FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
DO YOU PROVIDE TABLES AND CHAIRS?
Yes! We have 32 round 60-inch diameter tables that comfortably seat 8 per table (or can squeeze up to 10 per table if necessary). We also offer 250 white chairs, six 6-foot long rectangular banquet tables and six 8-foot long rectangular banquet tables. The venue seats a maximum of 250 guests.
DO YOU PROVIDE SET-UP OR CLEAN-UP?
We do offer a tear down table/chair fee for $250. Our venue is normally a 100% “DIY” facility. The client is responsible for setting up the tables and chairs, then returning them to the storage room at the end of the event. (Be sure to allow for this when finalizing your rental time frame.) Additionally, all trash must be placed in plastic trash can liners then deposited the receptacle behind the building.
ARE THERE ANY RESTRICTIONS ON DECORATIONS?
Our venue is nearly 125 years old, and it takes great care to keep an older building such as ours in good working order. Therefore, please note that decorations cannot be affixed to walls or ceilings; any kind of tape, nails, tacks, screws, staples, etc. are strictly prohibited. Additionally, unless prior written authorization has been obtained, the following items are also prohibited: helium balloons, rice, birdseed, sparklers, confetti, and glitter. Flower petals, if tossed outside, must be real. Real candles burning an real “open flame” are also prohibited. We cannot risk a fire in our historic venue. Tapered candles and candelabras are likewise prohibited. Thank you for your cooperation in helping us to preserve the Gahanna Sanctuary for years to come!
DO YOU OFFER A MILITARY DISCOUNT?
We do! We offer a 10% discount on our weekend rates for any bride or groom who is retired or active-duty military personnel. Thank you for your service.
DO YOU OFFER DISCOUNTED RATES DURING THE “OFF SEASON”?
We do not. Our rates are already so incredibly affordable during the “peak season” that we’re unable to lower the pricing any further during the “off season.” Thank you for understanding!
CAN I SET UP THE DAY BEFORE MY EVENT?
Potentially, yes! We can give you the option to rent the space for two days (the day of your event + the day before your event). Please note that we do not release the date before your event for booking until six months prior to your event date.
IS THERE A DISCOUNT FOR BOOKING MORE THAN ONE DAY?
Sort of, yes! If you book the day before your event (assuming your event is held on a Tuesday through Saturday), we can give you the option to rent “Sanctuary Hall” only (aka the main and historic event space), which will save you approximately 30% vs. having to rent the entire venue. See pricing for more details. Please note: Renting the entire venue guarantees private, exclusive use of the kitchen and restrooms; renting only Sanctuary Hall or the Gallery requires potentially sharing the kitchen and restrooms.
WHAT ABOUT SUNDAYS?
Please contact us to discuss our Sunday wedding package for 2020 or 2021. For $2995, our Sunday wedding package includes 18 hours (6AM to midnight), table/chair tear down, 2 bridal colors posted to our unique lighted bell tower, free parking and exclusive use of restrooms and the DIY kitchen.
Smaller Sunday events can be held in the Gallery, which can comfortably hold up to 8 round tables. The Gallery is currently available on Sundays starting at 1:30pm.
CAN I CHOOSE ANY CATERER?
Yes! You can choose any caterer. We do not have any kind of a “preferred vendor” list, which means you can choose any caterer you’d like. (You can also choose any DJ, any florist, any bakery, etc.) Any food brought into the venue must be properly prepared and served, preferably by a licensed catering company. You and/or your caterer will have access to our spacious kitchen, with ample fridge and freezer space, a three-compartment sink, and prep tables and countertops. Please note that our stove/oven is not for commercial use, and we do not allow cooking with grease. We strongly encourage all food be prepared off-site and brought into the facility in “hot boxes.”
WHAT ABOUT ALCOHOL?
We do not have a liquor license. This means all of the liability is on you, as the client, to make sure you have the necessary permits to be able to serve alcohol. (Usually, a licensed caterer and/or a licensed bartender will possess the necessary paperwork to serve alcohol.)
IS THERE A SET END TIME?
Everything and everyone must leave the premises by midnight; this includes all personal items, all rental items from third-party vendors, and all clients and guests. Start time and end time must be decided at time of booking; please remember to include the time you’ll need for all set-up and tear-down in your rental timeline.
WHEN CAN I VIEW THE FACILITY?
Tours are by appointment only please. Contact us to schedule a visit. (We're usually available on Tuesdays and Thursdays.)
HOW CAN I CHECK TO SEE IF MY DATE IS AVAILABLE?
Simply email us . We're happy to check availability of specific dates and times. Our part-time staff tries to reply to inquiries within 48 hours. Thank you in advance for your patience. Because our calendar can change hour to hour, we’re currently unable to post it online.
HOW FAR OUT CAN I BOOK A DATE?
We already have bookings in 2021. Current pricing is under review but not published yet. Booking a future date that locks in today's low rates is smart shopping. Adjusted pricing for 2020 is on its way.
HOW DO I BOOK A DATE?
First, contact our coordinators to make sure your date is still available. Be sure to tell us your start time and end time, which must be decided at the time of booking. (Please remember to include any time you’ll need for set-up and tear-down.) Then, we will send you a contract to sign, with instructions for how to make your deposit. We typically require payment in full in order to reserve your date. However, if the payment is going to be $2,000 or more, we can reduce the deposit to 50%, with the remaining 50% due three months prior to your event date.
WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY?
All payments are non-refundable. In the event of a cancellation with less than 90 days' notice, the Sanctuary requires any remaining balance to be paid in full. In the event of a postponement, the Sanctuary must receive the request to postpone the event with at least 90 days' notice. Any payments made toward the original date will be applied toward the new date. Please note: There’s a nonrefundable $250 fee to change an event date.
IS THE VENUE ACCESSIBLE?
Yes! There is a ramp on the south side of the building, with van-accessible parking. However, please note that our restrooms are not accessible. (Our venue was built in 1895, so the restrooms have been grandfathered in… but we do hope to change this in the future!)
IS PARKING AVAILABLE?
Yes! We have our own small parking lot on the south side of the building, adjacent to the entrance closest to the kitchen. This is where most vendors park, as it’s the easiest way to load in because it’s near the ramp. There’s also street parking around the entire venue and a large public parking lot on the north side of the building. Additionally, for any overflow parking, there’s an underground parking garage on Mill Street, two blocks west of the venue. And all parking is FREE.
DO YOU HAVE A SOUND SYSTEM?
We do not. Your DJ should be able to provide plenty of speakers.
ARE THERE OVERNIGHT ACCOMMODATIONS NEARBY?
Yes! The Gahanna Sanctuary is only a few miles from I-270, I-670, and the John Glenn International Airport. The wonderful folks at Visit Gahanna can help you to secure blocks of rooms at local hotels at the best possible rates. They can also provide free welcome bags for your out-of-town guests, ideas for where to host a rehearsal dinner or post-wedding brunch, and so much more. Their services are free, and they’re a great local resource!
If you prefer a local experience, a Gahanna Airbnb Superhost offers special discount packages to Gahanna Sanctuary event customers.
CAN YOU TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE VENUE?
We’re so glad you asked!
The Gahanna Sanctuary was built in 1895 as Peace Lutheran Church. When the church moved to its current facility on Clark State Road in 1965, the building fell into a state of disrepair. Local residents at the time launched a campaign in the early 1980s to save this cherished landmark that culminated in the formation of our 501c4 nonprofit organization.
Community members rallied around the cause, donating their time and money to help bring this gorgeous building back to its former glory.
Today, the building is governed by a three member Board of Trustees, one of whom manages daily operations.
The Gahanna Foundation, formed in 2018 to raise funds to light our historic Gothic-style bell tower, helps raise money for special projects like the wedding garden planned for 2020. All revenues are reinvested back into facility fixes and upgrades.
To be clear, the Gahanna Sanctuary is not an operating church. We are nondenominational and non partisan, so we have no political or religious affiliations. We proudly welcome and host events of all faiths, including nondenominational ceremonies and LGBT weddings and receptions. Additionally, we're honored to be able to donate our time and our resources to deserving local organizations through free and/or discounted rental rates. (Be sure to ask about our military discount).
We host regular groups who utilize our facility weekly.