Rio Bird-in-hand to get owl aid at wedding

Rio Ferdinand and Rebecca Ellison are set to tie the knot in August, with a little help from a barn owl named Ollie.

The feathered friend has delivered wedding rings on six occasions, and is currently being trained for the Ferdinand wedding which will be held at Peckforton Castle in Cheshire.

Swooping down from the rafters, Ollie is trained to land on the arm of the best man, delivering the ring in a small velvet pouch attached to her leg.

“When she flies down above the heads of the congregation, I’m sure they will be amazed,” said Peckforton’s head falconer Mike Roberts.

However, it will surely be the owl’s most high-profile audience yet, with invited guests including fellow footballers David Beckham and Wayne Rooney, actors Mickey Rourke and Danny Dyer and rapper 50 Cent.

Security at the castle is set to be extremely tight. “It won’t be quite as lavish as the Rooneys’ wedding,” said a source. “But it will be a day to remember.”

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