A horse lover decided to make his favourite stallion his best man for his wedding and took it a step further by taking the horse on his honeymoon.
Paul Boyles, 47, arranged for his former racehorse to walk down the aisle when he and his bride, Kay, 48, tied the knot.
As the ” best man”, the horse named Erik had the rings in a special pouch on his saddle.
Erik also accompanied the newlywed couple on an 11-day trekking honeymoon after their wedding.
Paul and Kay, from County Durham, England, bought Erik last year and keep him at a stable nearby. They said that after Paul “developed a bond” with the horse, there was no other choice for the best man.
Paul, a store manager for Lidl, said: “At first I wasn’t going to have a best man.
“At a wedding, the worst job is being the best man as you have to be funny. You don’t want to give anyone that pressure.
It got to six months before the wedding and I developed a bond with Erik and I thought I wanted him at the wedding.”
He kept his choice of best man a “complete secret” from his bride-to-be until the wedding day.
He added: “I’d ordered flowers for his mane, it was a complete secret. He had the rings. Kay’s look on her face was of sheer horror when she saw Erik.”
The couple had abandoned their honeymoon plans in Italy and instead ventured to Wales with best man Erik, with Paul adding: “It’s not every day that you take your best man on honeymoon.”
Kay added: “For us, it’s one happy story. It was a really special day.”