It was perfect. Our best friend of 17 years officiated for us, and we had my brother, Joseph, as best man and Austin’s sister, Lacey, as maid of honor. It was a short and sweet ceremony, surrounded by the giraffes and zebras, beautiful trees, and all of our family and friends.

Funny Moment

Our flower girl fell asleep five minutes before the ceremony started. Rather than risk a toddler tantrum, her dad stepped in and carried her down the aisle, tossing petals along the way while she slept peacefully through the whole thing.

Favorite Detail

The carousel was so much fun; we had a blast watching all of our guests enjoy it. It was definitely something you don’t usually see at a wedding.

How did the planning go? Favorite time? Worst moment?

Planning went well. Our favorite part was finding our venue and knowing it was perfect for us. I researched and booked the vendors, after that, Austin’s sister, Lacey did pretty much everything. A lot of the décor and details were a total surprise for us on the day. We are very lucky to have someone as talented and willing as she was to take over! The biggest hiccup we had was having to move the reception site at the last minute due to the flamingo exhibit closure. Even then, the zoo handled it smoothly.

What was the best part of your day?

Maureen:  We wrote letters to each other and read them at our first look. It was a very special way to connect just the two of us before our ceremony.

Austin: It was important to us that we got to partake in cocktail hour. We wanted to see everyone enjoying the unique parts of our venue. We took all our family photos before the ceremony so that we could enjoy cocktail hour with our guests. It turned out to be one of my favorite parts of the day, enjoying the carousel and the animals right along with our friends and family.

Advice from the couple:

Spend the extra money to get quality, experienced vendors. They will make or break your day. Especially photography, you get one chance to capture that day forever, prioritize it.

Anything you would have done differently?

Honestly, nothing. It turned out so well. We had a very cool, unique venue and an excellent team of vendors. Everything was perfect and we had a lovely, memorable day.