The 55,000 acre Lewa estate was closed off to all but wedding guests today with armed guards on duty as Jessica ‘Jecca’ Craig, 34, married Professor Jonathan Baillie in an afternoon hilltop ceremony.
Catering vans and 4x4s were reportedly seen going in and out of the reserve, but most guests arrived by air using the estate’s private landing strip.
— Kate Silverton (@katesilverton1) March 25, 2016
The early afternoon service took place outdoors on a hilltop overlooking the reserve, followed by a reception at Lewa House lodge, which usually hosts guests on expensive safari trips.
The Lodge overlooks a watering hole, which is said to be one of the best spots on the reserve for game-viewing.
Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, was among the 150 guests at a champagne reception last night with an impressive array of canapés on offer including salmon blinis, beef bruschetta, scotch quail eggs, falafels with tzatziki sauce, chicken skewers, prawns and feta and coriander samosas.
The Duke reportedly stayed until the early hours, but stuck with non-alcoholic options as he laughed and chatted to friends.
Over 300 guests were expected at today’s wedding, including Prince William and BBC Newsreader Kate Silverton with her former Royal Marine husband Mike Heron.
— Kate Silverton (@katesilverton1) March 26, 2016
On a JustGiving page set up by Jecca and Jonathan in advance of the wedding to raise £70,000 to build an elephant corridor underpass for the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Ms Silverton made a donation and left a message which read: “Darling Jecca & Jonathan – so looking forward to what willl be a magical day! all our love and congratulations Mike, Kate, Clemency & Wilbur.”
Also among the guests were Save the Elephants’ chief operations officer Frank Pope and wildlife presenter Saba Douglas-Hamilton with her husband.
“Kenyan weddings are generally outside and very beautiful and a celebration of nature. I have no doubt Jecca’s wedding will be like that. There’ll be a beautiful view, it’ll be a celebration of nature and love.
“She’s a great conservationist, her family are great conservationists. t’ll be spiritual and beautiful.”
– Saba Douglas-Hamilton, speaking before the wedding.
There have also been unconfirmed reports that Getty Images Award Winning Royal Photographer Chris Jackson was the official photographer for the wedding.