Here at Happily Ever After we have a policy of not arranging any animal entertainment for any of our weddings.
When we originally set up our wedding planning service, specialising in destination weddings in Sri Lanka, we were faced with an issue: back then we believed that many couples who came to Sri Lanka to get married had the idea of having an elephant as part of the celebration. Many other wedding planners or hotels offering weddings had images of elephants in their marketing material or offered to organise one for those wishing to have one present. But as life long devotees to promoting animal welfare it was never an option for us to offer this as a service. Instead we decided to promote our policy and in the process hopefully increase awareness of the horrid conditions the majority of animals suffer in the animal entertainment industry.
To our positive surprise however, we found that many couples in fact didn't want to have an elephant at their day of love and joy. Many had read articles or seem campaigns by animal charities on the horrific methods of training baby elephants have to endure to comply to being ridden or managed by humans. Many also didn't like the idea of seeing an animal in chains controlled by a bull hook. Perhaps this is due to that the couples who would wish to have an elephant don't contact us as we make it clear that we do not organise any animal entertainment but it hasn't stopped us seeing our business grow from our early days and we often get really positive feedback on our policy. It is a joy for us to realise that there are so many aware people out there who share our passion to be kind and caring towards animals (well and people and everyone of course) and who set the example that destination weddings are far more beautiful and full of love without animal entertainment.
The one exception though, as this is Sri Lanka after all, are the cute little stray dogs that we often find hanging around wanting to be part of the guest list, especially at our beach weddings! We've seen many a wedding photo with a little stray smiling at our couples! Some of our venues even have resident dogs as pets which make for some special guests at weddings! Pure pooch love!