A groom has revealed how he chose his favorite stallion to be his best man at his wedding – and explained his bride ‘freaked out’ when she saw the horse.
Paul Boyles, 47, from County Durham, struggled to choose a best man ahead of his wedding to Kay, 48, in May, but eventually decided to choose his former racecourse King Eric for the big day. Want to participate.
The groom secretly arranged for a 17.2-hand horse, which he bought last year and lives in a stable, to walk down the aisle with the bridal party at the George Washington Hotel.
Meanwhile, Paul asked the hotel to play as well Black Beauty theme tune as she enters the wedding venue.
But despite Paul’s enthusiasm for the horse’s involvement, he admitted: ‘Kay’s expression on her face when she saw Eric was horrifying.’
Paul Boyles, 47, tied the knot with wife Kay, 48, and arranged to surprise his ex-racehorse King Eric and act as his best man.
Paul arranged for the horse’s wedding rings to be placed in a special pouch on his saddle and asked Kay to play the Black Beauty theme song from the venue as she walked down the aisle.
Paul, a store manager at Lidl, said he wasn’t initially planning on having someone act as his best man, explaining: ‘I didn’t have a best man before.
‘In a wedding, the worst thing is to be the best man because you have to be funny. You don’t want to put that kind of pressure on anybody.’
He added: ‘I’ve never ridden before until July 2021, I didn’t go on Eric until October.
‘It was six months before the wedding and I developed a bond with Eric and I thought I wanted him in the wedding.
Paul even took Eric on the couple’s honeymoon, which included 11 days of horse-hacking in Wales, after scrapping their original plans to go to Italy (pictured).
‘I thought I’d keep it quiet and have my friend Steph walk Eric down the aisle. I asked her, “Will you ride my best man to the wedding?”
‘We went to the hotel with Eric, which was an undercover mission and she wandered around the venue.
“We’ll give a ride down the aisle,” he said.
‘I then spent the next few months practicing in an indoor arena to get him used to chairs and such while Steph got him all dressed up.’
She added: ‘I ordered flowers for his mane, it was a complete secret. He had rings.’
However despite Kay’s ‘horror’ when she saw the horse, Paul admitted he was delighted with the results of the big day.
Paul revealed how many guests compared the magical moment to something ‘out of a fairy tale’ or a ‘Disney movie’.
After taking photos with the couple, Eric returned to his arena and appeared on a live video feed at the reception where he gave his best man speech.
He added: ‘He was there from 1pm, he only left at 3pm and he didn’t put a foot wrong.
‘Some of the words that were used were like a fairy tale, it was like a Disney movie. Black Beauty music was playing, I love that.
As soon as we finished the ceremony, the sun came out. It was absolutely incredible.
‘It was like a fingers crossed.’
In the sweet photos, the couple are seen on their wedding day followed by Paul’s ‘best man’ Eric, who carried the rings in a special pouch on his saddle.
Eric returned to his arena and appeared on a live video feed at the reception where he gave his best man speech.
After their wedding, Paul and Kay took Eric with them on an 11-day horse-trekking honeymoon.
The couple said their honeymoon was amazing and joked that it’s not every day you get to take your best man on a trip.
After scrapping their plans to go to Italy, they took their horse to Wales on their honeymoon.
Paul added: ‘We were originally going to honeymoon in Italy but then I decided we needed to go with horses so we borrowed another horse.
‘I had booked a place in Wales, who didn’t know. We spent 11 days hacking there. It was amazing.
‘I put a picture on the back of the horsebox that said ‘Just Married’. We had people beeping and cheering.
‘It’s not every day you get to take your best man on a honeymoon.
‘I think the bride loves the best man more than the horse. If she had been able to marry Eric that day, she would have.’
Kay, a site manager, said: ‘We’re just delighted that Eric has a wonderful life… he’s a lovely horse.
‘This is a happy story for us. It was a truly special wedding day.
‘Eric even walked up the aisle and brought the rings to the saddle in a little treat bag and then stood there as we finished the service.’