Bride with the Slowest Walk Down to the Aisle: Her Pet Tortoise Ring Bearer Steals the Show

Jay and Ericka, both veterinarians, met two decades ago while making a survey for wild tortoises. 

This was also the reason why their ring bearer on their wedding day was their 20-year-old sulcata pet tortoise named Tom Shelleck. 

The couple said their vows last year at Tohono Chul Botanical Gardens in Arizona and the tortoise was the limelight of the show. 

They attached a floral basket with the rings on the top of Tom’s shell and he reached his destination though a bit slower.

The Sweetest & Slowest Ring Bearer Tom Was the Highlight of the Wedding

Ericka and Jay are exotic animal veterinarians and tortoises have brought them together. Tom walked down the aisle carrying the couple’s wedding rings on his shell and the walkway was linked up with strawberries, his favorite treat. 

This moment was so adorable and unforgettable. 

The three of them needed three minutes to get to the aisle whereas it usually takes several seconds. But,  this was no issue and it was so worth it and unique.

When they practiced for the wedding day, Ericka says they timed Tom so that they know approximately how much time he would need. They also had to put on two songs to play during the walk to the aisle because it lasted longer than one song.

Ericka’s twin nephews were putting down the strawberries on the path so that Tom walks towards the aisle. He was motivated very well because he’s very outgoing and often hungry, according to the couple.

Tom is a pivotal part of the couple’s life and it definitely makes sense. 

Tortoises Are a Lifetime Dedication 

Sulcata tortoises as pets are a lifetime dedication because of their average lifespan which is more than 70 years. The adults can weigh between 80 and 200 pounds. The only tortoise species bigger than sulcata are the Aldabra giant and the Galapagos tortoises. 

Ericka said she was a bit worried that Tom might get distracted by thinking some of the guests’ painted toenails are fruits. But, he did very well and reached his destination without getting out of the course. 

The guests loved the one-of-a-kind ring bearer and they said he was the most memorable part of the wedding. People were talking about him days after and joked how he stole the show from the bride who’s usually the center of attention.

But, the animal-loving couple regrets nothing-they’re actually happier than ever that Tom was part of their unforgettable day. 

The photos were stunning and showed how their wedding day expressed what’s important in their lives and what actually brought them together, i.e. the love for animals and tortoises.