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
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. The magnificent tree 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.”
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:
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!
“Outstanding Texas Hill Country Venue”
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!
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 has 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 she loves every minute of it!
Brides and grooms ask her about potential wedding venues more often these days. So she decided to begin spotlighting some of the outstanding Texas Hill Country wedding venue locations and what each venue offers. We are starting with the indoor and outdoor options at Old Glory Ranch in Wimberley. Old Glory Ranch is located just south of Dripping Springs, as the Wedding Capital of Texas.
The first thing that hits you when you emerge from the wooded drive onto this hill country ranch is the gorgeous, honey-golden chapel, which may be used for ceremonies and receptions. 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.
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 surrounded by magnificent oak trees. For a more 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 picture, with old-world, Germanic charm.
Owner Suzanne McCord (who just became a grandmother this week–Congratulations, Suzanne!) contains more than 2,000 acres on the grounds which she’d developed impressively. The Gatehouse Pavilion is an outdoor venue suitable for smaller gatherings.
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 is bordered by a large grassy lawn suitable for up to 500 guests. The smaller Stone Landing is the second, 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 for your big day.
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 or event center, give the fine folks at Old Glory Ranch a call. Inquire about their wedding packages and request a tour. Better yet, give Lisa a call first, so you’re guaranteed great wedding photography.”
See the blog here: Lisa on Location
Old Glory Ranch highly recommends Lisa as one of our preferred photographers for your special day.