1 of 16
CHEETAH OF HONOR
A brave bride shares her special day with a big kitty at the San Diego Zoo’s wild animal park.
2 of 16
Zoo weddings are a fun alternative for couples planning a secular ceremony. “There are lots of ways for guests to engage with the space and the animals and learn things,” says Ariel Meadow Stallings, author of Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides.
3 of 16
Katherine and Craig Nazzaro married in the Bronx Zoo’s eco-friendly Lion House. “We wanted a quintessential New York location,” the bride tells PEOPLEPets.com. “The other thing is we love animals” – at home, they have two cats, a dog and a hedgehog – “so it was fitting.”
4 of 16
SEALED WITH A KISS
Zoos, animal parks and aquariums usually offer wedding packages and often allow special access to exhibits. Tessa and Brandon made a friend with a wet seal at the Houston Zoo!
5 of 16
Julie and Stephanie had their wedding at the San Francisco Zoo. Flamingoes hanging out for their photo session? No big deal.
6 of 16
The highlight of the party: When the couple and their guests were allowed private time in the San Francisco Zoo’s giraffe room, photographer Lilia Ahner tells PEOPLEPets.com.
7 of 16
“There are a lot of opportunities to not only have a unique and creative day, but to use the wedding as a platform to express the values that are important to them: animal stewardship and wildlife conservation,” says Ariel Meadow Stallings of Offbeatbride.com.
8 of 16
Megan and Rusty had their zoo wedding at the Kansas City Athenaeum in Missouri. “They wanted something different,” says photographer Denise Klee. “They are a very artistic couple. They didn’t have any flowers.” But they did have elephants!
9 of 16
“To have them right up there close with the elephants was fun – they were right there!” says Klee. “The pictures really popped.” Imagine the wedding album!
10 of 16
Do you take this giraffe? Photographer Morgan Lynn shot this newly-engaged couple at the Houston Zoo.
11 of 16
Here comes the biologist bride! “I hadn’t done anything like it before, so it was definitely very unique,” says photographer Lisa McCalla Grigorian, of shooting Nicole and Kyle’s Toronto Zoo wedding.
12 of 16
The groom, also a biologist, helped his new bride cradle a snake.
13 of 16
I LOVE ROO!
The zookeeper working with Nicole and Kyle brought the couple into the kangaroo den. “I thought they would hop up to you,” says photographer McCalla Grigorian, “but they kept their distance.”
14 of 16
Bride Tanya Gagnon had her “bright, tropical, Mambo Kings” wedding at the Phoenix Zoo. “The orangutans are so mellow and so large,” Gagnon tells PEOPLEPets.com. “They thought we were so strange. It was a lot of fun to be at the zoo, fully-dressed, and you’re around these amazing [animals].”
15 of 16
“I am a big animal lover,” Gagnon says. “If I was going to pay that much for a wedding, I’d rather the money go to help animals.” At the couple’s evening reception, guests interacted with turtles and lizards.
16 of 16
Gagnon, who hails from Zimbabwe, really wanted to spend time with the African animals. Unfortunately, “a lot of them went to bed really early.” Luckily, the zebras were still up and about.