Southwicks Zoo Wedding, Mendon, Massachusetts // Kat + Shawn

Alright guys back to 2018 weddings! I still have so much to show off from the amazing year that was 2018 and I don’t want to miss any of it!

This wedding stands out so much as one of my favorites of ALL TIME. Being total animal lovers, Kat and Shawn opted to skip out on the traditional wedding venue and find something totally unique and true to them. They chose a DEER FOREST IN A FREAKIN ZOO!! They chose Southwicks Zoo in Mendon, Massachusetts for their wedding venue. The zoo was completely shut down except for the wedding and guests were given full access to the exhibits and free rides on the chairlift were even provided! “It’s so worth it for the guest’s reactions!” Shawn told me before the ceremony. And he’s right, everyone totally loved it.

It was so incredible walking through the exhibits to get to the ceremony and I was just fully reminded of how lucky I am to have this job. There are so few jobs where you can hang out with giraffes, elephants, bison, flamingoes, moose, deer, and an awesome couple and I have that job!!

I showed up at the start of the ceremony as all the guests were filing in. It was a gorgeous October night and the forest was so calm and peaceful. Herds (…packs? Flocks? Groups? …Murders?) of deer wove in and out of the trees, turning the magic up to a full ten. This whole thing may have actually been a Disney movie but it’s unconfirmed. The ceremony was absolutely gorgeous and heartfelt, as Kat and Shawn looked at eachother in total excitement and joy. Friends and family looked in with such pride, I swear most people had tears in their eyes.

Immediately following the ceremony, the bridal party and family joined the couple in the deer forest’s main feeding area. We all took a bit of a break before portraits, and zoo employees rallied the deer together and gave away handfuls of food to feed the deer! It was AMAZING. Afterwards, I wandered around the zoo with Kat and Shawn, exploring and taking photos as long as we could as the sun went down. We even went up together on the chair lift!

The reception was such a natural transition from wildlife to wild party. Every detail of the wedding included some kind of animal element. To the tiny plastic zoo animals as name holders, to the peacock perched on the wedding cake, this wedding had its theme down to a T. Kat and Shawn even whipped out a smores bar and roasted marshmallows over a fire together, sealing this wedding as one of the most memorable I’ve ever witnessed.