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Amanda and Matthew – The Living Desert Spring Wedding

Old Butterfly The Living Desert Wedding

On their first date her shirt was inside out and he nervously shredded a straw wrapper until tiny bits clung to his face.  They’re both in the medical field, so they understand each others’ struggles and initially hit it off “talking shop.”  These two were made for each other.  After 3 years, he proposed with a message in a bottle.

Amanda loves giraffes and when the opportunity to get married at The Living Desert in Palm Desert came up, they found their dream spot.  They had a small ceremony on the patio, followed by cocktails with the giraffes.  Yes, you read that right!  Cocktail hour included a private giraffe feeding for the wedding guests.  They had the reception in Village Watutu under twinkle lights and alongside the jaguar exhibit.  Their gorgeous wedding cake sat in front of a big glass window looking into the jaguar enclosure.


We started the day with a First Look in Old Butterfly.  It’s a very Alice in Wonderland-ish spot in the zoo that a lot of people don’t know about.

The Living Desert Wedding Old Butterfly First Look

I told Matthew to kiss her for the last time before they were married and when he tried to sneak one more, Amanda called him out on it!  Haha #followtherules

The Living Desert Wedding Bride Portrait

We took all of the family photos right after first look which means that all the pressure was off to try to squeeze them in after the ceremony. Wedding Family Pics Wedding Family Pics

A sweet ceremony was led by one of the groom’s best friends.  One of my favorite parts of a wedding is hearing the vows.  I’m a total sap and usually cry right along with them.  🙂

Wedding at The Living Desert Ceremony

Private…giraffe…feeding…need I say more?

Wedding at The Living Desert

And what a fun group for their bridal party!

Wedding at The Living Desert Wedding at The Living Desert Wedding at the Living Desert

I snuck the newlyweds off to the Madagascar exhibit for their bridal portraits before the reception and after a year of incredible rain in the desert, everything was in bloom!

Wedding at The Living Desert Wedding at the Living Desert

Wedding at the Living Desert

Village Watutu is one of my favorite spots in the zoo, and to see it lit up for the wedding reception was so lovely.

The Living Desert Wedding Village Watutu Reception

Nothing like a party with everyone you love!

Groom and Mom Dance First Dance The Living Desert Wedding Watutu Reception

Matthew and Amanda – I wish you the best for a long and happy marriage.  You’re off to an incredible start already!

Location: The Living Desert, Palm Desert CA

Dress: Beloved Couture, Redlands, CA – please click on the link and learn about this incredible boutique!

Cake: Exquisite Deserts, Palm Desert, CA

Flowers: Bride and Bride’s Mom


For wedding guests to access the gallery – click here




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