Our Wedding at the Palm Beach Zoo
WOW…I can’t believe our Elegant Palm Beach Zoo Wedding came and went so quickly. It feels like only yesterday that the man of my dreams was kneeling before me asking me to be his wife. If you need a refresher, click here read all about it! Now here I am writing a recap on our wedding. It truly was a spectacular weekend. We started with a Spring Training Game at Roger Dean Stadium. Then after the rehearsal dinner, we had a welcome party for our guests at E.R. Bradley’s. The big day took place the Palm Beach Zoo.
We had our first look on the same dock where he proposed. It was quite emotional to come full circle in that way. Tony wore custom map cufflinks with Milwaukee on one side and Palm on the other. I designed all the printed materials to have paper airplanes in the design. We decided to have a Palm Beach Zoo Wedding as a nod to our long distance relationship. Every time we visited a new city together, we made it point to visit their local zoo. It was a natural choice plus the zoo was the perfect blend of fun and elegance!
Our choice of wedding date was particularly special. Both Tony’s parents and my parents got married on March 8 and have been married 39 years and 34 years, respectively. We wanted to share our special day with 2 of the best examples of successful marriages we have, so March 8 it was!
Wanting to be able to cherish my bouquet forever, the women in my life all sent me broaches from their jewelry boxes. With the help of my mother and aunt, we DYI-ed a one-of-a-kind broach bouquet. But we had tons of broaches left over after completing my bouquet that we decided to create broach bouquets for all the bridesmaids. We also made broach wristlets for my mother and the groom’s mother. Lastly, we made boutonnieres for all the men with broaches of animals as a nod to our wedding location. Broaches were even used on our delicious 6-tier cake baked by my aunt, who is a professional baker in Puerto Rico.
Our ceremony was took place in front of the inlay fountain at the Palm Beach Zoo under a gorgeous floral arch in the shape of an open heart. The program, which I designed, featured silhouettes of the entire bridal party and wedding VIPs, such as the officiant, parents of the couple and musicians who were also my cousins. Original compositions by Broadway composer Michael Dexter accompanied our entire ceremony. The music was our gift! Having music written in your honor truly makes you feel special on your big day. Our flower girls served as bubble girls, since bubbles just so romantic. Having them blow bubbles throughout the ceremony was such fun. We performed a candle lighting ceremony where our officiant handed us candles and we in turn lit the candles of all our guests. Each lit candle represented the love and support our guests had for our union. It was the most powerful moment of the night.
Following our ceremony, guests were invited to cocktail hour where they could have animal encounters with zoo residents. Wilbur the Sloth, an owl, a snake and a gecko were on hand to welcome guests. Our favorite was the sloth, not only because she was adorable but because of what happened during our encounter. When my husband and I went over to greet her, she leaned backwards off of her handler to say hello. But instead of retuning upright, she went in for the gentlest nibble. Yes…I was bitten by a sloth on my chest on my wedding day! Luckily, my photographer was present and captured the moment.
After the shock of being bit (it didn’t hurt and I am still laughing about it today), we headed into our reception. A great DJ, open-air photobooth and even more details entertained our guests throughout the night. We had a painting done by zoo resident Muchacho the Jaguar, piñata guestbook (a nod to my Hispanic heritage), animal cracker guest favors and open seating sign as fun details set around the reception. Our DJ got the party rocking with the Hora Loca – a Hispanic wedding tradition of a party within a party. This high-energy celebration lasts about 45 min and is Carnaval-esque complete with maracas, props, whistles and other noisemakers. At the end of the night, we convinced 30 of our guests including all the bridesmaids to run through the inlay fountain in our wedding attire. It was the best way to end such a memorable night.
After we departed from the venue, Petal with Purpose came in and collected all of our flowers. They are a charitable service organization that collects flowers left over from various events and delivers them to area nursing homes, shelters, hospitals and Hospice facilities. We were so pleased to find out that our flowers brightened the days of so many patients at Bethesda Hospital the day after our wedding.
Click here to see the full slideshow.
Event Coordinator and Styling: The Majestic Vision
Venue: Palm Beach Zoo
Catering: Cafe Chardonnay
Cake Baker: Edna Allongo (Bride’s Aunt)
Photography: Robert Madrid Photography and Krystal Zaskey Photography
Videography: Susana Matos and Javier Colon
Floral and Lighting: Gerilyn Gianna Event and Floral Design
Floral Donations: Petals with Purpose
DJ and Sound Engineer: Bassline Entertainment
Photobooth: Capture Pod Photo Booth Rental
Original Ceremony Music: Michael Dexter
Ceremony Musicians: Juan Matos, Cosi Belloso and Ashley Leland
Transportation: Need a Bus
Gown Designer: Martina Liana
Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Vera Wang
Bridesmaids Dresses: JS Collections
Hair: Liliana Urbide and Style Bar Day Spa
Bridal Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Bridal Garter: SugarPlum Garters
Groom’s Cufflinks: White Truffle Etsy Shop
If you need help creating your dream wedding, please feel free to contact us! We’d love to be a part of it!