A man brought a llama to his sister’s wedding as part of a five-year-long joke, but the bride was understandably unimpressed with the four-legged punchline.
Mendl Weinstock warned his sister, Riva, that he’d be bringing a llama as his date to her wedding back in 2015 when Riva was already planning the big day – despite the fact she wasn’t dating anyone at the time.
Given she didn’t yet have a partner to meet at the alter, Riva wasn’t too bothered by the threat, and jokingly told Mendl he was more than welcome to bring one of the furry farm animals.
Mendl told Insider:
My sister was talking about her wedding as if it were tomorrow, when she wasn’t even dating anyone at the time.
Just to make her mad and get a reaction, I told her if she makes me come to the wedding, I am bringing a llama with me. After a few minutes of arguing, she tried to use reverse psychology on me and said, ‘OK, the llama is invited to the wedding’.
Presumably, Riva had extended the invitation just to stop their bickering, with the underlying assumption Mendl wouldn’t actually take her up on it. It would be too much effort for Mendl to find a llama that was available for the as-yet-unplanned event, and then look after it at the wedding, right?
Mendl made sure the invitation wasn’t forgotten, and reminded his sister ‘probably twice a week’ for the following five years of her promise. Riva attempted to back out by ‘striking deals’ and ‘doing literally everything possible to make sure it didn’t happen’, but Mendl wouldn’t give in.
Riva got engaged in October 2019, and Mendl knew it was time to put his plan into action.
The bride spoke about how her brother quickly got to work, saying:
When he sets his mind to something, he makes it happen. Literally, I called him to tell him I was engaged and his response was, ‘Great, I’m calling the llama farm now.’
Probably not even an hour later, I got a text that said his llama rental was confirmed.
Riva’s big day took place in Cleveland, Ohio, on Sunday, March 1, and sure enough Mendl was there with his big, furry plus one. Shocky the llama certainly stood out among the other, two-legged wedding guests, though the mischievous brother had at least made sure the animal was dressed for the occasion by commissioning a custom llama-sized tuxedo.
Incredibly, Shocky is far from the first llama to attend a wedding. In fact, there’s a whole Instagram account, ‘wedding llamas’, devoted to the subject, and needless to say the posts are incredible.
View this post on Instagram
Recipe for a perfect fall wedding: . 💧 rain before the wedding that costs the ground with a lovely shine 🍂 gorgeous fall leaves ☁️ overcast for lovely photos 💒 the cutest little white chapel 🦙🦙 a pair of classy camelids . #classycamelids #weddingllamas #weddingalpacas #smokeyandnapoleon #oakpioneerchurch #portlandwessing #fallwedding #pdxwedding
Having known there was nothing she could do to stop her brother’s plan, Riva begrudgingly accepted the fact there would be a llama at her wedding, though she refused to properly interact with it.
I promised him that I would take one picture. I said, ‘I will not stand next to the llama, I will not touch the llama, but I will take one picture.’
My friends can attest that I went outside, I took exactly one picture, and then I went right back inside and was not having any more of it.
Mendl shared a snap of his unimpressed sister on Reddit, where it has since received 154,000 upvotes by amused users. Riva didn’t expect the picture to be so well received, though she believes her angry face in the image has something to do with its popularity.
The newlywed commented:
I think it’s my facial expression, because I really don’t look particularly thrilled with the situation, but I think that’s what got people’s attention.
That was my face from the moment I walked outside, and it was completely intentional. That’s pretty much my face constantly when I look at my brother.
Though Shocky wasn’t allowed inside the wedding venue, guests continued the joke by sitting two inflatable ‘bride and groom’ llamas at the couple’s dinner table.
Much to Riva’s delight, Shocky left the venue after about half an hour, presumably when Mendl was satisfied his joke had landed.
After being put through the ringer on her wedding day, Riva plans to get her own back on her brother and has warned him to ‘sleep with one eye open’.
It will be great to see how Riva tops the llama debacle!
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