Speed Reads

slow and steady wins the wedding

Veterinarian bride and groom have their pet tortoise serve as ring bearer

When it came to choosing a ring bearer for their wedding, exotic animal veterinarians Ericka and Jay Johnson knew they had the right tortoise for the job.

Ericka and Jay, who met 20 years ago while doing a wild tortoise survey, are the proud owners of Tom Shelleck, a sulcata tortoise. They knew he would make a charming, albeit slow, ring bearer, and Ericka told SWNS they would "practice to see how long it would take, and we ended up having to have two songs played so we'd have enough time, and we still almost ran out of songs."

Last month, the Johnsons wed at Tohono Chul Botanical Gardens in Tucson, Arizona. To keep the "always hungry" Tom Shelleck on track, strawberries were placed on the aisle, and he chowed down all the way to the altar. It took about three minutes for him to reach the officiant, who took the rings out of a basket attached to his shell. 

Tom Shelleck was "the center of attention," Ericka told SWNS, and the bride and groom were "proud of how he did."