Country Weddings Gaining Popularity in OklahomaTue, 18 Nov 2014 16:12:32 CST
If your dream wedding includes a country view, your best boots peeking out from under your wedding dress and a reception inside a beautifully decorated barn, there are lots of farms, ranches and vineyards in Oklahoma waiting to make that dream come true for you. Country weddings are big business and the state's booming agritourism industry offers wedding venues complete with wide-open vistas, wagon wheels, country lodges and cozy cabins.
The Oklahoma Dept. of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ODAFF) recently held a workshop to give owners of rural venues tips on how to provide high-quality service to wedding parties and ensure a memorable stay. Workshop speakers shared their business experiences hosting weddings and helped participants understand how to price services and promote their venues.
"I love weddings," Tatanka Ranch owner Sandy Sarette told the group. "It's fun to me, but you must like solving problems under stress." She shared experiences about how to make weddings manageable for her ranch and help brides develop realistic ideas of what to expect. Sarette explained how to decide on the type of facility to build and even the number of bathrooms needed.
Agritourism coordinator Lori Coats covers the western half of the state and regularly visits many agritourism venues. She encouraged workshop participants to share their knowledge with each other. "The Oklahoma Agritourism Program is just awesome," Coats said. "I'm very proud of our networking and sharing. We all want to educate each other and improve our services."
For those who missed the workshop, agritourism information is online by clicking here. Jamie Cummings, coordinator for ODAFF's Agritourism Program, announced that venues in the Agritourism Program will have the opportunity to send marketing pieces with her to a major wedding show in Tulsa and she will help them promote their businesses. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (405) 522-5652.
Agritourism is defined as inviting the public onto a working farm or ranch to purchase products, learn, have fun, participate in farm activities or just relax. ODAFF and the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department develop and promote the agritourism industry in Oklahoma to stimulate economic growth and viability in rural communities. These businesses attract domestic and international tourists by offering high-quality agricultural attractions and destinations.
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