Seasonal Touches in a Natural State –

This year, the weatherman may not be forecasting a white Christmas in the hill country, but we just can’t seem to get enough of the beautiful colors popping all over the ranch from the late fall foliage! We love changing seasons, especially this time of year so we are not complaining one bit! Take a look at these “Seasonal Touches” in a natural state.
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Check out some of our favorite seasonal touches and accents that serve as beautiful backdrops at Old Glory Ranch page by following this Link

Miniature donkeys at Old Glory Ranch

Mini-miniature donkey Christopher Columbus

We’d like to share our own version of a St. Christopher Columbus story with you!

While Old Glory Ranch’s main focus is hosting amazing weddings and corporate events here in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, Suzanne McCord, owner of the ranch, also raises and sells miniature donkeys. These adorable creatures have become quite popular and are often seen at events wearing brightly decorated wicker baskets and serving as “beer burros”!

A new addition arrived on Old Glory Ranch in the form of a miniature donkey who has been named St. Christopher Columbus [born the day after Columbus Day 2014]. His mother had a stillbirth in May of 2014 leaving us to believe she was no longer pregnant as a twin birth is uncommon with miniature donkeys. So we were a bit surprised when she gave birth in October to little Christopher. He was a pretty tiny little guy and was rejected by his mother right away. More than likely because of ‘animal instinct’ feeling that he wasn’t the healthiest of babies. In order to keep him safe, we stepped in.

Baby Christopher taking a bottle.

Baby Christopher taking a bottle.

We tried surrogate mother miniature donkey’s who also rejected him leaving only one option to give the little guy the fighting chance he deserved. Thus, Christopher became a ‘bottle baby’ and had lots of surrogate ‘Mothers’ in the form of Old Glory Ranch family and staff members who fed him around the clock for many weeks. He has delighted us with warm nuzzle greetings as we entered his pen to feed and stolen a bit of each of our hearts. If he could crawl in your lap, he would [he even tries!]! While his beginning proved to be a tough struggle that included a couple bouts of pneumonia, and other infections which required antibiotic injections several times a day, we felt he was pretty much out of the woods as he neared his 2 month birthday. We had been told by our vet that he will probably be very small even as an adult. For the first few visits to the vet he rode in the Old Glory Ranch manager’s pickup, not the trailer, but in the back seat of the truck like the ranch dog!

Surrogate Mothers came in all sizes!

Surrogate Mothers came in all sizes!

Katie takes a turn feeding Christopher.

Katie takes a turn feeding Christopher.

Suzanne often refers to him as the ‘million dollar donkey’, saying he will more than likely be a permanent fixture here. One day he will earn his keep by becoming one of our working donkey’s where clients and guests of weddings and events can get to know him as well. He continues to follow us around more like a puppy than a donkey. He likes to frolic and play with the other baby donkey who is younger than him, yet nearly twice his size!

When this piece was initially started, Christopher gave us an additional scare with yet another infection, so rather than having a sad ending to his story, we wanted to give him plenty of time to become what is ‘normal’ for him before finishing the first chapter of his story. He has proven to be quite a fighter and bounced back from that infection and celebrated his 4 month birthday earlier this week!

Today [2/13/14] he will be completely weaned from the bottle and will continue to frolic and play with his donkey, canine, and human friends. He’s really quite the celebrity even greeted one of the UPS drivers this week who was a bit surprised at the sight! We think he could be the first of his kind, a ‘dogkey’!

See more photos of our adorable miniature donkeys.

Baby Christopher then...

Baby Christopher then…

Baby Christopher now!

Baby Christopher now!

Join us for an Open House!

Come Enjoy Our Open House on Sunday, February 22, 2015 from 11am-2pm

If you are coming from the North/South Austin area we will even provide transportation to & from Old Glory Ranch via Motor Coach courtesy of Texan Motor Coach Lines, LLC. You may meet the bus in the parking lot of Kohl’s in Kyle, TX [20185 Market Place, Kyle Crossing]. The bus will depart promptly at 10:30am. [RSVP required to ride bus]

Those riding the bus can partake in a quick stop for wine tastings on the return trip! [pay small per person fee for wine tastings].

Join Our Guided Tours or Enjoy Self-Paced Tours to soak in all the Magic and Beauty of Old Glory Ranch!

Sample Tastings from Some of Our Favorite Bakers & Caterers
Visit with Various Vendors & Learn About Their Services

ACCOMMODATIONS ~
Hill Country Premier Lodging

BAKERS ~
Classic Cakes by Lori
Kellie’s Kandies & Cookies
Simon Lee Bakery
Tiny Pies

CATERERS ~

Catering with a Twist
Johnny Carino’s
Pappa D’s [Danna Family Catering]
Pappas Catering
PoK-e-Jo’s
Sullivan Street Caterers

ENTERTAINMENT ~
Chris Heckendorn DJ
Gypsy Moon
Musical Discovery Chamber Players

INVITATIONS & PRINT PRODUCTS ~
Gloriously Inviting

PHOTOGRAPHERS/VIDEOGRAPHERS/PHOTO BOOTHS ~

Anthology Photography
Crescent Video Productions
Innovative Photography
Mike Reed Photo
Peary Photography
SUM Booth

SKIN CARE ~
Arbonne – Jennifer Hargraves Consultant

AND MORE!!!!

RSVP to 512-847-3646 or event@oldgloryranch.com by 2/15/15
to ride the Bus or Attend the Open House

Old Glory Ranch Open House

Old Glory Ranch Open House

Hal Ketchum plays WAGala

Hal Ketchum plays WAGala at Old Glory Ranch

Hal Ketchum plays WAGala at Old Glory Ranch

Old Glory Ranch, a unique and fun Texas Hill Country event venue, was thrilled to serve as the backdrop for the WAGala and their featured entertainment, Hal Ketchum. The event was a huge success raising funds for our four legged friends to help them find their forever homes. Ketchum lit up the stage along with studio band members Kenny Grimes, Rick Richards and Paul Glasse at the Sunday fundraiser. Ketchum has three rescue dogs of his own and talked about life lessons to those in attendance as he poured his heart into each song. He has recently released his 11th album titled “I’m the Troubadour” which is available on iTunes.

WAG [Wimberley Adoption Group] & Rescue serves Wimberley and the surrounding areas including Dripping Springs and Blanco. WAG Rescue is a 501c3 non-profit organization who depends on volunteers, donations and fundraisers to be able to care for abandoned, neglected, unclaimed and surrendered dogs and puppies. They provide medical care for these animals, and place them in a nurturing foster environment where they receive training and learn socialization skills until they are ready to be adopted into loving, forever homes. WAG Rescue provides spay-neuter vouchers through Emancipet for Wimberley residents and is a resource for lost and found animals for our area. “We decided it was time to raise the bar for our fundraisers,” said WAG spokesperson Pat Davis. “What better way than to have a great entertainer such as Hal Ketchum and a beautiful Texas Hill Country backdrop like Old Glory Ranch. We feel like our mission was definitely accomplished.”

Hal Ketchum, Kenny Grimes, Rick Richards and Paul Glasse perform at Old Glory Ranch

Hal Ketchum, Kenny Grimes, Rick Richards and Paul Glasse perform at Old Glory Ranch

More about Hal Ketchum – Copied from his “I’m the Troubadour” bio:
“Five years ago, Hal Ketchum packed up his guitars and left Nashville, turning his back on a successful, 20+ year career in country music. He’s already sold more than 5 million albums, racking up a half-dozen Top 10 hits – including staples like “Small Town Saturday Night,” and “Hearts Are Gonna Roll” – along the way. But Ketchum was exhausted, and his multiple sclerosis, a condition that often left him partially paralyzed, wasn’t making matters any easier. He wanted to go home. And that’s exactly what the singer/songwriter did, heading back to Texas for some peace, quite, and serious introversion.

“I was hiding out,” he admits. “I’d been in the public for so long. I didn’t even go into town; I had my daughter bring me groceries. I develop a form of agoraphobia, really. I found pleasure in watching the stars at night and watching the sun during the afternoon. I also put out a lot of bird feeders and basically talked to myself all day long.”

It was a relaxing time. Try as he might, though, Ketchum couldn’t stop his musical wheels from spinning. As he sat on the porch of his home — a renovated, 19th century grist mill in the middle of the Texas Hill Country — he began documenting everything he saw. He jotted down the memories that crossed his mind, too. Before long, new songs began appearing. The process felt entirely different from Ketchum’s final years in Nashville, back when songwriting had been a job. This time around, songwriting was something more. It was personal. It was casual. It was also a rallying cry for Ketchum, who decided he wasn’t ready to give up music, after all.

Those new songs became the foundation of Ketchum’s newest album, I’m the Troubadour. Recorded in a series of single takes, I’m the Troubadour is the sound of an artist finding his own redemption in the strum of an acoustic guitar, the boom of a kick drum, and the trill of an upright piano. It’s an album inspired by years of struggle, performed by a songwriting legend who’s glad to finally get his groove back.

On “I’m the Troubadour,” Ketchum ditches the country rulebook and tackles a combination of folk, blues, and soul music instead, tying the whole thing together with the rootsy rumblings of his studio band — whose members include guitarist Kenny Grimes and drummer Rick Richards — and the same croon that helped make him a permanent member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1994. I’m the Troubadour also marks his first release for Music Road Records, an Austin-based label co-run by folk artist Jimmy LaFave.

Hal Ketchum

Hal Ketchum

Strangely enough, the latest release from Ketchum — now 61 years old — brings to mind the thrill of his earliest albums. Back then, Ketchum was a young cabinet maker from Gruene, TX, who wrote his own songs about love, longing, and life in the American South. He hit the country market shortly after artists like Lyle Lovett, Steve Earle, and Travis Tritt, three likeminded troubadours who also wrote their own material. A bemused Earle called the movement “the great credibility scare of 1990,” laughing at the fact that country music — typically a conservative genre — was suddenly being steered by young, creative wild men.

I’m the Troubadour” has a similar sound, a left-of-center immediacy that makes it one of the most important albums in Ketchum’s career. After logging nearly two decades on the roster of Curb Records, Ketchum has earned the right to call his own shots. He isn’t following any rules. He isn’t catering to any trends. Instead, he’s simply following his muse wherever it leads, from the bluesy, roadhouse rock & roll of the title track — a biographical song about touring across the country, one stage at a time — to the jazzy swell of “New Mexican Rain.” Meanwhile, he also puts an updated stamp on two of his older tunes, even turning “I Know Where Love Lives” into a surprise duet with blues singer Tameca Jones.

“I’d reached a point during my time in Nashville where I’d fallen into that mill worker mentality, where you’re only as good as your last record,” Ketchum remembers. “If the phone didn’t ring for two days, I was crushed. I’d worked myself into this odd place, where you have to be validated by your previous accomplishments. To be liberated from that kind of pressure is really fantastic. The pressure’s off now. I’m just old Hal now. I’m 61 years old, and I still have a lot to say.”

Half a decade ago, Ketchum thought he’d permanently closed the book on his songwriting career. Thankfully, I’m the Troubadour starts a new chapter.”

And we are very pleased that he has!

WAG Rescue may be reached at [512] 847-3200 or you may donate on their website at http://www.wimberleywagrescue.org

It’s a boy for Jenna and Leif!

Old Glory Ranch extends warm wishes and congratulations to OGR alums Jenna Lee and Leif Babin on the arrival of their new baby boy, Trace, who arrived Sept. 3, 2014 @ 1:30am. The tiny tot weighed in at 7 lbs 11.5 oz and measured 20.5 inches long. Baby Trace, and his parents are all doing well.

Jenna and Leif on their wedding day at Old Glory Ranch

Jenna and Leif on their wedding day at Old Glory Ranch

Baby Trace

Baby Trace

Tips for the perfect sparkler exit

Sparklers not only make a wonderful exit for the Texas Hill Country weddings, but also great photos. Old Glory Ranch found these very helpful tips for your perfect sparkler exit from one of our preferred photographers, “Photo Jennette” and wanted to share them with you here:

Meredith & Toby's perfect sparkler exit at Old Glory Ranch!

Meredith & Toby’s perfect sparkler exit at Old Glory Ranch!

Today, we want to take a few minutes to highlight the best strategy for your perfect sparkler exit!

Tips for sparkler amazingness:

1. The big sparklers work best – The larger sparklers last up to 4-5 minutes, and will give your guests time to light them and then give you time to make your exit before they go out. The shorter ones will do the opposite. Half of them will be extinguished by the time the other half are lit.

2. Lighters are bad, sparklers are good. – We are certain if you have a wedding planner, they will already know this, but lighting on all 4 ends of the line with a lighter, and then having your guests light them off one another is the most effective way to spontaneously light 100 sparklers. For some reason, sparklers light each other almost instantly, while lighters take far to longer.

3. Bride and Groom should be ready, but hidden. – Before anyone lights a single sparkler, all of your guests should be lined up and ready to light their sparklers, and you (The Bride and Groom) should be in a designated, hidden spot that gives you easy access to your exit.

4. Have good help. – If you want to have a successful sparkler exit, you must have help. If you choose not to have a wedding coordinator, that’s O.K. but you still need good friends with organizational skills to help everyone get ready and lit. BEST PRACTICE – Have at least two people who are “designated lighters.” They each light two sparklers and then put away their lighters. “Designated lighter one” starts at the front and “designated lighter two” starts at the end. Using their lit sparklers, they should light a sparkler ever 6-8 guests and inform your guests to light off each other until they meet in the middle. Note: They should also let people know to hold the sparklers up and not to wave them around.

5. Make sure everyone is standing back. – These two helpers should know when their job is done, they need to give you the thumbs up and step into the line! It’s best not to start walking until your designated lighters are free and clear and you can have a clear path for your exit.

6. GO, GO, GO. – NO, NO, NO. Take your time!! Take all the time you want. You should happily mosey through the sparklers (soak it up and enjoy!), maybe stopping to smooch along the way if you feel like it. This gives your wedding photographers plenty of time to get the photograph that you are expecting. It also ensures you will safely make it through the line for sparklers.

So these are our most important tips for having the perfect sparkler exit from your wedding. Will they work perfectly every time? Maybe not, but if you follow these steps, your sparkler exit will be far better than if you don’t. In the end, you will have an amazing memory from an amazing day and all will go safely and smoothly.

Take a look at Meredith & Toby’s wedding through Photo Jennette’s lens!

For your Old Glory Ranch sparkler departure, we recommend the ’36” Gold’ for a longer burn time. Our staff distributes the sparklers to your guests and assists with getting them all lit, providing instructions along the way. During that process, our day-of-coordinator has the couple tucked away awaiting their cue that the sparklers are all ‘sparkling’ and the guests are instructed by our staff to ‘hold them high’ for the couples safe exit!

Weddings in Houston features Old Glory Ranch event

The Texas Hill Country wedding of Sarah Fabian & Logan Prewett was held at Old Glory Ranch on October 5, 2013 and is featured in the July/August issue of Weddings in Houston Magazine. “We are very pleased with the publishing of Sarah & Logan’s wedding. It is an excellent representation of an Old Glory Ranch wedding,” said Suzanne McCord, OGR owner.
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As seen in Weddings in Houston Magazine July/August 2014 Issue:

Middle-school classmates who attended separate high schools then reconnected in college, Sarah and Logan have a long Houston history and a lot of family and friends between them. Their choice of Wimberley’s Old Glory Ranch as the venue for their festive fall wedding gave them the opportunity to celebrate with 300 of their nearest and dearest in a setting of privacy and natural splendor. “The theme for our wedding was ‘shabby chic’ and rustic,” explains Sarah. “Everything was perfect – from the “beautiful flowers” to the “delicious food” to the “mismatched vintage china.” Best of all, she adds, was having those she loved most make their way to the Hill Country for an unforgettable destination wedding conveniently close to home.

You may view the article here Weddings in Houston magazine on pages 170 thru 172.

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Vendors who helped to create the perfect atmosphere are as follows:

Venue, Floral, Decor & Wedding Coordinator: Old Glory Ranch
Photographer: Anthology Photography
Videographer: X Horn Productions
Bridal Carriage: Decotah’s Dream Team Carriage Co.
Buses: Transportation Consultants
Reception Band: Blind Date
Guest Gifts: Tiny Pies
Bridal & Groom Cakes: Simon Lee
Catering: Gourmet Gals
China Rental: JenMarie Vintage Rentals
Special Effects: Starlight Fireworks & FX
Invitations: Bering’s
Wedding Dress: Matthew Christopher from Weddings by Debbie
Registry: Bering’s
Honeymoon: Bahamas

Texas Hill Country Wedding = Top 10 reasons to choose Old Glory Ranch

The Texas Hill Country is a very popular destination choice for weddings hailing from the Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and the Permian Basin areas. Here are just a few reasons brides choose Old Glory Ranch as the ideal location:

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1) Service – Our number one priority is YOU and making sure your event happens exactly as you envision! The main comment we hear from clients, are rave reviews of the service they receive before and during their event. Our goal is to have the couple, their families and guests show up and have a wonderful time while we take care of all the details including set-up, room transition, break-down and everything in between. We offer assistance in many areas during the planning stages of each event and meet with clients for one-on-one consultations and, unlike many other venues, we never limit phone calls or emails. We are here for you.

2) Experience – Our clients appreciate that Old Glory Ranch has been providing the ‘ultimate’ Texas Hill Country wedding experience for hundreds of couples – for decades! Nearly 400 newlyweds have crossed the Old Glory Ranch threshold since their opening in 1997. Many of the staff members have been on board since the very beginning. Clients and guests are treated with professionalism, courtesy, and welcomed with warm smiles and accommodating spirits.

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3) Wedding Coordinator – We welcome Outside Wedding Coordinators, but for those who aren’t brought to us by one, we have one available. For all of our Chapel Hall weddings and receptions we include an experienced Day-of Wedding Coordinator in our facility fee. They are in charge of the execution of the timeline and taking care of all the needs of the couple the evening of their event. Some offer extended services for clients wanting more assistance in certain areas such as tuxedo rental, finding invitations, booking lodging, etc. When utilizing our Day-of Coordinator, she will do many ‘behind the scenes’ duties throughout the night. She will prepare plates for the bride and groom and guide them through the necessary timeline constraints yet keeping them fluid for change. Towards the end of the night they will load up a designated vehicle, and departure vehicle, with all the couples belongings. They will also pack up a ‘to-go’ package for the couple in case they were having too much fun meeting, greeting, and dancing, and didn’t get an opportunity to dine!

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4) Preferred Vendor lists – Clients rave about our preferred vendor lists which help them tremendously in the planning stages of their event. Whether you are looking for officiates, accommodations, caterers, bakers, photographers, videographers, ceremony musicians, bands, photo booths, transportation needs, beverage providers, or something unique, Old Glory Ranch has a list of what we refer to as our Texas Hill Country “tried and true.” You can rest assured that each vendor has ‘made’ the list by providing quality service to previous clients. We will even assist in scheduling appointments for tastings, checking their availability, or researching to find someone or something new that might not be on our list, etc.

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5) Ceremony & Reception Options – Old Glory Ranch offers a variety of options when planning your event. And since we only hold one event on any given day, you receive our utmost attention to assure that yours is executed beautifully and all details in place upon arrival. Your ceremony can be held inside our historic Chapel Hall, on the Wedding Deck on beautiful banks of the Blanco River, in our ancient Oak Grove, or the open air Gatehouse Pavilion. With 2,200 acres, finding the ideal Texas Hill Country spot for your ceremony is a breeze! You may take advantage of our full service venue, or if you are on a smaller budget with 100 or fewer guests, you may prefer a more ‘do-it-yourself’ approach. Either way, you have choices for consideration. Receptions may also be held inside Chapel Hall or around our covered Patio and under the giant Oaks. Many clients like an “in-out” experience offering their guests the best of both worlds. We can accommodate larger groups than many venues in the area, yet intimate events are just as easily handled. Naturally, air conditioning and heating options will be welcomed during some months, we have the ideal solution for that as well.

6) Inclement Weather Plan! – If you are planning an outdoor event, perhaps at one of our riverside ceremony sites, along with a patio reception and Mother Nature has a different idea, we have you covered, so to speak! We watch the weather very carefully and will give you a call if we feel another one of our indoor options might be more suitable for you and your guests comfort.

Upstream from Wedding Deck

7) Location & Views – Lots of ‘Ooooos’ and ‘Ahhhhs’ take place as soon as guests enter the Old Glory Ranch gate. The lovely Texas Hill Country comes to life serving as a backdrop for the rustic appearance of Chapel Hall. With nearly 2 miles of the emerald green Blanco river cutting through the property, and unobstructed views of the hills, along with no ‘city lights’ to water down the scenery, Old Glory Ranch is truly a gem in the Wimberley valley. Conveniently located between the Austin, San Antonio, Houston, San Marcos, Dallas and Permian Basin areas.

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8) Flowers – “Gorgeous”, “Stunning”, “Amazing”, “Beautiful”, all comments that we hear from our clients, and their guests. The OGR Floral Team is top notch and executes each brides vision into fruition for their events, whether personal flowers, centerpieces, or indoor-outdoor decor. With a huge inventory of varied styles of containers to coincide with any bride’s vision, it is easy for her to pick and choose the perfect look she is trying to achieve. Clients are provided a private online link to the OGR floral gallery to see what is available and have a one-on-one meeting with our designer.

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9) Donkeys! – Need we say more?! These little guys and girls are very popular among our clients and adored by their guests. Tons of ‘selfies’ are taken at each event when our miniature donkeys are present. Their charming floral lined saddle packs make it easy for guests to grab a beverage along with a unique photo to share on social media sites!

10) Child Care – Not many venues offer the option of child care for wee ones attending a wedding. Here at Old Glory Ranch we have experienced adult childcare attendants, and an ideal location adjacent to the venue which includes restrooms, changing station, baby bed, pack-n-play, and where children can watch a variety of movies and age-appropriate activities, while their parents enjoy a ‘worry-free’ fun evening of celebration.

Lacy & Matthew’s Hill Country Wedding

Lacy & Matthew Turman

Lacy & Matthew Turman

Lacy & Matthew danced the night away at Old Glory Ranch, a Texas hill country wedding venue, having the ‘time of their lives’ we were told! While we hear that often, it never grows old to know that we have played a part in making someone’s dream wedding a reality. This charming couple was delightful to work with throughout the planning process, both being equally involved with decisions along the way. A trait that will no doubt serve them well throughout their married lives. They were united in marriage by Robert Bexar, each moment captured forever in film by Mike Reed Photo, enjoyed delicious nom-nom from PoKeJo’s BBQ, had an awesome bridal cake by Sugar Shack Bakery, and rocked out to the Jumpstart Band, all coordinated minute-by-minute with Kellye Grady of Design by Sage and gorgeous flowers by the OGR floral team. Nearly 250 family and friends gathered for this very special occasion. We were happy to be among those to enjoy the moment with Mr. & Mrs. Matthew Turman. Congratulations to the happy couple! #hillcountryweddings #oldgloryranch #weddingceremony www.oldgloryranch.com

VENDORS:
Old Glory Ranch – venue, flowers & decor
Design by Sage [Kellye Grady] – Wedding Coordinator
Sugar Shack Bakery – bridal cake
Jumpstart Band – reception music
Mike Reed Photo – photography
PoKeJo’s – catering
Robert Bexar – officiate

Wedding Venue or Wedding “Factory” what’s your pleasure?

It isn’t easy choosing a wedding venue. After all, the ‘place’ is going to be the first thing your guests see when they arrive on your big day and you want it to be the perfect reflection of you and your ‘soon to be’. Naturally location, cost and ambiance are huge factors to consider for your special event but they aren’t the only things to examine as you muddle through your many options.

First and foremost visit the venue personally so you can vision how your wedding will look ~ and when you make that trek be sure to arm yourself with an extensive list of questions . They might include things like:

How many guests can they accommodate
What is included in the facility fee
Is it full service or self service, i.e. are you responsible for the setup and break down or are they
Do they have their own Wedding Coordinator/staff/caterer/florist
Do they allow outside vendors
Is there an all inclusive package
Do they have preferred or required caterers, bakers, photographers, bar tenders, etc.
How long do you get the facility & does it include both ceremony and reception time
Are additional hours available, and if so, what is the fee
Does the fee include any personal meetings
How many events do they handle per day; in other words, do they pump out newlyweds like a rabbit does bunnies or will your event be the only one they focus on that day

No matter which venue you choose, try to build a relationship with those in charge. The better you communicate with them, the better they will understand exactly how to make your dream wedding come true.

HAPPY WEDDING PLANNING!