I now pronounce you husband, wife, and alpaca.
Finding people to be in the wedding party is always a challenge when a couple decides to tie the knot. You need to balance out both sides of the family and make sure that close friends are included. The Epinard Nasu Hotel in Tochigi, Japan is working to remove all the stress associated with determining wedding party members. In an effort to streamline the process, couples now have the chance to include well-groomed alpacas in their nuptial bliss.
Although the hotel’s website does not list how much this service costs, ceremonies have occurred with the alpacas in attendance. Borrowed from the local zoo, located next to the hotel, the animals are cleaned and brushed before a specially trained handler accompanies them to the ceremony. Then, once the service is over, the alpacas are available for photographs. Any newlyweds interested in having these special guests attend their wedding should be advised that alpacas are known to spit and bite at random times. We hope the couple snaps a photograph or two without the alpacas beforehand, lest anything get ruined by a spitball.
In Japanese culture, there is no special significance to the alpaca. Individuals who have had the animals in attendance at their ceremony have said it is entertaining for the younger guests and also a way to lessen the formality of a traditional Shinto wedding. But obviously you don’t want to get too carried away in ignoring tradition, hence the alpacas’ bow ties.