The internet is torn about an owl and wedding etiquette in general.
In a viral post added to Reddit’s infamous “AmITheA**hole” forum, u/Grouchy_Shelter_5221 shared their story to get feedback from Reddit users. Their submission has over 10,000 upvotes and 1,600 comments in a matter of hours.
The Reddit user trains owls and puts on Falconry shows with them. With this skill, one of friend planned to have a Harry Potterthemed wedding and the bride wanted the owl to be the ring bearer. She had the idea of the owls flying down the aisle to present the rings to the couple. Unfortunately, u/Grouchy_Shelter_5221 was skeptical of the plan.
According to the North American Falcon Association, becoming a “master falconer” takes about seven years and takes a lot of determination and practice with an animal. Even still, their behavior can be unpredictable.
“Now, in theory this could be done after all 9 times out of 10 they’ll do exactly as I want it’s just the 1 time i’m worried about and I don’t exactly want to take that risk with wedding rings,” they wrote.
As an alternative option, the original poster (OP) offered to bring all their owls to the wedding for people to take pictures and get a quick show.
“My friend is upset with me saying she has seen how well i’ve trained them and has complete confidence they wont mess up, and how this would be such a huge thing for the wedding.”
The user was unsure of their decision to say no, but felt uneasy the owl might lose the rings.
The readers of the post took to the comments to type out their opinions.
“NTA. There’s an old saying ‘If in doubt, don’t.’ If they can’t accept it and your friendship suffers then they weren’t as good of a friend as you thought they were. respect your decision instead of being upset with you,” U/LoveBeach8 had the top comment with 13,700 upvotes.
“NTA. Speaking as a wedding celebrant (and part-time owl enthusiast), I get anxious when dogs are acting as ringbearers – because no matter how well-trained they are, there’s always some scope for things to go wrong,” u/ Eisnanka said in part. “The scope for things to go wrong with something that has wings and talons is….wider. It also seems like a weird/stressful environment for the owl to be in, even outdoors, and the alternative you offered sounds extremely generous. “
u/Smitty_80013 weighed in saying, “NTA – They are YOUR birds and you care for them. They are also animals, not props. All that being said, Intelligent people at weddings DO NOT use the actual rings for such times. Kids drop them , don’t ‘perform’ in front of others as expected, and many other things happen that would cause something valuable and ‘precious’ (pun intended) from not being available at the proper moment.”
In response to the aforementioned comment, the OP wrote: “They wanted to do it with real rings….which…is concerning. I’d be far more comfortable with fake rings but there are other reasons having my owls do this isn’t the BEST idea but i’d be far more open to fake rings.”
“NTA,” you/ValloCatMom said. “But if you decide to do it anyway have them both sign something saying they have been warned of possible risks and that you will not be held responsible if something happens to the rings.”