Man surprises bride with penguin ring bearer at wedding

The penguin ring bearers at the wedding of Kerrilea Keilty and Joe Keilty
-Credit: (Image: Madison Picture© SWNS)

A groom surprised his bride on their wedding day - with a penguin ring bearer. Joe Keilty, 36, invited four special feathered guests when he tied the knot with his partner, Kerri Parry, 38, on May 5, at Old Palace, in Chester, Cheshire.

Penguin-obsessed Kerri was over-the-moon when she first spotted one of the birds waddling down the aisle after their best man, Daniel Welch, 36. Daniel and groomsman, Craig Hindley-Poppitt, 34, had pretended the rings had been lost and ran out of the ceremony.

They returned with a bucket of fish and a penguin in tow - which waddled down the aisle carrying the rings on a pink ribbon tied around its neck. The penguin waited patiently through the rest of the ceremony then joined the three others and the rest of the guests for the photos.

Kerri, a nurse, from the Wirral, Merseyside, said: "I was so shocked and amazed. It would have been a perfect day anyhow but the penguins just topped it off."

"I've always loved penguins - I just find them really fascinating. I go to wildlife parks and zoos to see them whenever I can." Joe is really good at surprises - I had no idea until I saw the penguin carrying the rings."

Joe, an electrician, surprised Kerri by asking her to marry him in front of the huge Christmas tree outside the Rockefeller Centre in New York City on New Year's Eve 2021. For Valentine's Day Joe arranged for Kerri to feed the penguins at Chester Zoo.

She was informed that penguins enjoy a good tummy tickle, but she wasn't allowed to touch them - so Joe took it upon himself to arrange for penguins to attend their wedding. Joe forked out around £2,000 to have the birds present at the ceremony and for two hours afterwards, hiring them from a company named Amazing Animals.

According to Joe, the penguins simply mingled with the guests and were quite content to be petted. Kerri and Joe, who are parents to three daughters, haven't yet decided on their honeymoon plans.

Joe commented: "The penguins made our perfect day extra special. They were very soft and friendly."