By Cally Brooks
A couple had all of their farm animals as their wedding party, complete with groomspigs, a cow of honour, bridesdogs, and even flower chickens.
Animal lovers Ryan Phillips, 43, and Mallory Phillips, 36, tied the knot on April 23 and wanted to make sure all of their beloved farm animals were able to make the big event.
The pair own a farm animal sanctuary in Williamsburg, Virgina, US, and decided to have their wedding on the sanctuary which holds three pigs, three cows, two sheep, three dogs, three turkeys, one parrot, one rabbit, one goose and seven chickens.
Ryan and Mallory made sure all of the animals had their place at the wedding – with Jenna being Ryan’s “best cow”, Maisie being the “cow of honour”, their three pet dogs being Mallory’s “bridesdogs“, the chickens taking on the role of “flower chickens” and Quincy the turkey being the “usher” for the ceremony.
Ryan, the president of the animal sanctuary, and Mallory, an employee relations specialist, made sure all the animals looked the part in their adorable wedding outfits.
Ryan said: “We decided to get married on our sanctuary because the animals are our family and there’s no way our wedding would have been as special and meaningful without them.
“Initially, when we were discussing whether we would like to have bridesmaids and groomsmen in the ceremony, we both came to the conclusion that our animal family were the ones that we wanted to join us for such an important moment.
“Though we would have loved all our animals being included, some of them are quite shy and would not have been comfortable with a large group of people around so felt it was best they watched from afar.
“Leading up to the event, there were a few struggles with getting Maisie and Jenna to walk down the aisle while practicing.
“Both cows are super sweet and love going for walks so by the wedding day, everything went smoothly with them.
“On the other hand, the pigs were expected to run off and eat the long grass nearby but instead decided to storm the wedding stage, knocking over the treat container and risking Jenna the 1400lb cow wanting to break out and come on stage too.
“Fortunately, we were able to contain this and get the pigs to go inside for their dinner!”
Ryan and Mallory met after Mallory saw a video of Ryan and his cow Jenna on social media and began following the sanctuary’s social media pages.
Ryan explained: “We became friends after working together to try and rescue a severely neglected calf.
“After spending quite a bit of time together, we fell in love and she moved from Arizona to the sanctuary in 2019 with her three dogs.
“The sanctuary started in a condo on the second floor where I lived with three pigs and I had to carry each of them down a flight of stairs each day to use the bathroom.
“Now, we have a much larger yard and 24 animals.”
Ryan and Mallory made sure all their animals were dressed to impress for the big day, and kitted them out in their very own wedding outfits.
Ryan added: “Maisie and Jenna both had flowers added to their harnesses, while the dogs and pigs had matching dresses and skirts.
“Pumpkin the pig decided to undress and go naked charging down the aisle in her birthday suit!
“The flower chickens Talulah and Talia were both wearing dresses made for chickens, and Quincy the turkey wore a tie.
“Jenna the calf is my best buddy and Jenna considers me her favourite person.
“She loves mooing for me in the morning to come and hug her and loves chasing me around the yard.
“Luckily, Mallory is never jealous of the attention Jenna requires, and absolutely adores her and all the other animals as well!”