When Jan saw Katie on a sun-lounger in the south of France, having met her for the first time at a party and being instantly smitten, he could only conclude it was meant to be, romantic serendipity! After he (literally) flew to her rescue when she injured herself in the harbour and nursed her back to health, the pair returned to London as a couple and have been together ever since.
Katie and Jan are both animal lovers and a safari on the Serengeti the year before their wedding increased their awareness and passion for conservation issues. So the important conservation work done by ZSL London Zoo gave their zoo wedding venue special appeal. They also love Regent’s Park and the central London location – an important factor as they had a number of guests attending from abroad.
Jan and Katie arranged for traditional Routemaster buses to transport guests from the ceremony, adding a lovely splash of Britishness and complementing ZSL London Zoo’s status as a London icon.
The Zoo’s already stunning Mappin Pavilion was completely lifted with the gorgeous wooden chairs and large statement floral pieces the couple brought in for their day. Jan works within the film industry, which was reflected in their invitations and the tables, which each had a fitting film title. Even more excitingly, the temperamental weather behaved itself, gifting Katie and Jan with a beautiful day and allowing the team to extend the special touches to the Mappin Terrace, which was decked out with cushions, bunting, and scented candles. The Terrace overlooks the Australian Outback area, and guests were delighted when the youngest Kangaroo joined in the fun by coming out to play!
To make the most of their location, Katie and Jan chose a Korean barbecue dinner – the self-service style ensured there was no break in the fun and kept the atmosphere relaxed, while the live cooking added a nice touch of “theatre”.
It was a day full of highlights – we really loved the delicate glass animal ornaments that Katie and Jan chose as their wedding favours. These were so popular that a buzzing swap market emerged over the course of the day! Another really special moment was when Katie joined the live band, Tricity Vogue, to sing a song and play the ukulele as a surprise for Jan.
“Working with the zoo was wonderfully smooth and relaxed - I forgot about organisation and started worrying about having to play a love song on the ukulele!
So many amazing moments: a five-minute shower provided a brief rainbow; on our Zoo tour a friendly zebra came over and snorted at us (better than it sounds!); kangaroos had a boxing match in full view of the guests…
Excellent, excellent, excellent. Cannot recommend more highly. It’s original, no-one is likely to be bored and the organisation was spot-on. From when we first called and ran through arrangements, the team made what could have been hectic and stressful, really smooth sailing.”
- Katie and Jan