Animals don bow ties and mingle
Jon and Jameela Savage, the owners of Lower Bush Alpacas located near Rochester, UK, had never offered a wedding ceremony at their farm — that is, until someone inquired.
Since featuring the novel service for lovebirds last year, they’ve hosted nine nuptials and have more lined up this season.
“It really does make some of the pictures really magical, especially if you’re an animal lover,” Jon, 42, told Southwest News Service. “Everyone just loves them.”
The farm offers a range of packages that cost anywhere from nearly $500 to more than $900, the most popular being the “mingling with alpacas” package, which includes two or three alpacas that are fed by guests and walked by the newlyweds.
While guests often snap selfies with the animals, the married couple take professional photos with their new furry friends.
“I think some couples surprise their guests — we arrive and walk out our wonderful alpacas and the guests’ faces light up,” Jon said.
Even the alpacas, who are are dressed for the occasion in wreaths and bow ties, enjoy the nuptials.
“They love meeting people and having a treat — it’s just brilliant.”
The “inquisitive” animals are simple creatures: they just need room and nibble on grass during the ceremony.
“As long as where we take them there’s enough room and there’s grass, they love nibbling the grass and saying hello to the guests,” he said.
Jon and Jameela, 38, got their first alpaca in 2019, but have since amassed 15 at the farm, on which Jon grew up.
Now, he lives five minutes away with his family, including their children Freddie, 4, and Harry, 7.
“All the surrounding areas where we walk the alpacas through the fields was my play area as a child,” Jon said. “It’s even more magical that I’m now walking alpacas and running a business from here, especially with my two young kids.”
Now, the Savages are trying to train the alpacas to act as couples’ ring bearers.
“Every wedding we’ve done, they’ve all been so happy with everything and say it’s the best thing they’ve done,” Jon said.