Minister builds 'Tiny Chapel' to hold really small weddings

For those looking to have a really intimate wedding, a Virginia minister might have the perfect venue.

The 'Tiny Chapel,' -- emphasis on tiny -- is a mobile, 100-square-foot chapel built by Bil Malbon that stands out from a typical house of worship or wedding venue.

He built a small pitched-roof building on top of a trailer that includes a few pews, lighting and heating.

The idea for the chapel came when Malbon, who has had been officiating weddings since 1992, was planning what to do after his retirement. “I thought I would build a nice, grand chapel and it would be something that would hold 200 people.”

"It keeps the cost down."

— Bil Malbon

But the recession had a big impact on his initial idea. “Everyone was looking into downsizing: readjusting their priorities and finding ways to celebrate life without going further into debt. So, my plans went on the back burner.”

Trying to rework his vision, he came across the “tiny house” movement. A simpler, more cost-effective method where people live in smaller homes or apartments averaging only a couple hundred square feet.

“It just hit me – ‘Tiny Chapel’ and from there I just starting working on plans to put together something that would look like an old-fashioned country church,” Malbon told’s “Spirited Debate.”

While a compact structure, “we pack about 24 people in during the vow ceremony … I still think we had room then for a few more people,” said Malbon. He also mentioned the chapel being on wheels allows him to be flexible for couples wanting a specific location.

The 'Tiny Chapel’ is already in business. and held its first vow renewal ceremony last fall. The chapel will hold its first wedding later this month.

Malbon is currently only providing services in the Richmond area.

“I just wanted to keep it affordable for the couples … it would increase the travel cost for me, so keeping it within an hour radius of Richmond means I can perform more ceremonies and it keeps the cost down.” Package deals start at $100 for couples.