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Monkey World News

East Grinstead couple tie the knot at Monkeyworld

Thursday 23rd June 2011

East Ginstead Observer

A COUPLE were determined not to ape other couples when they tied the knot – so got married surrounded by monkeys.

Nick and Sarah Jane Smith, of Lister Avenue, East Grinstead, exchanged vows at the Monkey World rescue centre in Dorset.

MONKEY BUSINESS: Nick and Sarah Jane Smith on their wedding day

They had wanted to find somewhere unique for their big day.

And as they both work as event co-ordinators for the Vervet Monkey Foundation, it seemed natural to marry in the company of some hairy friends.

Nick said: "We wanted something different and out of the ordinary. Getting married surrounded by chimps was great.

"I am still trying to get my head around it. We had a lot of chimp spectators on the day."

At the end of their wedding ceremony on the centre's viewing gallery the newlyweds were able to feed the apes.

"The monkeys are incredibly intelligent and they seemed to know that, as there was a lady in a nice dress, they would be getting fed," Nick added.

"Instead of confetti, we ended up throwing bananas to feed the chimps. It was great."

Following the wedding, which took place last month, the couple were taken on a guided tour of the grounds in one of the centre's buggies.

"They cleaned it up and attached our colour scheme to the buggy and when people saw us they were cheering us and it felt a little bit embarrassing," Nick said.

Around 60 guests watched Nick, 40, and Sarah Jane, 38, exchange vows.

They asked wedding guests to donate money to the sanctuary instead of wedding gifts.

But they did not have pictures taken with any of the apes, because they do not believe in invading the primates' privacy.

Sarah Jane said: "We both feel privileged to have shared such a unique occasion with the staff and keepers.

"It was a really special day and to share the experience with friends, family and chimps was really unique."

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