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Putting the “Woo Hoo” in “I Do;” Weddings for Adventurous Couples at West Virginia’s Adventures on the Gorge
When couples sit down with wedding planner Jessica Campbell of Adventures on the Gorge (AOTG) to map out their wedding, Jessica often reminds couples to not have too much fun before the big event. At least not without using lots of sunscreen.
That’s because an array of adventures beckon at this increasingly popular wedding venue, and it can be difficult to save the play until after the big day.
The resort is renowned for its stunning wedding spots – from decks overlooking the rugged New River Gorge, to luxurious private vacation homes for smaller ceremonies. AOTG also features a variety of accommodations and distinctive dining options. And it is easy and affordable for couples and their guests to get to the destination, which is within a six-hour drive of about 70 percent of the U.S. population.
“There is more than one way to say ‘I do,’ and we believe that couples should plan a day that reflects their distinct style and interests,” said Jessica Campbell, catering manager. “From recommending settings for the ceremony to creating the perfect wedding feast, we are dedicated to ensuring couples and their guests experience the wedding of their dreams.”
And Campbell admits she often suggests that couples save the whitewater for the honeymoon to avoid sunburn lines showing through their picture-perfect wedding attire.
The resort welcomes the opportunity to stage weddings for all couples. Adventures on the Gorge celebrated the booking of its very first gay wedding the same week the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Constitution requires states to recognize marriage between people of the same gender.
The Big Day
Campbell and her team work closely with couples on every detail of the wedding, from selecting a site to choosing a menu. One of the most popular sites is the romantic setting of the Canyon Falls Swimming Hole, an outdoor pool and patio area with rock formations and water features that blend into the woodsy surroundings of the resort. Many couples also choose to stage the ceremony on a deck overlooking the New River, and then move the reception to the pool or Smokey’s on the Gorge, the resort’s signature restaurant. The pool, deck and surrounding patio combined provide nearly 13,000 square feet of space, allowing plenty of room for dancing and socializing. The resort also offers after-party options for couples who want to celebrate long into the night.
AOTG is serious about its food. Smokey’s on the Gorge offers a wide selection of gourmet wedding reception menus such as Prime Rib with Horseradish Au Jus, Blue Crab Ravioli with Lobster Bisque and Chicken Piccati with Lemon Caper Sauce.
Adventures on the Gorge staff can also offer a vendor directory listing preferred providers of music, photography, wedding cakes and flowers.
With its numerous adventures and wide range of accommodations – from campsites to deluxe cabins – Adventures on the Gorge is also a popular destination for bachelor and bachelorette parties and rehearsal dinners.
Rehearsal dinners can be held in one of the luxury vacation homes adjacent to the resort, Smokey’s on the Gorge, poolside or on the Smokey’s lower deck, or the more casual Buffler’s BBQ.
Adventures on the Gorge also offers a variety of getaway packages for couples, their guests and wedding parties. Guests can enjoy one of the many resort adventures such as whitewater rafting and ziplining and then party at one of the restaurants or in the charming town of Fayetteville, just a short distance from the resort.
AOTG offers accommodations for a variety of group sizes and budgets. High-end luxury homes with multiple bedrooms and spectacular views of the New River Gorge are often the top choice among couples and their families. There are also a variety of other cabins, including deluxe cabins with hot tubs, kitchens and multiple bedrooms. For guests on a budget and for those who simply like to sleep in the great outdoors, there are tent camping sites, platform tents already set up, bunkhouses that sleep up to eight people.
Many couples choose to begin the adventure of marriage with a vacation at Adventures on the Gorge. The resort offers numerous packages that allow couples to play all day. Adventures include whitewater rafting on the New River and Gauley River; two zip lines; the Bridgewalk, a 3,000-foot-long catwalk under the New River Gorge Bridge with heights topping out at 852 feet; Timber Trek Adventure Park featuring a series of obstacles, bridges, swings and zip lines; fishing; lake kayaking; rock climbing; stand up paddle boarding; cliffside climbing and rappelling; paintball; mountain biking; horseback riding and ATV tours.
For more information and to reserve packages, travelers should call 1-855-379-8738 or visit www.adventuresonthegorge.com.