Mills College 5000 MacArthur Boulevard • Oakland • California 94613-1307

Mills College

5000 MacArthur Boulevard
Oakland, California 94613-1307

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Why You'll Love This Place

A Here Comes The Guide Wedding Venue Review
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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 at the Aurelia Henry Reinhardt Alumnae House. Built in 1949 through alumnae donations and designed by architect Clarence Mayhew, the venue is also popular for meetings, birthday parties, and other special occasions. Larger celebrations are held outdoors, while more intimate gatherings can be hosted inside, where you'll find a spacious living room with hardwood floors and large picture windows that overlook an adjoining patio, lawn, and garden. Another indoor reception option for groups over 55 is the Student Union, designed by famed architect Julia Morgan. It features a covered front porch and an outdoor patio, which gives events here a wonderful indoor/outdoor flow.

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.


Video by Room 212 Video/Productions.

Video by Kurtela Video Productions.

Prices: What's this going to cost?

Rental Fee
  • Rental fee varies depending on:
    • Time of day
    • Space reserved
    • Event duration
  • The rental fee ranges $150–2,000/hour, and includes some or all of the tables and chairs depending on event size.

    Liability insurance is required.


Indoors Outdoors
Ceremony Seated 175 150
Cocktails, etc. Standing 150 150
Reception Seated 150 150
Meetings Total meeting capacity for this venue is 80.

The Reinhardt Alumnae House seats 55 indoors and 150 outdoors. The Student Union accommodates 150 seated indoors.

Venue Details

Site Uses

  • Ceremony
  • Wedding Receptions
  • Outdoor Reception
  • Small Wedding
  • Rehearsal Dinner
  • Special Events / Parties
  • Business Functions / Meetings
  • Late Night

Essential Info




Preferred list



Wine, champagne, and beer only.

Amplified Music


Wheelchair Access

Wheelchair accessible


Year-round. Mills College Chapel is available 8am–10pm. The Reinhardt Alumnae House is available daily, 8am–midnight.

Venue Type

Buildings, other structures, and natural settings available at this venue:

  • Banquet Hall / Events Facility
  • Chapel / Church / Temple
  • College Campus / School
  • Garden
  • Historic / Landmark Building
  • Patio / Deck / Terrace

Venue Views

Peep the views you’ll enjoy from this venue!

  • Creek / River
  • Forest / Woods
  • Garden
  • Landscaped Grounds
  • Meadow / Fields
  • Park


But take note of the following limitations!

Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the premises.


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Alternate Info: Mills College Chapel Reinhardt Alumnae House