How to Plan a Guinea Pig Wedding in Ten Days

Jun 20 2014

by Laura Leigh Packard

You are Cordially Invited to

The Wedding of

Dr. Pepper Packard


Buttons Moore

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

The Wedding Party:

Giving Away the Groom………Margot Packard

Giving Away the Bride………………..Ella Moore

Flower Girl…………………..………….Livi Packard

Bubble Wand Bearer………………..David Moore

Officiating……………………… ….Laura Packard

Catering……………………………………Alicia Moore

Wedding Planner…………….……..Jennifer Mack

Photographer………………………… …Sonya Jahn

“Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” –Winnie the Pooh

I’m exhausted; y’all.

It’s been one heck of a wedding whirlwind with Evites, programs, party planning, vow writing and flower arranging.

And if I learned anything in planning a guinea pig wedding in ten days, it’s that my girls will be eloping.

Now, I don’t know if you remember the column I wrote last year about precious Margot and her dapper guinea pig, Dr. Pepper. Well, let me just tell you this. He is the love of her little life. And just because the world can be cruel and unfair sometimes, her sister ended up being allergic to the cute little fella…and I mean really bad allergic… in asthma symptoms so severe she needed inhalers, breathing treatments and steroids.

When we finally isolated the cause of her allergies by isolating Dr. P in the garage, Dr. Al Jabi said the pig had to go. Margot was understandably devastated.

It’s a hard thing to watch…as a parent. How do you explain that she is losing someone she loved and didn’t do anything to cause it to happen?

Alicia, as usual, came to my rescue; which reminds me that shiny knights on sleek, white horses are rarely a man, but typically your best girlfriend who always seems to show up at the right time with a glass of wine and save the day. Love you, girl. Mean it.

So, sweet Alicia agreed to take Dr.P in. The only snafu, besides a broken heart, was that her daughter Ella was the owner of an adorable, teeny girl guinea named Buttons. Now, I know you don’t need a lesson on the birds and the bees just as Alicia doesn’t want or need a baker’s dozen.

That’s when the best vet in the world, Dr. Tyler, did a little snip, and Dr. Pepper was ready to go.

Only, Margot wasn’t ready to let him.

Not to fret though because my other best girlfriends all got onboard and embraced my most ridiculous idea to date; planning a guinea pig wedding.

But that’s what best girlfriends do and there was no way we were going to let one of the hardest days of Margot’s life not have some sort of happy ending.

Jennifer Mack borrowed her step-daughter’s dog stroller which she wrapped in burlap to look like a gorgeous basket with greenery and flowers surrounding it to carry the pigs up and down the aisle. She also made a veil for Buttons and a snazzy sequined bow tie for Dr. P. Sonya agreed to use her talents as an awesome photographer to document the big day, even shooting behind the scenes as the pigs got “ready.” Alicia provided the gorgeous venue which was her backyard overlooking Gould’s Inlet and made the best finger licking ribs known to man. Livi and David picked fresh basil from Alicia’s garden to be thrown while the couple strolled down the aisle. Next, they wrapped the giant old oak tree branch that served as an arbor with rolls of paper towels so it looked like sheer white curtains blowing in the wind. Margot and Ella made the two tiered wedding cake out of shredded carrots which they then surrounded with blueberries and celery leaves. They also tied up a beautiful bridal bouquet filled with Italian parsley, beets, rosemary and thyme. Jennifer Lewis and Becky were there to assist with the logistics and Margot was able to invite a few dozen special people including her 1st grade teachers, Mrs. McCollum and Mrs. Floyd, to bear witness to this special event. The only thing left was for me to write the vows and then deliver them. Talk about pressure.

They went something like this:

Dearly Beloved,

We are gathered here today to join in union Dr. Pepper Packard and Buttons Moore. Like many of us standing here today, we know the road to true love is often a rocky one. For Dr. P and Buttons, their journey is no exception. There have been painful goodbyes, invasive surgeries, sleepless nights and restless days. But there has also been heaps of snuggles, oceans of kisses and mountain of cuddles and companionship.

And even though letting go is hard to do, new beginnings can be even sweeter.

So do you Dr. Pepper promise to keep the igloo upright and not hog all the basil?

(Margot says, “He does.”)

And do you Buttons promise to try and not run around all night and poop in the communal food bowl?

(Ella says, “She does.”)

Then by the power vested to me by the great state of Georgia and, I now pronounce you guinea pig husband and wife.

You may eat the bouquet.

After the ceremony concluded, Margot and Ella strolled the newlyweds back down the aisle among cheers and bubbles blown from an enthusiastic crowd of family and friends…oh, and with Abba’s “Take a Chance on Me” playing on a sound system.

It was magical, y’all.

Margot and I talk about that day often and it is always with a smile… and yes, a tear or two. But the tears are mainly happy tears and are always accompanied by a sense of pure joy. Joy in how unbelievably lucky we are to be surrounded by such wonderful, loving people in our lives who show up when we need them the most to take some of the pain away.

Yes, letting go is hard. But happiness can be found within the journey and a whispering thrill of what is still yet to come.

As two of my beloved childhood storybook characters remind us:

“We’ll be Friends, Forever,

Won’t we, Pooh? Asked Piglet.

“Even longer,” Pooh answered.

And there is nothing sweeter than that.


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