Face-numbing, giddy breathlessness tends to be a key feature in the discovery of any wedding trend. The more expensive and bubbleheaded the supposed "craze," the more likely you'll find yourself in a state of paralysis, dazed by the stupidity of it all. I regret to inform you that today is no exception.
"Exotic animals becoming new must-have at weddings" says CBS News, reporting that increasingly wild corners of the animal kingdom are being tapped for the ever-increasing demand for super special weddings, proposals and pictures. For $349, Cincinnati's Newport aquarium will whore out a room full of penguins in which you can propose to your beloved. The nuptials of one Florida couple featured two llamas standing witness; the animals wore tuxedo bibs in a nod to the formality of the occasion — it's the least they could do, really.
And then there's Las Vegas, where dreams really come true: At the Lion Habitat Ranch, couples can come right on in for their big moment. The betrothed ride in a Jeep to a lion named Bentley and toss him some raw steaks; fingers crossed that the deadly kitty will saunter over to "the right position for that perfect shot." You know, the shot where he's hovering behind the bride and groom, eager to rip apart some fresh meat.
At the Bellagio in Vegas, one Indian groom spent a boatload of money to ride atop an elephant in front the monstrous hotel. Some 10,000 guests then danced around the elephant; Tory Cooper, the wedding planner for the occasion, justified it thusly: "It's part of [the groom and guests'] culture, and when I stand back and look at it, and I'm a part of it, how can you say anything but wow." Yes, wow is certainly one word for it.
"Elephants cost $10,000 to bring to Las Vegas," Cooper said. "Exotic animals make for a high-end wedding because they're hard to get approval or to be able to make them come to the middle of the desert."
The Bellagio required Tai's owner to have a multimillion-dollar insurance policy before the elephant was allowed on site.
Oh, elephants are tough to get to the middle of the desert? Maybe because they're not supposed to be there. Respecting Indian tradition (elephants are thought to bring good luck) is one thing; upholding that tradition on the Vegas strip — a horrible, disorienting place even if you're human — is perhaps another.
The price and hassle might be worth it, says CBS, because "the reactions are as priceless as the memories made." And that's what a wedding is all about: not the moment but your goddamn memories, which will totally suck if you're only surrounded by friends and family.
Image via CBS/Danielle Coons.