elopement-old-glory-ranch-wedding-venue-hill-country-near-austin-heather-johnston-photography

Elegant Elopements & Micro-Weddings

Newly Engaged? Let’s Start Planning!

 

Being newly engaged is an exciting and joyful time for any couple and their families.  After the engagement, questions begin about the proposal and the ring.  However, a little stress can enter into this Cloud 9 moment as thoughts turn to when and where the nuptials might take place.

Planning a wedding can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be.  It can be a wonderful time of dreaming of the endless possibilities with your fiance and families.  Talk to one another about what you want in your big day to help align your vision. 

 

Are you thinking an outdoor ceremony?

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  Maybe you prefer an indoor ceremony?

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What about the reception?

  The same choices loom and, of course, you do need to make sure that your venue has a Plan B.

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As newly engaged couples begin to tour venues, many bring along their family and friends to help them with this big decision.  They begin to envision their day, but sometimes they forget about a very crucial element.  Most are focused on the size and the cost which are important, but the level of service should receive equal attention.

  • Does the venue provide planners to help you choose vendors and stay on track? 
  • Is a day-of wedding coordinator included to help you facilitate your flawless day while your friends and family simply enjoy being together and celebrating? 
  • Does the venue help with your decor? 
  • Who is setting up and breaking everything?
There are a lot of pieces to a wedding and some fun extras as well.
 
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      Beer Burros anyone?

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                                                              Carriage Ride?

 

Old Glory Ranch has all of these elements and more! Prime Winter and Spring dates are currently available, so book a tour with us today and allow us help you turn your dreams into a reality.

 

Wedding Staff that is Family

Wedding Venue Staff—Important or Minor Detail?

Newlywed Kiss at Old Glory Ranch

Real Wedding: Virginia & Brandon

Miniature donkeys at Old Glory Ranch

Miniature Donkey – Christopher Columbus

Our miniature donkey, Christopher Columbus, has his own unique story!

 

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”!

New Addition

A new addition arrived on Old Glory Ranch in the form of a miniature donkey.  Named Christopher Columbus since he was 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.  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.

We tried surrogate mother miniature donkeys.  However, they also rejected him.  This left us with only one option to give the little guy the fighting chance he deserved. Thus, Christopher became a ‘bottle baby’ . He had lots of surrogate ‘Mothers’ in the form of Old Glory Ranch family and staff members.  They have fed him around the clock for many weeks.

He has delighted us with warm nuzzle greetings as we entered his pen to feed.  In fact, he has 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!

Million Dollar Donkey

Suzanne often refers to him as the ‘million dollar donkey’.  He is destined to be a permanent fixture here. One day he will earn his keep by becoming one of our working donkeys. Clients and guests of weddings and events can get to know him at their event.  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.

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.

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 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!

Weddings in Houston features Old Glory Ranch event

Weddings in Houston features Old Glory Ranch Real Wedding

First and foremost, it is always a honor to host a wedding at Old Glory Ranch. To have a Real Wedding featured in the Weddings in Houston Magazine is the icing on the cake.  Therefore, the Texas Hill Country wedding of Sarah Fabian & Logan Prewett in the July/August issue of Weddings in Houston Magazine made us feel doubly blessed.

“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.

All love stories have a beginning, and Sarah and Logan are no exception.  They met at a Houston middle school as classmates.  After that, they attended separate high schools.  Not to worry though, they reconnected in college and the rest is history.

Sarah & Logan have many family and friends. In fact, over 300 guests attended the wedding.

The couple looked for a venue where they could celebrate with all of their guests in a private setting surrounded by natural splendor. Old Glory Ranch was a perfect decision.  We loved hosting their special day.

“The theme for our wedding was ‘shabby chic’ and rustic,” explains Sarah. It was a picture perfect fall wedding.   Beautiful flowers” , “delicious food” and  “mismatched vintage china” added to its charm.  Best of all, Sarah adds, was enjoying the evening with our family and friends.”

Vendors for the memorable evening included:

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

Please join us in wishing this very special couple years of joy of happiness.  To learn more, go to   Weddings in Houston magazine , on pages 170 thru 172.

 

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

 

Hill Country Wedding

 Lacy & Matthew

Lacy & Matthew Turman

     Lacy & Matthew Turman

Hill Country Weddings are amazing! 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 field of bluebonnets in front of the Chapel greeted them. The beautiful bride entered in 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 gorgeous flowers.

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

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. Call us today to book your spring wedding today!

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?

Finances

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.

HAPPY WEDDING PLANNING!