Couple marry at zoo swapping rings recycled from an old aviary
- Credit: ZSL London Zoo
A couple married at London Zoo, exchanging wedding bands made out of salvaged aluminum from a former aviary.
Animal lovers Matt Robbins and Alison Russell from Romford have long loved the Regent's Park attraction and spent many dates there during their five year relationship.
And when they married on October 9, they swapped one-off rings recycled from the metal mesh that covered the Grade II listed Snowdon Aviary.
The enclosure is being restored and repurposed to hold a troup of black and white colobus monkeys. ZSL designers forged the bespoke rings in the on-site workshop from some of the 3,800 square metres of 56-year-old aluminium removed during the work.
The couple had to postpone their wedding from October 2020 due to the pandemic and the Zoo's chief operating officer Kathryn England said: "When we heard that Matt and Alison had rearranged their wedding date, we saved some of the mesh removed in July to make these special rings.
You may also want to watch:
"It seemed fitting for these two lovebirds, especially since the Aviary was a romantic gesture from its very inception. Legend has it that Lord Snowdon, when designing the Aviary in the 1960s, placed a secret tribute to his wife, Princess Margaret - when viewed from above, the walkway formed the shape of an ‘M’."
Matt, 39, said: “Whenever we visited we’d see the Aviary rising high above the treeline as we approached – it felt like it marked our arrival to what is such a special place for us. As animal lovers, we’ve always been supporters of the wildlife conservation at the Zoo and we couldn’t think of anywhere more fitting to celebrate our marriage.”
- 1 Four people taken to hospital after Romford town centre incident
- 2 East London police officer charged with rape
- 3 Mapped: Possession of weapons across east London
- 4 Mourners to host vigil in Harold Hill park for lost teenage boys
- 5 Brentwood deaths: Teen charged with double murder to appear in court
- 6 ATMs to be reinstalled in shopping mall in 'more prominent location'
- 7 Romford location ‘encapsulates Britain’ in soon to premiere horror movie
- 8 Nurse pulls man from burning car after Romford crash
- 9 Upminster chef named best in the country with award
- 10 Covid-19 cases surge in Havering, latest figures reveal
Conceived by Lord Snowdon, the Aviary was pioneering in its use of aluminium and tension for support, and was Britain’s first walk-through bird exhibit when it opened in 1965. It will reopen as Monkey Valley in summer 2022, restoring its famous silhouette to the London skyline thanks to a £4 million National Lottery Heritage fund grant.
Alison, 36, added: “We can’t wait to visit the new Monkey Valley when it opens, especially knowing that we’re carrying a part of its history with us.”