Shelly Pate

Inspiring Bluegrass Musical Theme at Vibrant Floral Nature Wedding Venue

Couple runs down green-grass hill at nature center wedding

Your wedding should look like you planned it (even if you paid someone else to!). This big day marks an opportunity to showcase your personality as a couple in the style, design, and theme of your wedding. Kathleen and Alex accomplished this with great skill and taste. Alex is a bass player and bluegrass musician who wanted to incorporate his love of music into the wedding. This passion plus the couple’s combined love for nature set the stage for the performance of a lifetime at their Baltimore County nature wedding venue.

Bride and groom shoe off their colorful wedding shoes and socks
Couple kisses holding wedding bouquet at nature wedding venue

How Your Wedding Venue Sets the Stage for Your Wedding Style

The couple chose Irvine Nature Center in Baltimore County (just outside of the city) as their nature wedding venue. Kathleen explained, “We both love nature, and Irvine has such beautiful vistas of rolling fields, forests, and green spaces. We wanted to get married outdoors in a place that also celebrates nature. We could’ve gotten married on a mountaintop, on the beach, or somewhere deep in the woods. But, Irvine provides a great space that celebrates nature and is also perfect for a party.

Vibrant florals were the highlights of the couple’s nature wedding venue decor. Kathleen summarized their wedding vibe saying, “Our color palette is soft, spring earth tones (dusty blues, dusty roses, soft greens).” Each bridesmaid was matched with a different floral pastel-colored dress and the maid of honor wore a bright floral pattern. Spring colors and lots of florals were definitely the inspiration behind their wedding vibe that carried through to the reception.

The groom wore a pink tie in honor of his Mom who loved the color and had passed years prior. His sisters even surprised him with a tie pin that said “love mom” in his mom’s handwriting. I’m so obsessed with the bride’s gorgeous bouquet and the small flowers added into her wedding hair updo!

Bride holds wildflower bouquet with bridesmaids

An Nature Wedding Venue Just Outside the City of Baltimore

Couple holds hands on top of green grass hill at nature wedding venue

Irvine Nature Center is a beautiful natural space with tons of areas to choose from so it could fit the size/privacy/intimacy you’re after:

Nature Wedding Venue Highlights

  • Recommended for weddings (small or large), engagement sessions, elopements, and family portraits
  • First Look: hill with a view over a tall-grass open field. Great also for a small wedding or elopement either in the field or on the overlook itself.
  • Ceremony: on a flatter field with short grass that’s much easier to walk.
  • Portraits: side garden beside the cocktail area just outside the reception tent. There’s a hidden path that has the prettiest light for sunset photos!
  • Tent available for reception/rain plan.
  • You can make use of the entire nature center from all the little gardens and forest trails to the three different fields.
Couple smiles at each other in the sunlit woods of nature wedding venue

 Venue Tips

  • Get a day-of coordinator for any size wedding because the ceremony space and reception tent are a little spread out.
  • Allot extra transition time for walking to the ceremony as it is a bit of a walk. Have guests ushered to their seats in order to start on time, perhaps adding a 15-minute buffer. If you have older or physically handicapped guests, ask for a golf cart to drive them to the ceremony space.
  • This is not the venue for July or August weddings–it is all outdoors/tented so it would be very hot!
  • Wait until later in the day for field ceremonies so that it’s not quite as bright/hot in direct sunlight.
  • Venue doesn’t include a getting-ready space on the property.
Couple exchanges vows during outdoor floral wedding ceremony

How to Incorporate Your Personality and What You Love to Do Together on Your Wedding Day

groom plays bass while jamming with groomsmen

Due to the groom’s involvement in the Baltimore bluegrass scene (see how he even wooed Kathleen on his bass at their engagement session), he made all of his band members groomsmen. Each of them brought their instruments and they even had a jam session together once they were all finished getting ready! Literally, almost every guest was a musician who was told to bring their instrument! At the end of the ceremony, this nature wedding venue came to life. All the guests stood up and started playing a song together as they walked back to cocktail hour.

Guests walk playing instruments in parade following couple
Guests walk playing instruments in parade following couple

It became a Bluegrass Banjo Parade following the newlyweds through the woods all the way to the cocktail hour spot. I was running around like a crazy person trying to get as many angles as I could! Kathleen, who plays the harmonica, joined in playing harmonica alongside her husband! Alex’s band, Charm City Junction, played throughout the remainder of the night!

Couple plays harmonica with guests playing instruments at outdoor wedding

Following their first dance upon entering the reception tent, Kathleen and Alex had everyone join them on the dance floor. Honky Tonk dancing came to life with the band teaching the guests specific dances as the night progressed. Later Alex’s band performed a waltz for the couple that he had written for Kathleen as her wedding gift.

Couple holds hands in a sunset field at nature wedding venue

As Kathleen explained their day, “We are the band! We have a huge group of friends, and the best way to describe them is ‘anyone who plays music in Baltimore or is related to someone who does!’” Their musical wedding at this nature wedding venue provided all that they had wished for and more!

Couple cheers on the dance floor with guests at nature wedding venue

Trying to figure out how to incorporate what’s special about you two into your wedding? I’m happy to help you figure it out!

The Team

Band | Charm City Junction
Florist | Hiddenvale Flowers
Makeup | Makeup by Farren
Dress | K&B Bridals by Justin Alexander
Cake/Dessert | Charm City Cakes
Caterer | Putting On The Ritz
Coordinator | Wendy Braswell of Full Moon Marketing & Events
Venue | Irvine Nature Center

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