Couples across the US are hiring donkeys called ‘beer burros’ to serve drinks at their weddings

Would you hire donkeys for your wedding?

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Would you hire donkeys for your wedding?
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Instagram @txhillcountryevents

  • Couples across the US are hiring donkeys called “beer burros” to serve food and drink at their weddings.
  • The donkeys have customized saddles with baskets, and can carry 6-12 beers at a time.
  • They’re a feature in wedding photos, too, of course.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

We’ve heard of yoga involving the likes of lemurs, dogs, and alpacas, but it seems the animal trend is now making its way into weddings.

Called “beer burros” (burro is a southwestern term for pack donkeys), couples in Texas and California are hiring donkeys to serve drinks or snacks to guests on their special day – and to appear in plenty of photos, of course.

Through their event planning company Texas Hill Country Events, Alisha Randig provides the beer burros out of Wimberley, Texas, though they travel across the state for events, too.

Read more: An English hotel has launched outdoor yoga with lemurs to help people de-stress

Alisha told INSIDER that it all came about when she received a call from a local BBQ joint asking her to consider starting a beer burro business because they had corporate clients that had requested them for an event.

“They called me knowing I had a ranch, and asked if I’d be interested in doing it,” she said. “There was one venue in Wimberley that started doing it a long time ago, I had seen it before but it never crossed my mind to do it.”

After deciding to give it a go, she found her first two donkeys, now called John Wayne and Annie Oakley, on classifieds site Craigslist.

“We went to pick up John and saw Annie and fell in love with her,” she said. They didn’t realize Annie was pregnant at the time – and their heard has now grown to eight.

The burros arrive at an event to greet guests and “mix and mingle,” passing out drinks or snacks.

donkey bride

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Randig Management

“They have custom-made pack saddles, about waist-high, with baskets,” she explained. “They’re small – we don’t put a lot of weight on them, they’re more for the aesthetic.”

She said each donkey will carry six to 12 beers in their pack at a time.

donkeys with beers

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Randig Management

For weddings, the donkeys are usually the first thing guests see when they leave a ceremony and enter cocktail hour.

“A lot of local guests are excited to take pictures with them, [and] a lot of guests that aren’t from the Hill Country have a lot of questions,” she said. “They love to pet them, and they take a lot of selfies.”

She added that the donkeys are usually used in group photos.

beer burro group

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Randig Management

The bride and groom walk around with them to take pictures, too.

bride groom beer burro

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Randig Management

The company’s website reads: “They have a beautiful neck wreath that they wear or you can provide any props you have to go along with the theme of your event.

“They can also be a walking photo booth for your event, just add the Polaroid package to your contract.”

The beer burros are hired for events other than weddings, too.

“Some clients don’t want alcohol, and for kids parties, we’ll use popcorn bags,” Randig said.

The fee for the donkeys is $575, though there’s an additional cost if the event is occurring more than 30 miles away from the ranch.

bride groom pose with donkeys

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Randig Management

Naturally, Randig said she gets a lot of questions about whether carrying the drinks is harmful to the donkeys.

However, she told INSIDER the trend is “not at all damaging” to the animals.

“Donkeys were bred [to] transport stuff,” she said. “They’re stronger than horses the same size as them – they’re very strong animals.”

Read more: Santorini tourists are being asked to put themselves ‘in the donkey’s hooves’ before riding one up the island’s 600-step cliffside

Still, she added: “We don’t put heavy stuff on them because it’s not necessary.”

The donkeys live on her 88-acre ranch, and are bathed each week and before an event.

She said that donkeys are “companionship animals” and actually seem to enjoy the attention.

“John Wayne gravitates towards guests,” she said. “We give them treats so they get excited to work. John Wayne almost jumps into the trailer because he’s so excited to see everyone.”

The company isn’t the only one to jump on the beer burro concept.

California-based company Little Burro Events also uses the animals to serve food and drink at weddings and events Napa, Sonoma, and San Francisco.

“It’s really taken off,” Randig said.

However, she thinks her company stands out because they send two different types of donkey to an event.

“I love to see the contrast of the two coloured donkeys,” she said. “I kind of think it looks like a bride and groom.”