Meet the bride who bizarrely had a horse as the best man at her wedding
Back in ancient times, the Roman emperor Caligula had the insane notion to make his favourite horse a senator. Over the years, this (possibly apocryphal) incident has become well-known among historians. But now someone has gone one step further and made their horse the best man at their wedding.
Biomedical scientist Natalie White, who hails from Wolverhampton in England, had decided to get married a mere 23 days after she'd been diagnosed with leukaemia, after being engaged to her fiancé Jack for eight years. Natalie first started feeling unwell back in 2016, but initially, she assumed that she'd simply come down with an infection from the dirty hay at her stables.
However, she was eventually rushed to New Cross hospital after feeling severely weak and faint, and doctors determined that her haemoglobin levels were so low that they were forced to perform a bone marrow biopsy. Thanks to a donation from her sister, Natalie was able to pull through.
However, her brush with death made her appreciate life all the more, and convinced her to go full throttle with her love life. She managed to harvest her eggs before she went through chemotherapy, so her and Jack could one day have children, and the two lovers decided to get hitched at the local church, St Thomas in Wednesfield, on October 26, 2017. However, at the wedding party at Mount Hotel in Tettenhall, Natalie was delighted to see that a special hooved guest had managed to come along.
Commenting on her unusual service, Natalie stated: "We only invited both sets of parents, but there was a very special surprise in store for me. Jack, my friends and family had arranged for Gibson, my beloved horse – all decked out in special bridal-wear – to be my best man! Although it wasn’t what I had imagined for my wedding day, it was simple and special. We headed off to the hotel afterwards, where the manager was talking to us, telling us about its history, all the while trying to lead us out into the garden. I didn’t really understand what was going on, but then I saw Gibson standing there and it was so emotional."
She added poignantly: "I had been loaning him for a few years and I love him so much. He is such a sweetheart. Having him there for the next few hours meant so much to me. I think I spent more time with Gibson than I did with my new husband, as I hadn’t been able to see him as much after falling ill and it was lovely to have him by my side for the rest of the day."
Natalie is now looking forward to, hopefully, a long and happy life shared with her two favourite chaps: Jack and Gibson, and is also volunteering as an ambassador for the charity, Bloodwise. If you'd like to consider making a blood or bone marrow donation, please visit Give Blood for help and further information.