Making your wedding cake as unique as your love

Tips for the Perfect Sparkler Exit


Perfect Sparkler Exit

Sparklers not only make a wonderful wedding exit for a Texas Hill Country wedding, but also great wedding photography. Old Glory Ranch found these very helpful tips from one of our preferred photographers, “Photo Jennette”. We wanted to share her perfect sparkler exit tips  with you:

sparkler exit-old glory ranch-wimberley

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

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.

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 long!

Bride and Groom should be ready, but hidden.

Before anyone lights a single sparkler, all of your guests should line up and be 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.

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 from your wedding party 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.

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.


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 capture the sparkler exit 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 bride and groom 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 as she photographed a sparkler exit at Old Glory Ranch!

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 on their wedding day!

Environmentally Friendly Venue

Old Glory Ranch is an Environmentally Friendly Venue

Environmentally friendly venue– a new and treasured title for Old Glory Ranch.  Always known as a premier Texas hill country wedding and event venue, the environmental future became a growing concern.  The venue felt the need to lower its carbon footprint after its events.  To help in this endeavor, Old Glory Ranch took positive measures to become more eco-friendly.

Thinking Green

This green way of thinking originated with the construction of Chapel Hall  in 2000. For example, the interior of the Chapel was built mostly of re-purposed long leaf pine. Gathered from three turn of the century homes purchased after being dismantled, this wood found a new home.

For the exterior, locally milled cedar planks gave Chapel Hall the perfect country church feel they were going for. The end result lends old world charm to modern day events.

Stunning appointments found throughout the Chapel and Patio add to its charms. In addition, these areas include beautiful turn of the century re-purposed stained glass and antique pieces that hearken of days gone by.

The venue knew it could do more. For like minded and ‘think green,’ clients,  the venue began offering compostable dinnerware.   Then,  the venue situated recycling receptacles easily located by staff and guests to aid in the recycling efforts.

Recycling glass, aluminum, and plastic throughout all events is a top priority. Additionally, to avoid food waste, the ranch began utilizing discarded food items in a compost pile for their organic garden.  Above all, the Old Glory Ranch staff remains dedicated to being eco-friendly no matter what the event or situation.

Join the Effort

In March of 2010, Old Glory Ranch organized and hosted a “Gloriously Green” event.  the venue shared pertinent information with its community members and leaders about the importance and ease of recycling. A panel of experts from various backgrounds held a Q&A session to provide a presentation about their given field of expertise. Many area residents attended the event and found it very informative.

Join Old Glory Ranch in their efforts in being environmentally friendly.  To sum up, let’s leave the world a little bit better for future generations.

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 top 10 reasons brides choose Old Glory Ranch as the ideal location:


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 for the couple, their families and guests to completely enjoy celebrating with their guests.  Let us take care of all the details which include 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.  Unlike many other venues, we provide unlimited phone calls and emails. We are here for you.

2) Experience 

Old Glory Ranch has been providing the ‘ultimate’ Texas Hill Country wedding experience for hundreds of couples – for decades! Over 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.

3) Wedding Coordinator

We welcome Outside Wedding Coordinators, but for all of our Chapel Hall weddings and receptions we include an experienced Day-of Wedding Coordinator in our facility fee. She is in charge of the execution of the timeline and taking care of all the needs of the couple the evening of their event. She offers extended services for clients which could include tuxedo rental, finding invitations, booking lodging, etc.,

Our Day-of Coordinator has many ‘behind the scenes’ duties throughout the night.  She prepares plates for the bride and groom and guides them through the timeline. Towards the end of the night she will load up a designated vehicle, and departure vehicle, with all the couples belongings. She 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!

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.” Rest assured that each vendor has ‘made’ the list by providing quality service to previous clients. We 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.

5) Ceremony & Reception Options

Old Glory Ranch offers a variety of options when planning your event. And since we only hold one event at a time,  you receive our utmost attention to assure that yours is executed beautifully. 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! 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 are always ready with a Plan B. We watch the weather very carefully and will work with you if we think one of our indoor options might be more suitable for you and your guests comfort.

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. It is also conveniently located between the Austin, San Antonio, Houston, San Marcos, Dallas and Permian Basin areas.

8) Flowers

“Gorgeous”, “Stunning”, “Amazing”, “Beautiful”, are all comments we hear from our clients, and their guests. The OGR Floral Team executes each bride’s vision into fruition for their events.  Whether personal flowers, centerpieces, or indoor-outdoor decor. the team is top notch. 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. We provide clients with a private online link to the OGR floral gallery before having a one-on-one meeting with our designer.

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.  It is easy for guests to grab a beverage from their charming floral lined saddle packs.  Want to take a unique photo to share on social media? Our donkeys are happy to oblige.

10) Child Care 

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


Hill Country Wedding – Lacy & Matthew


A  Real Texas Hill Country Wedding

 for Lacy & Matthew

Lacy & Matthew TurmanThe Newlyweds

There is nothing more amazing than a Texas Hill Country Spring Wedding!  Lacy & Matthew’s wedding was no exception  as it captured the natural beauty of the hill country and more! The couple danced the night away having the ‘time of their lives’ in our great hall at Old Glory Ranch, a Texas Hill Country wedding venue! While we hear this often, it never grows old to know that we played a part in making someone’s dream wedding a reality.

The breathtaking beauty of Old Glory Ranch created a picturesque setting for the perfect evening. Mike Reed Weddings captured the memorable photos of the couple and their precious memories under the Oak Tree and throughout the indoor and outdoor options.

As the guests arrived on the big day, a magnificent field of bluebonnets in front of the Chapel greeted them. The gorgeous bride entered the chapel in her stunning wedding dress and was joined in marriage to Matthew by Robert Bexar.

All of the guests enjoyed delicious nom-nom from PoKeJo’s BBQ and then an awesome bridal cake by Sugar Shack Bakery. To end the reception, everyone rocked out on the dance floor to the Jumpstart Band.  The evening was coordinated minute-by-minute with Kellye Grady of Design by Sage and the OGR floral team provided the fabulous floral design.

Nearly 250 family and friends gathered for this very special day from near and far.

The bride and groom were delightful to work with throughout the planning process, both being equally involved with decisions along the way. We loved being among those to enjoy the moment with Mr. & Mrs. Matthew Turman. Congratulations to the happy couple! We wish them a lifetime of joy and happiness.

Hill Country Wedding 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 Weddings – photography

PoKeJo’s – catering

Robert Bexar – officiate

Spring weddings in the Hill Country are magnificent and we have some open dates. Call us today to book your spring wedding today!


Who Pays For The Wedding?

The bride and/or her family members have traditionally assumed the majority of the wedding costs, but weddings have changed considerably over time. Consequently, the modern wedding planning approach allows for more of a division between the couple and/or both sets of parents.  The final decision of who pays for what usually depends on family preference, as well as the wedding budget for the big day.


The following check list includes some of the more traditional guidelines which you can adopt or modify to suit your unique wedding ceremony and reception. Although the list is flexible, it may assist in your planning and preparations for your wedding day.  In addition, there are other items which are more non-traditional you might want to add to your wedding experience.   For instance, an engagement party or photo booth may fun additions but are not a hard and fast rule.



Invitations, personal notes and mailing expense.

Reception costs.

Ceremony costs.

Photographic and videographic expense.

The groom’s wedding ring.


Attendants’ bouquets.

Transportation for the bridal party.

Wedding dress, headpiece and accessories.


Wedding planner’s fee.

Groom’s gift.

Guest Book.

Accommodations for out-of-town bride’s attendants and guests.


Groom’s wedding attire.

Rehearsal dinner.

Marriage license.

Bride’s rings.


Wedding gifts for the bride, best man, groomsmen and ushers.

Flowers for the bride’s bouquet, corsages for the mothers and grandmothers.

Alcohol at reception.

Accommodations for out-of-town groomsmen, ushers and guests.


Wedding gift for the bride and groom.

Bachelor party and/or bachelorette party.

Travel costs.

[Note: The wedding party usually pays for their attire. If not, the bride will assume the expense of her attendants and the groom pays for his.]

Although these guidelines can help you decide  who pays for what at the wedding, the real answer involves a discussion between the couple and their families.  As they say, traditions are made to be broken.  Above all, the celebration should reflect the happiness of two becoming one and the love they share.


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For more ideas, you can find tips on Wedding Wire 

stunning -sunset-wedding-portrait-old-glory-ranch-dripping-springs-wedding-venue

Do I really need a Wedding Coordinator?


Can I just plan my own wedding from beginning to end? Of course you can! But the real question is do you want to?

It takes a vast amount of time to truly plan a wedding, especially since it’s the one day of your life you’ve been dreaming about it since you were a child! There are logistics which you probably haven’t even thought about at this time.  However, these details are everyday tasks for someone with experience.

Many wedding venues now include a Day-of-Wedding Coordinator with their facility fee. Some venues also provide a Site Manager to manage staffing and vendor arrivals.  Both work as a team trouble shooting any complications which may come up.  This team helps everything run smoothly to reduce the stress of the wedding planning process.

Wedding Coordinator Responsibilities

Your Wedding Coordinator will provide a detailed timeline for your ceremony and reception.  She will use this timeline to keep everyone on track from start to finish. If a day-of-coordinator is not included with your venue, many brides consider hiring a wedding planner.  An experienced planner is well worth the investment just to help assure the couple’s day is as stress free as possible. The Wedding Coordinator will be your ‘best friend’ at the end of the day, and your go-to person for nearly everything!


Questions you have to ask yourself are:


  • Do I want to be responsible for thinking about the time to make a toast, cut the cake or have special dances?
  • Do you have the time to make arrangements for lodging, a departure vehicle, catering – tastings and arranging a menu?
  • Or, do you want to relax and enjoy this special time in your life?

Live Stream Wedding


Wedding Coordinators are a MUST!

Most brides, even those who still want control of their day, opt for the coordinator when their budget allows. This is especially true if you are planning a destination wedding and need recommendations and assistance with florists and caterers. Wedding Coordinators are often experts on all types of weddings to help you turn your dream into a reality.

This is your day to shine.  A Wedding Coordinator should be your right hand person to handle all details to pull it all together from start to finish.  She can even help plan your rehearsal dinner. This allows you to take the time to just simply be the bride, not the planner.


Clients recognize Old Glory Ranch as a full service venue from the time they tour until they leave for their honeymoon. The Old Glory Site Manager often assists in event planning from the beginning.  She works with your day of coordinator to form a tag team to assist you with your big day.

Old Glory Ranch has received accolades from previous clients and been awarded by their peers in the industry. Old Glory prides themselves in quality service and treating their clients with utmost respect. The couples are Old Glory Ranch’s top priority.  OGR shows this by helping as “much” or “as little” as the client desires.



Wedding Venue Questions

What what wedding venue questions do you have?

It isn’t easy choosing a wedding venue. After all, the ‘place’ is the first thing your guests see as they arrive on your big day. You also want this place to be a perfect reflection of you and your ‘soon to be’.

Location, cost, guest list and ambiance are huge factors to consider for your special event. However, they aren’t the only things to examine as you muddle through your many options. There is a long list of important questions to ask your wedding venue.

First and foremost visit the venue personally so you can actually visualize how your wedding will look . When you make that trek,  be sure to arm yourself with an extensive list of pertinent questions .

Venue Questions

Photo: Peary Photography

Does the venue have indoor and outdoor locations for your ceremony and/or reception?

What guest count can the venue accommodate?

Is my preferred date available or dates close to it?

Will you hold a date for me and under what conditions?

Who will be my point person for wedding planning?

Where will cocktail hour be held?

Can the venue accommodate a DJ or band?

How large is the dance floor and are there any noise restrictions?

How many events do they handle at one time?

Does the venue have a plan for inclement weather on your wedding day?

Do you have a sound system and/or microphone for toasts?

Is onsite parking available and is there additional cost?

Do you have a recycling policy?

Can we hold our rehearsal dinner at your venue?

Facility or Rental Fee Questions

Photo: Andy + Carrie Photography

What wedding packages do you offer?

Is the venue full service or “Do It Yourself”, i.e. are you responsible for the setup and break down or does the venue staff take care of it for you?

Are tables, linens, chairs, plates, silverware, and glassware provided, or will we have to rent them from an outside rental company or get them through our caterer?

Is the Wedding Coordinator/staff/florist included?

Do they have a list of approved vendors or may you bring your own?

How long do you get the facility for your wedding ceremony and reception?

Are additional hours available, and if so, what is the fee?

Does the facility fee include any personal meetings?

Do they require wedding insurance or provide liability insurance?

What security services are provided?

Does facility fee include rehearsal?

Food and Beverage

Do you have an in-house caterer or a list of “preferred” caterers?

May we use a caterer who is not on the preferred list?

Can we provide our own alcoholic beverages?

Is there a cake cutting fee?


Do you provide an estimate of venue costs prior to signing a contract?

What deposit is required with a signed contract?

How are payments handled?

The better you communicate with the venue, the better they will understand exactly how to make your dream wedding come true. Bring your notepad or ask for handouts during your visit to document all of the venue’s answers to your questions. It is also a great idea to take pictures. While you are here, you should also explore Wimberley.