Weddings are a sacred ritual and formal expression of love between two people promising to spend the rest of their lives together.
And as such, the importance of such a day, and seriousness of the occasion, cannot be underestimated
But this seems lost on a hotel in Japan that allows couples getting married to hire an alpaca
to act as the witness.
The hotel in question, the Epinard Nasu in Tochigi, even allows the animals to appear in the wedding photographs, before returning to the local zoo, which just happens to be next door.
The alpaca isn't believed to bring good luck or prosperity - it seems the only reason it is included in the service is for the novelty factor, and of course so the children can give it a good stroke
After being led down the aisle
by a trained handler, the alpaca is allowed to observe from the best seat in the house.
Unfortunately for anyone who is interested in this wedding with a difference, the price of the alpaca celebration is not detailed on the hotel website.
The inclusion of the fluffy animal, which is washed and groomed
before the nuptials
, is being seen as a break away from the more formal, ritual-heavy Shinto weddings.