EXCLUSIVE: Chicken ringbearer is bride’s best girl

In what may well be a world-first, a chicken stamped her claw of approval as a witness to a recent wedding in regional Queensland.

Pepper, the White Leghorn chicken, shared the limelight with the father of the bride and the father of the groom, witnessing the wedding certificate of Celest and Malcolm Fairall at their wedding on the ANZAC Day long weekend.

“She played her part perfectly,” Maid of Honour, Chloe Bunning, told Paws ‘N All.

“She sat up proudly in her buggy and you couldn’t have asked for a better chicken.”

Not only was Pepper a witness but she was also the ringbearer at the wedding, held at Brockhurst Farm some 90 minutes’ drive north-west of Brisbane.

Pepper in her carriage before being walked down the aisle. Source: Chloe Bunning

Pepper a last-minute substitute

The charming chicken was plucked from obscurity for the role after celebrant Anna Staines accepted the bride’s challenge and put the call-out to poultry breeders on Facebook.

Her post asking for a chicken to play an important role in the wedding garnered over 100 responses.

“I need a calm, hand raised, white, laying, chook to be the ring bearer at a wedding on April 23,” the post read.

“The groom gave a white chicken to the bride’s family as a dowry, but it is bat-s**t crazy. We have to sneak in a calmer bird to do the deed and then let it live a happy, little life.”

In the nick of time, poultry farmer Zann Michaels responded.

“I have a very friendly and well-loved White Leghorn who could be involved on the day. She is very tame and follows me everywhere so is well behaved,” his reply stated.

So, Pepper was trained to sit in a pram on top of two golden eggs. These eggs would pop open at the appropriate moment to reveal the rings.

Luckily, Pepper hailed from Wamuran, not far from the picturesque setting chosen for the nuptials.

Cracking day as chicken ringbearer goes viral

Pepper is “friendly and well-loved”. Source: Chloe Bunning

And while the conditions on the day were not ideal – torrential rain, freezing winds and mud underfoot – Pepper and the Fairalls still managed to have a cracking day.

Ms Buning said the couple had really hoped for an outdoor wedding. However, they were pleased by the impromptu aisle created in the farmhouse.

In front of about 40 guests, it was all the better for Pepper to strut her stuff surrounded by family and friends.  

For Ms Staines, the story of the ring-bearing chicken created a media bonanza. The celebrant says she spent nearly a week consumed by journalist enquiries, from as far afield as Ireland.

Congratulations to the happy couple and well done Pepper for doing such an eggscellent job!

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