Pillow marriage and 11 other odd unions
Dog brides, serpentine grooms, and the South Korean man who decided to marry a cushion: A quick guide to the nuttiest nuptials in recent history
Australian Joe Guiso wanted to bring together his loved ones in a "creative and light-hearted way." So naturally, the 20-year-old decided to tie the knot this week with his golden labrador, Honey, in front of 30 friends and family members. (See pictures of Guiso and his dog.) Although the pair "sealed the union with a kiss," Guiso noted that the pooch partnership is "nothing sexual," and added that the whole affair "should be taken lightly." By taking this step, Guiso has joined a strange company of innovators who've "married" everything from inanimate objects to poisonous critters. Here are 11 (other) wacky weddings from around the world:
1. Someone to lay your head onAfter a six-year relationship, Lee Jin-gyu, 28, of South Korea decided to finally tie the knot — with his pillow. Known as a "dakimakura," the "huggable" Japanese-style body pillow bares the image of his favorite cartoon vixen, Fate Testarossa. The two apparently share everything. "When he goes out to eat," said Jin-gyu's friend to the Daily Mail, "he takes it with him and it gets its own seat and its own meal." (Watch the man pose with his pillow spouse)
2. Asthmatic KittyWhen German mailman Uwe Mitzscherlich discovered that his beloved cat Cecilia suffered from a deadly case of asthma, he decided it was finally time to do the right thing — by marrying the ailing feline in an "unofficial" wedding ceremony. "Cecilia is such a trusting creature," Mitzsherlich told Germany's Bild. "We cuddle all the time and she has always slept in my bed." (Watch Mitzscherlich pose with his cat bride)
3. Avatar adorationA 27-year-old Tokyo man who goes by the name Sal 9000 fulfilled his dream last December by marrying his ideal woman, Nene Anegasaki — a video game character in the Nintendo DS game "Love Plus." The ceremony was broadcast online for fans of the game, and a real priest performed the service. According to Sal, having an avatar wife beats the real thing. "She doesn't get angry if I'm late in replying to her," he told CNN. "Well, she gets angry, but she forgives me quickly."
4. French kissLove and Paris go hand-in-hand. But Erika La Tour Eiffel, 39, upped the city's romance level after "marrying" the Eiffel Tower in 2008. Eiffel claims she develops genuine romantic feelings for inanimate objects due to a condition known as objectum sexuality. In addition to her love of the Eiffel Tower, Mrs. La Tour Eiffel also has a deep relationship with a bit of fence she keeps in her bedroom.
5. Thrill rideAfter more than 3,000 trips on a Pennsylvania amusement park ride called 1001 Nachts, church organist Amy Wolfe finally decided to offer her hand in marriage to the 80-foot gondola. "I love him as much as women love their husbands," she told the Telegraph, "and know we'll be together forever." To show her devotion to 1001 Nachts, Wolfe announced plans to change her surname to Weber, after the ride's manufacturer.
6. The life aquaticIn a small ceremony at Israel's southern port of Eilat, Briton Sharon Tendler, 45, "took the plunge" with her lover, Cindy — a 39-year-old bottlenosed dolphin. While Tendler says she hopes Cindy "has a lot of baby dolphins with the other dolphins," she concedes that she's simply a "one-dolphin woman."
7. A deadly loveIn 2006, more than 2,000 guests celebrated a traditional Indian wedding between Bimbala Das and the love of her life, a deadly-poisonous cobra snake. A member of the animal-loving, vegetarian Vaishnav sect, Das was given permission to marry the snake by the local elders. "I always get to see it every time I go near the ant hill," said Das. "It has never harmed me."
8. Got his goatCharles Tombe, a Sudanese man, found himself betrothed after getting caught fornicating with a neighbor's goat. Subsequent to catching Tombe mid-act and tying him up, the goat's owner informed his local elders about the matter. "They said I should not take him to the police," the owner told the Juba Post, "but rather let him pay a dowry for my goat because he used it as his wife." Tombe was made to "marry" the animal, named Rose, which died in an accident months later.
9. Eastern-bloc promises Eija-Riitta Berliner-Mauer, 56, claims to have fallen in love with the Berlin Wall at age seven, after seeing the famous structure on TV. And in 1979, Berliner-Mauer — which means "Berlin Wall" in German — "married" the Soviet-built landmark. But after it was mostly torn down in 1989, she's been too distraught to return. "What they did was awful," Berliner-Mauer told the Telegraph. "They mutilated my husband."
10. Another one for the dogsFor 15 years, Selva Kumar of New Delhi lived with the shame of having stoned and clubbed two dogs to death as a teenager. Kumar claims that after killing the dogs, his hands became paralyzed and he lost hearing in one ear. To rid himself of the "dog curse," Kumar decided in 2007 to marry a 10-year-old stray named Selvi, who wore a ceremonial orange sari and a garland of flowers to the ceremony.
11. A narcissistic nuptialDutch artist Jennifer Hoes had long struggled with her father's death. So in 2003, at age 30, she decided to "embrace" her own life by taking her own hand in marriage. The ceremony between Hoes and herself took place in Haarlem, Netherlands, and was attended by close friends and family. But with all the media attention the wedding drew, some wonder whether it was simply a "publicity stunt" to promote her art. "I am hurt," said Hoes in an interview with ArtandPerception.com, "when people degrade my very being to a stunt." Recently, the concept was mocked in an episode of the FOX show, "Glee": Aggressively unlovable cheerleading coach, Sue Sylvester, joined herself in matrimony.