Amanda and Jarrett

A Real Wedding at The Phoenix Zoo

How did you two meet or how did he propose? I work for a company that takes me back and forth to Paris and London frequently and JJ would tag along with me for many trips. We were always ones to talk about marriage and how a proposal would go and I had mentioned in passing one time that I did NOT want to be proposed to in Paris - it was a place I associated with work and it would just be cheesy to me. We had been dating for about 6 or 7 years at that point so I knew a proposal would come along one day but it wasn't something I was anxiously waiting for anymore. So, during one of our trips to London I thought it would be a ton of fun to take a side trip and spend a few days in the English countryside. I booked us into a cute B&B in Bath and scheduled a fun bus tour all around the countryside. Our last stop of the day was at Stonehenge and it was super cold and drizzly out and we were both a little tired but JJ kept insisting that we stop and rest on a little bench and look out at Stonehenge. It was sitting there, in front of about 100 Japanese tourists, that he pulled out the ring and asked me to marry him. I was so shocked because he had been carrying the ring with him from the US to Paris to London and then all around that day without me every knowing! Of course I said yes and it was such a magical, unique and special moment for us. (p.s. the tour company we used that day thought it was so cool they put our photo and story on their website!)

Were you happy with the venue? I LOVED our venue. It was so absolutely, perfectly us. For as long as I can remember whenever I daydreamed about my wedding I knew the Phoenix Zoo was the perfect place to have it.

Tell us about your wedding planner. Were you happy with the planning experience? Lisa was AMAZING! So many things I read online told me that hiring a wedding planner was the way to go but honestly I thought it was just a waste of money - that is until I found Lisa! I initially just hired her as a day of coordinator but she quickly became much more than that. She is so happy, organized, helpful, knowledgeable and full of wonderful advice - she made my wedding spectacular. I now highly recommend every bride get a planner and Lisa is at the top of my list.

Describe the theme or color scheme of your wedding, and what you chose for your table setting at the reception: We didn't really have a theme or color scheme. I didn't want to be tied down to a few specific colors but I really gravitated towards a ton of white with some purple peeking in here and there. The overwhelming theme for me was to make it a good GUEST experience. So often you hear about how it's the "brides special day" but there is only one bride and one groom but a hundred or more guests and I wanted the wedding to be about them and their comfort, not have everything geared towards me.

What piece of advice would you give other brides planning their big day? Breathe! It's so easy to get wrapped up in all of the little things but I guarantee you nobody will know if you forget to tie individual bows on all the favors - or heck if you even forget favors at all! Also, everyone and their mother (and especially your own mother!) will want to share their views and opinions with you. 99% of the time they will be in direct opposition to what you want but just breathe, be polite and then when you are alone doing your planning do what you want anyway!

Real Wedding Vendors


All American DJ



Catering & Bar

Heidi’s Events and Catering


Table Tops Etc


Photography by Verdi

Hair and Makeup

Kensington Makeup and Hair


More Real Weddings

Need more Inspiration?

Our planning guide provides helpful tips for each stage of the wedding planning process, complete with a wedding checklist, budget sheets, Q&A for vendors, and all of the information you’ll need to plan your dream Arizona wedding!

Wedding Guide