Questions You May Have Before Applying

We try to lay out the rationale for approving vendors and describe this application process as best as we are able in the preceding pages. But sometimes, we still get questions. Please do not be offended by our answers, we're pretty direct and irreverent here. We're really trying to save everyone time. Cheers.


What is a COI? Can I just send you my proof of insurance?

A COI is a certificate of insurance. It is a summary of your liability policy on, usually a single page, with us named as additional insured on your policy.

Proof of insurance (POI), is just that - proof that you have insurance, which is good, but it doesn't add us to your policy. So please don't send us a POI. Only COIs are acceptable.

Can I complete the application and email my insurance to you later?

Please don't as this makes more work for both of us.

I've never been asked for insurance before. Why do I need it?

Well, you've lucky my fiend! You've tempted fate and come out on top so far. We wish you continued good luck. But luck is fickle, so we do need it.

When asked this question, we often use the car insurance analogy. You're never asked for your car insurance either, until you have an accident. Of course, it's too late then if you don't already have it. And then you probably get sued personally if you're at fault.

The simple fact is that any business has an obligation to have liability insurance. If you don't have insurance, you are shifting your liability to others, and in the event world that's the event host (your client) and the venue (us). And we're not willing to accept the liability incurred by others anymore than they should expect to incur ours. We suspect your client would agree. There comes a time when we all have to put on our big boy pants.

I don't do many events a year, so do I still need insurance?

This is really the same question as the last one. Yes you do.

But, this question also alerts us to the likelihood that you're not a professional. Professionals do more than a few events each year. What we hear when asked this question is "I'm not that experienced and I have no insurance, is that okay?" That's a big double no.

I'm only a [insert vendor type here], I'm not a risk.

That's not a question, but agreed, many vendors pose very little risk (florist, photographer, makeup artist, etc.). But very little risk is not zero risk.

Sit back youngster and let us tell you a true tale. An old lady tripped over a photographer's tripod and sustained serious injuries at a popular Nashville venue several years ago (you'd know the place). When it turned out the photographer did not have insurance, the client sued the venue. Of course this was highly unfair to the venue. We try to avoid the un-fair, since this is our livelihood.

If you're truly in a low risk business your premium will be low as well. Insurers have the premium costs down to a science. Most insurers will also let you pay quarterly or even monthly. So, it's incorrect that a low-risk vendor has to pay a big up-front premium.

Insurance is expensive, do I still need to buy it?

Like taxes, nobody wants to pay insurance premiums. If your premium is high, well then you are high risk and you most definitely need it. Most insurers will also let you pay quarterly or even monthly.

Can I get a one-day policy?

No. Anyone can get a one day policy. Heck, we can even get a one-day bartender policy, and we've never tended bar. In short, a one-day policy does not help us determine that you are truly a professional vendor. A one-day policy request is a siren that blares "not a real vendor" (or not a responsible vendor).

If you got a one-day policy every time you came to our venues, we'd have to hire a full time insurance filer for all the one-day policies we had to chase down here.

Can I provide coverage for less than $1 mm or less than 1 year?

It's almost impossible to find a policy under $1 mm, but absolutely not.

Can I get an annual policy before coming to your venues?

Yes of course. We won't hold your prior insurance history against you. You'll sleep better at night too.

Can I wait to send you insurance until right before the event?

We expect all vendor applications completed, which includes the insurance submittal, at least 30 days before the event. This is when we raise red flags with the client and request that they find an alternative vendor. Submitting an application right before an event puts us under the gun and is not considerate of the venue or your client. If you're unwilling to obtain insurance, its only right to let the client know in enough time not to cause a panic.

Can you recommend an insurance agent?

Any agency in town can help you; this is standard fare for them.

Can I call to discuss these insurance requirements?

We prefer that you didn't. We think we've laid out everything here thoroughly. We don't mean to be curt, but we see about 1000 vendors a year and even 10 minutes added to that number of vendors is costly and repetitive. We don't mark up a vendor's services at our venues, so we don't make money being an open-vendor venue. We're merely fans of freedom of choice for our clients.

Our faith in the open-vendor model is shaken periodically, but we don't want to go to a closed-vendor policy like so many venues. Please help us maintain our ability to keep our venues open to all vendors.

That said, if your question truly hasn't been answered here, do call us.

If I drop off [food, flowers, decor, etc.] do I have to buy insurance?

Yes, for several reasons. Merely driving onsite or entering the building creates liability. If you're delivering food, then there is another level of liability.

What if I cancel my policy after the event?

That's your prerogative and we can't stop you. But all named insureds (us) receive notification from your insurer that coverage has been cancelled. If so informed, you will not be allowed to return to our venues.


Why do you charge an application fee?

Vendors who aren't professionals usually won't apply if there is a fee. If there isn't a fee, we'd be chasing every grandma-cake baker and friend-bartender til the end of time. Also, processing vendors just takes a lot of time.

No one else charges a fee, are you getting rich off these?

Bully for them. It's $50 - no of course we don't make money off of these. If we wanted to make money off vendors, we'd charge a commission to come into the venue or we might even become our own caterer, bartender, florist or coordinator. But we don't think this best serves our clients. We want those who are great in their respective fields to come here.


Your liability release seems very broad, will you amend it?

Yes it is, and no we won't. Sorry, but we don't make money from an vendors who come to our venues, so we're not willing to accept any liability from this arrangement either. Further, if we modified our liability release for vendors who asked, we'd have to hire an in-house attorney or go to a closed-vendor policy.


Can you put me on your approved vendor list?

No, and quite frankly this is like inviting yourself to a party. If you come to our venues and both do a great job and are fun to work with, then we'll ask you if you'd like to be on our list. Or you can ask us.

Is it worth being on the approved vendor list?

We think so. Those on the list seem to come back a good bit every year. It's free advertising.

We do try to limit the size of the list a bit to both help the vendors but also so as to not overwhelm the clients with too many choices.

Can I become an exclusive vendor?

Well, we like your bravado. Usually, we don't consider exclusives or limiting a vendor category unless that category has natural limitations inherently (there may only be a few providers, etc.). Sometimes compelling reasons do exist, however.

How do I stay on your approved vendor list?

First, clients need to select you enough times to make it worth while for everyone. Second, everything that got you on the list in the first place remains intact. Third, you send us your new COI every year when you renew your insurance (we send you an email reminder to do so).

Reciprocal niceties such as promoting our venues on your website would be nice too.


When can I come by for a site visit?

We have open houses for existing clients and their vendors weekly. These are currently scheduled in the evening to accommodate mort schedules. We prefer that your site visit occur then.

Who is my point of contact at the venue?

We will have a Venue Manager onsite for the duration of the load-in, event and load-out. That person is able to answer any questions you have that you did not ask before the event date. If you have any questions before the event date, please ask the event coordinator or contact us via email at and reference the date of the event and at which venue the event will be held.

Where can I load in and park?

Load in at Clementine is usually in front of the building if you have heavy items such as A/V equipment, lighting, furniture, etc. Also it is where alcohol is delivered as it is the closest point to the bar. There are no steps to enter the building. If you have wheeled carts, they must enter through the front side doors as the marble entry is damaged by carts. Load in for food is at the side entrances on 48th St as it is mere steps to the catering kitchen. Other than for catering trucks that are used for supplies during the event, all other vendor vehicles must be relocated to public parking spaces removed from the building.

Load in at Ruby is usually in back of the building for all vendors, though for events with a bar in the Treehouse Courtyard alcohol delivery at the front is more convenient. There is a ramp in the back for wheeled carts. Other than for catering trucks that are used for supplies during the event, all other vendor vehicles must be relocated to Ruby's designated off-premise parking.

Can I pick up items the day after the event?

All items must be removed on the day of the event so that we may be ready for an event the following day.

Do you have garbage cans / dumpster onsite.

We have a dumpster at our venues. Trash must be bagged (we provide bags) and boxes broken down as dumpsters fill quickly. We also have trash cans onsite, which should be rinsed out at the end of the night by the caterer or bartender using them.

Can I hang items from the rafters (lights, floral, drapery)?

Yes, but the rafters are high up (22' at Clementine and 14' at Ruby). Vendors must be adept at high ladder work. You must bring your own ladder. No lifts are allowed as our antique floors cannot support the weight. All items in the rafters must be removed on the day of the event.

Lighting vendors must take particular care not to unplug our lights or other electrical equipment.

Do you have Audio specs for bands / DJs?

Yes we do and we can send those to you. There's too much to explain here.

What are your expectation of photographers?

We open our venues to any professional photographer. The use of our premises in your photos is made in exchange for sharing all of your event photos with us for limited promotional purposes (with credit of course). We do expect full resolution images free of watermarks. We do not expect to have to contact our mutual client to obtain the photos (clients have agreed in their contract to share their photos).

When can I pick up a left item?

Items are rarely left behind as our managers and the event coordinator walk the building at the end of every event for this purpose. If you think you left an item, please contact the event coordinator as they likely took it with them along with any other left items. If you think that the item is really at the building, email us at and reference the venue location.