Bluebonnets Arrive at Old Glory Ranch

Spring is Here!

The bluebonnets have arrived at Old Glory Ranch.  We know that spring is here when we peer out the front door of our hill country chapel and see an exquisite field of blue. Our Texas state flower, the bluebonnet, transforms our beautiful venue into a breathtaking portrait that adds a special touch to any wedding or event.

 

Wimberley brides choose April in hopes of having the field full of bluebonnets at their Texas Hill Country wedding.  They  do their research and try to lock in the perfect weekend for their dream wedding. Alas, only Mother Nature can choose the lucky one. Bluebonnets may bloom at the end of March or hide until April.  It really is a gamble as to which weekend will prove to be the best and which bride is the luckiest. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bluebonnets are a huge part of Texas much like the clover is synonymous with Ireland.  People love to drive around the hill country to find the perfect field of flowers for a quick photo.

 

 

 

We love the bluebonnets so much that we have “Miss Texas Moobonnet” watching over our bluebonnet field throughout the year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indian folklore called the flower a gift from the Great Spirit.  Many of the men of the 27th legislature in 1901 wanted to go with the cactus or cotton boll.  Instead they bowed to the ladies’ wishes and voted in the bluebonnet as our state flower on March 7, 1901. It was definitely a lady, Lady Bird Johnson, that played a major role in making sure we all have bluebonnets to enjoy every spring.

 

However it came to be, we eagerly await their arrival each year at Old Glory Ranch and love the unique hill country touch they add to all of our spring weddings and special events.

 

A New Year for the Wedding Deck Tree

A New Year for the Wedding Deck Tree

It is hard to believe that we are beginning a New Year.  New beginnings are often a time of reflection to contemplate what we have achieved and things we have missed.  We reminisce about the good times and try to regroup after the curve balls thrown by Mother Nature.

As we begin this New Year, we begin to think of our beautiful tree that has graced the Wedding Deck over the years since Old Glory Ranch was founded in 1997. We wonder about the stories it could tell.

The Wedding Deck Giving Tree

It has seen many beautiful weddings and witnessed the thrill of new and old relationships and whispered dreams and promises.  It has also seen the change of many a season and the tragedy these seasons sometimes bring.

 

 

 

It experienced the Memorial Day flood in May of 2015 withstanding the powerful surge of water as it watch the destruction and devastation that followed.   On a more positive note, it helped create a Winter Wonderland during the Wimberley “Blizzard” of 2017.

As we usher in the New Year, we hope to be as steady and strong as our beautiful Wedding Deck tree while we embrace whatever the year may bring.  It makes us want to better prepare for the future and be the best I can be. We wish the tree could share and hold its own breakout session at our Old Glory Ranch Wellness Reset as we believe it has much to share and we have much to learn.  Instead, we will place the future of our health in the hands of the very accomplished professionals  that will be presenting on January 24th and 25th.

 

 

In the meantime, we hope the New Year will bring all of you multitudes of joy and happiness and endless memories of love and laughter.  And if you should have time, please join us for our Old Glory Ranch Wellness Reset and perhaps visit our tree for a dose of wisdom as well.  This estimated 500-year-old bald cypress is indeed “The Giving Tree.”

 

 

 

Guess who is coming to the wedding? Could it be beer packing Burros?

Miniature Donkeys are such a big part of Old Glory Ranch as we have over 30 of them grazing peacefully in our pastures. The mini burros have been part of the landscape at OGR and an integral part of our events since we opened in 1997!

Many times, people come to Old Glory because they have seen the donkeys online or heard about them from friends. These little charmers are not always the first thought of a newly engaged couple as they begin compiling the guest list.  However, beer burros are a wonderful novelty to add to your special day!  As you are planning who to invite to your wedding at Old Glory Ranch, don’t forget the most sought after guests… miniature donkeys.

Frequently, couples think the children at the wedding will adore the donkeys, but your adult guests will love these beer packing burros just as much.

There is little else that is as unique as miniature donkeys serving bottled beer, juice boxes or bottled water during cocktail hour.  They create a bond with your guests to help them begin those initial conversations, as two families become one.  The donkeys are also an icebreaker at corporate events or private parties, creating a more relaxed atmosphere.

They are very skilled and versatile as they can serve numerous other items such as chips and queso.  The donkeys often have their pictures taken as much as the bride and groom.   The mini burros are never released from “duty” until all the “people guests” have had an opportunity to take that priceless selfie with our “donkey guests.”

For more information about our donkeys, how to incorporate them into your Old Glory event or to purchase purchase your very own, visit our Miniature Donkeys page.

Peace and Joy on the Blanco River

Since the horrific Memorial Day Flood in 2015, we are proud to have been able to host numerous meaningful events at the Wedding Deck on our glorious stretch of the Blanco River.   The Wedding Deck at Old Glory Ranch has been a sacred place to so many people over the past 20 years.

Just days after the tragic flood we were only expecting to see a barren landscape pilled with rubble.  We got as close as possible to the river with a glimmer of hope for our splendid Wedding Deck Tree.

Although our peaceful paradise was unrecognizable, we spotted a hopeful site of some Cypress branches being pounded by the still raging river.  We just knew it was the top of our “Giving Tree.”   Feeling the emotional words of Frances Scott Keyes, “O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light, what so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming…..”  The swaying branches were so gallantly streaming and ultimately gave proof that our tree was still there!

The Epic Flood changed the landscape of this magical wedding site forever.  However, this magnificent cypress tree has endured an estimated 500 years of weather events to provide a symbol of strength and commitment for so many OGR couples.

We feel very blessed to have been spared this ancient beauty.

As we all learned that night, the river has a mind of its own.  When the Blanco River came ripping through our valley that frightening night, the forceful waters skipped right passed this tiny section of Old Glory Ranch which is so special to so many people.  This was another sign of the sanctification of this tree. What a wonderful foundation this tree provides, as couples exchange vows and begin their married life together.

Surrounded by the few remaining cypress trees, our little piece of heaven is the perfect backdrop for your wedding, baptism, photo shoot or anniversary picnic. Recently, a picturesque baptism began with a blessing in the sparkling waters of the Blanco River.  To the delight of everyone attending, it concluded with the release of doves.   The doves were truly a symbolic gesture of peace with the river.  Also, the sound of the lively flow of water in the background as it makes its way over the smooth rocks is a reminder that water is a symbol of life.

Exactly two years later, with bittersweet reflection, we celebrate and find peace, joy and inspiration on the Blanco River!

Photo Credit:

Anthology Photography & Darcie Westerlund Photography

 

 

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

Making your wedding cake as unique as your love

After you’ve selected your Groom, venue and that oh-so-perfect dress, one of the next steps is choosing your wedding cake!  The options are endless and your wedding cake is not just dessert after dinner, it is tradition.  But never fear, there is no rule that says you must have the same old traditional cake.  Think outside the box and create a cake that expresses who you are as a couple; one that tells a story…your unique love story.  It may be your favorite beer or sport; or where you are from.  Your cake could represent your career path or where you went to college; You may go for something that shows your love for music, cheese, hunting, fishing and the great outdoors.  Some are just looking for a different texture, shape or topper.

Start brainstorming by putting together a mood/inspiration board to have on hand when talking to your chosen baker.  Here at Old Glory Ranch, we have seen almost everything you could imagine, but here are some of our favorites to help get your juices flowing.

  • Classic Cakes by Lori

  • Classic Cakes by Lori

  • Classic Cakes by Lori

  • Classic Cakes by Lori

  • Classic Cakes by Lori

  • Classic Cakes by Lori

  • Classic Cakes by Lori

  • Classic Cakes by Lori

  • Classic Cakes by Lori

  • Classic Cakes by Lori

  • Classic Cakes by Lori

  • Classic Cakes by Lori

  • Classic Cakes by Lori

  • Classic Cakes by Lori

  • Classic Cakes by Lori

  • Classic Cakes by Lori

  • Simon Lee

  • Simon Lee

  • Simon Lee

  • Simon Lee

  • Simon Lee

  • Sugar Shack

  • Sugar Shack

  • Sugar Shack

  • Sugar Shack

  • Cakes By Cathy Young

  • Cakes By Cathy Young

  • Cakes By Cathy Young

  • Cakes By Cathy Young

  • Cakes By Cathy Young

  • Envy Pastries

  • Miss Janette’s Wedding and Sculpted Cakes

  • Miss Janette’s Wedding and Sculpted Cakes

  • Better Batter Bakery

  • Better Batter Bakery

  • Better Batter Bakery

  • Better Batter Bakery

  • Coco Paloma Desserts

  • Coco Paloma Desserts

  • Michelle’s Patisserie

  • Michelle’s Patisserie

  • Michelle’s Patisserie

  • Sweet Treets

  • Sweet Stuff

  • Sophie’s Choice Bakery

 

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

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!

“Outstanding Texas Hill Country venues – starting with Old Glory Ranch”

We’re taking a walk down memory lane with Lisa on Location, a Hill Country Wedding Photographer, who posted an awesome article on her blog about Old Glory Ranch. We love that she started her Outstanding Texas Hill Country venues with Old Glory Ranch! We’ll call it our TBT “Throw Back Thursday” blog!
#texashillcountryvenues #weddingvenue #destinationwedding #photographer #rusticweddingvenue #oldgloryranch

3/11/11 – Lisa had this to say about Old Glory Ranch:

“When you get right down to it, Central Texas is fortunate to have some of the best wedding venues anywhere. It’s an embarrassment of riches, to be honest. As a Central Texas wedding photographer based in New Braunfels, Lisa’s been blessed to photograph weddings all over–from historic Fredericksburg in the Hill Country, to San Antonio’s famed River Walk to the sunny shores of Lake Travis–and loves every minute of it! It seems that brides are asking her about potential wedding venues more often these days, so we’re going to start spotlighting some of the outstanding Texas Hill Country wedding locations, starting with Old Glory Ranch in Wimberley.

Photo_1_chapel

The first thing that hits you when you emerge from the wooded drive onto the grounds is the gorgeous, honey-golden chapel. The exterior is smooth-cut cedar planking, and the result is a magical combination of rustic charm and elegant dignity. I’m serious folks, when the sun shines down, the chapel literally glows.

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It is exceptionally roomy inside, too. The wood surfaces are all polished smooth, and rows of windows on either side of the chapel fill the space with a warm glow. Any wedding photographer will tell you this is some of the absolute best light to shoot in–it gives everyone healthy, attractive skin tones and adds a rich warmth to all the photos. There’s a lovely covered back patio area for receptions, but for a mroe formal dinner. the chapel hall can be converted to that in short order as well (a neat trick if the weather doesn’t cooperate!) Stained glass and detailed painting on the interior beams complete the pickture, with old-world, Germanic charm.

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Owner Suzanne McCord (who just became a grandmother this week–Congratulations, Susan!) has more than 2,000 acres on the grounds which she’d developed impressively. The Gatehouse Pavilion is an outdoor venue suitable for smaller gatherings, and there are other private structures as well. What’s most impressive, however, is the two miles of riverfront access along the Blanco. Here McCord has built two fantastic outdoor wedding venues–the wooden Wedding Deck, bordered by a large grassy lawn suitable for up to 500 guests, and the smaller Stone Landing, which can accommodate smaller gatherings of 75 or less. Both outdoor venues are literally right on top of the Blanco River, surrounded by spectacular old-growth Montezuma Cypress. For lovers of outdoor weddings, it doesn’t get any better than this.

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Suzanne works with Liz Danna, general manager, and Gina McClure, the marketing and artistic director. Any one of them will do you right, so if you’re looking for a genuine Texas Hill Country wedding venue, give the fine folks at Old Glory Ranch a call. Better yet, give Lisa a call first, so you’re guaranteed great wedding photography.”

See the blog here: Lisa on Location

Old Glory Ranch is happy to recommend Lisa as one of our preferred photographers.