When Gilly Richardson and John Hughes took the big leap into marriage, it was but a simple hop for the couple’s bridesmaid – their pet kangaroo, Zoe.
Gilly and John, who tied the knot on their farm in Victoria’s rural Deans Marsh earlier this year, adopted Zoe a year ago after finding her on a track near her dead mum.
When they took the tiny joey home to care for her, they had no idea she would become such an integral member of the family. Or that she’d serve as a bridesmaid at their wedding along with their daughters Brooke, 5, and Holly, 4.
“She really is our third child, so it didn’t even occur to us that it might seem bizarre to have her as a bridesmaid,” says Gilly.
“We had the wedding at home, so she was free to join in as much or as little as she liked. But she must have enjoyed herself as she even posed for pictures with us. Everyone thought it was hilarious.
“Luckily I didn’t mind being upstaged by my three gorgeous bridesmaids – even if one of them was a kangaroo!”
Bridesmaid duties aside, Zoe is like a sister to Brooke and Holly.
“Our eldest used to feed her a lot and they bonded like any siblings would,” Gilly says.
“If Brooke and Holly played in the sandpit, Zoe would join them, sit by their side and eat grass.”
Read the full story in this week's Woman's Day, on sale May 10, 2010.
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