FAQ

Hours

When can I come and see the grounds of St. Catherine’s at Bell Gable?

The Chapel, Barn and grounds are open to the public from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. every Sunday of the year. We have staff available to answer questions and to schedule events. If the gate is open at other times, it is because the chapel and grounds have been reserved for an event. The sign by the drive indicates the times and names of the current reservation. The grounds are not open to the public during reserved times.

Photography policies

Why is the fee per hour for photography different than the fee per hour for an event?

Photography sessions only require one staff member during the scheduled timeframe. The staff member will be available during your photography session to answer questions and monitor the property. Weddings are typically scheduled during peak days, and require various members of the staff to be available for the different services we provide at events.

I want to have family pictures / senior portraits /prom pictures/ engagement photos taken at the chapel. What do I need to do?

Anyone wishing to schedule a photography session may contact the office via phone (479-521-2860 or 479-387-1107) or email at:
stcatherinesabg@gmail.com

The venues available are the Chapel, the Barn or the Water Garden. The base rate is $50 per hour. Additional time may be purchased in 30 minute increments. These fees are applied towards the grounds maintenance costs. Photography is typically booked during non-peak days of the week (i.e. Monday – Thursday). During a photography session, the public does not have access to the property, so the photography of the Chapel, Barn and grounds is for the exclusive use of those reserving that time.

Please see the Photography Sessions tab on the main page for additional information.

When can my wedding photographer arrive to start taking photos?

Photographers, like all guests, caterers, florists, etc, are limited to the time spans which each group has reserved. As the grounds are reserved by multiple groups each day, all those attending each event must arrive and depart by the times reserved by the organizers of each function.

Does the Chapel provide a photographer?

No, those reserving the chapel and grounds need to find the photographer that best fits their needs, budget, preferences, etc.

The signs say “No Photography.” May guests take pictures at a function?

When the Bell Gable grounds have been reserved for a function, guests may take all the pictures they wish during the reserved time for that group.

Why can’t I take pictures when the Bell Gable grounds are open to the public?

During our public hours on Sundays from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. numerous guests visit the Bell Gable grounds. Many guests enjoy the solitude of the grounds for prayer and meditation, while other guests are visiting the Chapel for wedding planning purposes. In order to best meet the needs of all groups we ask that no photos are taken during this time. Photography sessions for the Chapel, Barn and grounds are available by appointment only. The fees for photography are applied toward the costs of the grounds maintenance.

Staff and Services

What does the coordination include?

Our support staff is there to coordinate the music with the events taking place at the wedding. On Sundays from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., members of our staff are available for wedding planning and assistance. The support staff coordinate events for the chapel and grounds. This does not include receptions or events taking place in other locations.

What about a Minister or Officiant?

St. Catherine’s at Bell Gable is able to provide the names of persons that may be able to perform your ceremony. The Minister or Officiant name provided by the Chapel is independent from the Chapel. Appointments with the Minister or Officiant may be scheduled through the Chapel office number: 479-521-2860

Do I have to reserve a parking attendant?

Groups over 75 are required to retain the services of a parking attendant. While smaller groups can usually park themselves where they will not interfere with the event, larger groups need direction from someone experienced with the limited space that is available. It is necessary because without direction, cars will parked haphazardly in areas needed for photography as well blocking the drive from other arriving guests, and more importantly the bride.

Where does the 1902 Mercedes take the bride, and who rides with her?

A beautiful one-of-a-kind 1902 Mercedes is available to bring each bride to her wedding in a memorable entrance. The car ride is coordinated with the wedding music and planning so that the bride arrives at precisely the correct moment before the ceremony. There is a special piece of music that plays as the car swings around the drive and delivers the bride to the sidewalk where she will process to the altar. Typically the bride arrives with her father, but some brides have chosen to come with their children, and a few have even arrived with their grooms.

Does the car take the bride and groom to the reception?

Due to liability the car is not allowed off of the property for this service.

Why do the different services have fees? Why isn’t everything provided for one price?

Each additional service adds to the number of employees that must be hired for an event. The individual pricing for each service allows each group to select those services that are highest priority, while not paying for others that are lower priority or that don’t fit the event’s budget.

Reservations

How do I go about reserving a date and time for my wedding?

The office phone number is 479-521-2860 and may be called any day of the week to see if the dates and times of interest are available. Those interested may also come to visit the Chapel, Barn and grounds on most Sundays from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (please check the Hours tab under the About option of the front page for updates to our Sunday Open House), and ask the staff to check the schedule for available dates. If the desired date and time is available, it can be booked on that visit. Also, you may email inquiries to the office at:

st.catherinesabg@gmail.com

Why is there a deposit to hold a date, and is it applied to my balance?

The most requested day of the week is Saturday. As there are a limited number of Saturdays in each month, there are more people interested in those dates than there are spaces available. The $700 deposit indicates that the person booking the date definitely wants that time and date, and this deposit places a “hold” on your spot. The balance of the booking is due by 30 days prior to the date of the event. The $700 deposit is applied to the balance when it is paid in full before the 30 day deadline.

There is a minimum booking time of two hours for the property. What if I want additional time, but not an entire hour? Do I have to pay for an entire extra hour?

No, you do not need to reserve an entire extra hour. You may reserve additional time in 30 minute increments.

What if I don’t know how much extra time I need?

Our staff is very experienced in assisting you in selecting the amount time that is necessary to your event. We will need to know the approximate guest list size, and if there are plans during your event such as a champagne toast, reception or communion for example, that will take additional time. Some ministers like to include a sermon in their ceremonies. You may wish to get a time estimate for the ceremony from your officiant. Photographers typically want a minimum of 45 minutes to an hour specifically set aside for photographs. Booking too small of a time slot usually results in a bride not getting enough time for photos.

How far into my reservation should I schedule the ceremony?

Ceremonies should never be scheduled less than 30 minutes into a reserved time block. It takes at least that much time for guests to arrive, get parked, and to get last minute things arranged. Unless plenty of time has been reserved, the ceremony should not be scheduled much later in the time block than 30 minutes or there will not be enough time for photography.

Do I need to reserve an additional day and time slot for a rehearsal?

Our staff is experienced in providing a smooth, well organized wedding. In the vast majority of cases, no rehearsal is necessary. Consultations with the staff on Sundays provide all of the wedding details needed for a great wedding. Please do get with a staff member prior to your wedding date to provide the necessary ceremony information. Weddings that do need rehearsals are those that have a lot of attendants (six or more on each side), several children under the age of five, or complicated ceremonies (lots of readings, solos, communion, etc).

Where do my guests go if they need the restroom facilities?

The restroom is located at the office and our staff is available to provide a golf cart or van shuttle to those needing to visit the restroom.

My wedding is outside! What if it rains?

Plan ahead and have alternate choices available in case of bad weather. When planning an outdoor wedding, it is imperative to keep a close eye on the weather forecast for your date. If it looks like rain may be an issue, there are several options available. If your group is small enough, they can be moved inside the Chapel. The beautifully renovated Barn at Bell Gable is a viable option for an alternate facility on your wedding date and provides a bit of rustic elegance with seating available for 150 guests. If you have an outdoor wedding scheduled in front of the Chapel, and you opt to move your ceremony to the Barn due to weather concerns, the fees for chairs will be applied towards the setup of the Barn. If you plan to rent tents, it is necessary to be sure that there is additional time available to reserve for tent set up and removal.

How many people fit in the chapel?

The ages and sizes of guests vary greatly, but a good rule of thumb is approximately 40. It is not a good idea to invite more guests as the seating is very limited.

What if I want to change my wedding to an outside event?

Outdoor weddings provide much more flexibility for guest numbers and provide beautiful pictures. Chairs can be rented for $1.50 each, and this price includes the set up / take down time and labor.

It will be hot on the day of my wedding. May I bring bottled water for my guests?

It is very thoughtful to provide water for your guests. We provide at no additional cost elegant containers for easy guest access. Please ensure you bring an ample supply of ice and bottled water to accommodate each of your guests.

May I put up signs and balloons on the road to tell my guests how to find my wedding?

Signs may not be put out prior to the reserved time. This is because multiple weddings occur in a day. It is very confusing for guests to arrive for a wedding and see the names of a bridal couple that they do not recognize. This has resulted in guests leaving because they thought they were in the wrong location. All balloons and signs must be removed when the reserved time is over.

Can my group arrive early and just park along the road until my time starts?

No. Lines of waiting cars on the road block the neighbor’s driveways and pose a safety risk when the group exiting the grounds is leaving. Please arrive and depart exactly at your reserved times.

Other

Why can’t I picnic, walk my dog, jog, bike, swim, skateboard, play Frisbee, etc. on the grounds?

The Chapel, Barn and grounds are privately owned and operated. The chapel on the property, St. Catherine’s at Bell Gable has been an active church since 1999. Most of the activities commonly enjoyed in a park setting are not appropriate at a house of worship.

May I have my reception on the grounds?

Following your ceremony, we have several reception options available. A very popular and elegant Wedding Toast is offered by St.Catherine’s at Bell Gable. Each Wedding Toast package has a variety of options and may be customized to meet your reception needs. Reception options beyond our Wedding Toast are available with consent from St.Catherine’s at Bell Gable.

May I decorate for my event?

Items already on the grounds may not be moved without prior consent. Provided that the people decorating, and the decorations, (e.g.flowers, props, etc.) arrive and depart within the reserved time, decorating is permitted.

Trash removal

The Chapel, Barn and grounds does not provide trash service. All vases, bottles, ribbons, balloons, trash, etc, must be removed before the reserved time is over. The Chapel, Barn and grounds must be restored to the condition they were in when the group arrived.

An exception to this policy is if a Wedding Toast reception package is reserved. Trash removal is provided for the Wedding Toast package offered by St.Catherine’s at Bell Gable.

If you reserve a catering service to perform your reception on the Bell Gable grounds, the burden of trash removal is their responsibility.