… at Historic Oklahoma Memorial Union
For many, a dream wedding means saying “I do” on the campus beautiful by day and night.
There’s no denying the charm of the University of Oklahoma, with its romantic archways and inviting brick buildings providing a picturesque backdrop for exchanging vows and taking bridal party photos. That’s why, every year, dozens of couples choose to exchange or celebrate their vows there—and, more specifically, in the heart of OU’s campus in Oklahoma Memorial Union.
“Sometimes they choose the Union because it might be a nostalgic location—maybe they met here, or they have a memory from here, or they were especially involved in the Union during their time here,” said Laura Tontz, director of the Union. “And sometimes they don’t have an OU connection at all and they’re just looking for an elegant space.”
Considered the hub of campus, the Union serves as a dining spot, a meeting space for student organizations and a place for students to lounge and recharge. But many rooms inside the beautiful 90-year-old building, and some outdoor areas as well, easily transform into a wedding and reception venue without the need for much gussying up.
Couples choose the space that’s right for them, having their pick from Beaird Lounge; the Conoco Leadership Courtyard; the Governors, Regents and Associates Room; and the Molly Shi Boren Ballroom. One selling point for couples is the fact they can have their ceremony in one event space and their reception in another, Tontz said.
“We can do any number of configurations,” she said. “It’s really nice if you have grandparents or older guests who can’t or don’t want to travel to a second location—we have lots of options available. Plus, several historic Norman churches that have been here for hundreds of years are just blocks away, like McFarlin Memorial United Methodist, First Baptist and First Christian churches. Couples can have their ceremony there and come here for the reception.”
Many consider the Union a one-stop shop for weddings, said Matt Nash, the Union’s assistant director.
“When a couple gets married here, we provide suites for each bridal party, and we have in-house catering through University Catering and alcohol service through the University Club,” Nash said. “Parking is attached to the Union so your guests can park close. You can come here and get pretty much everything you need in a venue.”
Those amenities, along with a knowledgeable and helpful staff, continuously land the Union in coveted wedding venue “best of” lists. In fact, it’s one of only four venues in Oklahoma listed in The Knot’s Best of Weddings Hall of Fame for winning the site’s Best of Weddings Award in 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018. So, how do they do it? Consistent positive reviews, Nash said.
In those reviews, couples rave about the ease of planning their wedding, thanks to the Union’s dedicated event coordinator and building crew, who work with the couple through the entire process. The in-office coordinator meets with the bride and groom and helps them figure out how to have a dream wedding within their budget.
Plus, the on-campus location often opens the door to pleasant surprises too, Tontz said.
“One couple came across one of the OU mascots, Boomer or Sooner, and got some of their wedding portraits taken with him; they even took some photos with him in the stacks at the library,” Tontz said. “Because you’re on the OU campus, you have the opportunity to encounter things like that that make your special day even more memorable and fun.”
Visit ou.edu/union/weddings to view wedding photos and see specific room information and rates or learn more by calling 325.2121.