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Valentine’s spotlight: Zoo members tie the knot

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

The zoo’s lush 92 acres make a naturalistic home for more than 1,000 animals—and a stunning backdrop for any wedding. In the spirit of romance on this Valentine’s Day, we’re highlighting one of the many weddings held at Woodland Park Zoo in the last year—the wedding of Seattle lovebirds Ethan and Anne Loomis Thompson.

For Anne and Ethan, Woodland Park Zoo has always been a favorite date spot. As members, they visit often to connect with their favorite animals—the red pandas, toucans, hornbills, hippos, armadillos and penguins.

When it was time to plan for their big day, the couple wanted not only a beautiful setting, but also for their wedding to support a cause that matters to them. Their minds quickly turned to Woodland Park Zoo. They had seen the zoo transform into a gorgeous event setting each time they attended the zoo’s annual Jungle Party fundraiser, and it was there that they learned about two community-focused zoo conservation programs that excited them—Hornbill Research Foundation and Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program.

“The Woodland Park Rose Garden was the most beautiful place we saw in Seattle,” Anne tells us. “And we were inspired to know that having our wedding there would also mean helping to support conservation efforts that get local people involved in preserving their native species and habitat.”

Anne and Ethan held their simple, sweet ceremony in the sustainably-managed Rose Garden and hosted a reception in the Rain Forest Food Pavilion catered by the zoo’s eco-conscious Lancer Catering, committed to sustainable food practices including Seafood Watch-approved seafood and bird-friendly shade grown coffee.

Though the big day was a happy whirlwind of activity, Anne has sage advice to engaged couples approaching their own wedding date: Find some time the day before the wedding to spend one-on-one time with your fiancé. Ethan and Anne went on a coffee date the day before their wedding and had a chance to talk and reflect on all that was going on around them, helping to keep them calm and happy on the big day.

Have you held your wedding or attended a wedding at Woodland Park Zoo? We’d love to see your photos! Feel free to post them any time to our Facebook page and show off your big day.

Photos by La Luz Photography, courtesy Ethan and Anne Loomis Thompson.