40 User photos
Emily Mixon · Married on 10/19/2019
Amazing space for indoor/outdoor nature-oriented wedding!
The Aldo Leopald Nature Center was the perfect venue for our October 19, 2019 wedding. The location was beautiful, and the indoor/outdoor options made dealing with the weather non-stressful! The staff were extremely invested, flexible, and accommodating.
We were able to have our wedding outdoors among perfect fall color, and our reception indoors while allowing the guests to mingle and mix between the nature trails, and the recently roofed-in patio/deck. There were also multiple rooms for photography projection (thanks to Duncan for making a great slide show!) and the 3D globe projection room was a big hit. The venue was well set up for a progression from outdoor ceremony to indoor/outdoor cocktail hour, to indoor dinner and dancing with options to hang out in lots of spaces. This allowed our 115 guests to ‘choose their own adventure’ which was phenomenal.
The ALNC also helped cut down on our price and stress of wedding planning. They provided an amazing support staff (shout out to Duncan for answering all our questions with expediency and good cheer!), and also didn’t have any ‘gotchas’ with price. Chairs and tables were provided for a small additional fee (far less than rental!). We used an approved caterer from FoodFight and rented a few things (bar, patio heating tower, and clothes rack) from a la Crate Rentals. All in all it was a seamless collaboration in terms of food, bartending, and venue use.
Most of all, we loved supporting ALNC with our wedding. The center sponsors preschools and field trip programs, as well as public education and outreach. We were really happy that our wedding money went towards these missions, and we plan to come back to the center for events and hikes in the years to come!
Sent on 10/23/2019
Spencer Schoate · Married on 09/28/2019
Perfect Venue for Perfect Day
Choosing the location to is one of the most important and potentially one of the most difficult decisions you'll make with your partner when planning your wedding. If the unbelievable beauty of the prairie, the masterfully renovated building with the incredible chandelier, the secluded feeling the trees of this nature preserve, or how professional and helpful Duncan and his team are, aren't enough of a reason to make the decision to book this venue for your wedding, consider that the money you'll be spending goes directly back to the children of the community to help with the recently opened preschool and field trip programs. Not only will you have the PERFECT location for the most special day of your lives, you'll also be doing an act of goodness, so you'll feel good about your decision as well.Sent on 10/16/2019
I can't imagine having a wedding in any other location.
Mason O’Mara · Married on 09/21/2019
Couldn’t have asked for better
The Aldo Leopald Nature Center was the perfect venue for our September wedding. The location is beautiful, there’s plenty of indoor and outdoor options, and the staff were extremely attentive and supporting.Sent on 09/29/2019
We were able to have our wedding outdoors, and our reception indoors while allowing the guests to frequent an outdoor bar and take their drinks along beautiful nature trails. There was a bonfire area that we took advantage for late night smores, multiple rooms for photography projection (including a cool 3d globe projection room which was fun), lots of spaces for guests to hang out in and outdoors, the list goes on.
The ALNC also helped cut down on our price and stress of wedding planning. The venue provides (for a small additional fee) chairs and tables, a place to project photos for you at no additional cost, and amazing support staff (shout out to Duncan for answering all of our questions in no time flat)! The ALNC also allows you to bring in your own alcohol, which saved us a ton of money and really let us customize our bar (homebrew)!
I’m addition to all you get from the venue, from what I understand your money is going to a great cause by having your wedding at the ALNC. The Aldo sponsors field trips for schools, and the money you spend helps keep those field trips affordable for schools that might otherwise find it harder to invest in education about the environment.
Paddy · Married on 09/21/2019
Amazing Venue and Exceptional Staff
The Aldo Leopold Nature Center was the perfect choice for both our ceremony and reception. The building and grounds are beautiful and our guests really enjoyed both in the inside and outside amenities. What really made this venue shine, though, was the staff. Duncan was there every step of the way, both answering all of our questions and providing suggestions. The staff assistance throughout the entire weekend was phenomenal, as well. They were extremely flexible given the uncertain weather, and when the decision was made to move the ceremony inside they went above and beyond to ensure that everything went perfectly. We highly recommend the Aldo Leopold Nature Center to anyone looking for a ceremony and reception venue.Sent on 10/02/2019
Oliver Radcliffe · Married on 09/12/2019
Aldo Leopold Nature Center is the best!
We had the pleasure of having our wedding ceremony at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center in September. All along, Duncan and co. were wonderful to work with in getting all the logistics organized for the event. Day-of, we were dealing with a bit of an ambiguous weather situation, so the team did a phenomenal job of reconstructing our ceremony plans in another part of the grounds (that were covered), which wound up being even more beautiful than we could have imagined! We feel so lucky to have chosen the ALNC for our ceremony! Thanks Duncan and everyone who made our night so perfect!Sent on 10/07/2019
Molly Jones · Married on 09/01/2019
Perfect wedding at ALNC
Our wedding was absolutely perfect at ALNC on 9/1/19. ALNC is a great wedding venue that enables you to have all the perks of being on the east side of Madison (well, Monona, but close enough!) while feeling immersed in a beautiful nature setting. We loved that we could choose all our own vendors (Good Food Cart, Calliope Icecream, Kona Snowcones, and a bartender to serve a keg of beer and wine). Duncan from ALNC was proactive and highly responsive to all of our questions - we never felt like a bother. We had our ceremony outdoors and guests popped over to the building and covered deck for yard games, drinks, apps, dinner, and dancing. We also made full use of the grounds for photos that turned out beautifully (thanks to Herrada Photography!). It was awesome that ALNC had a high quality sound system we could use, for no extra cost, to throw on a Spotify playlist on for the night, saving us money on a DJ! Mostly, we loved that our wedding embraced our love for being outside and supports youth to have opportunities to participate in all the incredible programming ALNC offers. We received tons of compliments on the venue and would recommend ALNC to anyone!Sent on 12/01/2019
Marissa Silverberg · Married on 08/31/2019
Loved our experience at ALNC
Duncan, who works at ALNC and handles rentals, was the best to work with. And it's not just us that thought that - our wedding planner also told us of all the venue coordinators, she saw him as the most professional and helpful. ALNC was a totally beautiful space to get married (you won't need to go anywhere else for photos!), and it's a great perk that by getting married there, you're helping fund nature programming for kids who otherwise might not have access. We recommend it highly!Sent on 11/07/2019
Hannah Baker · Married on 08/03/2019
A Unique Green-Focused Wedding Venue: It Speaks for Itself
We wanted our wedding to be as zero-waste as possible, simple, nature-oriented, provide locally sourced food, and make an lasting impression. ALNC offered recommendations for these goals and much more, with a deeper purpose and connection for our big day. The team was thoughtful, listened to our eco-vision, and guided us through details every step of the way. The space and natural beauty speaks for itself and the memories we made were everlasting. I cannot say a negative thing about this day because looking back, all I remember was the cranes swarming our rehearsal, the red cardinal perching on the tree before my dad walked me down the aisle, and the rainbow that presented itself after a short August rain. If you are looking to create a lasting memory for yourself, family & friends, this venue and team are the ones to make it happen. We cannot wait to make more memories with ALNC as we grow in our marriage and expand our family. A couple tips/highlights: Rent for the weekend - we invited guests to come back and walk to trails for a fun brunch (highly recommended). Proceeds from the rental go toward education programming – I mean seriously what better way to spend a major portion of your budget toward an educational mission that supports kids and families engaging with nature. It made us feel intentional with our budget, by feeling like we were making a contribution to our community. Go with the recommendations of ALNC – our caterer, Wendigo was the most amazing personalized and professional group of hardworking folks. Thanks to ALNC, we were able to source the localized menu that guests noted the best catering they have ever had! Consider your waste, weddings accumulate so much waste, go simple, let the space speak for itself and maximize all aspects the land has to offer. Finally, congratulations on your big day, you are in amazing hands by making an intentional decision to work with this outstanding, dedicated group of sustainable leaders in our community. Let them show you how easy it is to create a eco-wedding!Sent on 11/06/2019
Amber · Married on 07/20/2019
We love alnc!
We loved everything about having our wedding here! Their event coordinator, Duncan, was quick to respond to every single one of my questions. I felt well informed throughout the entire process. Day of, ALNC staff worked so hard to ensure that our day was as close to perfect as possible. Unfortunately, rain forced us to have our ceremony inside, but the new renovated space comfortably sat 100 people for our ceremony. Although I dreaded an indoor wedding, it ended up being more beautiful and intimate than I could have imagined. Our guests loved the giant covered porch, trails, immersion theatre that showed our wedding slide show (that Duncan put together for us), and Science on a Sphere room that showed the Death Star throughout the evening! The fact that ALNC was willing to let us have food trucks cater our evening was also a perk! The ability to have the space from Friday until Sunday really helped to make our weekend less stressful as we had ample time to set up and take down all of our decorations. We adored having our wedding at ALNC and look forward to coming back for years to come!Sent on 08/08/2019
Melissa Cantwell · Married on 06/29/2019
An amazing venue
Our wedding at Aldo Leopold was absolutely amazing. Duncan was fantastic to work with and answered all the questions I had for him promptly. The venue was absolutely beautiful with the remodel and guests enjoyed the ceremony location, exploring the trails and taking in the beauty and nature around them! We could not imagine having had our wedding anywhere elseSent on 07/06/2019
Brian Schneider · Married on 06/22/2019
Beautiful venue and great staff
Everything all weekend long went just as planned and worked out great! From the rehearsal to the wedding day to cleaning up on Sunday, we couldn't have asked for a better experience. The venue is beautiful and lots of space can be utilized for many activities. We had lawn games set up during the reception in the lawn space and the bar set up on the deck and it provided a gorgeous back drop. The indoor space is also lovely and transforms into a magical scene for dinner and dancing. The staff was very helpful and flexible which helped make our special day go perfectly.Sent on 10/15/2019
Cecilia G · Married on 06/01/2019
ALNC turned out to be the perfect place for our wedding. Duncan was very quick to respond to emails, and it was clear how invested he and the staff were in making our wedding a special day. They just renovated the facilities, and they rallied hard to get everything done in time for our wedding. They were all such a pleasure to work with! The grounds are beautiful and it was so cool to get to see our guests exploring the trails during cocktail hour. We thought we were in for a rainy day, but when the forecast cleared up an hour before our ceremony, staff worked hard to move the whole setup outdoors so that we could have a beautiful outdoor ceremony.Sent on 06/16/2019
The extra perk of having your wedding here is that the money that you pay helps to support ALNC's nature programming for kids!
Kevin Walters · Married on 02/11/2019
ALNC: beautiful nature-filled venue with experienced, flexible staff.
ALNC was an amazing venue for our wedding. The grounds around the building contain great trails that go through the beautiful prairie, some forest and around a pond. It is a perfect outdoor setting for any wedding, especially for any nature lovers. The building itself was wonderful, with plenty of space for our indoor wedding ceremony and reception (of 154 guests), not to mention a spacious area for dancing afterwards as well. Duncan and the rest of the staff were very helpful, flexible and receptive, both leading up to the event and on the day of. The staff is also quite knowledgeable and experienced at hosting weddings, which helped prevent a lot of the stress that can be involved in wedding planning. My wife and I would, without a doubt, recommend this beautiful venue to anyone who asks. (I should also mention that the income that ALNC gets from weddings helps support the local school programs that are held at ALNC, which is awesome!)Sent on 11/17/2019
Lauren Schmelzer · Married on 10/20/2018
Aldo Leopold Nature Center
We were so lucky to have found the perfect venue to get married. Our night was even more amazing than we imagined and the venue worked seemlessly. Duncan helped us throughout the process. He was great and so easy to work with. We highly recommend this beautiful place to everyone who loves nature as much as we do.Sent on 11/04/2018
Beth Laurent · Married on 10/06/2018
Great nature-themed wedding venue
We really enjoyed our whole wedding experience at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center. From our first meeting to the day-of our wedding, everything was very organized and positive. Our planner, Duncan was friendly, responsive, and we truly felt he wanted the best day for us. We loved the hiking paths and the multiple areas we could choose from to have our ceremony. Being outdoors lovers ourselves, we also felt happy knowing the cost of the venue was supporting youth environment educational programs. We also love keeping in contact with the staff that supported us and being able to return to visit on our anniversaries.Sent on 10/08/2019
Leila · Married on 10/05/2018
We were married at the ALNC on Friday, October 5th, 2018 and had 120 friends and family help celebrate with us. The site was beautiful, I can't say enough on how beautiful and relaxing ALNC is. The landscape had just begun to change color the week of our wedding, which we had not planned on, so our wedding day had turned out so lovely as we married outside. We held our reception inside the ALNC and it was cozy, warm & inviting. Our friends and family have raved about how lovely the venue was and how the activities kept the kids busy all night long. Duncan was so helpful planning our day, he was quick to respond to my emails and met with us 2 times prior to our wedding day. He and his staff were hands on and helped with everything on our wedding day. We highly recommend the Aldo Leopold Nature Center!Sent on 11/25/2018
Joan · Married on 09/08/2018
I couldn't have asked for more!
ALNC and team were so amazing. Duncan made sure that we were thinking of everything to make our day perfect. He helped us decide where to place everything. He made sure I had the perfect brides room to get ready and he even had the Death Star up for my new husband.Sent on 09/13/2019
Jessa · Married on 08/18/2018
We were so incredibly happy with the service provided by the staff at ALNC. They were attentive, organized, diligent, and most importantly, friendly!!!Sent on 09/12/2018
Rebecca · Married on 08/11/2018
We can't imagine a better place to have gotten married. Duncan and everyone at ALNC made the day go so smoothly and we are so grateful for how flexible and accommodating they were throughout the whole process in the months leading to the wedding (meeting us and touring us around the property several times, answering all our questions promptly, being incredibly organized, etc). Our friends and family (both kids and adults) loved exploring the prairie and also exploring the exhibits, slideshow, and other fun activities inside. We got lucky with the weather, but we would have been very happy with the beautiful inside spaces for the ceremony too. Can’t recommend highly enough!Sent on 08/20/2018
Samantha · Married on 07/21/2018
We seriously loved our wedding at Aldo Leopold Nature Center in July 2018. It was without a doubt the best day of our lives--and so much of that had to do with the venue, and amazing service provided by Duncan and the team at Aldo. Duncan was very responsive and from the beginning understood our vision of being outdoors as much as possible with three food trunks and a live band--casual, relaxed, and surrounded by beautiful nature. They were flexible with bringing in vendors--providing all of the details up front of agreements needed, and helped get everything looking perfect the day-of. Duncan worked with us on multiple back-up options in the case of inclement weather (part of why we chose this venue was having multiple options/spaces!), but thankfully we only had a sprinkle! Pictures turned out awesome as there are a lot of cool spots to take photos--in the wildflowers, on the trails, on the bridge, by the Aldo shack! Several guests commented on how beautiful the grounds were. Can't say enough great things! Wish we could do it every weekend!
Photo Credit: Katherine Leaf Photography (katherineleaf.com) https://www.facebook.com/KatherineLeafPhotographySent on 08/07/2018
Carolyn · Married on 06/02/2018
We cannot possibly say enough good things about the ALNC as a wedding venue, and the entire team that helped make our day such a success! From the moment we met Duncan, we could tell that he was professional and experienced and we continued to be grateful throughout the entire process by how accommodating, responsive and full of ideas he was. From suggesting layouts for the ceremony and reception to answering all the millions of emails we sent during our ten months of planning, Duncan always treated our requests thoughtfully and really went above and beyond to make sure we were able to bring our vision to life. Duncan also was a great collaborator with our day-of wedding planner, and she constantly commented on how easy he was to work with. The ALNC makes planning a wedding really easy (its a beautiful space indoors and outdoors, and they helpfully provide a number of the main items needed on-site, including tables and wireless speakers and mics) as well as having selected excellent preferred catering partners, who are also incredibly experienced in setting up at the venue. We will forever be grateful for the role Duncan and the entire ALNC team played to make our wedding so perfect. We felt comfortable the entire time withe plan A (outdoor ceremony and cocktail hour, and indoor reception) and plan B (all indoors) and know that either way, the celebration would have been a success (though we are so pleased we were able to stick to plan A)! We can't recommend the venue enough!Sent on 06/10/2018
laurie · Married on 05/27/2018
We are so glad we had our wedding at ALNC! Duncan was great to work with. He responded to all our emails promptly and with great information, met with us multiple times, and was overall very easy to work with. The ALNC staff did everything on the day-of exactly as we had discussed in advance, and made everything go smoothly. We had our ceremony outside, and our reception and dinner indoors. We had a few last-minute changes because of the weather (unseasonably hot) and Duncan was great with making suggestions and then implementing everything we agreed on. It's a beautiful location and supports a good cause, so we highly recommend ALNC.Sent on 08/12/2018
Rachel · Married on 05/12/2018
I recently had my wedding at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center. It was very wonderful, in spite of the weather being a little chillier than anticipated! Duncan was a great help in coordinating the setup of the room we rented, as well as maintaining the soundtracks that we played. He was very accommodating - we visited the center to go over additional details at least three separate times before the wedding. One of the best parts I think is that revenue from rentals goes towards their children's environmental education programs!Sent on 05/13/2018
Casey · Married on 04/28/2018
We would be lying if we said we weren't perfectionists, and wedding planning brought that out more than anything. That being said, our wedding reception at ALNC was absolutely perfect. As nature lovers, the ALNC was definitely the right venue for us. It provided an intimate, delightfully rustic setting within which our guests were very comfortable. Everyone enjoyed watching the sun go down from the large deck overlooking the grounds, which was literally steps from the dining room and dance floor. As it was a colder April evening, we even got to have a fire going in the lobby fireplace. We truly felt right at home and will have nothing but fond memories of our wedding day. We worked with Duncan who guided us through the entire process, and he was a pleasure to work with. He went above and beyond to make sure our special day went without a hitch. All of our expectations were met or exceeded with ALNC. We highly recommend it!Sent on 05/15/2018
Jessica · Married on 06/09/2018
The event coordinator was so professional and easy to work with. The event space is beautiful and fit our vision and budget perfectly.Sent on 08/26/2018