Tuesday, December 28, 2010

You and 299 of your closest friends or maybe less.

A big open space means flexiblity when it comes to laying out tables, but it also scares people when they have a small event or are pushing the maximum of capacity of the space. The Vox Theatre has hosted events from as small a 30 guest dinner party to a 300 guest wedding and reception. We have also hosted a music video shoot, dance competition and several awards banquets. Hopefully, soon we will be hosting an event for you. Click here to see a few different table layouts for your reception. Below you will find a few different floor plans we have created for different guests. Check back later to see other layouts.

Reception floor plan is set up for 252 seated guests.

Wedding ceremony and reception set for 180 seated guests

Wedding reception set for 160 seated guests

Layout for booths at a conference

Wedding reception for 130 seated guests

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Wedding Rehearsal

People get married in all sorts of places. We see many brides have the ceremony and the reception at the same pace. When this happens, many questions arise but the two biggest ones are:

1. How do we set up the space to accommodate both a ceremony and a reception?
2. How do have a rehearsal for the ceremony?

In a later post I will discuss how the Vox can be set for wedding ceremony and reception. This post is just for your rehearsal.

The way we do the rehearsal for a wedding at the Vox is:

1. Option 1: To guarantee a specific date for a wedding rehearsal that is not on the day of your event and that is not already reserved by another party. The Vox Theatre will provide you and your guests with 2 hours of time in the Vox and the space set with tables and chairs. This option is provided at an additional cost.

2. Option 2: One week prior to your event, if no other event is scheduled on the date of your wedding rehearsal, the Vox Theatre will provide you with access to the theatre at a cost equal to our additional hourly rate.

3. Option 3: A rehearsal can take place during the 3 hour set up time or 6 hour event time on the day of your event. If for some reason additional hours are required, additional hours can be purchased, if necessary.

Also, remember the rehearsal does not have to be the day before your wedding or in conjunction with a rehearsal dinner. This is your wedding and traditions do not always have to be followed.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Give back with your wedding!

In mid-September, Lauren and Erin said "I do" at the Vox Theatre. It was a fun wedding, but one of the things I loved most about it was how they chose to use their wedding day to give back.

Often we hear of people listing a charity as part of their gift ideas, or selecting to go green. Lauren and Erin went a little different route - they chose a rental company for their chairs, linens and decorations that supports a non-profit youth program. This company also provide the floral arrangements and did a majority of the event set-up. "The Refuge is a Non Profit 501c3 Coffeehouse and Youth Club run by Champions of Life Inc. and Hartley’s Karate as a community outreach. The center is dedicated to supporting youth and their families as they fight for their destinies. We believe that to become a Champion you must have a dream, a plan, positive habits, friends and family that encourage and enable you to become the best you in the world!" They use the rentals business to help support their programs. While their inventory is not as extensive as some of the more well known party rental companies, they have an ever expanding inventory, as well as some unique items at reasonable prices.

Here are some of the items that Lauren and Erin used for their beautiful ceremony and reception:

Theatre ropes

Chairs, chair covers and linens

Columns with crystal chandeliers

Some of the milk glass containers for floral arrangements.

If you would like more information about The Refuge contact Marietta by visiting www.refugekc.com

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Great Stories!

Somedays I sit at my desk and wonder who will be walking through the door next. Working in a theatre built in 1922 that has been quiet since the early 1960's, people stop in to see what we movies we are showing or what plays they can come watch. People also stop in to revisit old memories and share stories with us. We love hearing the stories - it makes the building more than just brick and mortar.

We have heard about all the kids sitting on the wall outside waiting for the door to open so they can see a movie. For 17 cents or 25 cents, a person could see some cartoons, a serial, and a full length film. It was an all afternoon event to go to the theatre.

We also had a visit from, the 1950 graduating class from Rosedale High School. It was a group of about 30 members of the class and their spouses. They joked about the "double chairs" that used to be on the aisle. It was a chair big enough for two people to sit. They wanted to know if we found any during the renovation. Unfortunately, we did not.

The sweetest story of them all is from one of our brides. She booked her reception long before I started at theVox Theatre, so I am not sure if she had shared it with anyone here, before she told me over a year later. Anyway, we were going over the final details of her reception and she said "My grandma used to sell popcorn here (at the Vox Theatre). She was only 13 years old and this is where she met my grandpa." Awww!

This is the wedding picture of her grandmother and grandfather that was on display at the reception.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Community Partners Red Carpet Recognition Dinner

On October 18, the Vox Theatre was proud to host the Kansas City, Kansas and Wyandotte County Community Partners Red Carpet Recognition Dinner. Honoring the wonderful volunteers & community partners of both Kansas City, KS & Wyandotte Co. We welcomed approximately 275 guests. Awards and grants were presented and KCTV 5 Sandra Olivas is the emcee for the evening.

The Mayor/CEO of Kansas City, KS/Wyandotte Co. was the main speaker with the Sheriff, Police Chief, and the Fire Chief presenting awards. Representative from BPU and Target spoke as well. Grants were also given to many of the Community Neighborhood Groups in attendance.

Friday, October 8, 2010

What do I do now!?!

"My reception venue just cancelled my reception!" What do I do now?

The Vox Theatre is new to the wedding business, but twice this summer, we received phone calls from brides looking for a new venue because their venue canceled the reception. I don't know if it is because of the current economic climate or some other extenuating circumstance, but two was a bit more than I expected.

So your venue canceled - WHAT DO YOU DO NOW?

1. Stop the presses on the invitations, immediately! Depending on how close to your wedding date, this could save you a lot of headaches. If the invitations have been printed and mailed. Prepare a post card with the new reception location to be sent to all guests. Also have the post cards with the new reception location available at the ceremony as well as in the hotel rooms of your out of town guests.
2. Get your deposit back. If the venue cancels, they should give you your deposit back, however, you need to check the fine print of your contract.
3. If your using a wedding planner, let her do the leg work and don't stress. It will all work out.
4. If your not using a wedding planner, go back to the other venues you were considering initially. You may find that there is some availability. Some venues maybe willing to work with you because of your circumstances. If they aren't willing to help out even a little, you may not want to work with them anyway.
5. If those venues are booked for your wedding day, hit the internet. Check for new wedding/reception venues. They usually have more openings in the calendar because they are a new venue. They may also be willing to work with you a bit more than a well established venue.
6. Check with your other vendors. Your caterer, florist, photographer, DJ or other people in the wedding business may have different ideas and contacts or know of a great venue that is open for your day. Most will be willing to help you locate or put you in touch with someone that could help.
7. Relax - it may seem very overwhelming, but don't let it ruin your special day. Everything happens for a reason. You may find a place that is even better than the one that canceled.

Once you have booked the new reception location, enjoy it! Remember the all good about your wedding day.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bridal Suite

Your wedding day should be relaxing and enjoyable. If you have your wedding and/or reception at the Vox Theatre, we have a place where you can relax with your bridesmaids and have the hair stylist, make-up artist and manicurist come to you - oh yes and maybe lunch. Our bridal suite is located next to the Vox Theatre - the old bank building - built in 1908.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Not your usual wedding cake bride & groom

Flowers have become a traditional topper for wedding cakes and while they are beautiful like Kerry and Andrew's cake, they don't have to be what you use for your wedding cake topper. Look at some of the ones we have seen at the Vox Theatre

Flowers - Kerry & Andrew

Just Ducky! - Lauren & Erin

Monkey Around - Kari & Dustin

Birds of a Feather - Nancy & Scott

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Outdoor Patio

When the Vox Theatre was purchased in January of 2009, the outdoor patio idea was just a pie in the sky. However, moving next to the Rosedale Development Association has is privileges. Now we share the outside their backyard for our outdoor patio area. It is a nice addition to the theatre space and allows for additional seating and the possibility of an outdoor ceremony.

The outdoor patio area is over 1500 square feet and has a wooden deck that is over 300 square feet. Currently, 2 hexagon picnic tables are placed in the area, but more tables, either with seats or bar heights, can be added on an nice evening. At times an additional bar can be located on the patio.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Year at the Vox

A year ago, I walked into the Vox Theatre thinking about photography. I met with Alistair and was hoping I could work with him as an intern learning all I could about how to take better pictures. Knowing I could never make a living at photography, I still wanted to improve what little skills I already had. Well a few months later I somehow convinced Alistair that I would be a better event manager than photography intern or assistant. So in February, I offically became the Event Manager of the Vox Theatre. If you don't believe it, I even have business cards that say it.

Not really knowing what an event manager does (I was a structural engineer in my former life) I had to quickly learn the ins and outs of event managing. Where to start?...the library and book stores...What to read?....Meeting & Event Planning For Dummies seemed appropriate . After reading through numerous books, I thought "Yep, I'm good. I can do this and it will be fun." I love weddings and I have planned many other events as a volunteer.

Now - one year later - I can't believe it. The time has flown. I have learned so many different things and have gotten to do a wide variety of task that somebody neglected to mention in all those books I read. The list is long, but here are some highlights:
1. Paint - I have painted in the past but this past year has been the year of paint. It is one task I can do with out needing someone to help. Honestly, my painting skills really haven't improved!
2. Used a nail gun to install baseboards - again I have done this before, but never without injury, so I don't do this very often.
3. Caulk - it is amazing how caulk to span over a such large gaps.
4. Pull wiring for the new sound system - the sound system wiring is in the attic...it is much better to do in the winter than in the summer.
5. Clean - I have always hated cleaning. Now it is my responsibility to clean up after events and do general cleaning. Yuck! That is why I pushed to hire a cleaning company.
6. Saw - This is another task I don't do it much, because I'm an accident waiting to happen. Power tools and I don't get along.
7. Sew - I can sew. People have paid me to sew for them for years. I never expected to make curtains for Vox Theatre or repair a bustle for a bride because her guests kept stepping on her dress and she couldn't dance with it un-bustled.
8. Move tables on a weekly sometimes daily basis - I definitely do not need a gym membership. I get a good work out moving the tables that weigh almost as much as I do.

Even with these tasks that were not in the job description - IT HAS BEEN A GREAT YEAR! I have met many great people - my brides and grooms have been fabulous - my job is more fun than I imagined. I can't think of any better job for me.

Thanks Alistair for giving me such a great opportunity.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Candles vs. Fan

Sometimes when you love something you tend not to see problems in the relationship. Last week, I wrote about our Big Ass Fan
While we love our Big Ass Fan, it creates has issues with our love for weddings. We know that weddings and candles go hand in hand. Candles and the Big Ass Fan - not so much!

The fan helps keep the air in the large open event space of the Vox Theatre moving so it doesn't feel stale or get too hot (or cold) in certain areas. Moving air - not a friend of candles. The candles struggle to stay lit when the fan is used to its best ability.

So again another dilemma - How do we have both? How can both the candles and the fan peacefully coexist at the Vox Theatre?

We did some testing - spent hours lighting and relighting candles, moving table to different locations and measuring containers. In most of the wind blown spots in the room, we found that the candles can stay lit if the container that they are placed in is at least 4 inches taller than the flame. The nice thing about the candles is that they will burn down. If you start with something that may be a little shy of 4 inches, the candle will probably burn down enough that when the dance floor starts to get busy and the fan speed increases, the candles should still be lit. Now, we are not saying that is the only candles you can use. The container that is 4 inches higher than the flame is just a recommendation. You can use almost any candle holder you want (as long as the flame is contained), but the flame will probably get blow out by the fan.

So when selecting decorations especially candles, keep in mind the Big Ass Fan, and try using hurricanes or candles holders that contain the flame and are 4 inches higher than the flame.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

We are a fan!

Guest: "Wow, that is a big fan."
Me: "Yes, it is a Big Ass Fan"
Guest: "I guess it is!"
Me: "No, really, that is a Big Ass Fan made by the Big Ass Fan company"
Guest: "I love it."

We love our fan, too. It is one of the first things people notice when they enter and it has become a conversation piece. Besides the fun of the fan, it does serve a purpose. When Alistair purchased the Vox Theatre, the building had the original tin ceiling from 1922, 20 foot ceilings and not enough air conditioning for an event space.

The dilemma: how to efficiently cool the space and not cut into the ceiling, all at a reasonable price?

The choices were minimal for cooling this old building/new event space on a budget.

Option 1: hang duct work from the ceiling down below the light fixtures.
Option 2: install a large fan to push the air from the ceiling.

Add protecting the ceiling, and it was impossible.

The solution: the next best thing - limit the holes in the ceiling, keep most of the ceiling visible and create a conversation piece.

20 tons of cooling and 1 Big Ass Fan later, our guests are comfortable on a 100 degree day in Kansas.

So now we are known for our fan!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Weather & Outdoor Weddings

When you choose an outdoor venue for your wedding or reception, you risk rain on your parade. It is one thing that can ruin your day, but only if you let it. Rachel and Tim decided to say "I do" at the Rose Garden in Loose Park. She stood in line for hours to get her 2 hour time slot for her ceremony - 2-4pm on June 12. It had rained almost every day the weeks leading up to the event. Rachel and I briefly discussed another option for her ceremony if it looked like bad weather. She told me - "It's my day and I am going to get married at the Rose Garden in Loose Park rain or not". So when I arrived at the Vox Theatre about 10am that morning, I hoped that the rain would let up because it was pouring! Rachel was going to have rain on her wedding day and in all of her wedding pictures. Her ceremony was to start at 3pm and the reception at 5pm. I spoke with her father that morning and he said she is still planning on getting married outside. It rained all morning and well into the afternoon. 3pm arrived and the rain started to let up a little but the ceremony was several miles away. 3:45pm: guests started to arrive. At 4pm, Rachel and Tim arrived a little damp but extremely happy. She then proceeds to tell me that it stopped raining at 3pm and they set up the chairs on the lawn in less than 10 minutes. The ceremony started at 3:15 - completed in less than 15 minutes. By 3:45, the rain started to come down again. She was thrilled. She got her dream wedding with a little bit of rain, but she didn't lose sight of the fact that she was getting married to the man of her dreams and would be spending her life with her best friend. It would make a good story to tell the grandkids, someday.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

iPod Wedding Reception Music

In the age of digital music and MP3 players, lots of wedding venues are offering a sound system that can play an iPod. Giving brides the option of creating a play list and skipping the DJ or the live band. At the end of last year, the Vox Theatre installed an 11.1 surround sound system with an iPod dock for our everyday use as well as for our guest. But the question comes...Is the iPod reception a good thing? It can be. The iPod gives greater flexibility with your own personal music tastes and it potentially saves money if you already have the iPod and the all the appropriate music. However, it does have some drawbacks...nobody really gets and keeps the party going, the play list can get ignored or hijacked, and at times there is potential for dead air. The good news is there is a fairly simple solution that can help with some of this...have a designated person in control of the music. This person does not have to stand next to the iPod at all times, but they just need be the go-to person. Somebody wants to play a particular song, you can say "Talk to Aunt Jean or Cousin Earl. They can help you." Aunt Jean and Cousin Earl will need to know a few things, though.

1. Most importantly, KEEP THE MUSIC PLAYING.
2. Don't abruptly stop in the middle of a song. If you need to stop mid-song, slowly decrease the volume to help with a smooth transition.
3. Learn the music. Have Aunt Jean and Cousin Earl help in creating the play list so they have a good idea of what is on the list.
4. Print out a list of songs that are on the play list. This will allow people to choose a song from the list instead of having to search on the iPod.

Another suggestion to make the iPod reception a success - find a play list for wedding receptions...a list that has all the traditional songs you hear at receptions. There is a reason you always hear them. These songs appeal to a variety of people across the generations. They draw people to the dance floor. You don't have to play the "Chicken Dance", unless you want, but there are a wide variety of songs that will keep your guests on the dance floor.

Most wedding planning websites like theknot.com can give you ideas on songs to play. Style101.com has some advice on songs and tips for using an iPod for your reception.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wedding Triangle

The wedding triangle idea was created last year when Alistair, Rainbow Mennonite Church, and Deco Catering discussed the potential of a bride and groom having their ceremony at a church with some flexibility - a reception site that is close by and unique - then top it off with a caterer in close proximity as well. That is what you would get with The Vox Theatre, Rainbow Mennonite Church, and Deco Catering - all within a short walking distance, and also all three have a special flair and allow flexibilty to have the event of your dreams.

Several of the couples that celebrate their wedding with a reception at the Vox Theatre choose Deco Catering for their food and a few of our couples have said their vows at the Rainbow Mennonite Church and walked across the street to party at the Vox Theatre.

Clarissa and Rob enjoyed their ceremony at the Rainbow Mennonite Church and then made their way across the street to celebrate with 200 of their family and friends.

We are just waiting for the day when a couple uses all of the wedding triange. Not only is it conveient for the bride, groom and their guests, it is also good for the environment - think of all the miles saved tranporting everybody and all the food. Now if we could only get a hotel within walking distance.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Whimsical Wedding

I don't ever want to say that one of our weddings was better than another or the best we have had. They are all great and as unique as the brides we have. The best thing that I have seen through all of these weddings and receptions, is that they all reflect the personality of the couples. I have been very fortunate to work closely with each bride and get to know a little about them. I then attend the wedding or reception and with every person I meet and every decoration I see and food that I eat, I am rarely surprised and always pleased. The events of the each day always fit the personality of the bride and groom. That is one of my favorite parts of my job. Seeing the personality of each bride groom expressed in this way.

The wedding we had in mid-July was definitely no exception. Kari and Dustin are such a unique and fun couple. When asked about what one word would describe the theme for the day, both said whimsy! From the sock monkeys on the wedding cake

to the accordion player during the ceremony

to the rented ice cream truck that came by after dinner to the unique invitations and programs designed by Jenn Bedell.

Invitation front

Invitation back

There was a bit of tradition, but whimsy was the order of the day.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wedding & Karaoke at the Vox

June started with another first for the Vox. Kate and Joe were the first couple to have their ceremony at the Vox. They chose to say their vows in front of the large red theatre curtains, not wanting to be on stage. After the ceremony, dinner was served by Deco Catering and karaoke was performed on the stage for all the guests.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Brad Colerick Concert

In late May, The Vox had the pleasure of hosting a private concert by Brad Colerick. He treated the crowd to a mix of folk songs from his new CD "When I'm Gone" and his previous CDs as well as some covers.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Do we have to seat Uncle Fred?

This question comes up all the time - well not really, but brides and grooms want to please everbody and have a seat at a table for every person that is invited to the reception. The good news is - You don't have to! If you are invting 300 people, you know not everybody will be able to attend. It is not because they don't love you and wish they were sharing your special day, things happen.

So what do you do? How do you decide how many seats to provide? Best advice - be original - think differently - not everybody is the same, so don't seat everybody the same. Uncle Fred may perfer to stand while he eats, where Cousin George only sits on a couch to eat. Aunt Polly prefers to be outside during meals and little Harriet will run up and down the aisles until everyone is finished.

Ok, Ok if you are having a ceremony or formal plated dinner, yes every person attending should have a seat. However, if you are having a buffet, relax a little, have fun with the tables and the seating. At the Vox Theatre, we recommend only having seating for 80% of your guest. Not everybody will be eating at the same time, not everybody will want to sit. Also, you don't want to look over and see 2, 3 or more empty tables. They will look sad and you will think - Who didn't show up? or look at the money I wasted.

Now if your worried about the possiblity of people standing and holding their plates, use a cluster bar height tables. These table are a little more social and make for a more relaxed experience. Even better, have a lounge area (or two) with soft seating, maybe a couch, few soft chairs and a coffee table, like your living room. This is a fun alternative to the traditional banquet seating at round tables. Wedding receptions are fun and comfortable and the seating should be also.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Panda in the building!

In late May, Heather and Mike said "I do" and celebrated at the Vox Theatre with 280guests. Eventhought it was just our second wedding, I felt I had things under control and it going to run without any surprises. Then it happened - wild animals in the Vox! We have had some animals here and even some wild parties, but until the panda showed up we have never seen wild animals.

I should have asked, but I didn't want to look crazy (crazier than I usually do) Yes, Heather and Mike had a panda show up at their reception. Luckily, it was caught on camera or nobody would believe me. The panda showed up and danced with the guests, was carried around by several of the guests and then mysteriously disappeared. It is something I will never forgot.