Oakland Wedding Venue
5000 MacArthur Boulevard
Oakland, California 94613-1307
Oakland has its share of lovely places for weddings, and the campus of Mills College is certainly one of them.
The College Chapel, located on a peaceful, arbor-lined street, is an oasis of tranquility. Built in the round and designed by California architects Callister and Payne, it’s inspired by Shinto temples Callister encountered while visiting Japan. The Japanese influence is evident as you walk under the arched, beamed entrance, through the heavy cedar doors and into the warm wood sanctuary. Here guests will find themselves encircled by low glass walls that open out onto patios. Overhead, fourteen enormous cedar panels vault up into a glass cupola skylight. Outside, the view is of redwoods and oaks, and the blend of light and leaf shadows that spills through the windows heightens the spare beauty of the interior. The effect is dazzling and adds natural drama to any ceremony.
Known for its exceptional sound quality (a detail couples often overlook when scouting wedding sites), the chapel was designed for enhanced acoustics by an organist, the architects and an acoustician. Also taking advantage of the unique acoustics is the statuesque wood and brushed steel pipe organ, which rises almost to the ceiling. No matter how full the chapel is, you can pledge your vows confident that your guests will hear each tender word.
Another distinguishing feature is the chapel’s unconventional seating arrangement—four curved rows of redwood pews which face each other on either side of a rough-cut granite altar, which allows for an intimacy between guests and the wedding couple not usually found in larger, more traditional settings.
After tying the knot in the Chapel, couples often host their reception nearby in the Aurelia Henry Reinhardt Alumnae House, which is also popular for meetings, birthday parties, and other special occasions. Built in 1949 through alumnae donations and designed by architect Clarence Mayhew, the Alumnae House features a spacious living room with hardwood floors, two fireplaces, and large picture windows that overlook an adjoining patio, lawn and garden.
Mills College offers a couple of perks you’ll appreciate: You may be able to arrange for up to a ten-hour rental block, and there’s plenty of complimentary parking on campus.
If serenity, natural surroundings and affordability are what you envision for your wedding, then Mills College could be the perfect place for you.
A $500 deposit is required to reserve your date. The balance is due 60 days prior to the event. Rental fees range $150/hour–1,500/hour depending on the duration and time of the event and the space rented.
Special Events, Parties
Banquet Hall/Events Facility
Choose From List
Year-round. Mills College Chapel is available weekends only 8am–10pm. The Reinhardt Alumnae House is available daily, 8am–midnight.
Alternate Info: Mills College Chapel Reinhardt Alumnae House