Owls with a ‘wit to woo’ are the latest wedding accessory

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

OWLS that fly up the aisle to deliver the rings are latest must-have wedding accessory.

While some couples choose unusual cars or off-beat music to make their big day even more special, increasing numbers of couples are choosing to say it with feathers.

And among the chief guests at these weddings are either Whisper and Womble, two owls that have been specially trained to fly up the aisle and deliver the rings.

The duo have been trained for the task by Islwyn Jones, of Pen-y-Bryn Falconry.

They will be on display as part of the modern wedding package this weekend at a wedding fair in Debenhams store at the Eagles Meadow shopping centre in Wrexham.

Owls acting as pageboys and delivering wedding rings have featured on the TV show My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, but it is something Islwyn came up with years ago when his barn owl flew into the Ruthin register office to deliver the wedding ring for his daughter Jenni.

From his farm at Llanfihangel Glyn Myfyr, Islwyn said: “A falconer friend of mine suggested it when we were messing around and sending small packages to each other tied to the birds.

“We will have the birds with us both days at the Debenhams wedding fair to show people how they work.”

Islwyn found the owl ring delivery business literally took off when some top footballers decided to include it in their services.

He keeps the arrangement between whoever hires him and the person to whom the bird must fly with the rings.

Islwyn said: “It’s not always the best man – that way it is a tremendous surprise for the guests.”

Katie Wilkinson, Debenham’s wedding gift advisor, says this weekend’s show aims to increase what is already a valuable business sector for the company, offering everything from the complete clothing package, to gifts and invitations.

It will include 20 specialist exhibitors from photographers to specialist car hire.
Chester-Rolls will have a vintage Rolls Royce parked outside the store.

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