Now here’s an idea for those animal-lovers and adventure-seekers.
The Scene: Imagine the bride and groom each atop their own elephant (adorned with flowers and ribbons and whatnot). Guests line the “aisle” in raised platforms so they can see what’s going on and don’t get trampled. The groom’s elephant waits by the altar and the officiator may choose to sit on his/her own elephant, or to stand on a special platform that will allow him/her to be eye-level with the bride and groom. The bride then enters sitting on her elephant throne similar to the one pictured, with her mahout guiding the elephant. She probably shouldn’t opt for a long train, just in case her elephant trips on it. Her flower girls can walk along the platforms on either side, strewing flowers along the way. The elephants can then stand side by side for the vows, allowing the couple to hold hands. If you have time to train the elephants ahead of time, you can have them holding the ring boxes in their trunks, which they can then present at the appropriate time. Once the rings are exchanged, the groom can hop over to join the bride, or she can opt to join him if she can maneuver over (so much more entertaining this way).
For wedding gifts, the couple can offer rings, bracelets, or pendants made of elephant hair. The pendants can be used as keychains, put on a chain as a necklace, or just kept as a cool keepsake. (See an example of an elephant hair ring.) The reception can be held nearby and offer paintings custom-done by the elephants for guests. Don’t forget to include some tasty tree bark for the elephants to munch on! Your mahout can recommend some delectable ones.
The Location: You’ve got two distinct choices here – either a destination wedding in Southeast Asia/Africa or a local zoo/park. If you choose to go to Southeast Asia or Africa, you can find certain elephant sanctuaries where they raise and care for elephants. These are probably the best places to go since the elephants are used to humans, are well-trained, and have experienced mahouts to guide them. You can probably even get a baby elephant trained as the ring bearer or flower girl! On the other hand, if you want to stay closer to home and opt for a zoo or park, you will probably have limited elephants to work with. While it would be more cost-effective, it might present more challenges in getting approval.
The Challenges: Well, most obvious is the use of such giant creatures. While elephants are usually gentle and kind, frightening them can have serious consequences. Of course if anyone in the wedding is afraid of large animals, this could pose a problem too. Assuming that everyone is comfortable with elephants, getting a space that they can maneuver in and that also lets the guests see what’s going on would require some special structures. Securing the location is also difficult, whether convincing a zoo to let you hold a wedding there AND use their elephants or finding a time when an elephant sanctuary in a foreign country isn’t busy with visitors. Of course, having plenty of funds can help with these issues and you can likely reserve the sanctuary, but your guests would still need to fly in! Nevertheless, for a unique experience like this, it might well be worth all the trouble.
Does this wedding idea strike a chord with you? What would you want to add to it? What would you be most scared of? Have you ever heard of someone who had a wedding like this?! We’d love to know!