When Melissa Kahn walks down the aisle at her April 15 wedding in her parents’ garden in Beverly Hills, Calif., in place of a flower bouquet she plans to be clutching a chicken, her little black frizzle cochin bantam hen that she says looks like a “fluffy pompom.”
“In theory it’s a good idea; it’s so ‘us,’ ” said Ms. Kahn, a life coach to teenage girls, who, with her fiancé, Adam Wilkenfeld, a producer for cable television, is raising six chickens at their home in the Studio City neighborhood of Los Angeles.
“Our love of our chickens is a quirky thing we share in our life together,” she explained — “something our friends associate with us.” So much so that drawings of chickens appear on the save-the-date card and the envelope liner of the couple’s wedding invitation.
Including pets in weddings, as the singer Carrie Underwood and the hockey player Mike Fisher did in July 2010, has become just one more way for couples to personalize their weddings… (Ace, their rat terrier, scampered down the aisle in a pink, Swarovski-crystal-encrusted tuxedo.)
In a 2011 study of American weddings, Brides magazine found that nearly 5 percent of brides included a pet in the wedding party, and its editors estimated that nearly double that amount had pets present during the ceremony and/or reception.
Because animals are unpredictable, the downsides to such a plan are obvious and sometimes embarrassing.
Although Ms. Kahn says her frizzle is “docile and sweet tempered,” she frets about how the chicken will react to the music, crowd and extra attention. In addition, she worries that her feathery friend could have an “accident” en route to the altar, become lunch for neighboring hawks or just be “a major distraction; after all it is our wedding.”
RTFA for more tales of pets-included weddings. Sounds right to me. When Helen and I were married in the courtyard of the family compound, there were three dogs in attendance.
How could you leave out part of the family?