A llama. As a ring bearer. Not my idea.
So back in 2005, I was doing a wedding for a couple named Elsie and John. Elsie’s family was from the La Have area on the South Shore so we held the wedding at a gorgeous spot near there called Fort Point Park.
In the months leading up to their wedding I remember being at a meeting with them and a supplier. During the meeting, Elsie off-handedly brings up the fact that she is going to have a llama as her ring bearer. Say what?? I didn’t think I heard her correctly so I asked her to repeat what she said. Yup. A llama. “Why?” I asked. It turns out that Elsie and her best friend had a thing about llamas ever since a Grade 9 field trip where they had their photo taken with one. For years after that they would send each other llama cards, llama gifts, anything and everything llama related. So when her friend found out she was getting married she told her she was going to get her a llama for her wedding. A live one.
So I quickly ran through in my mind all the reasons NOT to have a live animal participate in a wedding ceremony. The conversation with the bride went something like this:
“Don’t llamas spit on people?” I asked.
“Not to worry, this llama is very tame, he’s been in nine weddings already.” Wow, he’s a pro.
“Where is this llama coming from?” I asked.
“Oh there’s a llama farm in Nova Scotia not far from LaHave.” Who knew?
“Who will clean up after it?” I asked.
“Oh he comes with a handler, don’t worry, you won’t have to deal with it at all.” Right.
So I tried to put this llama business out of my mind. After all, I had plenty of other things to worry about. Like getting permission to use the park in the first place, arranging a tent, catering, worrying about the rain plan, etc. Luckily it didn’t rain. The day was absolutely perfect. Sunny, slightly breezy with not a cloud in the sky.
About 20 minutes before the ceremony I was busy in the tent, when one of Scanway’s servers came up to me.
“Uhh Claudia, I have to tell you something.”
“Yes, what is it?” I said.
“The llama pooped in the middle of the aisle.”
(Insert many curse words here I cannot put in writing.)
I went to where the chairs were set up for the ceremony to survey the damage. There was a large pile of llama droppings smack in the middle of the aisle in line with where the parents were going to be sitting in 15 minutes!! Luckily llama poop is kind of dry, like rabbit poop, only bigger. So I went back to the tent and asked that poor server if he had any gloves and to go and cover the pile with paper towel before anyone accidentally steps in it.
I then ran to find the llama handler…who should have been watching her llama.
After explaining what had happened and that she needed to go clean up the mess ASAP, I continued on with preparations for the ceremony. Five minutes later the mess was cleaned up. The ceremony began on time, the bride and groom knew nothing about what happened and as you can see from the above photo, the llama performed his duties well, without pooping again.
I wanted to share this story A) because it’s funny, and B) because you simply never know what’s going to happen at a wedding, especially when there’s an animal involved. Sometimes in this business you just have to go with the flow and deal with the curve balls that are thrown at you as best as you can. Being a planner inherently means we need to make sure every detail is well thought out and every contingency considered. The llama pooping somewhere was one of my concerns, but I knew that if it happened the handler would clean it up. I didn’t expect it to happen where it did and when it did though! But in the end the couple was happy to have the wedding they wanted and the llama was a big hit. And that’s all that really matters right? Right.
Photo credits: Intrepid Photography