Alanna and Matthew

Alanna's Proposal in San Diego Zoo Safari Park

How We Met

Matthew and I met at school, but not your ordinary school. We would wake before dawn to the sounds of lions, hyenas, and primates calling us to our home away from home-Moorpark college-home to the Exotic Animal Training and Management program. We were both fueled by our appreciation for wildlife, motivated to make even the smallest impact to improve the future of this planet’s beauty. It inherently brought us together. But who knew that the shared experience of scooping poop would bring two people even closer together. And by no means was the two years we spent together there easy. Filled with memories of devastating loss but overwhelmed by those of joy, passion and inspiration, they will be two years we will never forget.

Where to Propose in San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Marriage Proposal Ideas in San Diego Zoo Safari Park

And our dreams have grown even bigger. With the knowledge and experience that brought us together, we are both inspired to be the positive instigators of change to protect and save the wildlife around us. Now our shared passion has temporarily redirected our careers in slightly different directions. His recent achievement of landing his dream job has now placed him across the state, hundreds of miles away from me in my own dream job in San Diego. Which is why I felt it so appropriate to break from tradition. I knew I never wanted to live without this man in my life and decided I didn’t have to.

Proposal Ideas San Diego Zoo Safari Park

how they asked

With my family there to visit me at work on Christmas (yes, animals do need to eat on the holidays too!) I couldn’t imagine a better opportunity to profess my love for this man. Almost shouting from the rooftops but instead on microphone in front of hundreds of people, I knew we could overcome any obstacle that this life threw our way.

Alanna and Matthew's Engagement in San Diego Zoo Safari Park

All because we had such a passionate love for each other. So I recruited help. My coworkers, two legged and four legged, helped me bring this elaborate dream to life at our event at the park on Christmas day. All of our guests, including Matthew, were in for a surprise at Cheetah Run that day.

Engagement Proposal Ideas in San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Of course before the cheetah made their grand entrance, our four legged furry cheetah companions, our domestic dog ambassadors, helped me ask a very important question. Wardrobe malfunctions and shaking hands in all, I could not have imagined a more perfect moment for us. Of course, the best part? HE SAID YES, but maybe even better was that he was in the works of planning an almost identical proposal idea for me…great minds think alike, right?

Instead he decided to go low key, brought me to the first place I took him in San Diego, and asked me himself. Where else would he ask me other than the first place he knew he loved me as well as the city I now call home. And the moment was perfect…as was the ring!

Our Video

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Special Thanks

San Diego Zoo Safari Park Sharpshooters | 
Jenny Lutzhoff