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 gave the 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.
Other extra special moments include:
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…”
“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!
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
Select a blog
Our people are our greatest asset and we realise our vision for a world where wildlife thrives through their ideas, skills and passion. An inspired, informed and empowered community of people work, study and volunteer together at ZSL.
At ZSL, a key area of our work is the employment of Nature-based Solutions – an approach which both adapt to and mitigates the impacts of climate change. These Solutions, which include habitat protection and restoration, are low-cost yet high-impact, and provide multiple benefits to people and wildlife. We ensure that biodiversity recovery is at the heart of nature-based solutions.
A blog for lovers of ZSL London Zoo, bringing you extraordinary animal facts and exclusive access to the world's oldest scientific zoo.
Do you love wildlife? Discover more about our amazing animals at the UK's biggest zoo!
We're working around the world to conserve animals and their habitats, find out more about our latest achievements.
From the field to the lab, catch up with the scientists on the cutting edge of conservation biology at ZSL’s Institute of Zoology.
A day in Discovery and Learning at ZSL is never dull! The team tell us all about the exciting sessions for school children, as well as work further afield.
Every month, one of the pieces held in ZSL’s Library and at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo will feature here as Artefact of the Month.
Read testimonials from our Members and extracts from ZSL's award winning members' magazine, Wild About.
The Chagos archipelago is a rare haven for marine biodiversity. Hear from the team about our projects to protect the environments in the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT).
ZSL works across Asia, from the famous national parks of Nepal to marine protected areas in the Philippines. Read the latest updates on our conservation.
An Open Access journal for research at the interface of remote sensing, ecology and conservation.