By Cassandra Key
Photography By Clint Jones Photography
Harlan and Sharon Ray have owned and operated The Flyin’ H Ranch since December 1995 when Harlan retired from a 21 year career in the United States Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel. After traveling the world, they decided it was time to come home.
Now with their children and grandchildren, they are fulfilling their lifelong dream of turning Savannah’s at The Flyin’ H Ranch into the premiere event venue of East Texas. The name “Savannah’s” came by way of Harlan and Sharon’s first granddaughter, Savannah, who was born around the time the venue was starting to take shape. Cora’s Cabins, which is the smaller, more rustic and wooded venue package, is named after the Ray’s second granddaughter, Cora. Needless to say, all free time, when not devoted to weddings and events, goes to the grandkids, and they take top priority.
Savannah’s offers an outdoor wedding venue that includes both barn and pasture settings with the space to put up party tents or open-air pavilions. The bridal suite, catering kitchen, and honeymoon loft suite are all furnished with state-of-the-art equipment in a rustic setting. When reserved, the venue is available to hosts and guests from 8 a.m. the morning of to 12 a.m. midnight.
Event packages at Savannah’s are all-inclusive. Once the deposit has been made for the event and the space reserved, there is no extra charge for use of the barn or if the couple wishes to use the honeymoon suite. With this kind of flexibility, couples can create a unique experience by choosing exactly what they want included in their wedding package. The same applies for Cora’s Cabins.
One thing that sets Savannah’s apart from other event venues is that the team has experience hosting a plethora of different occasions. “Our goal is to make your dreams come true,” Sharon says. “When booking with Savannah’s you automatically acquire a team that has experience planning and hosting events in all different climates and cultures from all around the world. From military formals and galas at the state department to a backyard BBQ on game day, there is not a lot we have not planned or coordinated.”
Interested clients should not be afraid to approach Savannah’s with whatever event they have in mind, big or small, lavish or casual. The Rays and their team are ready to handle whatever a client has in mind. As a family-owned business they can accomplish anything together. “We have survived a lifetime of military service and civilian jobs – hosting parties is nothing compared to that. We love hosting events of all kinds from staging and set up to watching the last guest leave with a smile on their face knowing we did a good job.”