Meet Allison Prato, an Event Coordinator for the Boathouse weddings!

boathouse weddingsHow did you get started in this business?

I graduated from James Madison University with my Bachelors Degree in Organizational Communication in 2010. I was a young adult, fresh out of college with no idea what I wanted to happen next. In 2011, I started working at The Boathouse as a restaurant server and slowly began working private events and wedding. One day, I spoke up and expressed my interest in working more with our Event Department. I have been a part of our amazing team since June 2015.

What’s your favorite wedding story?

My favorite wedding story was working with a couple who threw a surprise wedding for their friends and family. The couple had been together for close to ten years but did not feel they needed to get married to prove their commitment to one another. One day, their feelings changed, and they decided to completely shock all their loved ones. They invited everyone to the bride’s “50th Birthday Party” and when the couple joined the space 30 minutes after the start of the event, they waltzed in wearing a tuxedo and wedding dress! The guests’ reaction to the reveal was truly unforgettable, and it was a wedding I will never forget.

Why do you like working with weddings?

I like working with weddings because they are all different. While most receptions have traditional aspects such as family dances, cake cutting, and toasts, no ceremony or reception is ever the same. Each couple brings their own unique personal touch. I enjoy playing a small part in such an important day and lasting memory.

boathouse at short pump town center

What is the most difficult situation you have faced with a wedding and how did you resolve it?

The most difficult situation I have faced while working a wedding was during a reception when the DJ’s music suddenly stopped while everyone was dancing. No one seemed to be bothered initially, but after a few moments, guests started looking around and getting irritated. Luckily, while the DJ was fixing his sound system, our facility played music through our house speakers which kept the guests occupied and happy during the mini crisis!

From a vendor’s perspective, what is the one best piece of advice you can offer to engaged couples?

In my experience, some couples worry a bit too much about making their guests happy rather than picking a menu or even location they would prefer. It’s important to keep your guests in mind while making SOME decisions about the wedding, but couples need to stay true to themselves and create a day that will be most meaningful to them.

What inspired you the most/where do you find inspiration?

I have always found inspiration through my parents. They are remarkable people who I have always looked up to and can turn to for advice. They inspire me to be a good person, work hard, and treat others with respect. I also find inspiration in nature. It’s easy to get caught up in our busy lives. When I can take time to enjoy the beauty of the world, I feel inspired and at peace.

boathouse at sunday park
Mike Topham Photography

What do you like to do when you are away from work?

Relax! When I’m not spending time with my family and my adorable nephew, I am usually with my group of friends. An ideal weekend away from work would include hiking to a beautiful lookout, listening to bluegrass around a campfire, and sleeping in a tent!

What would we be surprised to learn about you?

I can play the trumpet, French horn, piano and I was the drum major of my high school band!

Thank you for chatting with us, Allison!  If you would like to learn more about the Boathouse wedding venues, please visit