Once you have selected your officiant, our pastor will confer by telephone with him or her to provide background on our church and its wedding ministry, which we hold sacred.

NOTE: Because our historic sanctuary is very difficult to heat, we are not currently booking weddings for the months of January or February. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis, generally only for intimate, informal weddings that do not require rehearsals.

sanctuaryfront steps