Picking a ring bearer for your wedding can be much harder than you may think. You want the whole thing to be cute, but children can be unpredictable and uncooperative. That's why some couples resort to using their pets instead — there's an entire Etsy market for dog ring bearer accessories. But one couple in the UK decided to get creative, and it was a decision that cost them dearly: An owl-turned-ring bearer attacked a groomsman at a wedding, and the photos are seriously unbelievable.
There's a lot to unpack here, so let's just give it a go. The couple — Jeni Arrowsmith and Mark Wood, both from Wales, per the BBC — wanted the owl to fly in and deliver the rings. If things had gone as planned, it would've been quite majestic. Instead, the owl ended up going for a groomsman who pointed at the bird. "The owl sees it as a sign to fly to the hand. The owl has just dived in and hit the guy — who is terrified of birds. [He] fell off his chair," wedding photographer Stacey Oliver told the BBC. "I just instantly knew what was going to happen, I could see it was going to happen." And the results are magnificent. We're all grateful that Oliver captured pictures of the owl diving for a groomsman, and a guest even captured the whole thing on video. Truly, we are blessed.
If anything, this serves as a cautionary tale. Thankfully, the bride and groom had a humorous outlook on everything — the bride told BBC it was "absolutely hysterical" and says she was "chuckling that much inside that my stomach was hurting." I really thought these lovebirds were revolutionaries, but using owls as ring bearers is apparently something that people do. Ring On A Wing, an England-based company that specializes in wedding bird services, offers a wedding package for a mere £550 (about $770 USD). From the company's website:
Our ‘Wedding Day Package’ comprises of Molly the Owl Ring Bearer, delivering your rings at the ceremony, as well as a Static Falconry Display, at your Reception (dependent upon venue suitability), for the entertainment of your guests, whereby, we would bring along 5 or 6 birds of prey including Owls, Falcons and Hawks. We would set up two gazebos, if required, so that your guests may come and handle them, ask questions and take photographs. Also venue/weather permitting we would deliver a short flying display. you can even have a falcon swoop in with your rings.
I'm shook. People have been out here having bird-filled weddings for a long time, and I wouldn't have known unless this couple had gone viral. I don't usually associate weddings with "birds of prey" and would probably be confused if I saw a literal hawk at someone's wedding reception, but weddings are all about what floats the couple's boat. If you get lucky, you could go viral and have pictures that will leave everyone shocked. I'm also curious about how this whole thing affected the poor groomsman, who was already afraid of birds. I haven't trusted any birds since a seagull landed on a friend's head and stole her Publix sub out of her hands, so this would seriously leave me even warier.
All is well that ends well, though. The rest of the wedding went on without any bird attacks, and Arrowsmith tells BBC it was the highlight of her wedding day and that she's enjoyed going viral. If you're looking for an unforgettable and potentially dangerous way to exchange rings, it may be worth considering owls. What could go wrong?