A couple’s wedding had to be put on hold when an barn owl which was supposed to fly down carrying their rings to them fell asleep in the church rafters.
Darcy the owl’s job was to swoop down to the altar towards bride Sonia Cadman, 46, originally from Wakefield, and groom Andrew Mettle, 49,and present the rings which were attached to his feet.
But the stunt went wrong when Darcy, wearing red ribbons for the day, flew right past the waiting couple and settled in the church rafters for a snooze delaying the ceremony for more than an hour.
Rev Chris Bryan, who was in charge of the ceremony at the 900-year-old Holy Cross Church in Sherston, Wiltshire, tried to coax Darcy down, but she would not budge.
Thankfully he had a pair of back-up rings on hand so that the ceremony could go ahead.
The bride’s mum June booked the specially-trained owl as a surprise for Mr Mettle, who has an interest in falconry.
She said: “It was so funny, all the guests were in stitches. It was my surprise to book the owl and I thought it’d be a lovely idea.
“The owl was supposed to fly down with the rings but it just went straight up into the rafters and fell asleep.
“Luckily we had some backup rings. Everybody got a great laugh out of it.”
After the service had finished Rev Bryan climbed a ladder to get the owl down from his new roost.