I’ve recently received many questions and requests for more information about Vive Le Ranch (the wedding venue we did not choose) because of my post: so you’re engaged… Thus, all the information I have + my personal opinion on Vive Le Ranch.
When Chris and I first began looking for a wedding venue, I knew exactly what I wanted: a barn, rustic, country, warm, and BUDGET FRIENDLY*. After pouring over online photos, blogs, and wedding boards I discovered that most of the photos I loved were taken at a location called “The Barn” in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It took me some time to finally track down “The Barn” but I discovered it was actually called Vive Le Ranch. Although I found their facebook page, Vive Le Ranch has no real website so I did the next best thing: I called the number.
In talking with the owner, she explained to me the rental fee was $2200 and all the money would be given to the Brush Creek Youth Ranch. Chris and I were very excited (ONLY $2200!) so we set up an appointment to view the ranch. Days before we left to view the venue, I read a few reviews on Wedding Wire about the Ranch. While most people chalk it up to 4/5 stars, there were several others who gave it 1/5 stars. The one that really caught my attention is posted below. Link, here.
Vive le Ranch in Tulsa, Oklahoma absolutely ruined my wedding day. They told me ELEVEN days before my wedding that they weren’t supposed to book me because of a fundraising event that is supposed to take place on the following Tuesday.
Thank you, Vive le Ranch for causing me to dream about a wedding for over a year, and then allow me to spend $15,000 on a day that you ruined.
Also…the organizer of the Brush Creek Youth Ranch–the organization in which the money I paid for the venue with supported, is a complete jerk. She pretty much said her organization was far more important than mine because it’s an annual event. Annual events are generally planned well ahead of time, so… I should have been notified FAR LONGER in advance.
This review rubbed me the wrong way for more than one reason. 1. If the venue is only $2200, how did she spend $15,000? 2. Can they really cancel your wedding? 3. ONLY ELEVEN DAYS IN ADVANCE?! Aside from this review, I attempted when visiting Vive Le Ranch to keep an open mind. Unfortunately, my mind was quickly closed.
1. Upon arriving at Vive Le Ranch, you quickly discover it is anything BUT a ranch. It is nice property with a gazebo, guest house (for bride to dress in), and a barn, but these items by no means constitute a ranch. It is actually located in the middle of a Tulsa neighborhood.
2. The owner was roughly 20 minutes late and sadly looked terribly unprofessional (hair from the night before, sunglasses, shorts, and flip-flops).
3. The property truly did speak for itself. The barn is absolutely gorgeous and they obviously take very good care of the grounds. Unfortunately the barn space is a bit difficult to work with. If you have more than 50 people, plan on the dancing portion of the reception to take place outside. Besides this small hiccup, the only other problem with the property is that there is no air conditioning except in the guest house. Some may not find this a problem, but I have many elderly people in my family who would’ve been unable to withstand the Oklahoma heat for long stints of time. Also keep in mind that if you’re dressing in the only air conditioned area, where is your groom/FOB/groomsman/etc. getting dressed?
After we saw the Ranch, Chris and I were still interested. I asked her to send me the contract and the rest of the ranch information. Upon receiving the contract all my questions to the above review were finally answered.
The ranch actually costs a bit more than the rental fee. Besides this rental fee ($2200 which is due at the time of booking. AKA can’t book your date until you pay in full), you must also pay a $300 security deposit, that you MAY get back if things go smoothly. Vive Le Ranch also requires that you pay one of their chosen security guards $25/hour. They arrive 30 min prior to rental and stay until the last guest leaves (this would calculate to about $300). Vive Le Ranch also requires you to use Blue Label Bartending Service if you serve alcohol. They are fantastic company, but they are pretty pricey (typical wedding $2100). These things alone have changed the $2200 price to $4,900**.Besides these things, Vive Le Ranch is a raw space. This means that you must rent tables, chairs, archs, and whatever kind of decorations you would like to add. Please be aware that these things add up quickly. Renting 100 chairs costs about $300.
Adding on to the damage already done, there are a few details in the Vive Le Ranch contract that are VERY important as far the price of the venue is concerned, you are after all paying an estimate of $5000 for the venue. You are in charge of coordinating the day and setting up the event. Music and Alcohol are required to stop at 10:30pm. You will also responsible for the tear down (removal of decor/trash). All guests, decorations, and trash must be gone from the property by midnight. Also, no sparklers/lanterns/confetti/no send off but bird seed is allowed. The most crucial clause in the contract (written in the fine print) The Brush Creek Youth Ranch holds priority to Vive Le Ranch and reserves at any time to cancel events. BOOM. Just like that, they CAN cancel your wedding.
I have seen hundreds of gorgeous wedding photos and reviews from Vive Le Ranch. However, Chris and I want to enjoy our wedding in the moment AND preserve it in photographs. I personally didn’t like the idea of taking off my wedding dress to help my parents haul garbage or kicking anyone out when we weren’t finished celebrating. For many people, I’m sure this venue would work perfectly but unfortunately/fortunately for us we went a different way.
I really hope this information is useful/helpful. I only wish someone had explained all of this to me.
*Budget Friendly does not by any means constitute cheap (remember The Tatanka Ranch costs MORE than Vive Le Ranch). It is simply a statement meaning getting the most for your money.
**Alcohol was something Chris and I truly wanted to offer at our wedding. Obviously it is not mandatory.