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An alligator as a ring bearer?!? Would you perform this wedding?

Published Thursday, Jul. 22nd, 2021

Wally the Ring Bearer, Screenshot taken from the FOX43 video linked below

It’s not unusual for a bride or groom to choose to include a pet or support animal in their wedding ceremony. 


All professional wedding officiants will definitely encounter this at some point, and usually it’s not a big deal (as long as the animal is well-behaved). In fact, weddings with pets in the wedding party are usually more fun for everyone involved… Who doesn’t love to watch an adorable dog bound up the aisle excitedly?


But… What would you say if the bride told you an alligator would be an honored guest? 



Wally the ring bearer alligator, Screenshot shows an alligator wearing a tuxedo costume designed for a dog, with a red leash, being walked down a brick sidewalk decorated with red rose petals during a wedding ceremony   Wally walks down the aisle with a red leash and tuxedo costume during a wedding outdoors in central pennsylvania

Wally walks down the aisle

Screenshots from Dani and Jake's wedding video, linked below



That was the case this week, when Dani and Jake Newman asked local celebrity and emotional support gator Wally to serve as ring bearer in their central Pennsylvania wedding. 


Wally is well known locally for being a pretty chill guest, despite his scaly demeanor, and often visits hospitals and nursing homes as a comfort animal with his owner, Joie Henney. 


But no matter how you dress things up (in this case, with a tuxedo), toothy reptiles like Wally aren’t exactly everyone’s idea of a good time.


What would you have told this bride and groom to be? Would you have performed the wedding, with Wally by your side, or would you have said See you later, alligator? 


Watch the full video in Grace Griffaton’s report for Fox43 of York County, PA








Friends and family members can perform wedding ceremonies in Pennsylvania, as long as they're ordained. Online ordination is simple and free.



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Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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