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 not. Our venue is 100% a “DIY” kind of space. You are responsible for setting up the tables and chairs, and then returning the tables and chairs to the storage room at the end of the event. (Be sure to allow for this when finalizing your rental timeframe.) Additionally, all trash must be placed in 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 “Peace Hall” only (aka the main 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 Peace Hall or the Gallery requires potentially sharing the kitchen and restrooms.
WHAT ABOUT SUNDAYS?
Several regular groups use the venue on Sundays for their weekly services:
Light of the Living Christ - Pastor Judith Ety
Sundays at 10:30 am - Worship Service
Sovereign Grace - Pastor Guido Mangiantini
Sundays at 4:00 pm - Worship Service
Rays of Light - Reverend Steven Clevenger
Sundays at 6:00 pm - Worship Service
Sundays at 7:00 pm - Spiritual Awareness Class
Second Sundays at 2:00 pm - Healing and Psychic Fair
So we're unable to host Sunday weddings, with the exception of Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. (Please note that Saturday rates would apply on the Sunday of a holiday weekend.)
We can, however, host smaller events on Sundays in the Gallery, which can comfortably hold up to 8 round tables. The Gallery is available beginning at 1:30pm on Sundays. (With factoring in your set-up time, our advice would be to schedule your guests' arrival for 2:30pm or later on Sundays.)
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 staff is part-time, so we try to reply to all inquiries within 48 hours. Thank you in advance for your patience. Because our calendar constantly changes, we’re unable to post it online.
HOW FAR OUT CAN I BOOK A DATE?
We are currently booking through 2020 and beyond. However, we have only published our pricing through 2020. So if you’re booking a date in 2021 or later, please note that the rental rates are subject to change.
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. Four members of the community—Jack Kirkpatrick, LaRoux Mentz, George Parker, and Neal Longanbach—launched a campaign in the early 1980s to save this cherished landmark. That’s when our nonprofit organization was born.
Community members rallied around the cause, donating their time and money to help bring this gorgeous building back to its former glory. Rick Eiler, a local volunteer, helped restore many of the stained-glass windows, sometimes completing only one window per year. “Friends of the Sanctuary” organized countless fundraisers to help pay for the mortgage and the necessary repairs.
Today, the building is governed by a five-person Board of Trustees and managed by a part-time Director. "The Gahanna Foundation" helps raise money for special projects at the Sanctuary, including the restoration and lighting of our three-story Gothic-style bell tower. All revenues are put back into the ongoing renovation, operation, and maintenance of this unique and historic property.
To be clear, the Gahanna Sanctuary is not a church; we do not have any 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 local organizations, through free and/or discounted rental rates. (Be sure to ask about our military discount and our discount for Gahanna residents.)
Throughout the week, we host regular groups who utilize our facility weekly. Please feel free to contact them directly to learn more about attending one of their events: