Falconry at your wedding
Planning your Wedding Day? Congratulations! If you are considering birds of prey for your special day, we've written this post especially for you, so that you can learn more about our falconry services for weddings.
Probably influenced by the Harry Potter films and Hedwig the Snowy Owl's excellent delivery skills, an owl ring delivery has become more popular in recent years, whether that delivery is outside or in a castle, a church, a hotel or a registry office. Experience has taught us that the best option for a ring delivery is not actually an owl but one of our friendly and faithful Harris hawks - they are the most sociable, reliable and nimble of our birds and they are sure to entertain and delight you and your guests!
Owls are typically solitary creatures who don't much care for company but Harris hawks are co-operative, social birds that live and work in family groups, making them a much more suitable guest at any wedding.
Although having a bird of prey deliver the wedding rings isn't a traditional part of getting married, it has become one of the ways that wedding planners and engaged couples can inject some additional magic into their big day, both for the bride and groom and for their guests.
The joy of having birds of prey at a wedding is that you don't have to know about falconry to enjoy it - you don't even have to know about anything about the birds! But, with raptors included in your special day, you can be sure that your wedding party will have front-row seats to an entertaining and unforgettable experience. Just imagine a delicate, cloud-soft Barn Owl pictured with your beautiful Bridesmaids, or a huge and handsome Eagle Owl adding some comedy to the photos of your groomsmen or page-boys!
What wedding falconry do we offer and how does it work?
Our service for your Big Day can include any or all of the following elements:
- a ring delivery with a Harris hawk
- a static display to enhance your venue
- a handling session / photoshoot with the birds and your wedding party
- a flying display to delight all of your guests
- all of the above!
A Ring Delivery
In advance of your service, we'll place your precious wedding ring/s (or their substitutes!) in a small pouch or on a falconry jesse attached to the bird's leg. When the time comes to deliver the rings, a member of our team will release the bird to fly to whoever you want to receive the rings - perhaps the best man, the groom, or your celebrant. Another member of our team will be on hand nearby in case that person needs any assistance but all your guests will see is a bird of prey swoop in, as if by magic, to perform the delivery of your wedding rings!
A Static Display
Choose up to 6 birds, including hawks, owls and falcons, to provide a fascinating feature at your venue. We'll include name boards and descriptions of each bird (which can be themed in line with your wedding colours or design scheme) and be on hand to answer your guests' questions, holding birds for their photos as required. A static display lasts a minimum of 1 hour and a maximum of 4 hours ensuring your guests will have plenty to time to enjoy this unique presentation. A talking point for sure!
A Handling Session / Photoshoot
Our team of birds can be at your disposal for your photography session when we can provide gloves and full instruction or guidance to ensure your photographer captures some unique images of your very special day, We have stunning white gloves for the Bride and bridesmaids and can offer blue, green or brown gloves to complement your colour scheme. With at least 6 weeks' notice, we can even have falconry gloves embroidered with your initials or names and wedding date, to present as a keepsake after the event.
A Flying Display
If your location is suitable, wow your guests with a 30-40-minute flying display that includes Harris hawks, falcons and an Eagle owl. Our falconer, Steve Brazendale, has delivered dozens of engaging displays for crowds of 8 to 800 and he will ensure that your wedding guests are properly entertained, perhaps while you have your photographs taken or even including you and your brand new spouse in the display. What a way to celebrate your day!
Some things to think about
We suggest that you discuss your plans early in the process so that we can advise you on the best options for your day, but before you do too much planning here are some key things we'd recommend you think about first:
- Do check what your location will allow. Not all venues will be willing or able to accommodate all of the services we offer. For example, a flying display takes up a lot of space and won't work if there are too many trees or buildings nearby. If you plan to be outdoors but the weather is wet or windy on the day, what are the alternatives and do those alternatives still work with the birds?
- Do ensure that those who will be involved are not phobic or allergic to birds! It's very rare but definitely worth asking as you don't want those kinds of memories for your special day
- Do think about the timings of your running order and how and when the birds would fit in best. For example, a static display can last from 1-4 hours while the optimum time for a flying display is about 30-40 minutes so it's perfect as a way of keeping your guests entertained while you have your photographs taken
What does it cost?
Anything from £175 for a ring delivery up to £575 for all of the elements listed above, depending on what you want us to provide, for how long and where you are getting married. For the sake of the birds, we won't travel too far from our base in the East Neuk of Fife, so we typically limit our range to 50 miles from St Andrews but we're happy to advise on this and any other aspect of our falconry wedding services.
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