A zoo wedding with handmade international details

Updated Oct 12 2015
Photos by: Val & Sarah
All photos by Val and Sarah.

Jennifer and Abdoulaye are truly an international couple: she hails from the States and he's from Guinea, and they met while working in Mali. A coup d'état in the country led to Jennifer moving back home, and their relationship blossomed thanks to Skype and long-distance phone calls. Once reunited in the US they quickly eloped, and hosted a wedding a few months later at the Virginia Zoo.

They had tons of globes and maps at the wedding, and the couple and their friends handmade almost every detail — including Jennifer's close friend creating the bride's dress, which included gorgeous wax fabric from Abdoulaye's family. Guests were invited to take the dried lavender and basil floral decor home. Abdoulaye's boutonniere was made from a flower picked from the zoo the day of the wedding, and cupcakes from a small Amish bake shop were topped with flags from around the world.

Oh, and there were glow sticks.

You can see more photos from the day right over here.


Photographer:  Val & Sarah • Specialty Foods: Black Angus Catering • Photo Booth Equipment: Boardwalk Photo Booth Company • Event Planner: Michelle Amarillo Event Planning • Videographer: The Girl Tyler: Design & Photography • Reception Venue: Virginia Zoological Park

  1. Love this – especially the creative use of the wax fabric! I'm American and working in Niger, West Africa – where I met my fiance. Trying to figure out how to use some fabric from here at our stateside wedding – love the petticoat idea, and thinking maybe on the tables… Congrats to you two 🙂

  2. OMG I LOVE ZOO WEDDINGS! I'm sorry for shouting, I just…that picture under the tiger statue is awesome.

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