Lions & Tigers & Bears, OH MY! Rhinos & Hippos & Pythons, WOOHOOOO! Dogs & Cats & Chickens RIGHT ON!

As the daughter of a veterinarian, my life has been often focused around animals. I grew up with the obvious dogs & cats, and my dad always brought home new animals to add to the farm: snakes, sheep, goats, pigmy goats, peacocks, guinea hens, swans, farm geese, chickens, and even one horse. We even hosted my grammar school’s field trips at my house on occasion, as it was just a ⅔ mile walk from the school grounds. Lucky girl, I was! These animals brought me so much joy, centeredness and they made me learn responsibility for another living being.

Now that I’m getting older, I still feel the excitement and WOW-FACTOR whenever I get to work an event at one of the amazing local animal parks! What a privilege to work at one of the COOLEST venues ever. San Diego Zoo & Safari Park in Escondido hosts some of the most fun and innovative settings for weddings and events! The thrill of hearing the lions roaring as we approach the Kijamii Overlook for reception deliveries is both blood curdling and THRILLING!

We recently worked with a darling couple for their nuptials at the Safari Park. The groom’s parents are both Veterinarians, so we already had something in common! Sam & Stephanie, who were already two of the nicest people I’d ever worked for, just got even more AWESOME when I learned of their connection to the park and their love for the animals.

I sent them a few quick questions, and here’s their feedback and inspiration for their choice of venue, in their words: “We were so happy with your work at our wedding and the guests devoured the desserts.”

  1. Why the Safari Park?
    The Safari Park was perfect for us for a few reasons: first and foremost, we picked it because it’s such a unique, beautiful setting with animals and an amazing view that we and our guests would remember forever! We moved to Rancho Bernardo because Stephanie took a postdoc research position there, and we wanted our money to go to somewhere doing good work. Also Sam’s parents are both veterinarians in St. Louis so he spent a lot of time at the zoo growing up, and Sam spent a few months in South Africa for work, so the African plains were a fun backdrop and reminder of those parts in our lives.
  2. What are your favorite 3 animals at the park, if you had to choose?
    Baby rhinos, baby tigers, and the cheetahs!
  3. How INSANE was it to hold that Python?
    Haha our faces say it all (see attached Brant photo) — he was surprisingly cool to the touch and his scales were so smooth!

We are so happy for them and cannot wait to hear more about their amazing connection with nature as they create a new life together! May you experience all the best, Stephanie & Sam!

Whether pets or wild critters, zoos or aquariums, the moment many of us sees an animal, we feel JOY, LOVE, HOPE, and some semblance of CALM. I speak for myself but know I am not alone when I say that animals have that power over me, a way to distract me from any other work, action, or disappointment. It’s an incredible gift to have this connection, and I owe much of it to my dad, whose 85th Birthday we celebrate as I write this blog post!

Thanks to all of the amazing vendors that helped this day turn out magical!

Enjoy some of their day with these photos by Brant Bender Photography!