Long before Carmen Fowler had a ring on her finger, she knew who she wanted to carry it down the aisle.
The only catch was, it would take four years of dedicated training from the bird trainer to bring Socrates the barn owl up to scratch.
"The rings are such an important part of the wedding," she said.
"You don't want the groom just to pull them out of the pocket and just go 'yeah here you go' you want them to actually come in … like the bride, basically."
Step one was getting Socrates comfortable carrying such precious cargo.
Step two was finding a way to get the bird of prey to relinquish the rings at the end of the aisle.
"Most of these birds are used to carrying food items in their feet," Ms Fowler said.
"Of course they do have a lock-on mechanism, so I didn't want him to grip onto those rings, because I wouldn't have been able to get them off of him."
It was hard work for the teacher and her avian student, who took on extra training between dedicated bird shows at an animal park on the NSW north coast.
But Socrates was proving up to the challenge — until two days out from the big day.
"Oh I cannot explain how nervous I was," she said.
"And especially the two training days prior, he didn't do the routine, and I thought 'oh what did I get myself into, I'm setting myself up to fail'."
With the clock counting down and no back-up ring-bearer, the only thing Ms Fowler could do was cross her fingers and hope for the best.
"Once I was there with all the guests, it seems to have slipped to the back of my mind, until maybe two seconds before," she said.
"I'm putting on the glove going 'I haven't got a back-up plan but I'm just going to go with it and cross my fingers it's going to work'."
Fortunately, Socrates isn't one to ruffle feathers.
And his flight path down the open aisle was flawless.
"Every bride wants to be in white, why not have a white bird as well?" Ms Fowler said.
"I wanted that full effect of my family going 'wow, this is what she does for a living' and have that proud moment."