The Wedding Chapel

Photo by John Gatlin

Photo by John Gatlin

Georgine Hurst

High on the hill of El Conquistador Way in Oro Valley sits a small church known as “The Wedding Chapel.” The quaint chapel creates a fairy tale-like setting with a breathtaking panoramic view of Tucson. It is made of rustic colored stones trimmed with dark grout and has a beautiful steeple, an inviting entrance court, and a roof made of Spanish tiles. As one enters the sanctuary, another breathtaking scene presents itself, the Catalina Mountains through the wall of glass on that side of the church. The exit on that side opens to a prayer garden lush with foliage of the Southwest. It’s no wonder so many couples choose this site for their weddings. So much so, it has become known as “The Wedding Chapel.”

The building was built in the 1980s as a sales office for a local developer. It appears that the architect was reflecting the rugged look of the boulders and rocky mountains of the area with the design. The building was bought in 1992 by Oro Valley United Church of Christ (OVUCC), a young congregation that initially met in Sun City Community Center. They moved several times within Oro Valley as they grew, before finally making the purchase. OVUCC, the new owners, had to make a few modifications to make the building work for its new purpose. What’s now the steeple was simply an architectural feature at that time. The restrooms were relocated from what would become part of the main seating area to a side hall. In 2000 OVUCC expanded the building and added a separate Fellowship Hall. The addition was designed by the architect of the original facility and now houses office and reception space.

The chapel was available for weddings soon after its conversion in the ’90s. Peak usage was approximately one wedding per month. It’s notable that today’s wedding couples incur close to the same fee that couples incurred 30 years ago. So, in addition to the beautiful venue, they find it is an affordable choice.

To see the chapel, call for an appointment at 520-742-7333 or drop by during normal office hours, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays, or after the 10 a.m. Sunday service. The address is 1401 E. El Conquistador Way, Oro Valley, AZ 85704.