ritzy ranch

Wander just north of Springfield and you’ll find the perfect barn location where elegant meets rustic: the Ritzy Ranch. Dan and Teri Presley originally opened the property to house antiques and a bakery. Because Teri has a natural ability to pull together events that will make your jaw drop, these talented creatives turned their focus to making wedding day dreams come true.

When I say talented, I mean EXTREMELY gifted. I mean EXTRAORDINARY. Like, I want to be them when I grow up.

And the venue!! The beautiful outdoor courtyard serves as the backdrop for the ceremony. Guests step inside to an interior that is positively breathtaking- chandeliers suspended above round tables and a dance floor space that is sure to make a memorable celebration.

Maybe the best part? Dan and Teri include extras as part of the price. We’re talking everything from antique decor to disposable dinnerware. Dan doubles as a DJ with mad skillz and Teri has a looooong history creating beautiful and delicious wedding cakes, so couples can receive these services at competitive rates as well. They are absolutely dedicated to making sure their couples receive the very best. A huge welcome to Ritzy Ranch!

How did you get into the wedding industry and why do you stay?

We have been doing wedding cakes for 25 years and we know how expensive and stressful weddings can be for the bride and her family. We decided to open a venue where everything is included so they don’t have to worry about anything and still keep the price competitive with other venues.

ritzy ranch pergola

In what ways have you seen weddings change since you joined the market?

Wow, that’s a loaded question! Every year the brides have new creative ideas and it’s a blast helping them make their ideas a reality!!

ritzy ranch bright colors

Tell us about a wedding fiasco you witnessed.

The best man didn’t try on his pants before the wedding day and they were about 5” too short – mad dash to purchase new pants before the wedding! Just remember, there will always be some little something that isn’t the way you thought it would or should be – don’t stress – chances are (unless his pants are just way too short) no one noticed but you!!

ritzy ranch ceremony

What was a favorite wedding moment for you?

Every wedding when the bride or her family come up to us at the end of the night and tell us how happy they have been with our Ritzy Ranch and how well we have served them. And we have done wedding cakes sooooo long that we are now doing cakes for the children of the couples we made cakes for over 20 years ago – second generation wedding cakes – what an honor and privilege that is!!

ritzy ranch

What types of services do you offer?

We offer our indoor, climate controlled barn venue with 20 crystal chandeliers (where Ritzy meets Ranch) and a beautiful outdoor courtyard with romantic lighting and wedding pergola. Our in-house bakery can create your one of kind wedding cake and you can dance all night long with our DJ service!

ritzy ranch gold cake

What are some of your favorite things about the services you offer?

I love the fact that we supply everything the bride needs to decorate her wedding from beautiful centerpieces, mirrors, wood slabs & candles, right down to all the linens, plates, cups, napkins and silverware. We try to keep it worry-free for the bride – all she has to do is bring her personal flare and wedding colors!!

Tell us about your favorite wedding to work with, ever.

Hahaha! We started to discuss this and both of us came up with a dozen or so favorites. Every bride has been absolutely beautiful and who doesn’t love a great party?? But if we had to pick one… probably our very first because the first is always special and this couple was amazing!!

ritzy ranch bride

What creative ways have you seen brides save money?

One of our brides, who had eight bridesmaids, wanted to spread the colors of her bouquet throughout the venue so we added fruit jars with cold water to eight of the tables and when the bridesmaids came inside after the wedding they each placed their bouquet in a jar on one of the tables. Fresh flowers on eight tables instantly at no additional cost- pretty creative way to save money if you ask me!!

Share some advice you have for brides planning their weddings.

It’s your wedding, beautiful bride. Don’t let anyone talk you into something you don’t want on your special day. Be brave and let YOUR style shine!!

Who are some of your favorite vendors to work alongside?

Sugar Snap Images, Kellie Michelle Photography, and Christine Bonnivier Photography.  Mexican Villa, Zio’s and Curly Q’s for catering, Dixie at the Flower Patch and S-Bon Rentals.

Thanks, Dan and Teri from Ritzy Ranch! Please adopt me.

To learn more about Ritzy Ranch, visit their website at www.ritzyranch.com. Be a friend on Facebook, too!

Thanks for visiting! Come back tomorrow for more stops on the Bliss Events vendor tour. Don’t forget to like Springfield Bliss on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the best wedding planning information in Springfield, Missouri!

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samuel cedars

Welcome back to the Bliss Vendor Tour! We’re kicking off another great week FULL of interviews and photos with amazing wedding professionals in the Springfield, Missouri area. If you missed last week, don’t forget to poke around a bit to find Haseltine Estate, He Loves Me Flowers, Touch and Flame Catering, and Mandy Evans Photography.
Today we’re stepping just southeast of town to a peaceful corner of the world in Rogersville. For ten years, lovely ladies in big white dresses have chosen to exchange vows with their beloveds in this serene grove of cedar trees. A giant, open-armed welcome to Dodi Thomas from Samuel Cedars Chapel and Event Center!
Hello! Tell us about yourself.
Our property was originally owned by my grandparents, Elmer and Lucille Samuel, and has a beautiful grove of cedar trees Grandpa had not really seen any value in. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder!  My husband and I thought it was a beautiful spot and decided to clear part of the space for an outdoor wedding chapel.  This year marks our 10th anniversary and we have held almost 500 weddings.  It is wonderful to be able to witness couples starting their lives together and knowing that we have been a small part of that. I think if Grandpa could see it today, he would see that those cedar trees have found purpose after all!
Photo by Creative Shots Photography
Why do you love the wedding industry?
It is fun to help these couples on their big day!  It has grown into a full-time business that has allowed me to be more available to my family as well, which is wonderful! People often ask, “Did you dream of doing this all along?”  Not really 🙂  When the brides started coming out to tour the location, they expressed  a need for not only the outdoor chapel, but also a larger reception space.  We expanded our original plan for occupancy in the reception hall to accommodate larger groups and brides saw this as a great option!  Over the years, we have tried to add services and what is included with the rental to meet the needs of the couples and give them the most we can for their money.
Photo by Creative Shots Photography
What types of services do you offer?
Some extras included in our package are:
  • Set up of tables and chairs, including linens
  • Sound person/equipment for the wedding
  • Assistance w/parking
  • One hour Rehearsal
  • Monthly Open Houses for planning time for our brides
We also offer a range of optional services, like officiating, wedding directing, centerpieces and other rentals, outdoor arbor decor, decorating, onsite catering from Catering Creations, and onsite DJ services.
 What are some of the favorite things about the services you offer?
Brides really like the fact that they can get so many things checked off their list when they rent with us – from the venue, the caterer, the DJ, a wedding director, some of the decor and access to many of our favorite vendors at our Open Houses.  It is peace of mind for them to know that they don’t have to do everything on their own and it makes it so convenient that we offer so many services at our location.   Because we have been in the industry for so long, with input from former brides, we have been able to offer the items that are most important  to make it less stressful for them. Discussing each couple’s vision helps form friendships– we have even had couples who have been married here attend other weddings held here and been able to see their growing families and it is truly a beautiful thing!
Photo by Creative Shots Photography
 For better or worse, share a few memorable wedding moments with us.
WOW!  There is always a story to tell – some I definitely won’t repeat at this time!  One time, the minister for the service did not show up.  The caterer for the night was a friend of ours and also had performed many weddings. The wedding was themed so he was going to need to wear the appropriate costume.  He grabbed a Bible from my son’s room, put on the robe that was planned for the original minister and the ceremony went on without a hitch (as far as any of the guests knew).  On another occasion, the minister was the only one that showed up on the day of the wedding!  The couple had cancelled the wedding, but forgot to tell the minister that they were not getting married, so he showed up at the appropriate time dressed for a wedding.
One of my absolute favorite stories- there was a family who have had two of their family members have weddings at Samuel Cedar.  At the first wedding, one of the young ladies at the wedding met a young gentleman.  Those two went on to date each other and were engaged by the time the second wedding happened. Although that couple did not get married here at our facility, the wedding that took place here brought them together in the first place – love it!
Any advice for brides planning their wedding?
Make sure that you look at what all is included at each of the venues to find the place that works best for you.  You can love the look of a facility, but if their package doesn’t include much you end up spending much more! Stay true to the things that you really want included for your special day.  For instance, if you really want a bouquet of real flowers for your wedding, try to work that into the budget and spend a little less on something that is less important to you. Some brides want to do everything for themselves instead of letting others help.  Let your friends and family have a little joy by helping you on your day.  Sometimes doing everything yourself only adds more stress and doesn’t give you as much time to just enjoy the moment!
Thanks, Dodi! So happy to have you here!

For more info, visit SamuelCedars.com and don’t forget to check out their Facebook page!

Thanks for visiting! Come back tomorrow for more stops on the Bliss Events vendor tour. Like Springfield Bliss on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the best wedding planning information in Springfield, Missouri!

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touch catering

Photo by Christine Bonnivier Photography

The first night my husband and I ate at Touch was the night I declared it my favorite restaurant in all of Springfield. Seriously, this food is AMAZING. I had the Caesar salad and fainted (figuratively.) Our server brought out some warm muffins from the kitchen and I considered moving in (literally.) I ate the jalepeno cheddar polenta and I DIED. Died, ya’ll. (Okay, also figuratively.)

This place is made for date night, but I was so excited to learn that they can–and do!–cater weddings. Flexible pricing and plenty of menu options make it easy for clients to find something that fits their wedding vision, from butlered hors d’oeuvres to food bars to dinner buffets.

Note to my clients: Someone, pretty please, serve the Flame Baby Burger with caramelized onions and truffle aioli. If you can’t handle that much fun at a wedding, I’d happily settle for the Scottish Salmon with tarragon caper chardonnay butter (!!!)

But seriously, how cute would that photo be? A big white dress and a burger? So fun.

Without further ado, a huge welcome to Jacy from Touch and their sister restaurant, Flame.

Hello! Tell us about yourself.

Touch and Flame is a full service caterer.  In addition to providing our reputable food, we do anything and everything to assure a memorable evening for the bride and groom as well as their guests.

Cabernet table at Touch Restaurant
Cabernet table at Touch Restaurant


How did you get into the wedding industry?

We cater all types of events, and really started focusing on weddings about 5 years ago.  Booking only a few weddings in the first couple of years, we focused on the happiness of the bride, groom, and guests.  Fortunately, positive word of mouth about our business has led us to booking numerous weddings throughout any given year.  Putting on a successful wedding reception or rehearsal is extremely rewarding for Touch and Flame.  We pride ourselves on originality for each wedding, exceptional food, and above and beyond service. 

Cheese platter with vegetables
Cheese platter with vegetables

 In what ways have you seen weddings change since you joined the market?

I have noticed weddings are going more casual.  Bride and grooms are wanting more of a fun atmosphere with opportunities to mingle with everyone.  Popular ideas are going with food stations rather than your traditional buffet or plated dinner.  This way everyone is moving around and enjoying the company of all other guests rather than just the table they are seated.

Butlered salt and vinegar fries in wax paper cups
Butlered Salt & Vinegar Fries

What are some of your favorite things about the services you offer?

Our staff arrives early to set up everything, provides food and beverage service during the event, cuts and plates the cake, and stays until the venue is cleaner than it was upon arrival.  It is our pleasure to be able to take care of our vendors, so in addition to cleaning, we provide food for them too.  We also charge no rental fees.  Our motto is “Anything we own, you are free to borrow.”  This includes silverware, glassware, china dinnerware, and linens at no extra fee.  We have found this is a huge benefit to many bride and grooms trying to cut back on the budget.

Touch Bacon-wrapped Dates
Bacon-wrapped Dates

Share some advice  for brides planning their weddings.

The most important advice we have for brides is to not stress too much during the planning process. Marriage calls for an exciting planning experience leading up to the perfect big day! Touch & Flame Catering is here to eliminate any pre-wedding stress, and guarantee that when it comes to the food, the bride can check it off her list. With our above and beyond service, all the bride needs to think about is how to contain her excitement after tasting our signature food.  

Touch Caramel Apple Pie
Caramel Apple Pie

Visit Touch at 1620 East Republic Road, Springfield, Missouri, Monday-Wednesday 4pm-11pm and Thursday-Saturday 4pm-1am.

Visit Flame Steakhouse at 314 West Walnut Street, Springfield, Missouri, open at 5pm Monday-Saturday.

For more info on event catering, check out Touch-Restaurant.com or connect on Facebook.

Thanks for visiting! Come back tomorrow for more stops on the Bliss Events vendor tour. Don’t forget to like Springfield Bliss on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the best wedding planning information in Springfield, Missouri!

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haseltine estate

Two words.


This place. Oh, this place! Haseltine Estate is essentially a petite little castle for the perfect fairytale wedding right here in Springfield. Built in 1897, the property boasts 10 acres of gorgeous green space, mature trees, and rich character throughout the mansion and grounds. When I visited, I would have jumped up and down and squealed (except it was my first time to officially meet the owners, Tyler and Natalie, and I didn’t want them to think I was…you know…weird.)

Actually, I may have squealed. I can’t really remember in the haze of giant windows, glistening chandeliers, and sweeping vistas.

Haseltine Estate can accommodate up to 200 guests for outdoor ceremonies and receptions, with more intimate gatherings taking place inside the mansion. Original staircases, a sparkling pool, stone walls and a whitewashed barn are just a handful of the backgrounds you’ll find for spectacular photo ops.

Oh, and did I mention their bridal loft? Their goal is to have the best bridal suite in Springfield.

Done: A full bathroom, kitchen, amazing furniture pieces, a balcony overlooking the peaceful tree line, and a glam makeup booth that will accommodate all those bridesmaids. The groom doesn’t have it too bad, either. He and the guys can kick it on the leather couch in the basement- Foosball, ping-pong, darts, a flat-screen TV, and a bar will keep them busy until it’s time to say “I do.”

I’m so in love with this place, I asked Tyler and Natalie if they would do the honors of kicking off our little vendor tour around the city. They agreed because they are nice like that.

Hello! Tell us about yourself.

We [Tyler and Natalie Langston] took ownership in December 2015 and are looking forward to a very successful first wedding season.

Haseltine Ceremony
Photo by Cassidy Brooke Photography

How did you get into the wedding industry?

My love of local history and architecture fueled my interest in Haseltine Estate, and realizing that I could share Haseltine Estate with couples wanting to start their lives somewhere beautiful.

Haseltine Garden Room
Photo by Cassidy Brooke Photography

What types of amenities do you offer?

We offer gold Chiavari chairs, silver Chiavari chairs, white resin folding ceremony chairs, long tables, round tables and 17 beautiful chandeliers that are hung in the terrace area. We set all of these up, and all are included in the flat rate.

Haseltine Outdoor Reception
Photo by Cassidy Brooke Photography

Share some advice you have for brides planning their weddings.

Always hire a wedding planner, even if it is just for the day of. They will take all of the stress relating to design, décor, vendors, and even takedown from you and your family’s shoulders. It is the best money you can spend during your entire experience.

Note to readers: I promise I did not pay him to say that 😉 It’s just soooo true.

Haseltine Pool
Photo by Cassidy Brooke Photography

What’s coming up for Haseltine Estate? Any promotions, special offers or events?

Currently we are offering a 10 percent discount to 2016 brides that haven’t booked a venue yet. Also, we are giving a $200 discount to all brides that have hired the services of a wedding planner.

Haseltine Grounds
Photo by Cassidy Brooke Photography

Who are some of your favorite vendors to work alongside?

Simply Delicious Catering because of the quality of the food, the cost of that quality food, their speedy response time, and their willingness to help. They are the best.

Haseltine Estate Party
Photo by Cassidy Brooke Photography

There you have it! Haseltine Estate has officially opened their doors to brides looking for the perfect wedding venue in Springfield, Missouri.

Find Haseltine Estate at 1303 South Farm Road 115, Springfield, Missouri, 65802.

If you’d like to check it out, email info@haseltineestate.com, find them on Facebook, or visit HaseltineEstate.com.

Thanks for visiting! Come back tomorrow for more stops on the Bliss Events vendor tour. Don’t forget to like Springfield Bliss on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the best wedding planning information in Springfield, Missouri!

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save, five ways…on your wedding venue

Location, location, location. Mention the word wedding and suddenly the price spikes. There is no question that where you have the wedding is an important detail of your big day, but you certainly don’t want to go deep into debt to purchase time in a place where you will spend approximately ten hours of your entire life. Venue costs tend to stay relatively fixed, without a whole lot of wiggle room. Here are some tried-and-true tips to score a great space while saving a bit:

Curate the guest list. I know, I know. You are so tired of hearing this. But it can’t be overstated- you must cut down the guest list. Most venues around Springfield implement a price hike when you get to a guest count of 125-150, and some of the less expensive options don’t even hold more than 125 people.

Timing is everything. Weeeelll, maybe not everything. But it does influence the price point, for sure. Don’t feel locked in to Saturdays because that’s what everyone else does- Friday or Sunday are equally lovely days to host a celebration. If you are looking at a year when a national holiday falls midweek, schedule your wedding the night before so your guests can enjoy the next day off and you can enjoy the savings from booking a Wednesday night shindig. While I’m not one to suggest you choose a wedding off-season because of a price break, if you happen to love autumn or the snowfall of winter, book your date in those months. Bonus that it can often come with off-season pricing.

Evaluate perks. Does the venue provide linens, or will you need to rent them? Are there decorations available for use, or is it a blank slate? In the case of outdoor venues, do they have a rain alternative, or will you need to have a back-up tent? All of these are considerations that can either rack up your bill or save you a considerable amount once the day is done.

Double-duty. Choosing a venue that has a ceremony area in addition to the reception hall can  can save travel time and transportation costs. Going one step further to find  accommodations for your ceremony and reception in the same space will save you time, transportation, and floral/decoration costs. These suggestions aren’t for everyone- some brides really value holding their ceremony in a church. Others feel strongly about having separate locations for two vibes, the more sacred and sweet ceremony versus the celebratory feel of the reception. If you are up for it, though, it can shave some change off your final bill.

What about you? Have you found creative ways to trim your venue budget?

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