Photographing weddings can be hard work. Most photographers will agree with me when I say as much as I love a good wedding, working a wedding can leave you tired and sore for days! When I moved back to Michigan I was contacted by Tessa, who wanted to know if I could photograph her wedding. Now a little tidbit on me, I don’t shoot many weddings anymore. I typically only shot them for close friends and family. I have known Tessa’s family for some time now; you see, her sister married one of my husband’s Army friends. I photographed their engagement photos, and I also photographed Tessa’s OTHER sister’s senior portraits, so really it was a no-brainer for me! Plus, it’s the family hat trick, I have now photographed all three of them! I got even more excited when she told me WHERE they were getting married, The Toledo Zoo. When she first told me I was totally shocked because I mean who gets married at a zoo?!? But once I learned more of their story I feel like they chose the perfect venue to celebrate their love.
“My sister Emilee married Brandon’s best friend Adam, so we met at their wedding. I didn’t really pay much attention to him during the time he was here because I figured I really wouldn’t see him again since he lived in Kentucky. We started talking a few days after the wedding when Emilee texted me asking what I thought about Brandon. You see, when Brandon was on his way home, he told his friend whose name is also Brandon (lol small world) that he thought I was pretty cute, but he wasn’t sure if he wanted to start talking to me since I lived in Michigan and he lived in Kentucky. I pretty much messaged him right after he said that. We were talking for a few months when he surprised me by coming up to Michigan, and we had our first date August 12th at the Detroit Zoo.” (Pictures courtesy of Tessa)
As we can see, a zoo wedding was the perfect setting for these two to pledge their love for one another. Before the ceremony we held a bride and groom first look. We then tried to walk around to see some of their favorite animals but it was just too cold and sadly most were hiding or put up for the evening. HOWEVER, we did stop by a Toledo Zoo must, the big red hippo statues. You can’t go to the zoo and not get a photo at the hippos.
After their sweet ceremony at the aquarium, we all made our way across the zoo to the polar bear exhibit. The coolest thing about their reception was the fact that one of the polar bears got to stay up past his bed time, and he decided to spend most of the reception right on the edge of the glass people watching, making silly faces and playing peak-a-boo with the guests. It was truly one of the most unique wedding experiences I have ever had. I wish Brandon and Tessa the very best and cannot wait to see their family grow!