Photographers who met snapping cathedral peregrines tie the knot

Chris and Kim Skipper met on a peregrine fan page for Norwich Cathedral's birds

Chris and Kim Skipper met on a peregrine fan page for Norwich Cathedral's birds - Credit: Kim Skipper/Jamie Skipper

For some it's a candlelit dinner. For others a romantic weekend away.

But for one couple the moment they realised it was true love was beneath the sunny skies of Norwich Cathedral, where the pair bumped into each other as they both watched its resident peregrines soar above. 

Avid bird photographers Chris Skipper, 44 and Kim Skipper, 46 first came across each other on social media when Kim saw Chris’s shots of the popular predators on Norwich Peregrines Facebook page.  

The couple had been planning their dream wedding since 2019. 

The couple had been planning their dream wedding since 2019. - Credit: Jamie Skipper

But the starling-crossed lovers finally met face-to-face in 2017 at the Norwich Cathedral when the new peregrines family came to the site.  

Five years later the pair have tied the knot - 770 days after originally planned - with the beloved birds of prey swooping above.  

Chris proposed to Kim in the cathedral's bell tower in 2019 - the first person to have ever done that.  

Chris and Kim Skipper carried out their wedding of dreams on June 11 at the Norwich Cathedral. 

Chris and Kim Skipper carried out their wedding of dreams on June 11 at the Norwich Cathedral. - Credit: Matt Brasnett

The Costessey man said: “Because of all the work we do with the peregrines we were allowed to get married there.  

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“It was all booked for May 2020 but Covid meant that it had to be cancelled.” 

The pair officially said "I do" in April 2021 but returned to the cathedral this month for a full-scale bash.

Chris is a professional photographer and has been taking photos of the Peregrines since 2011. 

Chris is a professional photographer and has been taking photos of the Peregrines since 2011. - Credit: Chris Skipper

Chris said: “We had just 15 people the first time. It was really intimate and we weren’t able to do anything afterwards but it was still special.” 

Then the couple made their vows in front of droves of friends and family on June 11.

Chris said: “I was able to walk in with Kim, when the doors opened there were 300 people watching us, the choir was singing.” 

Kim said that she owes so much to the Cathedral birds. 

Kim said that she owes so much to the Cathedral birds. - Credit: Kim Skipper

Kim said that she has been dreaming of her special day but never thought she would see it.

Kim said: “It was such a magical day. It felt very emotional to finally get everyone back together.” 

Chris added: “Everything that has happened to us is because of the peregrines. 

"It's so weird to think there are a couple of birds at the top of that spire who have completely changed our lives.  

“And they have no idea who we are.” 

The pair are well known in Norwich for capturing unbelievable images of the peregrines

The pair are well known in Norwich for capturing unbelievable images of the peregrines that reside at Norwich Cathedral. - Credit: Chris Skipper

What about the love lives of peregrines?

Peregrine falcons are known to be equally as committed to their other halves as humans can be. 

In their most natural habitats, such as mountain regions and cliffs, peregrines always have a partner for life. 

It was previously thought that in more built up areas the birds of prey may not stay with one partner.

However a recent study conducted by the University of Illinois and the Chicago Fields Museum also found that 25 pairs of the city's nesting birds all had mated for life. 

The families will also return to the same place every year to lay their eggs - usually laying a clutch of between three and five.

And it's a good job the sleek birds of prey are experts at catching meals, because offspring double their weight within just six days of being born.

There are currently around 1500 breeding pairs of peregrines in the UK.