Watch Bilbo the owl deliver wedding rings a la 'Harry Potter'

A wedding ceremony in the UK gets a visit from a most unlikely ring bearer.

Michael Franco
Freelancer Michael Franco writes about the serious and silly sides of science and technology for CNET and other pixel and paper pubs. He's kept his fingers on the keyboard while owning a B&B in Amish country, managing an eco-resort in the Caribbean, sweating in Singapore, and rehydrating (with beer, of course) in Prague. E-mail Michael.
Michael Franco

In the world of Harry Potter, Hedwig the owl was a trusty companion who delivered messages and generally helped the young wizard thrive. In the world of a man named Shaun Palmer, Bilbo the owl was a trusty friend who helped the young newlywed get married by delivering his wedding rings down the aisle.

Palmer wanted to surprise his bride Adele by incorporating something strikingly unusual into his wedding ceremony.

"Originally I wanted our little West Highland Terrier to bring our rings down as a surprise, but he's too unpredictable sometimes and thought it's maybe not the best idea," he told CNET's Crave blog.

"Then I remembered seeing a stand at a wedding fair about two years before the wedding. I rang around a few falconry places, and one I came across had Bilbo (he is a barn owl if I remember correctly) who has been trained to fly to an outstretched arm."

The wedding rings were attached to a leather strap hanging from Bilbo and were delivered down the aisle to Palmer's best man at St. Andrews church in Roker, in the city of Sunderland, England.

Palmer says the only people at the ceremony who knew about the owl were his best man and his mother-in-law. Clearly the bride was kept in the dark about the winged ring bearer at her July 2014 wedding, as her surprise in the above video, published last week, indicates.