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Weddings

Bride's Wedding Day Shoot With Rescue Horse Is A Thing Of Beauty

Just a bride and her "mane" man. 🐎

Bride Hayley Fox planned her wedding day around one "mane" event -- a visit to the horse sanctuary where she volunteers.

Before Hayley tied the knot on March 5 in Queenscliff, Victoria, Australia, she stopped at Winged Horse Equine Welfare Inc. for a big day photo shoot with a beloved rescue named Keanu.

Just last year, Keanu&nbsp;was a startling <a href="http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/news/geelong/starved-horses-rescued-by-winged-horse-equine-welfare/news-story/8ea012caaddd9f0d0df895b2f9f5d1cc" target="_blank">330 pounds underweight</a>. Look at him now!
Just last year, Keanu was a startling 330 pounds underweight. Look at him now!

"Almost everything about my wedding day was planned around riding a Winged Horse, including the designing of my dress to make sure it was was riding-appropriate!" the bride told The Huffington Post. "One particular dress fitting involved me throwing a leg over a chair to make sure I could still ride."

In April 2015, Keanu, now 6 years old, was rescued by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) after years of neglect. When he arrived, he had worms and was severely underweight.

"You know you have a horse problem when your husband's vows read, &lsquo;I promise to encourage you to do anything that makes you happy, no matter how many horses we have to feed morning and night!&rsquo;" Hayley said.&nbsp;
"You know you have a horse problem when your husband's vows read, ‘I promise to encourage you to do anything that makes you happy, no matter how many horses we have to feed morning and night!’" Hayley said. 

Over the last year, Hayley has developed a close connection with Keanu and another horse named Zeus.

“Hayley and the horses absolutely have a special bond since she’s watched [Keanu] from being a horse that was obviously neglected to one that’s glowing now," sanctuary owner Carolyn Bischof told the Geelong Advertiser.

Two peas in a pod!&nbsp;
Two peas in a pod! 

The first time Hayley met Zeus and Keanu, neither horse could hold up a rug due to their weakened condition.

"I walked over to see both horses and had a silent cry with them, apologizing for the fact that any human could do this to such beautiful boys," she recalled to HuffPost. "I felt sad due to their state, but there was something in both of their eyes which told me they were going to be OK."

Keanu has come a long, long way in the last year.&nbsp;
Keanu has come a long, long way in the last year. 

The bride said it was "never a question in her mind" whether Keanu would be a part of her special day. It was a no brainer.

"The drive down to Winged [that day], I had your normal wedding jitters, however once I saw this beautiful boy, I immediately felt calm," Hayley said. "This boy was my rock. He centered me and took me out of the wedding craziness!"

Love reins!&nbsp;
Love reins! 

Afterwards, Hayley headed off to say her "I dos" to her husband Craig, followed by a reception held in the stables at Suma Park.

"I knew this [location] was every horse lover's dream, right down to the gorgeous heavy stall doors, the dirt floor and the beautiful barn roof," she said. "The Friday before the wedding, my bridesmaids DIY’d the stable, hanging saddles on the doors and scattering beautiful jars full of bush roses and beautiful flowers. Our wedding had horse flair from start to finish!"

The reception was held in the stables -- perfect for a horse lover like Hayley.
The reception was held in the stables -- perfect for a horse lover like Hayley.
Meet Mr. and Mrs. Fox!&nbsp;
Meet Mr. and Mrs. Fox! 

Winged Horse Equine Welfare recently teamed up with several other sanctuaries on a large-scale, 100-horse rescue for the RSPCA. If you would like to support the cause, visit their donation page.

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