At any outdoor event, one expects a little bit of interference from nature — weather, a fly or two, maybe some birds chirping. Caleb and Casey Light had an unusual visitor show up at their wedding in St. James, Mo., just in time to photobomb their first look: a rather large praying mantis that crawled up Caleb’s back as photographer Ashley Wills snapped away.
“When Casey saw the praying mantis on my shoulder, she flipped out,” Caleb tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “It climbed high enough up to where she could see it. She said, ‘I love you, but I don’t love you that much,’ and pushed me away. … I kind of went hysterical at that point and said, ‘Get it off! Get it off me!'”
Caleb readily admits to being “terrified” of insects. Luckily, Wills’s husband was on hand to remove the wedding crasher without harming it. But this was all after it had already stolen a starring role in their photo session. When Wills began editing photos from the Oct. 14 wedding, she realized the mantis was in every single one of the Lights’ first-look pictures. She told them she would edit it out, but they’ve decided they also want some photos to include the creature.
Wills took this as an opportunity to have a little fun with the photos and made a video, adding a pair of sunglasses and a “Thug Life” sign to the mantis in homage to its bold attitude.
“Somedays, we have to let loose and have a good laugh at the office,” she wrote on Facebook, where the video now has 31,000 views.
Considering the female praying mantis is famous for eating her mate, it’s a good thing the Lights aren’t really superstitious. Caleb already had a bit of a history with the species.
“My very good friends, several times in the past, have tested my actual fear of bugs,” he says. “They threw [a praying mantis] in my car when I was in a parking lot test-driving a car. They threw it in there, and I jumped out, and the car took off.”
The Lights had another uninvited guest at their wedding, which took place on Casey’s parents’ property. As Caleb began to say his vows, a snake started making its way toward his foot.
“Apparently, I was so busy — and so was my fiancée — we never even saw it,” he said. “One of our camera guys came over and grabbed it, and threw it into the weeds. I did not even notice what was going on.”
The rest of the wedding went on without further incursions from nature. Their honeymoon in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, however, featured one more, Caleb noted: “I got stung by a jellyfish.”
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