Animals are amazing. I am not sure why we all love to watch them do their thing, but people flock in droves to the zoo every year to look at the lions sleep, the polar bears swim, and smell the giraffes. What makes the giraffe pen smell so terrible anyway? Whatever the reason, we all do it, myself included. I enjoy going to the zoo. You just never know when you are actually going to get to see and hear a lion or a tiger roar. Times like that make the boring times worth the wait. Factor in a wedding proposal at the zoo and you have a memory forever. Every time you visit the zoo after that, she will be reminded of one of the best days of her life.
Pulling off a creative marriage proposal at the zoo is not much different than doing one at an aquarium. Many zoos have exclusive experiences that you can choose to make your proposal special. Our local zoo has a behind the scenes tour that you can get for you and your lady. They start at $250, and I am sure you can work with them on integrating your proposal into your tour. Other zoos have similar types of programs where you can reserve some time with specific animals. Check out the video below for a marriage proposal at the Pittsburgh Zoo. This is a great idea for any lady who loves a penguin. Since zoos across the country have all types of specialty exhibits and animals, you are sure to find one that has an animal your lady thinks is the cutest thing ever…next to you of course.
Check out our zoo experiences page for the different zoo encounters that are advertised. As you know, these can change as animals age, zoos share the animals, etc. So you certainly want to make your reservations for any type of encounter you would like to do. I would also recommend actually visiting the zoo (after you call them first) to make these arrangements so you are on the same page with what is possible and you can coordinate any super special requests you may have. Hopefully you will be able to meet the keeper that will be with you. This will help calm your nerves a little bit on the big day since you will have already met them. Even if it was for a half hour, just knowing you have talked to them before will be a mental advantage.
If your plan is to simply take your lady to the zoo and propose to her at some point during your tour, then this can be a relatively inexpensive creative proposal idea for you. Perhaps you want to make the proposal a little more special and use one of the public programs or adoptions for your proposal. That is great, but can significantly drive the price up. If some of the encounters, rentals, or adoptions are too pricey but you still want to work out a special encounter for your proposal, maybe you could work out a volunteer deal with them where you volunteer for a summer. Most zoos are always looking for money and donations. Time can be equally as valuable. Just remember, most things in life can be negotiated as long as each party benefits.
Another thing you can try to use as a tool to get your foot in the door or negotiate a lower price on a program you would like to use is to ask if they will offer you a discount for some press for the zoo. You can have your proposal videoed and post it on YouTube. You can also let us know what you are doing and we will help you with your proposal day, write a special post about it and share it with all of our readers. If you have the right contacts (if you don’t, the zoo will) then tell them they can share it with the local news. All these things can result in positive media attention for the zoo and hopefully drive more visitors to them. If 100 people choose to go there after seeing or hearing about your proposal at their zoo, then they will make far more money than the price you would pay for a special encounter. I don’t know what a 30 or 60 second commercial costs on TV nowadays, but it is nothing compared to being featured on the news.
Back to our zoo proposal idea. If you have read this post so far and have already read the zoo resources page (if you haven’t, you need to), then you should have the tools you need to plan your creative proposal idea at the zoo. I do have some more advice for you on making sure the whole day is special and not just the hour or two around your actual proposal.
Since you are taking a trip to the zoo, you will want to make sure you have a few things handy. I always get a sunburn when I go to the zoo, so please make sure to pack sunscreen with you. You should also have some cash on you. I know this sounds silly to say, but I rarely carry cash on me and there are times when I wish I had some. Quarters can come in especially handy if she wants to get some pellets to feed the fish or if she wants to look through some of the binocular stands. Ooohh, that would be cool if your photographer could make it look like one of your pictures was taken through one of those stands. Make sure she takes her sunglasses with her so she is not miserable all day. This can be risky because you won’t want her wearing them when you propose, but you also don’t want her to have a sun headache all day.
If you are going to do something special with your lady and you need a photographer or videographer to easily spot you in crowds, then you should buy her a stuffed animal or something like that at the gift shop so they can spot you easily. It is certainly better than saying you are wearing cargo shorts and a red polo shirt. That only narrows it down to half the zoo visitors. You may also want to go to the zoo in the days or weeks before your proposal with the photographer to make sure they scout out the best place for you to stand (kneel) when proposing. That way they can stay sufficiently hidden and you won’t be squinting in the sun or have a hot dog stand in the background.
Whatever time you choose to propose, I always recommend having the rest of the day planned, both before and after. So have a planned place to go for breakfast. If pancakes are her thing, find an IHOP. If she wants stuff smothered, covered, and scattered then The Waffle House is where you want to go. Lunch can be eaten at the zoo or if you want to just snack on some Dippin’ Dots there, then you can plan another restaurant stop. Perhaps Red Robin can be your place to choose. Yuuummmm.
Lastly, I would plan on taking her out to a very nice dinner that evening. If you live far away from the zoo, you can do a couple of things here. You can buy her an outfit and have it in the back of the car for her or you can take her shopping and buy her one for the night. She can change into her outfit somewhere and you can change into yours. Of course a day at the zoo can be sweaty, in which case you may need to get a hotel room to freshen up in and then change. Heck, you might even want to get a nap in. It is going to be a roller coaster ride of a day for you both.
Again, how much you would like to spend and how far up the romance meter you want to go is up to you. Just remember this is a very special day for her and you have the ability to make it something she remembers forever…in a good way.
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