Reasons to say ‘I do’ at the zoo

Choosing a venue will be one of the most important aspects of wedding planning. For crunchy brides it’s a great opportunity to integrate your love of nature, animals, or living simply.

There are many things to look at when choosing a venue that speaks to you while also being environmentally friendly. On A Crunchy Bride I will attempt to highlight unique venue options that also are sustainably conscious. Today’s blog will be focused on a type of venue I know very well: zoos!

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The often-overlooked zoo venue is one of my favorite choices. In fact my fiancé and I originally planned to have our wedding at a zoo until we decided to move it closer to our home state where majority of our family still lived (smaller carbon footprint by keeping guest travel to a minimum). Zoos can give you that exotic destination wedding feeling without having to travel across the globe. They provide beautiful, lush backdrops for your ceremony and beautiful spaces for your reception. Let’s not forget all the photo opportunities around zoo grounds, many of which will allow you to get photos with some of the animals at the zoo.

Zoo weddings are a great eco-friendly option for many reasons. First, by choosing an accredited zoo to have your wedding at, you are supporting wildlife conservation. In the United States you’ll want to search for zoos that are part of the Associate of Zoos and Aquariums (or AZA for short) to know they are exceeding the standards of animal care and welfare, and are active participants in several endangered species protection programs. Most major zoos are part of the AZA.

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Zoos also are a great option for a lower carbon footprint. Zoos being popular tourist attractions will have plenty of hotel accommodations nearby, with many of those hotels providing shuttles or mass transportation to the zoo. Additionally, they offer the option to have the ceremony and reception on site, meaning less travel for guests between two separate locations. Also most major zoos are leaders in green initiatives from solar power to composting, making you feel confident in your eco wedding planning process.

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The food! So when you typically think of “zoo food” the first thing that probably comes to mind are concession stand staples like hot dogs and pretzels. You can still have those items if you want them, but many zoos have exquisite catering menus that can satisfy even the pickiest palates. Tastiness aside, as mentioned earlier, composting is a fairly common practice at modern zoos, which means you can feel confident that your food will not go to waste. But if you have any eco conscious questions or concerns, your event coordinator at the zoo will have the resources at hand to make it happen.

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I would like to note that all the pictures featured in this blog article are from the Palm Beach Zoo in particular. I wanted to highlight them because when it comes to zoo weddings, they do a fabulous job. The zoo has taken a lot of green initiatives to help protect the planet such as working with Florida Power and Light to install solar panels in the parking area that double as covered parking, skipping the plastic single use straws, providing biodegradable paper straws only if asked, and actively educating guests on conservation efforts by providing one of a kind up close animal encounters! I mean who wouldn’t want a sloth at their wedding! If you are in the South Florida area, I highly recommend considering using the Palm Beach Zoo for your next wedding.

Photos courtesy of: Sweet Memories Photography and Krsytal Zaskey Photography
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