Without doubt one of the more funky wonderful and unusual places to celebrate your wedding day in the capital is at London Zoo. We are frequent London Zoo wedding photographers, probably the most experienced now, and every time we visit is just as special as the last.
In fact it is an almost surreal experience to work and photograph in such a place with so many great childhood memories. I have very few toys left from those distant days, but I still have the model rhino that my father bought me from the zoo shop when I was six years old.
Another factor that makes a London Zoo wedding such a special affair is the quite frankly excellent staff, from the security to caterers to coordinators on the day. Nothing is too much trouble for them and they are all charming and completely unflappable, a bit like ourselves then!
This particular wedding day for Jackie and Chris started with a bridal prep visit to Jackie’s west end hotel. We had been sent the room number by email but unknown to us it had changed at the last minute. We duly knocked on the wrong door only to be greeted by world famous West Indian cricket legend Sir Gary Sobers! A quick giggle and hello’s and goodbye’s later we soon found the new room number and Jackie and her family.
A short cab ride after that we made our way to the zoo, and the Prince Albert Suite where the wedding ceremony and later the reception would be. This is a great space with a super balcolny overlooking the zoo, and down below to the side a good space for a drinks reception and easy access to the rest of the exhibits and experiences. We have of course worked at the Prince Albert Suite before, and also at the other venue onsite for a wedding ceremony and smaller reception, the pretty Mappin Pavilion. We love them both for different reasons.
After a lovely ceremony in the Prince Albert, guests and the newly weds enjoyed their drinks reception and a meerkat experience laid on by zoo staff. After this we took a little time to wander around the zoo with Jackie and Chris to shoot some couple images for them which included stops among others at the classic Penguin Pool, Edwardian Reptile House and must ride on before you go London Zoo carousel.
Everytime we are there at the carousel the man that operates the ride (forget his name now – sorry!) is always so friendly and accomodating. I always think to myself of how many perhaps hundreds of thousands of times he has operated the ride over the years and still has such an enthusiastic nature.
Even though we have often photographed at London Zoo, we always aim to create unique images for couples that are not just a repeat of what has gone before, whether from ourselves or others as we know these images will be treasured for many years to come. We enjoy the creativity and the pressure!
After the wedding breakfast and speeches in the Prince Albert Suite, guests had a chance to mingle again and have a few free complimentary rides on the carousel which the wedding party now had for their exclusive use.
Later on after cutting of the wedding cake, a first dance and some general boogying, I rode off into the sunset in my imagination on my plastic rhino, I knew it would come in useful again….
The end of a perfect London Zoo wedding day.
By David Green