You’ll Go Wild for This Fort Worth Zoo Wedding

Esra Gumuser & Geoffrey Alex
September 18, 2021

Esra and Geoffrey Portrait

A pair of Facebook friends eventually tag each other as the “one.” 

Once upon a time, before Facebook became synonymous with old people and bad information, the platform connected young coeds with good intentions. Case in point: Back in 2007, shortly before starting her freshman year at Rice University, Esra Gumuser logged on and friended the cutest boys in her class. 

Geoffrey Alex just so happened to receive one of those friend requests. While there wasn’t an immediate love connection, the pair finally became Facebook official after running into each other at a wedding in Chicago five years post-graduation. “She asked me to save her a seat, and I did, even though I wasn’t sure she meant it,” Geoff says. “We ended up taking a fun selfie together, and I thought, ‘We really look good together.’ ” Esra was smitten, too. “Geoff charmed me. He got me whatever I needed throughout the night, and later, he asked me if he could kiss me,” she says. 

Although Esra had just started medical school in College Station and Geoff was working as a data engineer in Houston, they decided to give a relationship the old college try. Three years later, Geoff popped the question. And on September 18, 2021, the pair said “I do” at the Fort Worth Zoo, an outdoor-friendly pandemic pivot that played perfectly with the celebration’s yellow tones and natural materials.

The Zoo & Hue

While designing Esra and Geoff’s big day, planner Georgette Poole of Sarabeth Events was presented with two specific challenges: introducing plenty of yellow, Esra’s favorite color, and figuring out how to pull off a wedding during Covid. After the pandemic played havoc with the couple’s Plan A, Georgette suggested relocating to the Fort Worth Zoo. “Esra loved the idea from the start,” she says. “She had gone to camp there as a kid and had such good memories there.”  

The planner layered in modern and nostalgic elements, as well as a big punch of sunny delight. “All the different yellows were crucial,” Georgette says. “But I also loved bringing in details that were as meaningful as they were decorative, like the Turkish Delight laid out on all the tables. Pretty touches that are also very personal don’t happen at every wedding.”

Esra and Geoffrey Feeding Giraffe

Fantastic Beasts

“When you’re at a venue like the zoo, it’s like you’re a kid again,” says Georgette. The bride and groom made sure to take five from mingling with family and friends to feed the giraffes.

Guests: 160 

Nostalgic Noshes: Dippin’ Dots, s’mores, and fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies

First Dance: “Stand by Me”

Ride Or Die: Instead of taking off in a limo, the couple left the reception on a party bus with their wedding party and family

Credits

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