The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Tradition, elegance attract alumni weddings to chapel

SMU alumna Allison Gentry, like other brides-to-be, sat in near40-degree weather outside the Perkins Administration Building toset a fall wedding date earlier this February.

“My fiancé and I met while going to school at SMU,so we felt that Perkins Chapel was the perfect place for us getmarried. Being married where we met just seemed like a naturalchoice. Not to mention, the chapel is absolutely beautiful,”said Gentry, who graduated in 2001.

Since its opening in 1951, Perkins Chapel has been host tonearly 200 weddings per year. According to the chapel’s Website, nearly one-third of the weddings at Perkins include SMUalumni or students. Gentry will be one of the many SMU alumni thathave strolled down the center aisle because of the chapel’stradition, elegance and convenience.

Brittany Bradshaw, a University of Texas alumna, was married atPerkin’s Chapel seven years ago. Her husband, an SMU alumnus,has three family members that were married at SMU.

“[My husband’s] grandfather was married in front ofDallas Hall, and [he] wanted to me to carry on the tradition ofbeing married at his alma mater,” Bradshaw said.

Bradshaw said that getting married at Perkin’s Chapel hasbecome such a tradition that her sister, a student at TCU who ismarrying a TCU alumnus, is hoping to be married there nextyear.

“Even though SMU and TCU are huge rivals, she still hopesto have a wedding at Perkins,” Bradshaw said.

Tradition drew Gentry and Bradshaw to Perkins Chapel, but itssimplicity and elegance stole their hearts.

“The size of Perkins Chapel, the gorgeous interior, andthe fact that the chapel has a center aisle are factors that makePerkins an ideal choice for many Dallas brides,” Gentrysaid.

In addition to being nondenominational, Perkins has a truecenter aisle, a plus for weddings.

While Perkins Chapel continues to grow as the wedding hotspot ofDallas, the 1999 renovations made the location more attractive.1,250 pipes were added to the previous 2,000 to give the MusicalInstrument Digital Interface system a more pleasant sound. The oncepale white walls and interior have been replaced with “eightshades of off-white coupled with warm neutrals and coolgrays.” It also has new wood flooring and an enhancedlighting system.

The current cost for a wedding, organist, parking director and alight and sound technician is around $1,500.

“They have a video system set up and a lot of the vendorsare used to working with Perkins. … It makes it a whole loteasier,” SMU alumnus Kevin Whitmire said.

Whitmire and his wife Catrina Turner got married at Perkins inmid April.

Teresa Rosado, administrative assistant for Perkins Chapel,attests to its popularity.

“We were completely flattered that the girls would campout to obtain a wedding date, but it made us realize we need a newapproach to scheduling weddings, especially during footballseason,” Rosado said.

For many brides like Gentry, fall is the ideal time for awedding. But the proximity of Ford Stadium to Perkins Chapelpresents several problems such as noise and parking problems duringfootball season.

“Our office will not book fall weddings until lateFebruary or early March of the same year, when the footballschedule is pretty much ready to go to print. We want our brides tobe completely satisfied with their wedding, and with home gamesthis becomes too difficult,” Rosado said.

Rosado said that for any other time of the year it is normallynot a problem obtaining a contract, although Gentry heard that forspring and summer dates, weddings should be booked a year inadvance.

Turner and Whitmire booked their April 17 wedding in Januaryalthough Turner had suggested they start planning a littleearlier.

“Last summer, we were just driving around the campus whenwe first started dating, and I told him we should probably bookPerkins now, so if [the relationship] worked out, we could getmarried there,” Turner said.

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