I'm a beginning writer with a Brisbane Bucket-list and a desire to see it all and report back.
Published January 19th 2015
Why you need an owl at your wedding
Recently I attended the Maleny Manor Wedding Showcase and fell head over heels in love for, not the stunning venue, not the perfect views and not the beautiful garden, but the gorgeous owls in attendance. Between fashion parades and discussions with vendors I found one of these feathery friends hanging with her trainer outside under the wedding arch. I dropped everything I was doing and ran straight over to say hello to Crystal-Lee, one half of the husband and wife team behind Raptor Vision, who trains these amazing creatures along with Jason to participate in wedding related activities.
I first became entrance by gorgeous baby Spike who was hanging out on Crystal-Lee's arm watching the stunning skyline. Due to Spike's age he wasn't ready to be a part of wedding ceremonies but he was out for the day to familiarise himself with one of the companies most frequently used venues. Once he was ready, he would join his mates Luna and China who have become unique ring bearers used by over 30 couples in Queensland. These barn owls are trained to fly down the aisle and onto the bride or groom's gloved arm, and pass the happy couple their rings from his or her claws. After the ceremony is over they are also happy to have their pictures taken along with the bridal party. I've done a lot of research for my upcoming wedding and am yet to see anything more unique than this perfect bridal experience.
In my five-minute chat with Crystal-Lee I learnt a lot about owls and the training process required to get the birds "wedding ready". Spike seemed happy to sit and squawk whilst we chatted, however when Crystal-Lee spotted the eagles circling the valley a few kilometers away she snapped into "protector mode" and moved him from view of these giant bird of prey. Even though they were so far away, she explained these birds are very territorial and well… they weren't going to be making friends with Spike anytime soon. Her knowledge and care for the animals is what made me reach for her business card and begin rehearsing the speech I would later make to my fiancée in an attempt to convince him that we definitely needed these gorgeous animals in our ceremony in August.
I quickly ran the business card upstairs and then came back out to the garden, because it was time for our photo-shoot. You see I had been modeling in the event and now it was my turn to pose with the gorgeous Luna. It was actually all of the models' turn to pose with her but I was the one who fought my way to the front of the group to ensure there was no way I was going to miss out on the close up experience with this little darling. I was given a leather glove (in white to match the gown of course) and the beautiful snowy creature was placed on my outstretched arm. I'm sure she has entertained many a bride, but whilst the photographer clicked around us, I'm sure a bond was formed between us, I loved her. Afterwards I actually worried that if my partner did allow me to have an owl in our wedding I might spend more time staring at her than him!
A short time later, Luna flew from my arm and back onto Jason's whilst I learnt a little more about this distinctive company. The bird-obsessed couple's main goal, as stated on their website, is to eventually open a raptor rehabilitation center to help retrain sick or injured birds so they can be released back into the wild. As a result they are very dedicated to wildlife education and often hold shows to teach participants about birds of prey conservation and care. You can jump on their Facebook page to see where they will be heading next. If you are lucky you may even be able (for a small cost) to get up close and personal with one of the lovely birds for a quick hold and a photo opportunity.
Only Spikes eagle (owl) eyes would spot the eagles in this valley.
Once I finish writing this review, it's back to convincing my husband-to-be that Luna should join us on our special day. I don't think it will take much to win him over... Just look at her gorgeous face.