It’s time for another one of our Best of Nashville interviews! This month, we are featuring Ruby, a wonderful venue located in the Vanderbilt/Hillsboro area, owned by Dan and Brenda Cook. We’ve decided to feature Ruby this month, because they are participating in the Nashville Venue Crawl, this Sunday, August 4th. This venue crawl features 3 different venues around Nashville: Ruby, The Bridge Building, and Houston Station. OZ Events is also featured, however, their venue will not be participating in the scheduled tour due to ongoing construction. This event is the first of its kind in Nashville and is a great way for brides to see many different venues at one time. We are so excited that Ruby invited us to participate in their showcase! So sit down, relax, and enjoy this conversation Brenda and I had about what makes Ruby special and one of the Best in Nashville!
LPR: Tell me a little about the services you offer at Ruby and the specs of the building.
Brenda: We have a capacity of 225, and the outdoor space – with our decks and courtyards – often plays a part in our events. Our facility comes with parking, audio and video systems, facility assistance, cleanup, ice, garbage cans, and other things you would want in a venue. We also offer planning services – after all, we designed the space, so we enjoy being a part of the creative process to ensure the space is utilized to its full potential.
We are still relatively new, so we’re amazed at how the business has grown. We are shocked that Saturdays are booking up to a year or more in advance now!
LPR: How did you and Dan come into the event business and start running Ruby?
Brenda: We’re designers in everything we do, so, on our many trips to Dragon Park, we observed the dilapidated Primitive Baptist Church and dreamed of what it could become. It’s a long story, but one day the property literally fell into our laps and we took the plunge. We had no intent to get into the event business, but an event hall serving the community was really the right use for the building.
LPR: What makes Ruby one of the Best in Nashville and different from other venues in the area?
Brenda: Our modern/industrial/historic design is definitely a differentiator. We’re also pretty much the only venue in the Vanderbilt/Hillsboro area. Our beautiful outdoor decks and courtyards, surrounded by the city park are a unique way to bring the outdoors in, and is a one-of-a-kind feature. We also think it’s important to have an open vendor policy, which enables hosts to create any event they want at their particular price point. This flexibility is something we are very proud to offer our customers.
LPR: What have been some of your favorite events held at Ruby?
Brenda: Wow, we just do so many different kinds of events, from wedding rehearsals, ceremonies and receptions, to university, corporate and music events, fundraisers, art and fashion shows – it’s really hard to pick. The couples for whom we do the coordination are often the most memorable because we get to know them so well and we get to design something with them that’s truly amazing and unique. We once had a disco-themed kids birthday party complete with “paparazzi” taking pictures of the kids at the door, which was really fun and cute.
LPR: What kind of brides do you see being attracted the most to Ruby?
Brenda: Ah, great question! Picking a venue is an emotional decision and brides who select Ruby generally do so based upon our design. They’re often design-forward. They also usually have a healthy disdain for institutional options and rigid rules.
LPR: What are some “delightful details” you’ve seen at recent events?
Brenda: We’ve seen some really cool stuff done with lighting lately, and some super unique floor plans with lots of lounge seating. The best details are the ones that reflect the personality of the hosts. My favorite bride and groom send off had them departing together on a scooter!
We’d like to thank Dan and Brenda for their participation in this interview. All photos have been provided by Ruby. For more information on Ruby, make sure to stop by their website, Facebook page, and Twitter page. Stay tuned for more in the Best of Nashville series!