A WEDDING-DAY stunt, featuring an owl that swooped down to the
altar bearing the couple's rings, went spectacularly wrong when the
bird fell asleep in the roof beams.
In spite of all the efforts of the bride, Sonia Cadman, and her
groom, Andrew Mettle, to coax down Darcy the barn owl, he simply
snoozed on (above).
Fortunately, the Rector of Holy Cross, Sherston, in Wiltshire,
the Revd Chris Bryan, had a plan B. "They say never work with
animals; so we had a back-up pair of rings," he said.
An hour later, when the service had been long finished, Darcy's
keeper used a ladder to recover him.
The idea came from the bride's mother, who knew that Mr Mettle
had an interest in falconry. She secretly arranged for two
falconers to appear as the best man produced the rings. One wearing
a gauntlet stood beside the couple, while the other had Darcy ready
to release at the rear of the church.
But Darcy was not feeling too helpful. He took some coaxing to
take flight, and when he did he headed straight for the roof of the
"The idea was it would be amazing and would swoop over the heads
of the guests, and they'd all feel the air rushing from its wings,"
Mr Bryan said. "I thought it would be a really beautiful and
interesting thing to do at a wedding.
"It's important that people realise that a church wedding
doesn't just come as a package of things you have to do, and
there's no room for creativity. I'm all for in-cluding something of
the personality and individuality of the couple getting