Raptor Events owner Jonathan Gonzalez credits the 'Harry Potter' series for inspiring couples to include raptors in their weddings
Adorable little kids carrying rings on pillows are increasingly being usurped by birds of prey at weddings.
In a recent report from The Wall Street Journal, it's revealed that a growing number of couples are opting for birds of prey like owls and hawks to serve as ring bearers during their nuptials. Jonathan Gonzalez, the owner of Raptor Events in Long Beach, Calif., credits the Harry Potter book series by J.K. Rowling in part for inspiring a new generation of brides and grooms to choose owls over kids to handle the ring-bearing duties on their big day.
"Harry Potter obviously did something for this line of work,” Gonzalez told the outlet. He also noted that his birds "have never gotten poop on a dress" since they joined the wedding business.
Per Raptor Events website, the raptor ring bearer package costs $1,200 plus travel costs and includes a rehearsal with the bird, ring bearer services, photos with the bird after the ceremony and a meet and greet with the ring bearer for guests. Couples who are looking to include animals in their ceremony can also pay extra to bring in reptiles, add on a "flighted raptor show" or have their ring bearer join them for an engagement photoshoot.
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The event service also offers a themed option for couples hoping for a wizard or renaissance wedding.
Jessica Huete spoke to WSJ about her and her husband's decision to have a falcon swoop down with the couple's rings at her San Diego wedding last year. The bride wore a leather glove with a piece of quail meat attached to entice Marty the falcon to swoop down and land on her arm.
"We were both fighting over who would catch the bird,” Huete told the outlet of her and her husband. “I said, ‘It was my idea. I win. I’m the wife.' "
Huete also noted that she and her husband decided to trust Marty with their real rings, even though it's recommended that couples place fake rings in the bird's pouch just in case they fly off. “We said, 'It’ll be a sign if he flies off,' " she said.
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