Sara and Derek Knop exchanged wedding vows from center stage at the Rapids Theatre on September 15, 2018. Here they share insight into their venue search, décor, menu and entertainment, and why the Rapids Theatre was the perfect place to begin a lifetime of beautiful memories together.
The couple, who met through friends eight years ago, shared their first date at a wine tasting at the Buffalo Museum of Science. After Derek proposed in February 2017, the couple began touring venues in WNY.
“We toured a few venues that just seemed boring to us,” said Sara. “We saw pictures of the Rapids Theatre online and thought it was gorgeous. When we toured the theatre is seemed perfect, it is very unique!”
Beyond the beauty of this dramatic venue, Sara and Derek recognized the benefits of hosting their ceremony and reception at the same location.
“Time is a big benefit,” said Derek. “At most weddings, guests need to find something to do for hours before the reception. Having both events at Rapids made it easier on our wedding party and our guests. There’s an hour in between but the guests were entertained.”
Maureen Boyd, Rapids Theatre Catering Sales Manager, Rich’s Catering & Special Events, says the theatre balcony is her favorite place to host a cocktail hour between the ceremony and reception. The balcony offers guests a unique view of the dinner and dancing area from above.
To get plans rolling for their wedding, Maureen first met with Sara and Derek for a details meeting. Typically scheduled six to nine months prior to the wedding day, this meeting is Maureen’s opportunity to get to know the couple and learn about their wedding vision. She usually asks couples about their theme or color scheme prior to the meeting and comes prepared with ideas to incorporate these elements into décor, lighting and more.
“When going through packages and picking our menu, Maureen walked us through everything,” said Sara. “She had photos to show us the different decorating options and we were able to see all the décor that we could rent to ensure there weren’t any surprises on the wedding day.”
Sara and Derek took advantage of Rich’s wide range of décor options, adding fabric backdrops, up lighting, firefly lights, and tall silver candelabras as centerpieces to accentuate the theatre’s high ceilings. Tables were draped in ivory linens with runners in plum and lilac, and a silver sequin tablecloth added the perfect amount of sparkle on stage.
They also utilized the theatres large projection screens to run photos and a surprise slide show prepared by family. Rapids can also run live video feeds to the screens during any portion of an event.
“The professional lighting system at Rapids completely transforms the space and is a great way to integrate your wedding colors,” said Maureen. “The theatre’s ceiling dome is a main focal point that no other location in WNY has. It’s the perfect backdrop for cake cutting and first dances.”
After guests enjoyed a culinary feast including their choice of a chicken, salmon or sirloin entree, it was time to hit the dance floor. Guests danced the night away under the theatre’s dramatic dome with an engaging DJ from Toy Bros Entertainment. The couple was most excited to see guests enjoy the photo booth, and the photos they got from the night did not disappoint!
Finally, to satisfy any late-night munchies, Rich’s prepared Derek’s favorite food, pizza and chicken wings.
Sara and Derek envisioned a large, beautiful indoor venue with good food when they went looking for a wedding location. As the newlyweds reflect upon their wedding day, they both agree they got much more than they expected from Rich’s at the Rapids Theatre.
“Rich’s made it easy and went above and beyond,” said Sara. “From ensuring we were comfortable before the wedding, to giving us time to be alone after the ceremony. They even surprised us with sparklers when our cake was served!”