WALLINGFORD — They didn’t give away the bride or bear the rings for the groom, but Amanda Zarabozo’s three pigs had supporting roles in her wedding.
Chuck Leiss and his fiancee tied the knot in an outdoor ceremony at Red Barn at Outlook Farm in South Berwick, Maine, on May 15. It featured her three potbellied pigs, Lucy, Lily and Lulu, as honored guests.
To judge by the wedding pictures that the couple recently got back from their photographer, the nuptial will be a charming memory for everyone who was there.
“Leading up to it, [the pigs] played a massive role in being the fixation of everyone and us. When it came down to it, they were only in the wedding for, like, 90 seconds,” Leiss said. “Amanda’s first time seeing them was when she was walking down the aisle. She saw them and was laughing hysterically. It was awesome. Helped me to stay calm all through the thing.”
Zarabozo’s love for her pets is well-documented in her Instagram account, lucy_thepig, which has more than 35,000 subscribers. IInn Wallingford, where she is known for taking them with her in her journeys about town. A fan of pigs since she was a young girl, Zarabozo made sure that Leiss, a guitar teacher and waiter at Chili’s of Wallingford, knew that they were part of the package when they began dating more than five years ago.
The pigs’ involvement in the wedding ceremony was a foregone conclusion. The three pigs followed the bride down the aisle with a little help from one of their favorite snacks, blueberries. Staff at Red Barn got the fruit from their kitchen and laid a path to the bride and groom with the berries that the pigs ate right up. The porkers’ presence was underlined by the Beatles song Piggies, played in their honor before the wedding began, Leiss said.
The blueberries helped keep the pigs in the pictures, said the photographer, Katie Arnold of Portland, Maine.
“They were very photogenic,” Arnold said. “They would sniff them [the blueberries], and they would turn and look at you...they stood right in the aisle [as vows were pronounced]. It was like they knew it was a very important moment.”
Red Barn workers also prepared a large plate of vegetables that some of the 90 wedding guests fed to the pigs at the reception.
There was one bit of misbehavior involving Lily, Leiss said.
“One of the staff came up to me and she says, ‘Hey, no big deal, but one of your pigs is running around the venue and nobody can catch her,’ ” Leiss said. “It was our cocktail party, but she was running all over the place.”
Arnold said she was glad for a chance to work with the bride and groom, and the pigs.
“Just the love that the couple has for them was so evident,” Arnold said. “She [Zarabozo] put her bridal desires aside just to do was best for the pigs. They were truly part of their family and I loved seeing that, especially because I am a vegetarian.”