Reservation Guidelines & Procedures
Please carefully read the guidelines and procedures below before beginning the request process.
The Cathedral reserves the right to review all requests to determine if the event is appropriate to be held in the Cathedral or its facilities. The Cathedral CANNOT host events that:
- Are of a primarily political nature
- Charge admission fees or seek contributions (fundraising galas with live and/or silent auctions are permissible)
- Intend to display, promote or sell commercial products
- Intend to conduct lobbying activities, hearings or press conferences
To begin the process of booking your event, contact the Office of Guests and Events and Management Services. Email is preferred, but phone inquiries are available at (240) 485-8381.
To expedite this request, please include: the nature of your event, preferred dates, and number of expected attendees.
If your event is approved and a date has been put on hold, the Cathedral will provide a Special Events Agreement. Once an agreement has been signed, GEMS staff will arrange an on-site event walkthrough with the client and vendors to discuss plans and procedures.
No event should be publicly discussed or announced prior to signing a contract.
A signed copy of a Special Events Agreement and a 50% deposit must be submitted to the Cathedral by the date specified. If the agreement and deposit have not been received by the date specified, the Cathedral reserves the right to release the event date.
Upon request, the Cathedral can provide a list of vendors who work regularly in the spaces. Any vendors must be approved by GEMS. Only professional, full-service insured vendors may be hired for events held in the Cathedral.
The Special Events Agreement outlines that the Cathedral can provide bus parking for any guests arriving on motor coaches or shuttles. Car parking in the Cathedral’s underground garage for guests can be arranged for a fee. It is important to note that there is very limited parking on the Cathedral grounds and the surrounding neighborhood.
Washington National Cathedral has its own private police force. Police are on site and available 24/7. Depending upon the size of your event, GEMS may require hiring additional security responsible for your event. Clients are responsible for the cost if additional security is required.
GEMS will always provide staff members that are available during your event. Staff members can assist during the event and be present to help direct patrons and guests at the entrances.
Any promotional materials including invitations in which Washington National Cathedral’s name, logo, address, or phone number must be pre-approved by GEMS. All promotional materials regarding the Cathedral must abide by our photo policy.
All deliveries and shipping of materials for storage must be coordinated with GEMS. All materials for the event must be discarded or taken with the client or vendors at the end of the event.
The Cathedral will bear no financial responsibility for any disruption that may occur due to mechanical difficulties, Cathedral emergencies or unanticipated events beyond the Cathedral’s control. GEMS will work with the Cathedral’s facilities to maintain the grounds in anticipation for inclement weather. More information is outlined in the Special Events Agreement.
The Cathedral is an open, active space. We are required to abide by a changing schedule and thus try to have a flexible schedule between Cathedral events and vendors. Typical load-in times can be scheduled the evening before the event, 6am–10am on the morning of the event, and after 1pm–3pm on the afternoon of the event. All load-out must happen directly following the conclusion of the event. GEMS reserves the right to determine all load-in, load-out and setup times.