A photographer has gone viral for hosting a wedding with a difference after marrying off two of her chickens.
Erin Bankston, who is from Fort Worth in Texas but currently lives in Acworth, Georgia, decided to host the wedding after seeing how inseparable her chickens, Mr and Mrs Mayflower were.
The mother-of-three, 40, spent around a day setting up the altar and even managed to put the rooster in a tuxedo and the hen in a pearl necklace and white garter.
After posting snaps of the big day on Facebook, Erin was overwhelmed with positive feedback from animal lovers who adored the idea.
Now she’s using her newfound viral fame to raise awareness for the humane treatment of animals and hopes to make people think twice when they see a creature in need.
She told Femail: ‘We knew after we saw how inseparable they were that this funny little event needed to happen.
‘These birds have a story to tell, and a good lesson to go with it. They reached thousands and thousands of people, and they made so many people happy.
‘I can’t tell you how many wonderful reactions we had to their story. People cried, laughed, shared, and are just so in love with them.’
After the pictures went viral, Erin decided to set up social media pages dedicated to the adventures of the Mayflowers and their other animals, and now even plans to write a book.
Erin added: ‘I have always tried to raise awareness for the humane treatment of animals, and love to have children (and adults) over at the farm so they can learn how and why we treat animals with kindness from such a young age so that it follows them to adulthood.
Every little life deserves respect and kindness, and hopefully through this page and their story they will touch someone’s heart where it wasn’t touched before.
‘We rescue many animals on this farm and hopefully through this page their personalities and stories will make people think twice when they see an animal in need.’
Erin and her family rescued Mr Mayflower in May 2017 after he was abandoned at a chicken farm with a broken leg.
The poor rooster couldn’t walk and was as ‘mean as a snake’ from his injuries, but Erin nursed him back to health, and Mr Mayflower soon became one of the sweetest birds on the farm.
After growing too large to hang out with her other chickens, the lonely Mr Mayflower was separated from the others by a fence – until Mrs Mayflower came along.’
Mrs Mayflower, who was originally named Beyoncé, came to Erin’s farm after falling off a chicken truck two months ago.
Erin planned to keep Mrs Mayflower with the other chickens, but she soon spotted the pair talking to each other through a greenhouse on the farm.
After allowing the two chickens to meet, they quickly became inseparable, and soon spent every waking hour together – which is when she decided the two love birds deserved a wedding.
She said: ‘I probably spent about one full day getting everything made and ready, and in total probably spent about $20 between purchasing the flowers and sticks.
‘Everything else I already had and just pieced it together.
Erin and her husband, Mark, who works as a home contractor, recently began working together on their home and design business, Eight Acres Home & Design.
They used the barn they created as the backdrop for the pictures, before enlisting two friends – Leslie Wells and Sandra Bianco – to get the birds into position.
She said: ‘We did have to straighten out ties and dresses quite often, but overall the two lovebirds were pretty cooperative.
‘It was the party guests that made us work for it… it was a wild bunch.’
Now Mr and Mrs Mayflower are living out their own happy ever after in their own coop on the farm.
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