Penguin ring bearer steals the show as groom surprises bride at wedding

A chirpy groom sprung the ultimate surprise on his penguin-loving bride by arranging a penguin ring bearer at their wedding.

Kerri Parry's jaw dropped when she saw one of the adorable birds hobble down the aisle following their best man. Joe Keilty, 36, had invited four special feathered guests when he tied the knot with Kerri, 38, on May 5.

Best man Daniel Welch and groomsman Craig Hindley-Poppitt 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.

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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, 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.

There she was told penguins like to have their tummy's tickled, but she wasn't able to touch them - so Joe decided to find penguins to attend their wedding. He payed around £2,000 to have them at the ceremony and for two hours afterwards and hired the birds from a company called Amazing Animals.

The birds just wandered around with the guests and were happy to be stroked, Joe says. Kerri and Joe - who have three daughters - haven't made plans for their honeymoon yet.

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