We had the opportunity to chat with the Wedding Coordinator for the beautiful Harpers Ferry Adventure Center. Ryann Crawford was kind enough to answer some of our questions about how she got started in the wedding industry, what her favorite parts of wedding planning are, and a little bit about what kind of venue Harpers Ferry Adventure Center is.
First, can you tell me a little about yourself? Are you from this area originally?
I grew up in Maryland about 10 miles from our outfitter. I am the oldest of 4. I have 3 teenage children who are involved with working at the outfitter as well.
When you were a kid did you ever expect you would get into the wedding industry? Have you always known this is what you wanted?
No. Weddings is something that became more of a hobby when helping and planning family weddings and parties.
When did you first become interested in weddings?
When I was helping my brother and sister plan their weddings and had some amazing ideas.
How many years have you been in this industry?
I didn’t start doing this until September 2016 when the wedding venue started to grow at our outfitter and someone needed to take a lead and direct it.
Does your personal wedding experience influence how you oversee them now?
Not at all. I am always looking for new and unique ideas to make each and everyone different.
What specifically is it that you do at Harpers Ferry Adventure Center?
Host weddings, talk to brides, interact with wedding planners, etc.? I am currently the Assistant office manager, Manager of marketing communications and our wedding coordinator. I give tours and discuss our venue with potential brides and grooms. I set up all reservations. I assist in any planning as requested. I have done some officiating as well.
What is the most memorable wedding you have worked on? What made it special?
I coordinated and officiated my sisters wedding. It was all my ideas and my ceremony. It was a gift to my sister.
Weddings like Fashion are extremely “trend” driven. What do you see as 2017 wedding trends in the way of décor, wedding size, reception parties, the dress, the hot color etc.?
Brides of 2017 are looking more at rustic trends, outdoors. I’ve seen a mix of small and intimate to large gatherings. Destination weddings are hot right now. Bride and grooms are looking for that experience for their guest. With us we’ve seen a trend in doing group activities. Raft trip, camping, tubing on the river. all leading up to their “Big Day.”
How much of the wedding do you work on first-hand? Is it normally the ceremony or the reception?
I have my hand in it from the moment they want to tour the property to the truck picking up the last of the equipment and the trash.
What is your favorite part of a wedding?
Seeing the joy and memories that were just made because of the experience I just created.
I know that when I see videos of weddings, it makes me emotional. Silly, but true! Would you say you get emotional with each wedding you are involved in?
I definitely do! Not once yet has a wedding just been a wedding. I give all I am to each and every one of our guest. It’s what I would want as a bride for myself or for my children.
Do you have any personal advice or words of wisdom to the brides and grooms that are planning their weddings?
Plan the wedding you want. Your ideas, and dreams of your wedding can be done at the right venue. Don’t settle with a venue because you think you have to.
What kind of bride picks your venue?
ALL KINDS!! Some have a connection to the area. Some have worked in the outdoor adventure world and our venue suites their lifestyle. Some just want the outdoor rustic river wedding.
How would you describe your venue to a bride?
We are an outdoor venue currently. Overlooking the gorgeous view of the Potomac River and historic Harpers Ferry from our mountaintop property.
Thank you so much for your time, Ryann, we loved getting to know more about you! For more information on how to plan your wedding at Harpers Ferry Adventure Center, please visit this website.