Alpacas are back on the wedding guest list as couples return to planning their big day in style.
The easing of Covid-19 restrictions on weddings has led to a deluge of calls to the Boyne Valley Alpaca Farm from brides-to-be wanting to have the gentle animals entertain their guests at the pre-reception.
Last week, some farm favourites Anthony, Monty, Gibbs and Peanut dressed in tuxedos to attend one wedding in Ardee, Co. Louth, where they were on their best behaviour and gave guests “lots of kisses”.
Farm owner Ellie Moonan is already getting collars to size the rest of her male alpaca clan on her farm.
“Bigger weddings have only just been given the go ahead and our phones have started hopping,” she said.
“Before Covid-19, alpacas were becoming in demand for Irish couples, who were following the trend of many other European countries to have the friendly animals in the wedding pictures.
“They tend to be popular as a feature of the 45 minute drinks reception where pictures can be taken, and it's not that long for the alpacas to be in attendance.
“I have 26 alpacas, but the males are the wedding goers as the females often tend to be pregnant. Over Covid-19, we got the alpacas used to walking around with people.
“And of course, we ask guests not to hover around their backsides, because they could get a kick, though their feet are padded like dogs, and not hooved.”