By Angela Sundstrom
Ready to say “I do?” Adventures On the Gorge, West Virginia’s premier adventure resort, is not only the epicenter for outdoor activities, but weddings as well. Yes, you heard right. Weddings! Did I just blow your mind? It’s true. Our resort is THE place to tie the knot these days. I know many couples out there were recently engaged over the holidays. (Since you are reading this blog I’m going to assume that means you, so congratulations!) Now the planning begins. Have you ever considered Adventures On the Gorge as your venue? If not, check-out my list of our best wedding photos from previous years plus some insider advice.
The View: With this scenery, who wouldn’t want to tie the knot here? Our campus is located directly on the rim of the New River Gorge in southern West Virginia. Conveniently located 20 minutes North of Beckley and one hour from Charleston, you and your guests can still escape reality, while all the essentials are available within a short walk or drive. Melissa Perella Photography.
The Details: Dare to be different! Every bride struggles with the details of a wedding, but you can benefit from combining elements of traditional and modern. Simply picking us as your venue screams unique! Look for things outside of the box, such as serving breakfast food for your reception. Use antique-style photographs of your families as table decorations to signify the uniting of old and new. Go all out and rent a massive tent for your reception on our property complete with a contemporary dance floor and homemade jam as party favors. It’s your day! Make it memorable! Photo: Logan Bockrath.
Family and Friends: Of course, your day would not be complete without family and friends, especially the wedding party! Treat them. After all, they are stressing right along with you. Plan a pre-wedding brunch for your bridesmaids at a deluxe cabin or a night of football and wings at Chetty’s Pub for the groomsman. Want something bigger? Plan an entire week of adventure activities prior to or following your nuptials. Is there any better way to celebrate a marriage then the happy couple hurtling through the forest on a zip line or bombing the exhilarating rapids of America’s best whitewater? Melissa Perella Photography.
The Food: Have your cake and eat it, too! Our event coordinator can offer suggestions or recommendations on area vendors to book for your wedding. Want an elaborate cake with four tiers and fondant flowers? No problem. Live band instead of DJ? Sure, we can do that. How about an evening reception on our lower deck overlooking the pristine gorge with glowing lanterns, sparkling cocktail glasses and a checkered black and white dance floor buzzing with guests? You bet! Anything within the reach of our staff and vendors is yours for the taking. Rebecca Kiger Fotografia.
The First Kiss: In order to get to that first kiss as husband and wife, you might be struggling with what to do about an officiant or marriage licensing, especially for a destination wedding. The State of West Virginia requires all couples have a valid marriage license before the service. If you are a state resident, you should obtain your license in the county in which you live. If you are not a resident, you can obtain your marriage license in Fayette County at the office of the County Clerk. We also can assist in contacting a local minister, rabbi or priest for your ceremony. Photo: Brandon S. Warren.
The Facilities: Our facilities are one-of-a-kind! Smokey’s On the Gorge, our premier restaurant, is the hub of it all when it comes to weddings. From an intimate ceremony overlooking the New River Gorge on the lower deck to our open air pavilion for the ultimate celebration, we’ll make it happen. We also offer deluxe and rustic lodging, 3 restaurants and over 30 different adventure activities to choose from. Melissa Perella Photography.
Photo Ops: Make sure your photographer knows about all of our hidden gems on campus such as the overlook just below Smokey’s. The New River Gorge offers spectacular scenery from breathtaking waterfalls to jaw dropping cliffs, many of which can be seen from our campus or are located within a short drive.
The Food Again: Have I mentioned the food? We know you’ll probably be bringing your own cake and favors, but our culinary staff can certainly satisfy your taste buds. Our premier restaurant, Smokey’s On the Gorge, caters weddings and is renowned for gourmet buffet style dining. From Carribbean Jerk Pork Loin to Cavitappi with Shrimp, Scallops & Pesto Cream plus everything in between, our seasoned kitchen staff can customize a menu to your taste. Melissa Perella Photography.
Fun: We’re the fun wedding! Whether young or old, everyone has a good time here. Make sure to add on your adventure activities such as rafting and ziplining or rent out Rendezvous Lodge for some after-hours fun. Melissa Perella Photography.
The View Again: Ok, I realize I have already drilled this into your brain, but our views are simply AMAZING! There’s no being modest. They rock! Melissa Perella Photography.
Weddings at the edge of the Earth: Here’s just one more example of how to take your wedding day to the edge… literally. Photo: Jay Young.
Happily Ever After: There you have it! My advice for planning your AOTG wedding as told through major successes of the past. Think Adventures On the Gorge is exactly what you’ve been looking for? Call us! Our event coordinator would love to speak with you. After all, we want every couple to complete their journey and find a fairy tale ending! Photo: Angela Sundstrom.