With stars in their eyes and a longing for deep, committed love, women prepare years in advance for their special day. In today’s modern world, even men are more involved in planning their weddings. L•O PROFILE continues its focus on marriage and weddings, and has enlisted the knowledge and experience of several Lake-area businesses.
Seven Springs Winery • Linn Creek, Missouri
The winery, located between Camdenton and Osage Beach, sits atop 160 acres of lush rolling foothills. It began hosting weddings last summer. The banquet room holds 300 guests and the covered porch and outdoor patio will accommodate 125 guests. At night, the patio area lights up creating an intimate setting.
The winery has a wedding coordinator who will work with the bride and groom to coordinate flowers, cake and entertainment from outside vendors at no charge. The couple can choose from an extensive list of food items creating a reception that ranges from simple finger food to a five-course meal. There is a shuttle service to Tan-Tar-A. Future plans call for vineyard weddings with a separate building, stone steps leading to the sight, a fountain and a waterfall.
Casa de Loco Winery • Camdenton, Missouri
The property was originally owned by a businessman who decided to make the 4.9-acre parcel into his private getaway. Over the years the property was sold several times. The facilities were once used to care for mentally ill patients — thus the name Casa de Loco (mad house in Spanish).
The stone buildings were restored and today Casa de Loco offers one two-room suite, and three one-room suites. There is also a honeymoon cottage at the far end of the property. Overlooking the Big Niangua River, the winery hosted between 20 and 25 weddings this year. The winery offers indoor and outdoor ceremony sites. The restored stone building, built in 1930, has an L-shaped reception hall. There also is an outdoor patio and stage. The winery offers a private dressing area for the bride and her bridal party. And, there is a caterer’s kitchen available.
Osage National Golf Resort • Lake Ozark, Missouri
Located in a beautiful river valley surrounded by the bluffs of the Osage River, Osage National has been rated four stars by Gold Digest magazine. The golf resort hosts an average of 20 weddings a year. The poolside pavilion can hold 125 guests and the outdoor pool with the extended deck can accommodate 300. The resort also offers another open-air wedding site — Palmer’s Garden — that will hold 300 guests. The Palmer Banquet room in the 20,000 square-foot clubhouse is perfect for receiving 230 people. The resort offers full-service menus and can create a meal of finger food to a sit-down dinner. There are condos on site for the wedding party and guests.
Shawnee Bluff • Lake Ozark, Missouri
Touted as the “Best kept secret at the lake” Shawnee Bluff Inn was established in 1931. The small 12-room motel sits atop a bluff overlooking the main channel of the Lake of the Ozarks. The honeymoon suite features a queen-sized bed, jetted tub and a private balcony that offers a stunning panoramic view of the Lake.
Captain Ron’s • Sunrise Beach, Missouri
Opened in 2006, Captain Ron’s was created from a neglected trailer park. The trailers were removed and Shipwreck Beach and Captain Ron’s Restaurant were formed. In 2007, after being awarded the Lake Rescue Shootout, another 300 feet of lakefront was purchased, bringing the total to 700 feet. Seven rental houses were remodeled with Treasure Pass — a walkway in front of the houses — completed in 2008. The restaurant was transformed into a Pirate Ship and the second beach — Cannonball Beach — was added along with two tiki bars and a second sand volleyball court.
Captain Ron’s hosted its first wedding this year. The beach weddings can accommodate 300 people. Out-of-town guests can rent one of several houses along the beach. There is a two-bedroom honeymoon house that features a four-poster bed and flat screen television.
Receptions can be held on the beach or for smaller parties of up to 80 people; the Captain’s Quarters is available. The staff will work with the couple to choose the menu for the reception and coordinate with other vendors.
Lake Valley Golf and Country Club • Camdenton, Missouri
Located at the quieter end of the Lake of the Ozarks, Lake Valley is a semi-private, 18-hole championship golf course that has been a must-play destination for more than 40 years. The clubhouse has a large ballroom that is used to host an average of 12 wedding receptions a year. The ballroom can accommodate 120 and guests may also enjoy dining on the back porch. The couple can choose menu and alcohol selections for their guests from hors d’oeuvres to a full sit-down dinner.
Ha Ha Tonka State Park • Camdenton, Missouri
Ha Ha Tonka State Park was acquired in 1978. It is a geological wonderland with sinkholes, caves, a huge natural bridge, soaring bluffs, Missouri’s 12th largest spring and the famous castle ruins. The turn-of-the-century castle was built by a wealthy businessman.
The shell of the mansion overlooks Ha Ha Tonka spring and the Lake of the Ozarks atop a 250-foot bluff. About 25 weddings are performed at the ruins each year. The space can accommodate only 20 people and there is no charge for the rental. The state park offers no other amenities, but a picnic shelter equipped with electricity, grill and picnic tables may be reserved for a fee.
Bridal Cave • Camdenton, Missouri
Centuries ago the Osage Indians discovered the unspoiled beauty of a magnificent cave that lies beneath Thunder Mountain. Folklore tells of a wedding held in the cave in the 1800s so the natural phenomenon was aptly named the Bridal Cave. After years of primitive exploration the cave was officially protected in 1948. There are about 50 weddings held in the Bridal Cave each year. The temperature stays at a cool 60 degrees and the few bats that call the cave home do not disturb visitors. More than 2,100 couples from around the world have been married in the Bridal Chapel. The small space can accommodate 40 people and that’s standing room only. Receptions can be held on the small pavilion and deck in front of the entrance to the cave.
Old Kinderhook Resort and Golf Course • Camdenton, Missouri
Old Kinderhook is located at the southwest end of the Big Niangua arm of the Lake of the Ozarks. The resort offers onsite lodging, complete catering services and 3,800 square foot banquet room overlooking the 15th fairway. The indoor and outdoor areas and courtyards can accommodate up to 125 people. Guests staying at the resort can enjoy a round of golf at the par-71 course that Golf Digest rated at 4_ stars. There are two clay tennis courts, a day spa and a pool featuring a waterfall. The marina offers jet ski and boat rentals.
Celebration Cruise • Osage Beach, Missouri
Among the more unique yet appropriate venues is on the water, in a boat. Celebration Cruises offers complete wedding packages, and can customize any of its existing packages to suit unique events. Celebration Cruises offers chapel-style seating for up to 100 guests during the ceremony and table-service dining after the ceremony.
It also specializes in rehearsal dinners and reception-only cruises, and can arrange to pick you up at your waterfront resort, where practical. Also available is extra cruising time, wedding photography, invitations, master of ceremonies, a disc jockey, custom-designed food and beverage packages.
Tan-Tar-A Resort • Osage Beach, Missouri
The 420-acre resort has two championship golf courses, an indoor water park and 93,000 square feet of functional space to accommodate 3,500 people. The resort offers small, intimate weddings in the chapel, to opulent nuptials in the Crystal Ballroom, to sunset marriages by the water. All of the amenities associated with a wedding can be handled on site from flowers and food to photography and entertainment. An on-staff wedding coordinator can handle every detail.
Lodge of Four Seasons • Lake Ozark, Missouri
Built in 1964, The Lodge of Four Seasons is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year. The resort offers three championship lakeside golf courses, excursion boat rides and a myriad of other water activities. Guests can be pampered at the nationally recognized Spa Shiki or rent a bike to ride along the Horseshoe Bend Parkway Trail. The resort offers a wide range of choices when making plans for the wedding. There are a variety of areas that are perfect for weddings and receptions. The Granada Ballroom can hold 1,300 guests, while the Valencia roof top patio can accommodate 200 in a breathtaking view of the lake. The exquisite Japanese Gardens is the perfect place for an outdoor wedding with space for 200 guests.
Willmore Lodge Grotto • Lake Ozark, Missouri
Originally, the historic log building was built for Union Electric. Finished in 1930, it was used as a retreat and entertainment facility for Union Electric administrators during the early years of the Great Osage River Project. Union Electric sold the building to Cyrus Crane Willmore, a St. Louis developer, in 1945. Over the years, it was sold several other times until 1996 when Union Electric re-acquired the property. Union Electric made a deal with the Lake Area Chamber of Commerce where the Chamber would pay for restoration costs and Union Electric would provide a long-term lease for $10 a year. Now, the facility houses the Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, a visitor center and the Bagnell Dam Historical Museum.
Weddings are held in the 1,500-square-foot room that will accommodate 80 people. Down the flower lined cart path is a gazebo overlooking the lake where the couple can tie the knot with up to 80 people in attendance. Wilmore averages 12 weddings a year. The lodge does not offer catering services, however, the wedding party can use outside vendors.