This Sweet Safari Park Wedding Proves this Unique Locale is the Ultimate Setting for a Day Full of Wonder

A Sweet Safari Park wedding proves that the breathtaking San Diego Zoo Safari Park in the Kijamii Overlook is the ultimate setting for a day full of wedding wonder (and leopards, giraffes and elephants!!)! Photographed by Brant Bender, this wedding captures so much fun and joie de vivre! Says Brant" For me, what I remember most was just how kind everyone was and how much fun they had. They truly loved everything from the animal presentation the Safari Park provided to the party Vynce the DJ threw them! They also were able to incorporate their own dog in their cake design which was fantastic. I also remember their first look as a very special. It’s not easy to find an intimate spot at the Park but we found the perfect one and they were able to share an emotional moment with each other. And of course, I was happy because they were game for finding new photo spots with me!  The day flowed flawlessly thanks to Kathleen and Safari Park provided the wonderful backdrop (and animals!)." It's obvious from these magical photos that Brant preserved this lovely couple's vision of love and life perfectly. 

Not only was this a day full of wonder but the celebration turned into a night full of fun! Popular San Diego DJ Vynce Pham of Music Phreek tells us “Sam and Stephanie were the absolute dream couple to work for because they not only knew what they wanted their music soundtrack story to be, but also how to present it visually to their family and friends. Having your wedding at the Safari Park in itself is unique, but having the wild animals as part of the backdrop, entertainment and decor is priceless! The entire team of vendors worked amazingly well together to insure that the day ran smoothly and flawlessly. I couldn't have wished for a better team to be a part of. The Sam and Stephanie were always so pleasant and more than willing to share their time taking pics, sitting and chatting with guests.  Once the formalities were over and the dancing started, everything kicked up a notch! The dance floor was full and everyone vibed so well to their song selections. I think it'd be fair to say it truly was the best night of their lives.”  Thanks for sharing your take on this lovely wedding Vynce -  we know from experience that the right DJ really makes an already wonderful wedding all the more memorable! 

San Diego Wedding Venue Spotlight: San Diego Zoo Safari Park in the Kijamii Overlook: 

Transport your guests to an African safari and delight in panoramic views of the savanna where giraffes, rhinos, and gazelles roam. This unique venue is reminiscent of a South African lodge, with open rafters, a baobab tree bar and lovely safari-inspired accents. Exchange your vows on the sweeping lawn with the awe-inspiring beauty of the African Plains around you, dine and dance in safari elegance.  Kijamii is Swahili for "social", an appropriate name for the Safari Park's newest gathering spot to mingle with your guests around the fire pit as the sun sets.    

Wedding Vendor Credits:

Event Planner: Nicole George Events

Photographer: Brant Bender Photography

Venue: San Diego Zoo Safari Park in the Kijamii Overlook

Florist: Simply Adina Florals

Hair and Makeup Stylist: Susie Beyer McCartney

Caterer: San Diego Safari Park

Cake & Desserts: Sweet Cheeks Baking Co. 

DJ: Music Phreek DJ & Lighting

Extra style bonus: This wedding was on St. Patrick's Day so adding in just the right amount of green made the day extra festive and fun, bringing the couple the luck of the Irish!!  

Loving the Wild Life and Wonder of Love at this Wild Animal Park Wedding

We love nature and wildlife in weddings! And in San Diego nobody does it better than the Safari Park / Wild Animal Park in Escondido like in this wedding!  The Safari Park just opened a gorgeous new venue overlooking the African Savannah part of the Park and we love it! We especially enjoy seeing all the flat out fun this adorable couple had at their own wedding - which is so so important and can actually get lost in the shuffle if you're not careful!  So if you think you want a wedding as unique and special as Tamara and Chris' - get your Cheetah [and Giraffe and Tiger and Lion....] on and check out this wildly exciting wedding venue that is truly like no other! 

Photographer:   Willmus Weddings//Event Planner: Willmus Weddings//Makeup Artist: The Pretty Parlor//Event Designer: Event Supplier Inc//Cake Designer:Flour Power Cakery//Reception Venue: San Diego Zoo Safari Park//Event Planner: Willmus Weddings//

Editor’s note: Tamara and Chris’ wedding took place at the latest ( and very spectacular ) addition to the Safari Park, the Kajamii Pavilion.  This recently opened space over looks the awe-inspiring beauty of the African Plains area of the Park and transports guests to an African safari style experience with panoramic views of the savanna where giraffes, rhinos, and gazelles roam. This unique venue is reminiscent of a South African lodge, with open rafters, a baobab tree bar and lovely safari-inspired accents.  Kijamii is Swahili for "social", an appropriate name for the Safari Park's newest gathering spot!

Love of Nature Inspires an Eco Friendly Safari Wild Animal Park Wedding

For a couple who met at the Circus and wed at the Zoo there just has to be a good story! So get this....Aaron meets Kat while performing in the circus! Kat is stage manager; when the show was done they kept trying to make/find excuses to hang out with each other.  So Kat and Aaron "Met in the Circus, and got married at the Zoo".  And it just keeps getting better!  Another thing we love about this wedding is that Bride Katherine Turkle felt strongly about having an eco friendly wedding, one that did not generate a lot of waste for environmental reasons. Getting married at the Safari Park [the San Diego Safari Wild Animal Park is so eco-conscious and does so much good for endangered species and more] was the perfect fit for a wedding location! The bride wore her mom's dress, that was her grandmother's before that with original Alencon lace on the hem from her grandmother's wedding in the 1940's!

Says Katherine "I always make an effort to vote with my dollars so knowing that I was writing a check to an organization with an environmentally conscientious spending record was a relief."

On GREEN-ing up, Kat says.  "We made adjustments like not serving bottled water at the wedding and carefully selecting decorations that would be up-cycled/ re-purposed and not thrown away. We made extensive effort to have as little paper waste as possible. Wedding invitations were on Paperlesspost.com. I designed a google form for our guest RSVP options, I also designed our wedding website, sent email updates, and google documents to coordinate the wedding paper-free." We hope you enjoy looking through this day of sharing love and conscious decisions, all of which made the world a better place.

Wedding Vendor Credits:

Wedding Venue + Catering:  San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Wedding Photographer:  Lori Serocki Photography
Transportation: Sun Diego Charter
Invitations: Paperless Post
Hand Painted Plank: Creela Villiani
Centerpiece Candles Handmade by Groom
Bridal Gown Private Collection Heirloom Dress
Alterations: Elaines of Palo Alto
Event Decor / Florist: Blooms By The Box
Wedding Cakes:  Susie Cakes
Hair Stylist:  Kelly Scanlan of Salon Soule
Entertainment:  Nicole Gymober
Photo Bus photo booth: The Photobus

Ceremony & Reception Venue: San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Ceremony: African Plains Overlook lawn
Reception: Mombasa Island Pavilion