'Make Your Dreams Come True': A Wedding Primer By The Halkias, Owners of The Grand Prospect Hall

Grand Prospect Hall

The Halkias make your dreams come true.
Photo: MTV/Wendy Heisler

Have you heard? Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are getting married! They're generally a pretty private pair and go out of their way to keep their lives and whereabouts under wraps, so you probably didn't even realize that was happening, but it IS. The biggest rumor for the Kardashian-West nuptials was that they might take place at the Palace of Versailles, or that the couple at least attempted to book their ceremony and/or reception at France's most opulent royal chateau and were perhaps shut down.

Versailles couldn't grant Kimye's (rumored) wedding wishes, but we know one New York couple who would've done their darnedest to make the future Mr. and Mrs. West happy: Michael and Alice Halkias, owners of Brooklyn's famous Grand Prospect Hall. (From New York but it's not ringing a bell yet? Watch this.) Naturally, we called them up to chat about what makes weddings at Grand Prospect Hall so special and how they'd make Kim and Kanye's dreams come true.

MTV STYLE: Grand Prospect Hall is a kind of New York staple, but some people outside of the city might not have heard about it. How would you describe Grand Prospect Hall to someone unfamiliar with the venue?

MICHAEL HALKIAS: Well, Grand Prospect Hall is a music hall and theater, multi-purpose facility, many different ballrooms with the grand ballroom being the major space, where we do very, very large events. It was built originally in 1892 and then went through a full new construction in steel in 1900. We are still a music hall with balconies and a full stage, and we have been socially the Mecca of any social and corporate event and weddings, bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs, and it's also for divorces!

ALICE HALKIAS: That's my husband's joke.

Ha! And how would you describe the aesthetic of Grand Prospect Hall?

MICHAEL: It's Victorian. Actually, we call it Victorian, but architects would probably call it, the grand ballroom itself, modern French renaissance. It has a lot of decorative plaster, and we use a lot of gold leafing all over the place. The Oak Room is Victorian Americana, you could say. A lot of wood. Very rare with the little characters painted on the wood.

Grand Prospect Hall

Photo: MTV/Wendy Heisler

How would you describe your roles at Grand Prospect Hall?

ALICE: Well, we purchased the property in 1981, and we restored it to the fullest. And as our slogan says, we make your dreams come true.

And how did you two get into the business of making dreams come true?

ALICE: We saw the property. We thought it needed, of course, a lot of love and care. But we wanted to fix it for everybody to enjoy it, not the Brooklynites only, because we have people come from Manhattan, from Long Island, from Staten Island from New Jersey, from out of the country, from L.A. Hearst Publications had a huge black tie event here. We've had events from Colombia, from Germany, from France, a company came from Italy to do a beautiful event, so we're open to everybody. And of course, we do movies, too! Major movies like The Royal Tenenbaums, some episodes from television series like 30 Rock, Pan Am, Gossip Girl. It's an exciting, happy business.

Grand Prospect Hall

Photo: MTV/Wendy Heisler

And out of all of the events that take place at Grand Prospect Hall, what percentage would you say are weddings?

ALICE: Oh, I would say at least 60-65%? We do have some concerts, some all-day seminars, especially for the Board of Education, because they need big spaces to do different types of events. But mostly weddings.

Why do you think the Grand Prospect Hall is such a great place to have a wedding?

ALICE: It's a lot different from most other catering halls, which are very similar to one another. The Grand Prospect Hall was built as an opera hall. It was built for entertainment. This grand staircase with marble stairs and the gold leaf banisters are centuries old. There's beautiful fresco on the walls and the ceilings that we restored. It's something from a different era. You can almost only find buildings like that in Versailles, in Europe.

Grand Prospect Hall

Photo: MTV/Wendy Heisler

MICHAEL: And the ceilings are very tall. You're going to a grand space, and your eyes are drawn up. There's a definite wow-factor.

ALICE: I mean, in a few cases, when you have a bride who's looking for something super modern, this is not what they want. That's fine. Perfectly all right. But for someone who wants something completely different, out of the ordinary, this is the place.

Absolutely. And you mentioned Versailles. Are either of you following the Kim Kardashian/Kanye West wedding news at all?

ALICE: Unfortunately not, but now that you mention it, I should be looking into it! I am familiar with the show. Are they doing it in Versailles?

So, the rumor is: They wanted to do it in Versailles, but they weren't allowed. Obviously, we thought of Grand Prospect Hall, because there's nowhere more synonymous with extravagant weddings in New York. If Kim and Kanye had come to you for their wedding, how would you have made their dreams come true?

ALICE: We won't need to do too much to impress Kim and Kanye. The facilities themselves will impress them. If they're looking for something like Versailles, we have it here. If they only knew that we are here! Well, and if they wanted to have their wedding in Brooklyn.

Grand Prospect Hall

Photo: MTV/Wendy Heisler

And if they had come to you, what would the process have been?

ALICE: First, I would ask them what they would like to serve, the food aspect. Then, usually the bride and the groom are free to bring their own entertainment, but we do work with entertainment, and also party planners, if they have one. This way, we can do exactly what they dream for their event. We don't push them to do what we want. We let them use their style. Being that we are in the food business, we concentrate more on the food aspect. If they want to come with a horse and buggy in front of the building, they can do that. We do have some weddings where they do things like that, with a white horse and drums for the bride. Different ethnic groups, they do different styles of weddings, and we can accommodate anything.

I'm gonna keep going with this hypothetical Kim and Kanye situation. It would probably be a pretty big wedding with a lot of attendees wanting to protect their privacy. Would the Grand Prospect Hall be able to accommodate for that?

ALICE: Of course! We don't spill the beans.

That's great. They also have very opulent taste. What are some of the most extravagant things you've seen at weddings at Grand Prospect Hall?

ALICE: Well, I can tell you with my children, when they married, we had a very unique performance. As the guests sat down in the ballroom, I had two different ballet performances done in a very short period of time. Ten minutes maximum and then the grand introduction was done. The bridal party was all dressed with the proper attire—period clothes. I had trumpeters making the announcement, so they were up in the balcony. They played the trumpet and that's when the first couple walked in. It was really, very, very different and unique. So, we went back to that Versailles era!

That sounds incredible. What about some other big things? Have there been any crazy ice sculptures?

ALICE: Ahh, ice sculptures are very normal. That's why I didn't mention them. They're the usual thing here. We have plenty of ice sculptures. They can pick anything, they can depict anything they want, and we have capable ice sculptors to do that.

Grand Prospect Hall

Photo: MTV/Wendy Heisler

What about unique types of dress?

ALICE: Oh yeah, everybody's trying to outdo the other, so they're going to wear something beautiful. Top hats, fascinators, everything. And we had a Nigerian wedding recently, two or three hundred people, and the family of the bride had all these colors. All their dresses were in two color tones and the family of the groom was in a different two colors, so you knew automatically which member was belonging to which family. You can't really imagine how gorgeous it is.

Would you say weddings are your favorite event to hold at the Grand Prospect Hall?

ALICE: Of course, they're the happier events. All events are beautiful and important, but a wedding is a dream come true. Every bride has dreamed about it and we're trying to fulfill it and that's important. A company might do a corporate event or fundraiser every year, so they just change the theme or the setting, but a wedding is once-in-a-lifetime. They're much more extravagant and much more touching. We work very close with the bride and the groom, and many times they become our friends after that.

Understandably! You're working on one of the biggest moments of their lives! On that note, do you have any wedding well-wishes for Kim and Kanye?

ALICE: Well, we wish them the best. We hope that however they choose to be married is exactly what they wanted, and I'm sure we will find out soon after that! Long life, health, and happiness!



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