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onsider this guide as holding all truths, or at least the answers we've accumulated over the years.  Consult it as needed and share liberally with you family, friends and colleagues.  It's organized alphabetically (except for the first subject). If you have questions that aren’t addressed here, contact us.

Clementine, our sister venue)

We have another venue that you may have heard of,  CLEMENTINE HALL, in the LOTTE District of Charlotte Ave between Sylvan Park and The Nations.   Perhaps you're in need of a larger venue than Ruby, or prefer the atmosphere of the park that surrounds Ruby. Or maybe need  a second venue for your current event (reception, etc.), or are looking ahead for a future event.   If so, look to Clementine.  If you book both venues now, we’ll wheel and deal.  If you use Clementine for a next event, we’ll consider you an old returning client (with benefits).  Regardless, know that Clementine has the exact same policies that (we hope) you'll enjoy at Ruby. Cheers.

Audio

Ruby has a PA system built-in.
  • In-House Audio.  Ruby has two (2) banks of speakers in the Hall (one directed toward the park/ side deck, and one directed toward the front door).  Connection to our audio system using a personal device (i.e. phone, tablet) is wired (AUX connection). Bands, DJs or microphones can plug into our system using XLR jacks (2 areas of the Hall).
  • Microphones.  We have two wired microphones, with stands, for use by the host. Microphone cables are about 20 feet long.
  • Bands/DJs.  Bands/ DJs can use our audio system, or use their own amplification (though speakers brought in are generally unattractive, take up space, and require time to set up and take down). Bands/DJs use their own cabling, physical mixing board (we provide iPad for wireless mixing, if desired), microphones/stands and knowledge of how to operate them.  Tape may not be used to secure cords to the floor (it all leaves a mark).  Lights, displays, tables, etc. brought in by a DJ or band must be approved by you and by Clementine.  (There are some Bands/ DJs out there that get crazy with flashy lights.) Bands cannot have more than 6 members due to size demands.
  • Sound Check and Audio Tech. Bands/DJs must perform a sound check well before the start of an event. Our audio system is quite good as are the room acoustics, so its a shame if a band/ DJ makes a mess of it.  We only see this happen when they don’t perform a sound check (at volume and with the actual music they’ll be playing) or if they don’t have their own audio technician.  We assist with the basics - setting master and channel volume, etc., but their mix is up to the band.  If we determine that they don’t have sound check capability, we will be sure to let you know.  For this reason, we’ve barred a fair number of DJs from returning.

Bar

  • BYO.  Alcohol at Ruby is BYO—you buy it and bring it, and since you own it you take what's left.  Alcohol can be dropped off as early as the day / load in time of your event and must be removed immediately following the event.  We cannot legally store alcohol overnight, so alcohol left after an event is promptly discarded.
  • Approved Bartenders. Tennessee requires that all alcohol be served by an ABC certified and insured bartender.  Events may use bartenders provided by your caterer or by a bartending service on our approved vendor list.  Caterers providing bartenders must have liquor liability on their insurance.  (Ahem, these are serious rules and we won’t budge.)
  • Bar Staff.  Ruby must approve the number of bar staff (bartenders and bar-backs/ waitstaff) hired to avert untended bars and provide adequate guest service, bar stocking, bussing and cleaning.  Any untended bars will be shut down for the remainder of the event to comply with TN law.  Bartenders clean their work areas and collect and dispose of all glassware and bottles before departing.
  • Bar Supplies.  Bartenders bring their own supplies, including coolers, mixers, garnish, etc.  Bartenders bring their own bar mats to protect our wood floors.
  • Ice Machines. Ruby has one ice machines (250 lbs total).  If you ice kegs or multiple coolers, it’s conceivable that you may need more.
  • Kegs.  Kegs are not allowed indoors at Ruby, but are fine for use in the courtyards.  Kegs and keg receptacles leak, so get a leak-proof one to avoid damaging our heart pine floors. Kegs may not be left on property overnight.
  • Trash.  Boxes have to be broken down and placed, along with bagged trash, in the dumpster behind the building. All bar trash is cleared by the bartenders)  If boxes are not broken down and an extra dumpster service is required, you may be charged a fee.

Catering

  • Caterers.  Selecting a caterer from the approved vendor list is the best way to go.   They’re the best we’ve seen - good food, experienced, and know our buildings and policies.
  • Catering Supplies.  Caterers bring their own supplies, including coolers, warming units, etc.
  • Catering Staff.  Clementine must approve the number of servers / bus-staff scheduled for a new caterer so we're assured the meal service and clearing will be professionally managed. The level of service reflects upon us as well as your event.
  • Loading / Unloading.  Service access into the building is through the back doors with parking behind the building.
  • Drop Off Food.  Drop off food is not allowed as events need to be well tended and that requires wait and bus staff.
  • Trash.  Boxes will be broken down and placed, along with bagged trash, in the dumpster behind the building.  All catering trash is cleared before  caterers depart. If boxes are not broken down and an extra dumpster service is required, you may be charged a fee.

Ceremony

  • The Flip.  Ruby manager(s) transition building related items (sound, video, lighting) during the flip. The rest of the flip is performed by your vendors.
  • Rehearsal.  The facility fee does not include a rehearsal the day before your event. Technical (as opposed to social) rehearsals may be held on the day of the event during contracted hours, if desired.  Rehearsals (not the dinners) are a thing of the past.  RIP.

Coordinator

  • Yep, Required.  Ruby requires use of a professional, dedicated coordinator for events that are not corporate/ or non-profit.  Think of it this way:  the orchestra needs a conductor and that conductor isn’t playing an instrument while they are conducting, nor are they part of the audience (we’re big on analogies here).

    The coordinator will be onsite when the facility is opened, be onsite when any vendors are present, and remain after guests have left the event and until all contracted vendors have departed and all decor has been removed and basic cleanup completed. And there needs to be enough of them to do the heavy lifting, such as getting a flip done in under an hour.  (Whew.  Long day for them!)  

    Your coordinator is responsible for managing your vendors; the event schedule; setup and decorating for the event; and emptying the facility of all materials, including alcohol, food, and decorations.  The coordinator cannot be an immediate relative of the client, member of the wedding party, the bride or groom or anyone attending the party as a guest.
  • Transition/Flip.  The transition/ flip from ceremony to reception is a serious matter.   Your guests will hold us accountable though we play only a small role.   If a flip takes over 1 hour, your guests will become hungry and agitated.  For that reason, we will hold your coordinator to a 1 hour flip time.

Decor

Decor is a catch-all term for lighting, table settings, drapery, flowers, etc.   We only provide the former.  The rest is provided by your rental company, florist, etc.
  • Draping, Floral - From the Ceiling:  The beams in the Hall are 14’ off the floor.  The antique wood floors at Ruby cannot support a drivable lift.  These challenges, paired with set event times, require intimate knowledge of the facility.  For these reasons, we ask that you to use a vendor from our list.
  • Brought-In.  You, or your florist, may bring in decor items.  Keep in mind you many not use nails, tape or other permanently marking items to adhere decor to walls or other areas. All decor can be dropped off and taken away within the contracted rental time of your event. Sorry, we can’t store it before or after your event.

Dressing Rooms

  • Ruby Room.  Our single dressing room.  It is considered a private area for use by the host or their vendors, not their guests. It is not used for all events and often it is used only for storage of personal items. Once an event starts, the dressing rooms may no longer be used (other than for a band, changing clothes, etc).  Drop that thought of a VIP lounge, that's a nope.  The rooms need to be cleaned of trash and personal items before the event end.
  • Private Areas:  There are a few private rooms, including audio/video room systems.

Floor Plan

A printable version of our floor plan may be found on our websites or at AllSeated.com (where you can obtain measurements and design your own floor plan).  Our approved rental companies can take your floor plan design and render it to scale too.  What looks good on paper may not work in practice.  Oh, and please don’t obstruct doorways and fire exit routes - though that’s usually kinda obvious.

Florists

Florists may use certain indoor or any outdoor areas (the Hall, front entry, Ruby Room) to create arrangements with your permission.  Considerate florists should clean their workspace.  All vases, votives, and decor must be retrieved at the end of the event.  Candles must be enclosed in glass (with love, the fire marshall).

Insurance

  • We Have It (and So Do You!).  Ruby carries liability insurance, of course, but our clients have it as well.  Host insurance is required for events at every location , but we include it in the rental fee.  
  • Your Vendors.  We require that Ruby be named as an additional insured on the annual (not one-day) liability insurance carried by vendors.  Vendors on our published vendor list have previously submitted their insurance to us, but that may need to be updated before your event. Prospective new vendors to Ruby will submit their insurance as part of their new vendor application.  For caterers who provide bartending, the caterer’s policy must include liquor liability.  All vendors are required to submit an application.  (Sometimes we hear that a vendor has never been asked for their insurance or that they don’t do enough work to get insurance.  That's kinda funny, but no.)  One-day policies are unacceptable as they can be obtained by anyone so are not helpful in determining the viability of the vendor.  Having insurance (an annual policy) is a very low threshold for determining if a vendor is actually in business, not to mention responsible.  An uninsured vendor transfers their liability in large part to you, the host.

Lighting

Lighting is important for all events.
  • In-House Lighting.  Specialty lighting included in the rental fee (woohoo!) includes, LED wall down-lights, ceiling up-lights, chandeliers, and string lights in the courtyards.  LED lights can be the color of your choosing.  LED light setting can be complicated and is established on the Pre-Event Checklist, not on the day of the event.
  • Brought-In Lighting.  Lighting such as chandeliers, gobos, and washes/spots can be provided by a lighting vendor from our approved list. They are versed in our electrical systems and rigging.  Hosts may not supply their own lighting.  Our permanently affixed lighting may not be removed for your event.
  • String Lights.  String lights are not allowed in the Hall. The string lights in the courtyards may not be removed (but the lights may be turned off).

Meetings

We like work meetings about as much as you.  So we try to keep them to a minimum.
  • Site Visits.  We love it when clients are excited and want to come back to see us (or just Ruby).   Bring vendors, friends, family, gawkers.  That said, we wonder where the time goes when we visit.   So we hope that you’ll load up with the party bandwagon when you come and cut down on the sheer number of visits. Thanks.
  • That’s It, Really.  Of course before the event we’ll check in and take a read of the vitals (see Pre-Event Checklist), but we won’t keep dragging you in.

Outdoors

Ruby has two large outside courtyards with a side deck, all surrounded by a city park. The Treehouse Courtyard is covered and the cost is included in the rental. Clear tent walls may be added to enable the space to be heated. These clear walls are in place starting in the late fall through the spring for the convenience of our clients. Since the outdoors may be important to your events, you may want to monitor the weather leading up to your event and make adjustments as needed related to use of the outdoor areas, heating/cooling, furniture, and lighting.

Parking, Rideshare & Valet

Ruby has provided parking for the past 10 years and signage to our lot is marked by flags to assist your guests.

Rideshare and shuttle transportation are always advisable and may be off-loaded in Ruby's driveway.

No lane closures are allowed on Blakemore during rush hour.

Valet parking may be used at Ruby on Blakemore Ave. Valet companies must be approved by Ruby.

Photographers

Photographers may load in / out in our loading zone and re-park their vehicles.  Storage may be available in the dressing room, with client approval.  

In the client contract we require use of photos from all events for tasteful marketing use.

Pre-Event Checklist

After you sign your contract, we may not see each other for a long time. (That’s on purpose, we try not to get in the way.) But, about 90-days before your event we’ll email you a checklist requesting some basic information.
  • Schedule.  We just need to know the basics.  Your coordinator will oversee the detailed schedule.  A Ruby manager will unlock / lock the building at your contracted time and be onsite during the event for any physical building needs. (Please confirm your vendors arrival is after the event start time.)  You have the building for your contracted time.  (Total time = set-up, event, and break-down/clean up). A charge will be assessed per hour for events that go over the allotted time.  If additional time is needed, this should be arranged in advance as extra hours may not be available last minute.
  • Vendor List.  We’ll want to know who they are, of course.  Any new vendors will need to follow the vendor application process for approval.

Rentals

Most events here require that rentals items (furniture, tableware, linens, dance floor, etc.) be brought in.  This gives each event great design latitude.  
  • Vendors. You may use any of our approved rental companies.  These companies know our building and are respectful of it and our clients.  (Think of it like moving into and out of your home.  Every. Single. Day.)

    The rental company must have your final floor plan and schedule (including flip times).  All rental items must be taken away immediately after the event (and within the contracted event rental time).

    If an alternate rental company is absolutely required, and we agree, a fee will be charged for a pre-event orientation and oversight of the rental company during load-in and out.
  • Dance Floor. A dance floor is required for events with any dancing and the size of the floor must be approved.  A dance floor protects our antique heart pine floors, prompts your guests get up to dance, and keeps them dancing where you want them to dance. Dancing occurs only on the dance floor.  Its size depends upon the party size and the dance fever of the crowd. A 12‘x12’ floor is usually good for up to 125 guests, and 16’x16’ for up to 175 guests though some events require larger floors. There’s no drinking on the dance floor (alcohol slip-n-slides are rarely the goal).

Security

Though security is rarely needed, we may require an event to provide security at its expense. When security is required or needed, you must use the approved vendor.

Send-offs

Sparklers and smoke bombs are not allowed at Ruby.   (Google "photographer burns hands on sparklers.") Sorry, just not worth the risk.  We also do not allow confetti or glitter or any non natural item that is thrown and not bio-degradable. Any biodegradable item such as rose petals, dried lavender, etc., must be swept up by your planner prior to doors locked at the end of the event. Bubble machines are fun, but not the mini disposable bubbles as they stain the concrete.

Smoking

We allow smoking/vaping (yes, that includes cigars) outdoor.  If it's a smoking crew, we ask that additional ash trays or cigarette receptacles be set out.

Storage / Lost-and-Found

  • Before / After Event Times.  We cannot store any items from any vendors either before or after your contracted event time.
  • Lost-and-Found.   With very few exceptions, any personal items left after the event will be collected your coordinator.  Where that box of misfit toys goes after the event is anyone’s guess!

Transition / Flip

  • Who Does It?  All of your vendors will participate, but your rental company is the most critical as they move all furniture.  Your coordinator will oversee this process (or hold everything).
  • How long does it take?   A managed flip takes under an hour.   This is one reason why only some rental companies are allowed here.  Please do not have extended photo sessions in the area to be flipped as this will delay matters and irk your guests.   This is a critical time to meet; longer will reflect poorly on us.

Trash

  • Dumpster.  Your vendors may use the dumpster behind the building.  Boxes need to be broken down so that the dumpsters are not filled with empty boxes.  (Again with the boxes.)
  • Trash Cans.  We have trash cans available.  Trash must be bagged.  All trash cans are to be emptied by your vendors before your coordinator departs.  Caterers/bartenders rinse trash cans if needed after the event.

Vendors

All vendors who enter the premises need to be approved well before the event.  Unapproved vendors are not allowed access to the space.  You may move forward with any vendor who appears on our Published list on our website.  Please do not sign a contract with other vendors before we have approved them.  

Vendors not on the approved list must submit their application for entry on our website.  Any new vendor you have apply must legitimately be in the business of providing the service you hire them to perform.  This gives us a minimal assurance that we can protect the viability of your event as well as our reputation.  A legitimate vendor is licensed, insured, and presents themselves as being in business. The application requires business contact information, a liability release, certificate of insurance naming Dragon Park, LLC, and a non-refundable fee for vetting a new vendor’s capabilities.  All vendors, in our sole judgement, must be capable of performing their duties in a professional manner.  Applications are reviewed only when completed (try telling the college admissions to review an application in parts!).  We won’t follow up with your vendors, but we will let you know their status.

Categories not open to new vendors:  Rentals, Bartending, Security, and Valet companies.

Video

A high-definition projector is available to display your image, slideshow or video.  Upload your proposed image in your pre-event checklist for testing. For slideshows or video, bring in your laptop to run the program. We recommend testing this setup before the event.

WiFi

Yes, we have high-speed WiFi.