Driftless Wedding Series: What’s in a name? ‘Ryan’ proves significant for Madrigal family

Anna (Madrigal) and Ryan Crum were married May 13, at the Decorah Fish Hatchery. (Photo courtesy of Mo Speer Photography)

By Roz Weis,

Anna (Madrigal) and Ryan Crum were married May 13, at the Decorah Fish Hatchery. (Photo courtesy of Mo Speer Photography)

Research shows that repeated exposure to something makes us more attracted to it.

When it comes to husbands, Anna Madrigal’s exposure to her two brothers-in-law, both named Ryan, propelled her toward yet another Ryan.

Jon and Marcia Madrigal’s youngest daughter followed the lead of her two older sisters by adding her new husband Ryan to the fold in 2023.

Yes, all three Madrigal girls (Liz, Rachel and Anna) from Decorah have married men named Ryan.

Liz, the oldest, got the party started by marrying Ryan Graf June 20, 2015.

Rachel, the middle child, married Ryan Grenko Sept. 24, 2016.

And, finally, Anna, the baby of the family, married Ryan Crum on May 13, 2023.

Anna said her parents were in utter disbelief when they discovered Anna was dating a Ryan.

“They wondered if I’d meticulously created a list of all the Ryans at Luther College and interviewed each one. Now while that’s definitely something I could see myself doing since I’m so Type A, it was completely a coincidence …It is crazy that all of the Ryans are so different and each have their own unique strengths. But it is fun when we’re all able to get back together because everyone gets along so well,” Anna smiled.

Jon and Marcia said that they have nicknames for their three sons-in-law: Ryan Graf is “Doc”, Ryan Grenko is “Grenks” and the new Ryan is simply “Ryancrum”.


Anna was born and raised in Decorah. She attended Luther College, played on the women’s basketball team, and majored in Economics.

Ryan is from Mount Horeb, Wis., the son of Arnie and Lori Crum. His mom, the former Lori Hermeier, is originally from Waukon. 

When selecting a college, Ryan wanted to be close to his family in Waukon and in the Northeast Iowa/Driftless region to enjoy the outdoors. He attended Luther College, played on the men’s soccer team, and majored in Environmental Science. Ryan’s parents moved after their boys graduated high school and now live outside of Waukon.

Ryan first saw Anna playing basketball at Luther College when they were both sophomores. One of Anna’s good friends on the basketball team, Carrie, was dating Ryan’s teammate on the soccer team, JW. JW planned to watch a game on a Saturday so Ryan tagged along. At one point, JW leaned over and said to Ryan, “What do you think about #32?” (Anna’s basketball number) to which Ryan replied with an enthusiastic, “Not bad” and so JW and Carrie planned a night for everyone to hang out and the rest is history. Even though he’s not a huge basketball fan, Ryan still attended many Luther College women’s basketball games over the next few years.

Ryan and Anna got engaged at the lookout point over Heritage Valley, featuring a stunning view of the Upper Iowa River, bluffs and woodlands of Northeast Iowa. During an internship with the Iowa Natural Heritage foundation, Ryan helped restore and care for the land. Recently, on a weekend trip to Decorah, Anna spotted a print at custom framing business The Perfect Edge of the exact view where they got engaged. The folks down at Perfect Edge helped get the print framed and now it is displayed in their home in Madison, Wis.

The pair graduated from Luther in May 2017. Anna moved off to Minneapolis, starting to travel around the country to pursue a career in consulting. Ryan moved back to Madison and started working in environmental restoration and ecology. There were many four-hour drives both ways on Interstate 90, and pick-ups at the Madison airport. Once, Ryan drove from Madison to Milwaukee at midnight to pick-up Anna after the last shuttle for Madison had already left for the evening.

Their story continues after two years of long-distance dating. Anna made the move to Madison in September 2021, and while living there, they moved to Appleton, Wis., for Ryan’s job promotion. They were engaged on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27, 2021. Despite Ryan thinking he had planned the perfect surprise, Anna bumped into a few Decorah residents leading up to the weekend, and they just couldn’t keep a secret. They couldn’t have been happier to celebrate surrounded by their entire family.

They started planning their wedding in 2022, as they welcomed their sweet dog, Honey, into their home.

Their special wedding weekend started with a welcome party at Pulpit Rock Brewing Company Friday, May 12. 

They were married at a 3:30 p.m. ceremony Saturday, May 13, at the Decorah Fish Hatchery. A reception followed at Oneota Golf & Country Club.

When asked about their wedding theme, Anna was quick to accentuate simplicity in her description.

“Ryan and I are super simple people and I’ve never been someone who likes anything flashy –clean lines and classic touches; we kept things super natural with lots of white, different shades of blue, and pops of green,” she commented. “I was really inspired by my sisters’ previous weddings they had in Decorah – they leaned into a lot of greenery.”

Anna continued, “We were really focused on just making the day as fun as possible – from getting a live band for the adults and the photo booth for the kids.”

The Crums appreciated the help from their parents in the planning.

“My mom helped with so much; I tend to get super caught up in my work and at the time we were doing a lot of the planning, we were still living in Appleton, so it was tough to make the four-hour trip back to Decorah sometimes. She is so connected to the community in Decorah and has developed great working relationships with so many of those people through selling real estate – it made it incredibly easy,” Anna continued.

“I’d also shoutout my friend Emily (Alcock) Henriquez. She’s a professional events planner (who has somewhat followed in her mother’s (Sherry Alcock) footsteps. I bounced the entire schedule for the day off her and got her advice on how to best structure the day to make sure everything flowed, and we were never rushed.”

Their choice to have the wedding outdoors was an easy one.

“We love the outdoors, especially the Driftless Region, and Siewers Springs/Decorah Fish Hatchery is really the embodiment of that. Plus, my sister Liz also got married there, and that was also a beautiful ceremony,” Anna said.


Their wedding weekend was full of fun and food. From the rehearsal dinner/welcome party at Pulpit Rock on Friday night, to Impact coffee Saturday morning and Oneota Coop brunch and a walk around Decorah for the women and Impact coffee and some disc golf on the Luther campus for the men.

The bride and her attendants got ready for the day at the Schoolhouse Loft Airbnb on John Street in Decorah and the men got ready at the Nest Airbnb in downtown Decorah.

They had their “first look” at the historic Luther College Barn and had more pictures near Lindeman Pond before heading to the wedding venue. Ryan was wearing a bolo tie that belonged his late grandpa, Harlan Hermeier. Anna was wearing specially-designed jewelry gifted from her uncle Peter Wolfe. 


Anna said she really wanted to write their own vows; but since Ryan isn’t as performative as her, he was hesitant at first but ultimately obliged.

“He absolutely crushed it!” Anna smiled. “I had my nephew and all my little nieces walk down the aisle before I came out, and they were incredibly cute. Oliver, the oldest, led the way; and each of the little ladies gave Ryan a huge hug.”

“We had to have our friend, Alex Weber (fiancé at the time to the maid of honor – Moran Lonning) play music for the ceremony. He played all our favorite artists – the Lumineers, Zach Bryan and Caamp.

“My aunt, Melissa Welsch, picked out the tree for the unity ceremony – a white pine (we later planted that tree on Ryan’s parent’s land outside of Waukon.

“Marlon Henriquez (husband to bridesmaid Emily Henriquez) was our officiant. We knew we wanted a friend to marry us, and Marlon was the perfect choice. As an elementary school principal, he definitely knows how to command a room and you would have never guessed this was his first time. He is incredibly charismatic and took the role so seriously. We are so thankful for him and were happy to launch his side hustle as an officiant,” the Crums agreed.

Following the wedding ceremony the wedding party hopped on their party bus and headed to Toppling Goliath, where they took over the upstairs. The groomsmen boasted Hawaiian TG shirts for much of the evening to follow.

The reception at Oneota Golf & Country Club was followed by a dance.

“We had “Crum”bl cookies as a dessert and they were “crum”believable,” Anna said. “The JayR Brink band played a little bit for everyone – DJ-ing some popular songs and then also playing country music like Zach Bryan and classics like Alabama.

Anna said one of the memorable highlights of the reception as her husband singing “Should’ve Been a Cowboy”.

As previously noted, Anna is definitely the one that likes to be on-stage but everyone wanted to see Ryan sing that song. 

“He was so happy up there, definitely outside of his comfort zone,” Anna reminisced, “but he had been talking about that being his one and only song he’d ever sing in front of a crowd. I was happy to be dancing and singing along in the front row.”

A post-wedding brunch was held in the upstairs at Impact Coffee on Sunday morning for the wedding party, their close family and friends. Java John’s catered the event, serving up cinnamon rolls and quiche.

The newlyweds realized how lucky they were to have beautiful weather for their special weekend.

“People thought we were a little ambitious having an outdoor ceremony in the middle of May,” Anna said. “And we thought the same thing when it was downpouring at 5 p.m. on Friday afternoon before our ceremony rehearsal. But right before we were about to start, the rain stopped and it was a beautiful night. We woke up to serious showers and a thunderstorm on Sunday morning – but everything was clear for our events.”

Future plans

The Crums now make their home on the southwest side of Madison. Ryan works for Stantec Consulting as a restoration ecologist managing restoration projects across the Midwest. Anna works for a small, startup healthcare IT consulting firm called Cardamom Health, building a team of application, data and analytics experts to help healthcare organizations get the most out of their IT investments.

“We love trying new supper clubs in the area and balance that with being members of a CrossFit gym (we like competing with each other during workouts); however, at least one weekend a month, we’re making a trip back to God’s Country (aka Northeast Iowa) to spend time with our families and enjoy the area,” they said.

More photos and wedding stories in the February 6 Driftless Journal.


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