The Wayfarer’s Chapel is located on a bluff overlooking the Palos Verdes Penninsula and the blue Pacific Ocean in Southern California. It is known by some as the Glass Chapel. The architect Lloyd Wright, son of Frank Lloyd Wright prefers Tree Chapel as it commemorates the majesty of the Redwood trees which adorn the outer edges of the glass and wood structure. The Wayfarer Chapel was the inspiration of church members of the Swedenborgian Church and stands as a memorial to Emmanuel Swedenborg a 17th century theologian and scientist.
Weddings and prayer services have been performed at the Wayfarer Chapel for over 50 years. It is open daily for visitors passing through for quiet reflections and thanksgiving to God for the beauty that surrounds us all. Services at the Wayfarer’s Chapel are non-denominational and anyone may exchange vows of marriage at the chapel. In 2005 the Wayfarer Chapel was accepted by the U.S. Department of the Interior as a member in the National Registry of Historic Places. In terms of beauty and splendor I can say without any reservation the Glass Chapel and its surroundings, including the location, its reflection pool, gardens and panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean is spectacular.
The Wayfarer Chapel is located at 5755 Palos Verdes Drive South in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. Their reservation line for weddings and other events is 310 377-1650. The weddings take place in the Glass Chapel and are officiated by a resident minister of the Swedenborg Church. You may also have your own minister or religious leader in attendance. The services are completely arranged by the administrative staff of the Wayfarer Chapel. The pre arranged package for a wedding allows you two hours for the use and enjoyment of the chapel.
The Actual Service at the Glass Chapel:
The service is non denominational and all wayfarers are welcome regardless of their religious affiliation. The service is performed by the minister of the Swedenborg Church. The service itself takes about 20 minutes. The bridal party is expected to arrive no sooner than one hour before the scheduled time and following the service may spend an additional hour in the gardens for photo opportunities. The chapel accommodates up to 100 guests.
Weddings are scheduled from 10:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. every day. On Sunday, weddings are scheduled from 2:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. Due to the existing botanical splendor of the chapel and surrounding gardens personal flower arrangements are not advised. The chapel provides all the decorations you will possibly need. The entire area of the wedding is a flowering spectacle. During the Winter, Poinsettias adorn the chapel. There is a dressing room provided for the bride and her wedding party. There are no facilities for a reception, but the staff of the Wayfarer Chapel will provide you with a list of local area restaurants and facilities that may accommodate your wedding reception.
Selections and Additional Services:
The Glass Chapel performs day wedding ceremonies and a candle light wedding ceremonies seven days per week. For weddings performed Friday, Saturday and Sunday the church requests a contribution of $2300. The contribution is tax deductible. For services on all other days the contribution is $1800. The candle light reception requires an additional contribution of $350.
The chapel provides consultation for your service. The bride and groom may select their own pre recorded music and special vows among choices provided or may request special considerations. The minister will spend an adequate amount of time before the scheduled time to discuss with you the personal requests and variations in the wedding ceremony. The staff will assist you in the arrangements and selection of your wedding celebration. The staff to lead you through the rehearsal and the use of the chapel for two hours is included. Candles and flowers around the alter are included and expert consultation is also included in the contribution.
There is the option of hiring live musicians for your service. These services are an option, but the chapel staff can provide and make arrangements for you. The chapel musical director may provide organ and other types of musical options for your wedding service. These professional musicians come from all backgrounds including the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Master Chorale. Arrangements for this additional service may be made at the time you make your reservations.
The Rose Garden surrounding the Glass Chapel is an ideal place to photograph the wedding party. You may also video record the entire wedding ceremony. This is with the condition that the video photographer does not impede the dignity of the wedding ceremony. The reflection pool and the astounding beauty of this idyllic setting will provide ample opportunities to photograph your wedding moments.
Looking out from the vantage point of the Wayfarer Chapel is a view of indescribable beauty. Early June may have some fog in the hours before noon in the direction of the Pacific Ocean. I would suggest a wedding service after noon, when the sun burns off the fog. That is unless you don’t mind a foggy atmosphere in the direction of the ocean. The Wayfarer Chapel is high on top of the peninsula so it usually is quite clear from sun up to sun down. The evening candle light wedding ceremonies are breath taking in my opinion, but I would suggest late June through October for the service. It depends on whether California is experiencing an El Nino or El Nina as to whether you may find 70 degree days in December.
The Winter nights do get chilly ocean breezes. The best part of a Winter or an early Spring wedding at the Wayfarer Chapel is the clear view of Catalina Island which seems more dominant during these months. The Summer months are ideal, but there is often a slight haze around Catalina Island. The early dusk hours usually allow the shadow of Catalina Island to appear more vivid. Every day, Spring, Summer, Winter or Fall are good days at the Wayfarer Chapel, except when it rains which can happen any day of the week 365 days of the years, but is less likely during the Summer.