I’ve got a whole new flock of animals to share with you in this collection of Bronx Zoo wedding photos. Please meet Oren and Nicole. These lovebirds are huge fans of penguins, so of course they had to say their vows at the Bronx Zoo. In today’s post I’ll have all the details of their big day plus some tips for adding a few feathered friends into your wedding photos.
How Nicole & Oren Met
Let me start by introducing Nicole and Oren. The couple met 13 years ago in college at Boston University. Never ones to be rushed into anything, the time finally felt right to ask for Nicole’s hand in marriage while on a trip to Siena, Italy. In the middle of the Piazza del Campo, Nicole said ‘yes,’ and so our story begins.
Getting Ready at the Lucerne Hotel
The wedding day frivolity commenced with getting ready photos in Nicole’s hotel, the Lucerne. This is a new hotel for me, and unfortunately, the building was covered with scaffolding. While we couldn’t get a great view the city outside, I will say that the location of the hotel at 79th Street and Amsterdam is ideal for any Upper West Side events. Nicole, her bridesmaids, and her adorable mother enjoyed a round of champagne before heading off to the Bronx Zoo.
Bronx Zoo Wedding Photos: The First Look
The first look took place in a favorite spot of mine – just outside the Lion House. Not only is this location one of the more private areas of the zoo, it’s also conveniently located outside the bridal suite. Nicole and Oren could not have been cuter when they saw each other for the first time in their wedding attire!
Bronx Zoo Wedding Photos: Aquatic Bird House
With first look photos (and nerves) out of the way, it was time to venture into the heart of the zoo for the bride and groom portraits. I planned their shot list to tackle their favorite animals first and work our way back towards the ceremony spot. Accordingly, we began with the Aquatic Bird House. This was my first time in this exhibit, and it proved to be a great spot for photos. My recommendation is that you start all the way at the back of the building with the open-air penguin exhibit, then work your way back to the front door. Along the way you can capture several different types of colorful birds, including a large area in front of the pink ibis exhibit just made for a dancing bride and groom.
Bronx Zoo Wedding Photos: Congo Gorilla Forest Exhibit
Next up were photos in the Congo Gorilla Forest exhibit. This is my all-time favorite spot for photos in the Bronx Zoo. If patience allows, you can capture whimsical photos with the gorillas. More importantly, however, the surrounding natural waterfalls and forest area are superb backdrops for any portrait. In particular, I am a fan of the high-contrast lighting in the entrance to the exhibit. Likewise, the main waterfall area on the other side seems to be perfectly made for epic shots of the bride and groom.
Bronx Zoo Wedding Photos: Gates & Staircase
We ended our bride and groom photo session with classic shots in front of the Southern Boulevard gates and on the main staircase. It wouldn’t be a Bronx Zoo wedding if these photos weren’t included. Furthermore, we did all of our family photos behind the Zoo Administration Building. This spot is a favorite of mine for family portraits because it can handle groups of any size and because it means the guests don’t have to walk far to the ceremony spot. Other favorite family portrait locations include Astor Court shooting towards the Zoo Administration Building, and the Rhino Walk hidden behind and to the left of the Zoo Administration Building.
Nicole and Oren’s ceremony was a lovely affair, attended by no less than three enthusiastic flower girls. These ladies brought the petals! For even more flower action, Nicole and Oren had bags of lavender handed out to guests to throw as they recessed down the aisle. The ceremony was officiated by a friend of the couple. Best of all, the ceremony was personalized to recognize the cultural heritages of both the bride and groom – there was a Filipino knot-tying ceremony for Nicole and a breaking of the glass for Oren.
Guests enjoyed a cocktail hour tour through the Madagascar exhibit, followed by hors d’oeuvres with the sea lions. For the reception, guests were given precious little succulents in owl-shaped pots. I tried out a new lighting set up for Nicole and Oren’s wedding, and I have to say, the extra lighting added an additional spark to the dance floor photos. For this dance-loving crowd, it was just the extra pizzazz Nicole and Oren’s wedding photos needed.
Enjoy the rest of the photos, and I’ll have a super chic wedding at the Loeb Boathouse to share with you next week.
P.S. If you would like to see even more Bronx Zoo wedding photos, then check out my past articles here: Bronx Zoo Wedding Tips, Bronx Zoo Photo Tips, a Bronx Zoo Wedding, and a Bronx Zoo Wedding Venue Update.
- ‘Getting Ready’ Hotel – The Lucerne
- Ceremony & Reception Venue – The Bronx Zoo
- Caterer – Bronx Zoo
- Wedding Cake – Butterfly Bakeshop
- Cake Toppers – Made by friend of the bride and groom
- Bride’s Wedding Dress – Willowby by Watters Reagan Gown, BHLDN
- Bride’s Shoes – Brookshear shoes in light pink, Aldo
- Wedding Rings – Rachel design, Ken and Dana Design
- Bride’s Hairstylist – Glamsquad
- Guest Favors – Amazon
- Live Band – Mod Society
- Invitations – Cruise Leaf design, Zola
If you would like to view more Bronx Zoo wedding photos or any other images from my wedding photojournalism portfolio, then please visit my website – KellyWilliamsPhotographer.com.