Ah, the dream wedding. Can’t you just picture it now? Beautiful flower arrangements, a three-tier wedding cake, all of your closest friends and family…and an alpaca?
The Hotel Epinard in Tochigi, Japan has recently begun renting out alpacas for the wedding hall’s special events. Surprisingly, the trend is taking off in a huge way.
Alpacas hold no special cultural meaning or symbolism within Japanese society. Rather, it’s likely the trend is more of a novelty than anything culturally significant. Remember, this is also a culture that praises napping on the job and has cafes that exist exclusively for cuddling.
Alpacas are a domesticated grazing creature that are similar in appearance to llamas, but are much smaller. Their fur is often sheared and used to make clothing, blankets, and other sartorial commodities.
It is not uncommon to see an alpaca living among flocks of sheep, serving as their overseer and protector.
Generally speaking, alpacas do not take well to human contact, and have a tendency to spit at other alpacas and humans alike. Usually, this kind of behavior would make a person a pretty terrible wedding guest.
Nonetheless, Hotel Epinard has seen a great deal of rentals as of late. The alpacas are handled by professional overseers and are dressed to the nines with well-groomed, voluminous fur and sparkly bow ties.
This trend is not entirely new. In November of last year, Jezebel reported that llamas were becoming a popular mainstay at some American weddings. In December, they posted yet another article about a woman seeking six Corgis for her wedding party, so each of her bridesmaids could hold one pup in place of flowers.
Hotel Epinard places a $400 price per alpaca that attends your wedding. It may be a strange trend, but considering that approximately 42% of marriages end in divorce, it hardly calls for criminal law you might as well make the big day as wacky and as memorable as possible.